Book Review: Tower of Dawn – Sarah J. Maas

 

Caution: This Review contains SPOILERS! If you don’t want any spoilers, Click HERE

This is Book 6 of a series, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, please head to my Review page and find Throne of Glass.


33306347

Name: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: September 5, 2017

 Synopsis

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica–the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both–and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.


Book Cover Comments

US Edition

I can’t stop fawning over the blue and gold contrast. We get to see a glimpse of Antica in a sapphire blue environment which is just gorgeous. And yes the god damn owl sigil that means so so so much in the book up to basically near the very very end

UK Edition

Best part of it? THE GOD DAMN WINGS

THOSE WINGS ARE ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS LIKE IF I CAN HAVE A PAIR OF WINGS IT’LL BE THOSE MAGNIFICENT BLUE ONES OK


The Actual Review

Should I be writing 2000 words for this thing like I did with Empire of Storms and Queen of Shadows? Maybe I really should to just keep up the GOD DAMN STANDARD.

He was the Lord of Nothing. Lord of Oath-Breakers. Lord of Liars.

Tower of Dawn is a book with a parallel timeline to Empire of Storms, happening at around the same time but taking place in the Southern Continent instead of the Northern Continent. ToD was a really different book for me, mainly probably because this story focuses on Chaol and Yrene instead of Aelin, so the entire feel was a bit lighter I suppose. Not saying that this book isn’t into some deep shit and tore my heart apart multiple times, but I think whenever we go into Aelin’s story, its just way more devastating.

“It is a reality of who you are- who we are. A choice all healers must make.”

As Sarah quoted in one of her ToD tours:
“Empire of Storms is a story of suffering…
Tower of Dawn is a story of healing.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
And because Tower of Dawn is indeed a story of healing, I have to say that this story doesn’t devastate me like Empire of Storms did. Its just really different, and both books are just absolutely magnificent.

“Know that wherever the road takes you, however dark, you will be alright.”

Sarah’s writing has never disappointed me, and I knew it was correct to stay true to my heart and ignore all the bullshit haters online about how this book that’s about Chaol is going to be absolute shit. Well, I’m here to prove you wrong because that’s not the case at all. It was also a really interesting decision to base Antica on the Mongolians, in which despite being a chicken’s body (China is often described in the shape of a rooster when including the Koreas as the beard) apart, I actually know nothing about the culture of the Mongolians other than the farmer tribes. And for Sarah to channel her grandma’s past into the book, it makes me want to understand more about the world.

Not the gold or red or blue of flame. But white like sunlight, clear and clean.
A flicker through the dark, arcing like lightning riding through the night…

Yes, as a person born in Hong Kong and have been fed Chinese history, I really don’t know enough about the Holocaust to make any judgment, but I want to learn more and understand more about what happened, and I’m happy that Sarah could bring up these types of topics. Not only is it rare to include an event that happened some time ago in history, but also to talk about such sensitive family events was really brave of her.

She had crossed mountains to be here.

There was so much healing going on in this book. Because Chaol’s book was originally meant to be a novella, I believe that the ending ended in a way that would wrap up the story to prepare for the finale, so I actually enjoyed how the ending ended in a more calming and peaceful way, and Chaol had finally untied the last of his knots in his pool of darkness.

But they had walked this far down the road. Together, She had not turned away. From any of it.
And neither would he.

Let’s start with the god damn ships. Now, because of how I read, which is, I always dead set a recurring cast for every single book I read. Let’s say my favorite girl in the entire universe is Beyonce, so whatever book I read, Feyre/Aelin/Clary/heroine will be played by Beyonce. And then let’s say my fav guy in the entire universe is Jay Z, so my main guy Rowan/lover-role is Jay Z. Now where does Chaol fit in? Unfortunately I’m greedy and I have another favorite guy in mind on par with Jay Z. You guessed it! Naruto. (jks its an example) And so I would clone Beyonce by giving her short hair (lets call her Sasha Fierce), so that Sasha Fierce would end up with Naruto. Originally I thought that the ship was going to be Chaol and Nesryn because of what happened in QoS and in the WHSmith’s EoS’s bonus story about Chaol and Nesryn near smut, then Sarah fucks up your mind by switching the tires and heading another direction. Say hello to Chaol x Yrene! I love them. I truly do love them. ITS JUST THAT FUCKING UP MY MIND WASN’T THE BEST IDEA. But reading the smut scene a few times helped.

“Maybe you and I will have to learn how to live- if we survive this war.”

Chaol and Yrene’s relationship is just beyond. I would love to call it on par in a way with Rowaelin. Wait we need a ship name first. Chaolrene? Ok that’s good. Yrene never gave the look of pity to Chaol, and during the process of healing Chaol, she discovers the darkness with him, and slowly finds the method to banish that darkness within, and learns to understand the power of the darkness and the negativity inside one’s self, and is the reason that chains the people who are infected with the Valg disease down.

Here, in the heart of a foreign land… Here, with her, he was home.

