Prince Dorian

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

Published February 21, 2016 by bibliobeth

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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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Throne Of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas

Published September 2, 2015 by bibliobeth

13519397

What’s it all about?:

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

What did I think?:

Okay, so I’m a little late to the party with this series, I know its been getting a lot of love round the blogosphere and now I can understand the reasons why. Seriously, if there is anyone out there who doesn’t really think YA fantasy is for them, please give it a try, I thought the same and would have missed out on an amazing reading opportunity if I hadn’t given it a bash. (Now I kind of wish I hadn’t discovered it just so I could have the joy of discovering it all over again but hey, that’s what re-reading is for!) The star of the story is an eighteen year old girl called Calaena who is not your average young adult, far from it in fact. She is the infamous Assassin of Ardalan and woe betide anyone who crosses her as she has been trained by the best of the best. More of Celaena’s past life can be found in a prequel novel that was actually published after this one, The Assassin’s Blade but when we meet Celaena in Throne of Glass she is a prisoner in the salt mines of Endovier, tasked to carry out back-breaking labour until she dies.

Luckily she is thrown a life-line by the Prince of Ardalan and his friend and Captain Of The Guard, Chaol Westfall. If she agrees to participate in a competition that would see her becoming the King’s Assassin, she would serve four years under the King then be granted her freedom. Is there a catch? Well, she has to overthrow several other assassins to get to the top and none of them are easy to beat. These are the most ruthless, vile, dangerous and feared assassins from across the world and hey, it doesn’t matter if the majority of them are big beefy men – she must fight them. It’s a high price to pay for freedom but confident Celaena agrees to take part and immediately moves into the castle to begin training with Chaol. Nobody’s going to make it easy for her though and it’s difficult for her to know who she can trust, especially as she begins getting closer to Dorian, the Prince who seems the exact opposite of his blood-thirsty, frightening father. Then one by one, each assassin is targeted, murdered in the most grisly of circumstances which opens up a whole web of mysteries. Is there something deeper going on within the castle? Celaena must draw on all her resources, learn who to trust and, above all, watch her back as every day she rises further to the top might be one day closer to her death.

I absolutely loved this book. There’s so much more I want to say about the plot, Celaena and the host of wonderful characters but this review may end up more of a thesis if I do! Reasons to love Celaena: she is a brilliant assassin but also intelligent and feminine, her wit and sarcasm had me doing mini fist pumps in the air, she refuses to let the trauma she suffered while in the mines get on top of her, she is sensitive and kind to the friends she happens to make, she can be vulnerable at times and, most important of all, she’s a bookworm! Unfortunately, I didn’t buy into her relationship with Dorian but in complete contrast I loved her deepening and sarcastic relationship with Chaol who is another fantastic character. The plot also surprised me slightly, it was a little bit mythological and magical and even at some points a bit eerie! The ending was everything I had hoped it would be and definitely set the scene for the second book in the series, Crown Of Midnight which I cannot wait to read, eager to get inside Celaena’s world once more. A new and amazing talent, Sarah J. Maas is without a doubt going to be a household name.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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