King Of Adarlan

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Heir Of Fire (Throne Of Glass #3) – Sarah J. Maas

Published March 20, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.

What did I think?:

This is the third novel in the epic and utterly amazing Throne Of Glass series and yet again, Sarah J. Maas has me completely under her spell. I love this series so much but I definitely recommend reading it from the first book, Throne Of Glass as the characters and plot undergoes so many twists and turns that it could seem a bit overwhelming to those of you who haven’t come across our fantastic (and kick-ass) assassin and heroine, Celaena Sardothien. I’m still a bit surprised that I haven’t heard anything about this series being commissioned for film or television – its comparable to Game Of Thrones in its world building and could bring a lot more new people to a story that I love with every breath in my body.

As always, it’s terribly difficult to review the third book in a series and I’m wary of giving any spoilers for the previous books. So, if you haven’t read them I highly recommend doing that and then maybe coming back. However, I will try to be very vague about certain aspects of the narrative. Celaena goes on one of the biggest personal journeys in Heir Of Fire. Due to events that occurred in Crown Of Midnight, she is a broken, self-doubting, regretful and guilty as hell individual and constantly beats herself up for decisions she has made in the past. Travelling to the land of the Fae outside Adarlan, she meets a host of new people who are very similar to herself and uses her sharp tongue and wit to have a duel of words with Queen Maeve of the Fae to try and get some information about the dreaded Wyrdkeys and the secrets behind their power.

Not only this but Celaena begins to train with one of Maeve’s most fearsome and respected warriors, Rowan Whitethorn to develop her gifts and skills way beyond that of a mere assassin. He’s a tough boss to be around and pushes Celaena to her physical and emotional limits but she comes out a stronger and much more powerful individual because of it. Their relationship was one of my high points of the book and I loved how their interactions changed from sneering disgust to grudging respect as they both see what the other is capable of. It’s not all about Celaena and Rowan though. There are a host of new characters to savour, my favourite of which was Manon Blackbeak, heir to the Blackbeak coven and Wing Leader of the Ironteeth Thirteen. The King Of Adarlan (*boo hiss*) has requested their assistance and the wyverns they fly on to carry out his dastardly plans. Meanwhile, Prince Dorian must decide whether he has the strength to stand up to his father and fight for what he truly believes in.

That’s all I want to say about plot but believe me, there’s so much more going on in this novel than what I’ve chosen to focus on. Scene by scene and from character to character, Sarah J. Maas compels the reader to fall in love with this world and the people she has created. Just when you think she couldn’t possibly introduce someone else that has the same level of excitement that Celaena brings to the novel, enter Manon Blackbeak who at the moment is jostling with her in my head for the title of favourite character, that’s how much of an impact she has had on me. The secondary characters are also wonderful in their own right and should not be forgotten and I must admit to having a special spot in my heart for Abraxos, Manon’s loyal but temperamental wyvern. The relationship between these two was so beautiful and I found myself smiling inanely whenever they appeared on the pages. With another tense yet brilliant ending, I cannot help but eagerly anticipate the fourth novel, Queen Of Shadows and urge everyone who hasn’t already to begin reading this series as soon as possible. If you’re already a die-hard fan (like myself) let’s talk in the comments! Who is your favourite character and why?

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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The Assassin’s Blade (Throne Of Glass 0.1-0.5) – Sarah J. Maas

Published October 19, 2016 by bibliobeth

18243700

What’s it all about?:

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

What did I think?:

I’m holding my hands up to unashamedly admit that I am a die-hard Thrones Of Glass super fan! Seriously. This series is all kinds of awesome and when I heard that a prequel was coming out that would tell Celaena’s story before she becomes the King’s Assassin, I instantly knew that it was a must-read for me. Here’s the facts though. It’s not a prequel novel but five separate novellas: The Assassin And The Pirate Lord, The Assassin And The Healer, The Assassin And The Desert, The Assassin And The Underworld and The Assassin And The Empire. Some people may shy away from this idea but trust me, it brings a whole new dimension to the twisted (and so often heart-breaking) world of Celaena Sardothien and may make you look at her a whole lot differently.

So, I don’t want to give too much away for anyone who hasn’t started the Thrones Of Glass series yet, I do hate spoilers myself! I’m not even sure whether to recommend reading this book first or indeed after the first book in the series. I came to it later myself after I had read a couple of books in the series and I found it a brilliant introduction to a character I had already professed myself to love. But…I can see why reading this book FIRST could be very advantageous as there is a spoiler referred to in the first book about something that happens in Celaena’s past and The Assassin’s Blade explains how this incident came to pass.