Realising the power of healing and light and fire versus the darkness caused by the Valg disease was really interesting. I greatly resonated with it, and I felt a deep connection with it. I personally connect it to the manga series “Freezing”. To sum up, Freezing is about girls who are implanted with parallel-universe-technology to battle insane supernatural monsters called “Novas”. At one point, an even stronger type of Nova came, but the girls had absolutely no way to take it down. The only way was to transcend and accept all parts of one’s self. And while the book didn’t directly talk about this aspect, I kinda perceive it as this way. You co-exist with your darkness. It feeds off of you but it also sustains you. But don’t let it overtake you. And when Yrene also learns to heal herself, to accept and to understand, and then oh lords the chemistry blooms.

“Then get up.”

Chaol has been through absolutely so much. He was shattered by Celaena’s words back in Crown of Midnight. He had walls put up in front of him continuously, in Heir of Fire, in Queen of Shadows. What really held Chaol back was really himself. He didn’t face himself and in a sense, ran away, and gave himself limitations and clipped his own wings, naming himself with negativity. I was really glad to see that in that final part when Chaol healed. I really see that sort of Heir of Fire mirror effect there. Chaol faced every single event that broke him, and understands that no matter how wrong some of his decisions might be, those he hurt have forgiven him and will be always waiting for him. And that in the end, Chaol needs to accept himself and move on with everything that has happened to him. It is all a part of him that makes him Chaol.

His. She was his, and he had never had anything he could call such. Wanted to call such.

NOW ISN’T THAT TOUCHING.
IT IS.

Effing royals of Antica. Throughout the book, basically except Sartaq, none of these stupid siblings were predictable at all. All of them had their ups and downs and I wanted to die knowing that I don’t know the motive behind each of the characters. But in the end, each of us just wants to protect what’s most precious to us, and despite not belonging in the ToG world, I am forever grateful for the choices that Hasar and Kashin made.

Wind-seeker, her mother had called her.

Ok Nesryn and Sartaq hello we must not ignore this. Nestaq? Saryn? At first I was heartbroken and frustrated to see Chaol as such a dick and kissing Yrene and basically abandoning Nesryn despite shipping them, but I’m glad to see that Nesryn found her ending as well. I really enjoyed her journey in the mountains and flying with the ruks. I think that I knew from the moment she sang in that cave that she found a place that she belonged. Borte, one of the characters in the mountains, really reminds me of Mor in a way. I believe it was also her who said “welcome home”.

Borte smiled over a shoulder at Nesryn. “Then welcome home.”

(CROSS SERIES REFERENCE HAHAHA JKS) so I was really touched by that. Honestly though, preach Nesryn. She was so brave to step away from the boundaries of Chaol so that she too can possibly find her own wings and have nothing hold her down. And she did. Go female power <3Borte smiled over a shoulder at Nesryn. “Then welcome home.”

“We will go to war, Nesryn Faliq, And when the darkness is at last banished from this world… Then you and I will fly back here. Together.”
She heard the offer, the promise.
The world he laid at her feet.

Now I’m not exactly a crier, but I wanted to see tears coming out of eye sockets when Chaol’s toes wiggled, when Nesryn found Sartaq, when Chaol declared Yrene as his wife and that Yrene belongs to him and he belongs to Yrene. ESPECIALLY when Falkin, our new found shapeshifter heard the beautiful news from Nesryn. That I truly wanted to cry about. Falkin’s last ties to anyone, his niece, and how Lysandra is his last family…

“She is my family. All I have left. And I have looked for her for a very long time.”

Honestly though all these relationships somewhat reminds me of what Bianca Del Rio said in her movie, “Hurricane Bianca”, regarding everyone knowing everyone or everyone related to everyone in some sort of way:combine_images.jpg

Onto the god damn revelations in this book. I’m going to screenshot one of my twitter convos with my buddies @SJMaasOC and @SJMaasTHL.Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 1.25.20 AM.png

Maeve is so far the biggest beef and drama in the millennium of Erilea and the Southern Continent. This prick managed to hide from everything so that the Valg Kings might never find her. However, there is a slight mix feeling about this entire situation, because number one say hello to female empowerment with Maeve being a super lit Valg Queen that overpowers three Valg Kings. Also secondly she technically wants to tell Erawan to go shit himself and fuck off. But still Maeve locked Aelin up so fml.

“We wait for the Queen of the Valg,” the spider purred, rubbing against the carving, who in this world calls herself Maeve.”

THE LAST EPILOGUE CHAPTER FIREHEART HOLY SHITTING OF MOTHER JESUS

“So that you might face it, defeat it. So you might go where you feared most to tread, and decide whether, at last, you were ready to fight back.”

When Nesryn and Sartaq were trapped in the stygian spiders’ lair and then learned all this crap, I was in shock. Literally. I wanted to yell out “what the fuck” but my mom had guests so unfortunately I couldn’t. Also swearing not encouraged for a “quiet and kind and polite girl” like me. Duvas revelation too, freaked me out. Not by a lot, but it helps fit a lot of the pieces that goes on in the story together. While not a revelation to the reader, can we take some time to appreciate the god damn ending?

“Turns out,” Hasar mused, “there are quite a few people who think highly of her. And who believe in what she’s selling.”
“Which is what?” Yrene whispered.
Hasar smiled to herself. “A better world.”

When Chaol realised that despite the tough times he has been through, despite the hatred he seemed to have received, in some way, Celaena and Aelin were always watching over him, and that despite those rough times, because of the Queen who destroys and creates, a Queen who hopes for a better world, who keeps everything to herself because of her loyalty, would be the one to tie Chaol’s thread of fate to Yrene.

