March 23, 2015

The Night Circus

While I was in England last summer sewing for the TV show Ren one of the other seamstresses recommended this book to me.  I wrote it down and put it on my bulletin board.  A few months ago a co-worker handed me the book and said "READ IT".  Yet it sat on my shelf for three months until I read it this weekend. 

The universe was basically shoving this book at me.  I should have listened sooner.  It was amazing.  So amazing.  I consumed it in about 3 hours on the plane, and at times had to be comforted by my boyfriend who noticed me wringing my hands in distress.

The back cover synopsis:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called "Le Cirque des Reves," and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

The story was awesome.  The back cover exaggerates and doesn't do a great job summing up what is the Night Circus, but still.  Give it a read.

It isn't fast paced, but I read it in the blink of an eye.  It isn't a romance as it suggests, but there is romance in it.  It isn't a competitive duel, but a competition that spans over many many many years.  But the circus is beautiful, and the contest itself mysterious and intriguing.  

4 solid stars for this awesome book.

Read it?  Let me know what you thought!  I love hearing others' opinions!

March 2, 2015

Heir of Fire

This book was amazing!  It was, admittedly a bit slow to start, but it was AWESOME.  This is book three of the Throne of Glass series, see my reviews on books 1 and 2!

We get to see Celena in a whole different light in this book.  Bit by bit we get to see just how broken she is.  Now that the truth of who she is is out, she cannot hide anymore.  Change is coming and whether or not she is prepared for it is her own choice.

Official Goodreads synopsis:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

 During this book Celena is trained by the exceedingly awesome Rowan.  I adored Rowan.  He almost made up for Chaol being the world's most idiotic male.  Almost.

Speaking of Chaol.  I used to ship Chaol and Celena, but after this book...I just don't know if I want her with him anymore.  He wavered between alliances, wouldn't make concrete choices, omitted important information from his best friend, and abandoned the woman he loves.  Chaol.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  I was really disappointed in his character.

Dorian.  Finally.  For the past two books Dorian has been a bit unsure and irresponsible.  He finally grows into his own skin in this book.  The end of his story line in this book ripped my heart apart.  I kept having to tell myself that book 4 will make everything right.  It has to.

Manon.  Manon was an interesting addition to the story.  She is fierce and awesome.  She reminded me a lot of the witches in Joseph Delaney's The Last Apprentice Series.  At first I thought she would be just a static, secondary antagonist.  A leader of one string of the King's forces.  But now... I am not so sure.  She isn't good, not by a long shot, but I think there might be some very interesting additional character development in book four that will make me adore her even more.

Queen Maeve.  I hated her.  She's an awesome character, but I HATE her.  

King of Adarlan.  This book made me hate him even more.  The intricate plots and movements of his followers in the general world were astounding.  While in the capitol we didn't really get a sense of just how evil he is.  Yeah, he's a bad dude, but in Heir of Fire we get to see just how long he has been planning this.  We also got to see several more pieces of his master plan fall into place.  I'm terrified.  Celena is going to need more than just her own abilities to stop him.  She's going to need a miracle.

My only complaint about this book is the cover.  DID THE DESIGNER EVEN READ IT BEFORE DRAWING IT?!  Celena trains with magic in this book.  Shifting and fire.  Not a bow.  And the back?  
She is mostly a scullery maid and in training clothes.  She's not even allowed in a dress when she meets with Queen Maeve!  SO WHY IS SHE IN A GOWN WITH (again) A BOW!  It's so irritating.

Despite the cover and the slow start, I give this book 5 stars.  Yet another amazing novel from Sarah J Maas.

Mortal Heart

I've raved about books 1 and 2 -- now it's time to rave about book 3. 

Book 3, Mortal Heart, follows Annith, a daughter of Mortian and one of his most talented handmaidens.  Only she's never been sent out of the abbey to do the bidding of the Lord of Death. 

Official Goodreads description:
Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...

I devoured this book.  DEVOURED.  Annith's story was awesome, her love connection just as fulfilling as the last two books, and the intruige!  

We finally get to KNOW the Abbess.  Who she is, what she wants, what she is plotting.  All comes out in this book.  It's messy, awesome, and everything I wanted.  

Read these books. Seriously.  Action-filled, well-written, enough romance to keep you grinning like a fool, and enough court intrigue to have you biting your fingernails.  If I could give these books 6 stars, I would.