During these five novellas, which seem to merge into each other almost like a complete novel with only very short gaps in time between stories, Celaena makes both enemies and allies, is trained to the highest standard with The Mute Assassin in the desert, encounters betrayal and friendship in the unlikeliest of places and experiences the first giddy throes of love. We learn what events (good and bad) transpired to make her the character she is today, a bit about her strengths and where she is potentially weakest and just why she ends up as a prisoner in the salt-mines of Endovier.

If you weren’t the biggest fan of Celaena before The Assassin’s Blade, dare I suggest that you might change your mind after this? Personally, I’ve always loved her kick-ass, kind of cold but also occasionally vulnerable attitude but you realise so much more about her as a person that explains a lot about her thoughts and actions that follow both during and post Throne Of Glass. As with all the books in the series that I’ve read so far, it’s just as action-packed, just as heart-breaking and always compelling and difficult to put down. I’m only sad that after six books, this series will come to an inevitable end. I know, I know, it has to end sometime, but with a story like this I just want it to run and run and run.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Crown Of Midnight (Throne Of Glass #2) – Sarah J. Maas

Published February 21, 2016 by bibliobeth

17670709

What’s it all about?:

Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

What did I think?:

Well, I must pronounce myself firmly on the Sarah J. Maas fangirl bandwagon after now reading the extraordinary follow-up to Throne Of Glass. For any readers who haven’t read the first book yet (and why not…hmm?!) I strongly recommend reading that before attempting Crown Of Midnight as it is assumed that you know a fair bit about what has happened in the previous novel. As I’m not usually a huge fan of fantasy I really wasn’t expecting to get invested in this series as much as I have and strangely enough, I enjoyed this second outing of Celaena & co even more. As a result, I now decree that the Throne Of Glass series is my favourite YA series EVER. It’s going to take a lot to top this, seriously! And never fear, this review will remain as spoiler free as possible for anybody who hasn’t started the series yet.

In Crown Of Midnight, everyone’s favourite kick-ass assassin, Celaena Sardothien is back, now hailed as the King’s Champion and personal assassin of His Most Horrible Majesty of Adarlan. The repugnant King has made it quite clear that if she doesn’t live up to his expectations (by murdering all of his enemies) than he will take it out on those she loves best – as if it wasn’t bad enough that her family died by his hands. Celaena is perfectly aware of the risk she is taking by not fulfilling his dark wishes but cannot morally kill another human being who has done her no wrong so she makes it her mission to personally warn the enemy she is supposed to exterminate and give them the chance to flee the country.

There are a few different threads in this story and one of them involves Celaena working with her friends mainly Princess Nehemia, whose people and country the Adarlan King is also slowly destroying, on a number of strange occurrences in the castle that appear to have a supernatural/magic basis. This is curious as magic was outlawed by the King a number of years ago yet all the signs point to someone using the most darkest magic for their own murky purposes. Celaena is also becoming closer and closer to the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall which holds its own problems as his loyalty should lie with the King.

Things move quite slowly in Crown Of Midnight until about halfway through the novel when quite literally, all hell breaks loose. Just when I thought I had every thing and every character figured out, Sarah J. Maas throws a massive spanner in the works and for each character, nothing will be the same ever again. I loved that we got to see a more vulnerable side of Celaena as she sinks into a vast and dangerous depression that before long, turns into an intense anger that fuels only a desire for revenge. But wait – there are more surprises in store! We learn of an intriguing side to both our heroine, Celaena and Prince Dorian that are wonderfully linked and pave the way for real excitement, more struggles and undeniable terror for the third book in the series, Heir Of Fire.

I love everything about this series – amazing characters that are surprisingly human which we see making mistakes and suffering a great deal. There is the forging of beautiful relationships and friendships and the horrific agony of loss. There are out and out villains like the King of Adarlan and then other characters whom we’re not sure if we can trust or not. The world-building from the author is immense and so intricately plotted that you could almost imagine this world actually existed. Finally, we get a mixture of slower, more thought-provoking scenes combined with those that are so action-packed and intense that I honestly felt quite short of breath just reading it! This is a fabulous follow-up novel that has cemented Sarah J. Maas as one of my favourite writers and I can hardly wait to read Heir Of Fire. The bar has been set so very high… can any other series come close?

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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