He had been so afraid-so afraid of magic, of loss, of everything. He had clung so hard, had fought against it, and it had cost him everything.

I also wanted to address the fandom/non-fandom people being so sensitive about Chaol being in a wheelchair. I think its great that we include people of different situations into books. This kind of equality is really rarely seen in books, and not only do I enjoy challenging myself to imagine what a character in a wheelchair would be like, I also learn to understand those who are in a wheelchair more and think about my own past events as well. In Chaol’s situation, I just want to say that him being in a wheelchair just helped him realize so much about himself, and if it wasn’t for that, then his fate and destiny right now would never have happened. I myself have been in a wheelchair for a month because of a knee infection. I understand the feeling that Chaol goes through. I feel lonely and pathetic when I couldn’t participate in activities other could, couldn’t join other people for lunch and had to wait for it to be fetched from the cafeteria. I think the representation of Chaol being in a wheelchair in this book further assists Chaol’s emotional healing of accepting himself.

But he remained before him, still smiling faintly. Waiting.
This was not the end.
He had one promise left.

Really, if Tower of Dawn isn’t a book filled with emotional healings and acceptance, then it would never be Tower of Dawn.

It was hope that stood beside him. Hidden and protected these years in this city, and in the years before it, spirited across the earth by the gods themselves, concealed from the forces poised to destroy her.

A gift from a queen who had seen another woman in hell and thought to reach back a hand.
Every moment of despair and rage and pain.
It had led him to precisely where he needed to be.
Where he wanted to be.

Tower of Dawn is a book filled with emotional healing and the learning of accepting one’s self, to accept the darkness and the shadow of one’s self and to live alongside it. The opposite of the chaos in Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn the calm before the final storm, the eve of the war. But despite war looming ahead, Tower of Dawn the fire that lights up the paths of future, and is a beacon in the form of hope.

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Book Review: Tower of Dawn (Spoiler Free)

This Review is Spoiler Free! If you want to read the 100% spoiler version, Click HERE 

This is Book 6 of a series, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, please head to my Review page and find Throne of Glass.


33306347

Name: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: September 5, 2017

 Synopsis

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica–the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both–and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.


Book Cover Comments

US Edition

I can’t stop fawning over the blue and gold contrast. We get to see a glimpse of Antica in a sapphire blue environment which is just gorgeous. And yes the god damn owl sigil that means so so so much in the book up to basically near the very very end

UK Edition

Best part of it? THE GOD DAMN WINGS

THOSE WINGS ARE ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS LIKE IF I CAN HAVE A PAIR OF WINGS IT’LL BE THOSE MAGNIFICENT BLUE ONES OK


The Actual Review

Should I be writing 2000 words for this thing like I did with Empire of Storms and Queen of Shadows? Maybe I really should to just keep up the GOD DAMN STANDARD.

He was the Lord of Nothing. Lord of Oath-Breakers. Lord of Liars.

Tower of Dawn is a book with a parallel timeline to Empire of Storms, happening at around the same time but taking place in the Southern Continent instead of the Northern Continent. ToD was a really different book for me, mainly probably because this story focuses on Chaol and Yrene instead of Aelin, so the entire feel was a bit lighter I suppose. Not saying that this book isn’t into some deep shit and tore my heart apart multiple times, but I think whenever we go into Aelin’s story, its just way more devastating.

“It is a reality of who you are- who we are. A choice all healers must make.”

As Sarah quoted in one of her ToD tours:
“Empire of Storms is a story of suffering…
Tower of Dawn is a story of healing.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
And because Tower of Dawn is indeed a story of healing, I have to say that this story doesn’t devastate me like Empire of Storms did. Its just really different, and both books are just absolutely magnificent.

“Know that wherever the road takes you, however dark, you will be alright.”

Sarah’s writing has never disappointed me. It was also a really interesting decision to base Antica on the Mongolians, in which despite being a chicken’s body (China is often described in the shape of a rooster when including the Koreas as the beard) apart, I actually know nothing about the culture of the Mongolians other than the farmer tribes. And for Sarah to channel her grandma’s past into the book, it makes me want to understand more about the world.

Not the gold or red or blue of flame. But white like sunlight, clear and clean.
A flicker through the dark, arcing like lightning riding through the night…

Yes, as a person born in Hong Kong and have been fed Chinese history, I really don’t know enough about the Holocaust to make any judgment, but I want to learn more and understand more about what happened, and I’m happy that Sarah could bring up these types of topics. Not only is it rare to include an event that happened some time ago in history, but also to talk about such sensitive family events was really brave of her.

She had crossed mountains to be here.

There was so much healing going on in this book. Because Chaol’s book was originally meant to be a novella, I believe that the ending ended in a way that would wrap up the story to prepare for the finale.

But they had walked this far down the road. Together, She had not turned away. From any of it.
And neither would he.

Let’s start with the god damn ships. Now, because of how I read, which is, I always dead set a recurring cast for every single book I read. Let’s say my favorite girl in the entire universe is Beyonce, so whatever book I read, Feyre/Aelin/Clary/heroine will be played by Beyonce. And then let’s say my fav guy in the entire universe is Jay Z, so my main guy Rowan/lover-role is Jay Z. Now where does Chaol fit in? Unfortunately I’m greedy and I have another favorite guy in mind on par with Jay Z. You guessed it! Naruto. (jks its an example) And so I would clone Beyonce by giving her short hair (lets call her Sasha Fierce), so that Sasha Fierce would end up with Naruto. Sarah decides to change all the ships that you believe existed into something new and even better.

“Maybe you and I will have to learn how to live- if we survive this war.”

Yrene, the healer who returns in the story from The Assassin’s Blade, starts to realise more about the power of healing and understanding how to wield it in a different way was awesome. I greatly resonated with it, and I felt a deep connection with it. I personally connect it to the manga series “Freezing”. To sum up, Freezing is about girls who are implanted with parallel-universe-technology to battle insane supernatural monsters called “Novas”. At one point, an even stronger type of Nova came, but the girls had absolutely no way to take it down. The only way was to transcend and accept all parts of one’s self. And that is what Yrene will have to do.

“Then get up.”

Chaol has been through absolutely so much. He was shattered by Celaena’s words back in Crown of Midnight. He had walls put up in front of him continuously, in Heir of Fire, in Queen of Shadows. What really held Chaol back was really himself. He didn’t face himself and in a sense, ran away, and gave himself limitations and clipped his own wings, naming himself with negativity. And in the end, Chaol needs to accept himself and move on with everything that has happened to him. It is all a part of him that makes him Chaol. The understanding that he has to go through was absolutely beautiful.

Wind-seeker, her mother had called her.

Honestly though, preach Nesryn. She was so brave to leave Chaol at one point in the book temporarily and by simply leaving a note. Nesryn understands that she has to find her own way and role in all of this. She too can possibly find her own wings and have nothing hold her down. Nesryn left for the southwest of the continent under her own will, because she wanted to find the land of the magical birds (amirite?) a.k.a. Ruks, and to also find out for herself.. what lurks beyond the mountains… OOO WHATS GONNA HAPPEN HUH? HUH? HUH?

“We will go to war. And when the darkness is at last banished from this world… Then you and I will fly back here. Together”

Now I’m not exactly a crier, but I wanted to see tears coming out of eye sockets when there were so many god damn touching events in the book series.

“She is my family. All I have left. And I have looked for her for a very long time.”

Honestly though all the relationships in the book, lovers or not, somewhat reminds me of what Bianca Del Rio said in her movie, “Hurricane Bianca”, regarding everyone knowing everyone or everyone related to everyone in some sort of way:combine_images.jpg

Onto the god damn revelations in this book. I’m going to screenshot one of my twitter convos with my buddies @SJMaasOC and @SJMaasTHL.screen-shot-2017-09-16-at-1-25-20-am.png

Basically me at any revelation in this book because its actually insane.

“So that you might face it, defeat it. So you might go where you feared most to tread, and decide whether, at last, you were ready to fight back.”

I was in shock. Literally. I wanted to yell out “what the fuck” but my mom had guests so unfortunately I couldn’t. Also swearing not encouraged for a “quiet and kind and polite girl” like me. While not a revelation to the reader but to the characters, can we take some time to appreciate the god damn ending?

“Turns out,” Hasar mused, “there are quite a few people who think highly of her. And who believe in what she’s selling.”
“Which is what?” Yrene whispered.
Hasar smiled to herself. “A better world.”

When Chaol realised that despite the tough times he has been through, despite the hatred he seemed to have received, in some way, someone close-by were always watching over him, and that despite those rough times, because of the one destroys and creates, the one who hopes for a better world, would be the one to connect Chaol’s threads of fate.

He had been so afraid-so afraid of magic, of loss, of everything. He had clung so hard, had fought against it, and it had cost him everything.

I also wanted to address the fandom/non-fandom people being so sensitive about Chaol being in a wheelchair. I think its great that we include people of different situations into books. This kind of equality is really rarely seen in books, and not only do I enjoy challenging myself to imagine what a character in a wheelchair would be like, I also learn to understand those who are in a wheelchair more and think about my own past events as well. In Chaol’s situation, I just want to say that him being in a wheelchair just helped him realize so much about himself, and if it wasn’t for that, then his fate and destiny right now would never have happened. I myself have been in a wheelchair for a month because of a knee infection. I understand the feeling that Chaol goes through. I feel lonely and pathetic when I couldn’t participate in activities other could, couldn’t join other people for lunch and had to wait for it to be fetched from the cafeteria. I think the representation of Chaol being in a wheelchair in this book further assists Chaol’s emotional healing of accepting himself.

But he remained before him, still smiling faintly. Waiting.
This was not the end.
He had one promise left.

Really, if Tower of Dawn isn’t a book filled with emotional healings and acceptance, then it would never be Tower of Dawn.

It was hope that stood beside him. Hidden and protected these years in this city, and in the years before it, spirited across the earth by the gods themselves, concealed from the forces poised to destroy her.

A gift from a queen who had seen another woman in hell and thought to reach back a hand.
Every moment of despair and rage and pain.
It had led him to precisely where he needed to be.
Where he wanted to be.

Tower of Dawn is a book filled with emotional healing and the learning of accepting one’s self, to accept the darkness and the shadow of one’s self and to live alongside it. The opposite of the chaos in Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn the calm before the final storm, the eve of the war. But despite war looming ahead, Tower of Dawn the fire that lights up the paths of future, and is a beacon in the form of hope.

 

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas

Hello.

This book review is overdue since I reread ACOMAF which was back in April or May or something.

I never managed to write up ACOMAF because I finished ACOWAR so quickly that I had no time to write up ACOMAF.

And then I just didn’t have the time.

And now I have too much time on my hands because I have another 30 minutes before class.

Caution: mild spoilers!


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Name: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: May 3, 2016

 Synopsis

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.


Book Cover Comments

I absolutely love the shade of blue used in ACOMAF’s cover. It also adds to the Night Court element, and Feyre’s warrior like outfit is to die for. Also, i spy a tattoo.


The Actual Review

Five months later and here I am trying to write a review on a reread that was read five months ago. Oh, how time flies.

No one was my master— but I might be master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.

I remember the first time I read ACOMAF, I slightly stumbled along the way because I didn’t expect the path change in terms of how the ships went. I understood why Sarah made that decision but never sort of accepted it due to the way of how I read books and “cast” my characters.

“I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”

During the beginning of ACOMAF, Feyre is trying her best to adopt to her new life of being immortal and being full fae, but at the same time, repression and inequality brews in the Spring Court, and that’s where Tamlin starts receiving a shit ton of bad nicknames. Sarah really wanted to boost the concept of a healthy relationship by having Tamlin as a contrast role, discussing the issues of a non-healthy relationship. However, I think that is the case because Tamlin was just so broken from Amarantha.

But I would glow—for him, I’d glow. For my own future, I’d glow.

I believe that no one is alike, and Tamlin’s sufferings will never compare to that of Rhys, but I’m sorry to inform you, dear reader, that I do have a soft spot for Tamlin.

I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.

Feyre later on travels to the Night Court back and forth, and permanently stays in the Night Court. Both Feyre and Rhys continue to have a brewing relationship, and as they understand each other more, I notice that by being beside each other and communicating, the two are secretly healing each other.

“To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.” 

We also get to meet Rhys suicide squad, a.k.a. the Inner Circle of the Night Court. The members of the inner circle are all so baddass, I just can’t. If I could, I’d have all of them for brothers and sisters even if it means getting annoyed everyday. But their loyalty to Rhys is something that I found very, beautiful. Despite the years of ups and downs that they’ve had and all they’ve been through, they believe in their leader.

“There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

The city of dreams, Velaris, is absolutely gorgeous. This is where part of the Night Court is, and the most frequent spot that we’ll be visiting. Velaris is basically a city of rainbows as well, and I can just imagine it as a simple village with the mood like hanging tons of fairy lights in a garden. The secret behind Velaris, the construction of it and the purpose of Velaris really brings out the charm in Rhys, and the charm in the Night Court, what makes it so special, and naturally why Feyre and us readers are attracted to it.

And all around us, as if the world itself were indeed falling apart, stars rained down.

As fae, Feyre also needs to learn the new powers that she has gained after she is now immortal. Its super cool to know that Feyre has basically so many different types of power. Like, this is the fantasy girl that i want: someone who has basically any abilities. Ok putting that aside, these powers also helps build the relationship and bond between Feyre and Rhys, as well as the Inner Circle.

I became darkness, shadow, and wind.

You’ll also get to see a lot of revelations in ACOMAF, in which all of them are mind blowing. Especially after you get to PART 3, THE HOUSE OF XXXX (yes i forgot i’m sorry). There’s a huge secret that Rhys already knew, and that Feyre is about to find out, and what happens in the end? Well if you haven’t read the book go read it yourself, but if you’ve read it:

;)

Ah yes the kisses and the smut.
I LOVE IT.
No I’m not going to deny the fact that I do enjoy these intimate scenes. To me, they really represent the bond flowing through the hearts and minds of two people, and the passion they share for each other…
Credz to animes that I’ve watched as a child, romanticising romance so much that I have a soft spot for romance in books :)

“I want you to know… that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you.”

Really, by the time you get to the end of ACOMAF, you can’t wait to pick up ACOWAR and just read it. The end of ACOMAF I would say is as devastating as Empire of Storms. Innocent people gets dragged into this whole drama while the dangers continue to rise in the kingdom of Hybern.

“You forgot that strength, and that you can burn and become darkness, and grow claws. You forgot. You stopped fighting.”

A Court of Mist and Fury was just an emotional rollercoaster ride. I really enjoyed it the first time I read it, and I enjoyed it even more the second time I read it. There was just a lot of feels and emotions, many realisations and healing.

Reunited – Colleen Houck

Ah.

The end of a series.

I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book this far along my road of reading, feeling such devastation and emptiness.

I just want to spend this top paragraph talking a little bit about my current emotions regardless of book plot or not.

Colleen’s Reawakened Series meant a lot to me. It was like how Lilliana found Amon in the Met. Me and my dad found Reawakened during August 2015 in a bookstore in New York (haha). It was really as if I reawakened. That part of me that loved to read was brought back after so many years of running away and ignoring those fears of mine. The book was on my mind for months after I read it. I fell in love with it instantly, and I could honestly say that a part of my soul is now with this book series.

As I am typing this, I am wearing the pendant that I made because of this series. From the moment the school trip supervisors talked about silver jewellery making, the first thing that came to my mind was Reawakened. The book that left me devastated at that time. I’m so glad that I made the pendant. I will never regret it even as great books come and go. Reawakened Series will always have that special place in my heart. (You’ll get to see the pendant I designed, shaped, forged by a pro Silversmith at the end of this post)

Now then, on to the review!


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Name: Reunited
Author: Colleen Houck
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: August 8, 2017

Synopsis

After surviving her otherworldly adventure, Lily wakes up on her nana’s farm having forgotten everything. Her sun prince, her travels to Egypt, and her journey to the Afterlife are all distant memories.

But Lily is not the girl she once was. Her body is now part human, part lion, and part fairy. And if that isn’t bad enough, she must now harness this power of three and become Wasret: a goddess destined to defeat the evil god Seth once and for all.

With the help of her old friend Dr. Hassan, Lily departs on her final voyage through the cosmos and across the plains of Egypt. On the journey, she will transform into the being she is destined to become.

It is time for Lily to find her sunset.


Book Cover Comments

Honestly if it wasn’t for the synopsis, I wouldn’t realise how the three books represent sunrise, sunshine and sunset.

At first I had some opinions about the cover, because I felt that the design seemed rather simple compared to the sophisticated and intricate designs of the first two books. But as I hold this book in my hands and flip through each page, I knew that this was the perfect cover. It truly resembled a sunset.


The Actual Review

I won’t be including any quotes in this review due to myself being in a rather emotional state, and I can’t bring myself too much time and effort to do so.

Really. The six characters in the story go through their vast journey in finding themselves, finding their sunrise, their sunshine, and their sunset.

I wouldn’t say that Colleen’s writing would be suitable for every reader, as her writing tends to lean towards the pure happy ending. And while the ending is slightly bothering me a bit right now, its just that simple essence of romance and the joy of adventure that made me fall in love with her books. As long as you don’t mind a maybe slightly more cheesy plot and ending, then definitely read the book.

Lily, Tia and Ashleigh learned to realise their destiny and what lies ahead of them. While I still love Lily the most, I myself have learned to embrace Tia and Ashleigh. Without them, Lily wouldn’t be the girl that she is now. She has changed so much from who she was. The different sides of Lily, their destiny, what they have to do in order to save the cosmos. When the final battle came, I was constantly in the pit of devastation of the choices that these three have made, the paths these three have chosen, the loss these three had to go through, but I am forever glad about the beauty of what lies ahead, of how Colleen decided to end this story, because that was how I wanted it to be. It’s also because I connect with this book on a different level, that a lot of my thoughts and emotions fused with Lily. While I will never understand the sadness at the very end, her hope for the outcome in the ending is the exact same as mine, and she did get her beautiful sunset.

The counterparts, Amon, Ahmose and Asten. I have embraced them since the beginning of the series, and I love them equally while I have to say I learn towards Amon. Book three was really special in terms of the experience of the three men. Reawakened was a first love found in Amon, Recreated harbored the love of Asten and the feelings of Tia, and the new exploration among the stars, and Reunited brings the love of Ahmose and the emotions of Ashleigh, and the love blossoming under the moonlight. Its really different to see each boy grow and change, the secrets behind the language of their eyes, their love, just, everything. In the final book, there’s also a lot of interaction due to the fact that Lily harbors the souls of three girls, and really, it was a painful time to watch all the disagreements. But with that ending, I’m truly happy that it turned out this way.

There are actually many unanswered questions in this book. Most of them actually is about the relationships between the characters, mostly the gods, and exactly what happened. I tend to find myself falling down the rabbit hole, getting completely lost in certain lines and reading over and over again to see the clues to it. Alas, it might have been mentioned in the other books and I forgot about it, but nonetheless, these revelations helped progress the plot.

I really love how Colleen adapted a lot of Egyptian mythological elements into this book. While some elements do not exactly belong in the category of Egypt, the book wouldn’t have done justice without them. As the minutes pass by, I recall how two years ago, if I were to have 3 sons and a daughter, I’d name them Amon, Ahmose, Asten and Lily.

Harnessing the power of Wasret was not easy. Wasret was a guiding light for the three girls and the decisions that they decide to make in order to defeat Seth once and for all. In this book, we also get to touch upon Wasret by seeing through her perspective when she is in complete control of Lily’s body. While she indeed is a mighty being, Wasret was an interesting character for me to “imagine”. She is one that lacked sympathy and emotion, and at many times did not understand the pain of the hearts that makes up a part of her. But seeing Wasret as such a powerful being, I just can’t help but sit back and awe. And it somewhat reminds me of how even the strongest would have something that the weak has and they don’t. And Wasret continues to nurture and grow alongside the three girls in this book.

 

I don’t think I have anything else to say. My mind is too frozen to really continue to say anything, but I will keep on saying how simple and beautiful the ending was. There are so many possibilities I see from Lily’s perspective, of her future and of everything, and thinking of these just makes me smile.

 

 


Reunited closes off the Reawakened series with the most simple and sweet ending, one that I wouldn’t have it any other way. The romance, sacrifices, journey and decisions that each character went through, and came out nurtured and grew greater than they were before, it makes me smile at the thought of that. And finally…

The power of love.

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Book Review: Wayfarer – Alexandra Bracken

Ok I just realised that I totally forgot to write up the review for Wayfarer… here we go!


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Name: Wayfarer
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Hyperion/Quercus
Release Date: January 3 / 12, 2017

Synopsis

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected – Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realises that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognisable … and might just run out on both of them.


Book Cover Comments

Wayfarer is totally as beautiful as Passenger, and the purple is absolutely gorgeous. I don’t think I still know the significance of the tree but whateves lol. Its so pretty.


The Actual Review

(kill me its been too long ago as well)

Ok. Here we go again. The probably one and only problem with Alex Bracken books, and since this is the third one it pretty much is the case: its very very very very very very SLOW! Just like last book, for some reason I had to rush it before a flight, therefore I pushed myself to keep reading it no matter what, Wayfarer lives up to its name. It still kept me turning the pages, while it continues on the journey across history with even more exciting places, plot lines and new characters.

Ok the entire time Etta and Nicholas were fairy close to each other, (it was kinda as if one was catching up to the other) cus they’re separated into two teams, there were so much butterfly heartaches that I can’t even imagine. And then when everything just explodes and whenever Etta and Nicholas’ relationship get closer and closer, I just die over it.

We’re introduced to some really good characters, especially more of Etta’s relatives a.k.a. history, and that makes the plot super super super super funky and interesting. I was totally in shock to first meet these characters, how they played out, how Etta is tied in with them, and then how some secrets are here and there, oooooo.

Though I must say the ending does remind me of how Miss Peregrine… ooo. I totally forgot. In my Passenger review I mentioned how the Edelstein Trilogy was the only time travelling series I read. I guess Miss Peregrine counts as well? Like yea sure I’m happy for the ending and there really is no way to conclude the series, buuuuut maybe a bit too magical in my opinion? Also the Prologue and Epilogue just confused the hell outta me XD


Wayfarer, though slow, is a great read for fans of romance, time travelling, mysteries and relationships and so much more.

Book Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn – Sara B. Larson

3:30am in the morning lets do this

how am i ever going to go on a day without feeling sleepy, and then waking up at night like a vampire because I’m probably one

Note that I have unfortunately made this review mildly spoilerish, but its really not if you know the story of Swan Lake well, and the fact that this is a Swan Lake retelling. You’re gonna be expecting one or two elements from the story you know to appear in the book either way.


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Name: Dark Breaks the Dawn
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release May 30, 2017

Synopsis

On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.


Book Cover Comments

As you all know (or if not) this is a Swan Lake retelling, and we can see THE ONE AND ONLY symbol that represents the theme we have on the book cover: a swan. Surprise!

Just kidding.

After finishing the book, I see the significance of those red vines thorns whatever they are. And ooo this book IZZZ gonna thrill you.

And the stone plays an important part in the story!


The Actual Review

First impressions:

Is this book like, a heavy Sarah J. Maas influenced book? Cus all I see is:

  • conduit stone (ACOTAR check)
  • Lorcan (TOG check)
  • inner circle (ACOTAR check)
  • one or two plot points (CHECK)
  • spider silk (TOG check)

That kind of bugged me during my first reads at the book, but at the same time, this book was so attractive and so addictive, I couldn’t stop turning the pages and eventually lost track of time. And no, despite all the references that I believe are to be from SJM books, (or not?) the entire plot to Dark Breaks The Dawn was completely unique. I really loved this story. And I have to say, it was a haunting experience to read.

I’ll explain the “haunt” when I get to the end.

Evelayn, our heroine, super strong. I totally love her. She’s a really unique girl, because of how strong she can be. She fights down her tears, she puts up her stance and her status in front of her audience, and the bravery that she has is just absolutely stunning. Sara lets all of Evelayn’s emotions flow through the text, and that vulnerability that Evelayn has despite all of the chaos in her life, leading her to put up wall after wall is just what we needed to complete her.

And with Evelayn being said, we must not ignore the R-O-M-A-N-C-E in this book. Ok slightly spoilery here but you’d be expecting it anyway, is how Evelayn just kind of clicked in with Tanvir. Their mutual attraction was so strong, and Sara’s romance game was gigantic. If a reader feels the heart flutters, then that means Joanne the book reviewer will pretty much, if not, love the book. (Yes people I love romance) The build up in their relationship, opening up to each other and then in the confession is just TOO MUCH TO TAKE HAHAHAHHAHAAHAHA (i went nuts yes i did)

This world that Evelayn is in obviously has magical powers, and I believe it would be beneficial if the book explained the term that the people with the magical ability was called, since it confused me so much. 25% into the book and I finally had a grasp on what exactly it was. I would have loved a little bit more elaboration of the powers and the magic system, cus it was a little confusing, and we come across these difficult to pronounce/read terms.

Imagine if the most important mountain in this world was named Eyjafjallajökull.

Then no one except the Icelanders would be able to pronounce it right 😂

Plot. Oh yes the plot. It was well spread, everything wasn’t rushed and was just right, the build up to the semi-climax of the book, so well passed halfway, and you might have predicted, would be something to do about war. I mean, its up there in the synopsis. Though I felt like during the war part, some parts were rushed, and I’m definitely not a big fan of like, huge big blows of power, because I feel like its like

Oh. It finally happened.

or like

Wait thats it

or like

It happened in a blink of an eye

And then the part after the battle is the part that is the most important. Because the story continues to build up to the final climax at the very end of the book. And that is why reading this part was very haunting. Because I knew there was more to come, and yet the language and events in this part of this book seemed fairly chill in order to hide it (IMO). Then the climax came along at the very end of the book.

#cliffhanger

Then the Swan Lake element hits.

Look at all dem spoilers in this review.

I always wondered where was the true Swan Lake element that we all know, and there it is. And the book ends.

Me after I read past page 301:

great.

another year of longing for the next and final book of the series to come out to learn more about everything and to resolve everything.


This was definitely a great read of July. The fact that it wasn’t a blastingly lengthy book made it simple and easy to read, and the romance in the book was extremely rich and absolutely lovely. Not to mention that oh so great cliffhanger at the end :)

Book Review: Spindle Fire – Lexa Hillyer

Whew, finished the final part of the book on the plane back to Hong Kong simply because I had nothing better to do, and I slept too much throughout the day.


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Name: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release April 11, 2017

 

 

Synopsis

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.


Book Cover Comments

Despite the sort of dull blue/green/grey, the contrast it had with the rest of the graphics, in which is in an ice blue shade was really cool. The designs for the castles and whatever symbolism it had was really nice as well. I also liked how its the opposite of book 2 (coming out in 2018)’s cover, as the background color is ice blue, and the font for the title (Winter Glass btw) is in that dull blue/green/grey. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)


The Actual Review

OK like are you serious this book just killed me.

Let’s kick off with the Sleeping Beauty retelling element. I super duper duper love how we get a mix of both old and new, from the classic Aurora tale of falling asleep, to the fact that Aurora actually wakes up in a totally different world? Also the fact that the so called fairy godmothers you know in the classic tale ain’t that fairy godmother like anymore. Lexa changes the entire concept of some of the most well known characters, well unfortunately basically all of them, and unfortunately villainising almost everyone we used to know to make a whole new Sleeping Beauty. I thought I saw elements of Disney’s live action movie, Maleficent, in the book. Maybe I do, but my speculations can’t be confirmed till I read the next book, in which I’m dying to.

Then we have the two sisters.

It is really interesting for Aurora and Isabelle to have a part(s) of them tithed to the fairies, and so that makes our characters very interesting. Whereas all the previous books that I’ve read so far has pretty much completely normal characters in terms of body criteria, Isabelle has her sight tithed while Aurora has her sense of touch and voice tithed. Imagining these characters and putting myself into their shoes was a completely different experience, and the tithes make a great role in their own personal development.

Yes, personal development.

I am so proud to see the character growth of both Aurora and Isabelle. Aurora, in her sleeping world, has learnt the worth of herself and found out the things that she can do. She broke so many boundaries that she couldn’t do as a princess and in the real life world, and in her sleeping world, she had the courage and bravery to believe in what she thought was the correct way, and went ahead. And throughout the story, she broke so many mysteries and solved so many riddles that lead to the final ending which was satisfying.

#TwilightMoment #SpoilerAlert

Isabelle’s main issue was self worth, because (SPOILER ALERT) she is basically the bastard daughter of the king, and you could technically call her Aurora’s shadow in people’s eyes. Isabelle has constant worries over her own worth when comparing herself to Aurora, and through her journey of trying to find a way to save her sister and by encountering a very special (AHEM) someone, Isabelle has learnt to be a little bit more selfish for herself, to believe in the worthiness of herself, and that she is beautiful in her own way.

Ok maybe not that last line, but she’s getting there.

I super duper love how the book works. The majority of the POVs switch between Aurora and Isabelle, so alternating chapters of these two POVs, with occasional cameo appearances of some fairy lords, fairy princess, the “fairy godmothers” whatever whatever whatever. They told a story of their own, they shared snippets from the past that helped explain the rest of the book and solve some mysteries, and during some points, I was in absolute shock.

What else is there to say?

OH RIGHT. THE FINAL THING.

ROMANCE.

DAMN YOU LEXA HILLYER YOU TOOK MY BREATH AWAY FOR ROMANCE. 100 POINTS TO YOU.

LIKE HOW MANY SHIPS TO WE HAVE GOING ON IN THIS BOOK? FIVE THOUSAND? AND LIKE, ALL THE JEALOUSY AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JEALOUSY IN THIS BOOK IS JUST JUST JUST TREMENDOUS, AND LIKE HOLY LORDS AURORA AND THE SO CALLED STRANGER SHE MET, AND AS I “SPOILED” YOU ABOVE, ISABELLE MEETS SOMEONE AS WELL, AND THEN YOU PLUG IN THIS EXTRA CHARACTER IN AURORA’S STORY, AND THEN AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHHH

#ded

Ok also the fact that many roles overlap and many roles kind of mirror each other. You’ll see what I mean when you compare our heroines to some other existing sisters in the book. And then cue the jealousy and how that brings down hell and storm and whatever whatever.

#stillDed

#StewardnessJustGaveMeCARAMELITAiceCremeYUSSSSSSS

#YesI’mTypingUpMyReviewOnThePlaneLIT

So in conclusion (The crappest way to end an essay or whatever I know) if you die for crazy romance that gives you beautiful butterfly heartaches, a great mystery, alternative worlds and mirroring roles and images, definitely pick up Spindle Fire. This was totally worth the purchase when I was at B&N Orange County back in California. It’s such a good read, and the last line is definitely to die for.