Review: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom…

Epic, awesome, emotional roller coaster of a book. The end has come and it’s not without heartache and hope.

My emotions were all over the place. I got chills so many times. I could see these scenes playing out like a movie, the battle soundtrack playing in my ear, the characters going through heartache after heartache, it felt real to me. So many times I had step away and collect myself so I could keep going. This book was an experience like none other. In fact, when I finished, I told my family that I haven’t felt this, “What am I supposed to now?” kinda feeling since I first read Hunger Games. I’m at a loss on what to do.

“You do not yield.”

I still have all kinds of feelings flowing through my veins. Sadness is probably at the top, but not the for the reasons you may think. You see, I was late to this series. I discovered it at Heir of Fire and introduced it to my kids at Queen of Shadows. So for the past few years we’ve talked and experienced these books together. Even my son, who’s an anti reader, enjoyed these. But it’s my daughter who I really had fun with. I had to buy an extra copy for her so we could buddy read. In fact, I gave her the day off of school so we could read it on release day. #HomeschoolPerk We laughed and cried and raged together. This is a memory I’ll always have. So the reason I’m sad is that now we don’t have anything else to look forward to. This was her favorite series and now it’s done.

I bet this is how the Harry Potter parents felt when the last book released. The end of an era. Time to move on and grow up. I don’t think I like this.

Because of all the above, this review is a little bit different. A thank you of sorts. Not to spoilery, but I’d wait to continue on until after you finish the book. Just in case.

Aelin, thank you for rising up and taking the world on your shoulders and doing the best you can to make it better. Should this happen again, don’t keep all your ideas to yourself! Let others help you!

Rowan, thank you for loving Aelin and showing her how to the best person she can be. I’m so happy she found you right at the moment she needed you most.

Chaol, thank you for realizing your mistakes and doing everything in your power to fix them. You’re going to be an amazing helpmate with that kind of heart.

Dorian, thank you for reaching down in your soul and discovering the great king we all knew you could be. I hope you have an epic HEA.

Manon, thank you for being so strong when you kept getting knocked down and showing us how to move on from such overwhelming heartbreak. I grew to love so much more than I did when we first met.

Aedion, thank you for being so steadfast in your love for your queen and cousin. Every family needs a member like you. But when your angry, take a deep breath before you say hurtful words. It’ll save you a lot of groveling later. 😉

Lysandra, thank you for being the best friend Aelin could ever ask for. You are strong and have the biggest heart. I am so happy you found them and they found you. I wish for you a very long and happy life.

I wanna say thank you, Sarah, for giving us this most epic of series. Thank you for this roller coaster ride that has lasted for these eight books. Thank you for giving me memories with my children that some parents don’t get. Thank you sharing this world with us. And I look forward to your next series and I’m anxious to read it.

~Melpomene

Read this exciting series!!

The Assassin’s Blade https://amzn.to/2CHHWFL
Throne of Glass https://amzn.to/2D7G0HN
Crown of Midnight https://amzn.to/2O9XkNt
Heir of Fire https://amzn.to/2Rl2gkD
Queen of Shadows https://amzn.to/2D75eWW
Empire of Storms https://amzn.to/2EK7jtn
Tower of Dawn https://amzn.to/2CHHTtz
Kingdom of Ash https://amzn.to/2CJqsJr

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Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Epic, emotional and exciting!

This book is a combination of three POVs. Chaol, the recovering ex-captain of the king’s guard, Yrene, the healer we met in The Assassin and the Healer, and Nesryn, the current captain of the king’s guard. It was supposed to be a novella but it turned out quite a bit longer and way more indepth. However, my feelings were all over the place here. I found myself not caring about anything but Yrene for a while. The life she has lead and the reason she is where she is, is just insane. She is truly an amazing healer. My heart wanted a novella, so it was stubborn.

Chaol. What can I say about him. There’s a lot under the surface that he needs to deal with before he can move on and heal properly. And while he’s trying to heal, he must convince the khagan to give them support and deal with the utterly crazy royal family. And I mean crazy in a somewhat good way. Never a dull moment.

Nesryn actually gave me the only scene I teared up in. I didn’t think I was going through care about her storyline but I did. I’m glad she found what she was looking for. I hope nothing happens to her in the next book. I’d be very upset.

This story gives us a few answers to questions we’ve been asking. And also gives us quite a few new discoveries. It makes me rather anxious to get to the final book now. I do wish that there was a little more from Chaol’s past though. We see snippets but not enough, in my opinion. This takes place in the same timeline as Empire of Storms and we do get a few glimpses into what’s happening with Aelin and the rest of the crew.

As for the YA/NA jump, ToD had a few scenes that were definitely not in the young YA world but less than the full on NA. So be prepared. I did block a few parts off since my kids aren’t ready for that.

Now the only thing I have a problem with was the usual changing of the loves. Sarah has a habit of getting us invested in a couple, only to have them break apart a few books later. She does this in both her series. While I love her stories, it hurts to get invested in a storyline, only to have it shattered later on. I need to seriously think about taking another chance in her future series. My heart can’t take this.

~Melpomene

Buy Tower of Dawn http://amzn.to/2jSBlk9

Get caught up with the Throne of glass series:
The Assassin’s Blade http://amzn.to/2xvMuvX
Throne of Glass http://amzn.to/2fHFYJc
Crown of Midnight http://amzn.to/2yxmxL7
Heir of Fire http://amzn.to/2wO3rhy
Queen of Shadows http://amzn.to/2yyCC3l
Empire of Storms http://amzn.to/2y0iU3n

Audible reads

Lately I have found myself listening to books instead of rereading them. In fact, I have listened to four books this month, when normally it takes me a month to even finish just one! I’ve been getting a start on my holiday crafts, so these have given me a nice distraction and kept me focused. I usually only listen to books I’ve already read, so I don’t get sidetracked and miss something. With kids, that happens quite often. But this month I took a chance on two different books and listened even though I never read them. What an experience!

queenMy first relisten was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. In preparation for the release of Empire of Shadows, I needed to reread QoS in order to remember the finer points. But I’m so glad I decided to listen instead. It was so much more exciting. I was actually able to grab the Throne of Glass coloring book early and I spent a few nights coloring the pictures for the scenes I was listening to. I think I’ll do another relisten of the entire series, next year before the final book releases. Grab Queen of Shadows HERE.

fallen I read the Fallen series a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Super fun and exciting YA series. And after my QoS relisten I wanted another fantasy book to keep me motivated, so I went to my Overdrive system and starting searching for anything that fit the bill. As soon as I saw the cover, I KNEW I needed to grab it. Since it’s been a few years since I read this, I really didn’t remember any of it. I get the gist of it, but not the finer points, so it was sorta like reading it for the first time. And then when the movie trailer released, I was even happier with my decision. Such a romantic story! I highly recommend it. Grab Fallen HERE.

six Next on my listening list is Six of Crows. It’s a spin off of the Grisha series, which I read last year. It’s part of a duology and the second book, Crooked Kingdom, releases today, so I needed to read this book first. This is one I never read before, so I’ll admit I was a bit nervous listening. I was afraid I would get confused with all the many points of views, but it’s told in a way that’s easy to keep up with. In fact, it has seven different narrators! SEVEN! I was completely sucked into this book and then kicked myself for waiting so long. I have a feeling I’ll be grabbing the audible for CK also, even though the DTB is being delivered today. Grab Six of Crows HERE.

every And last but not least, Everything Everything. I actually listened to this in one day. I spent all day Sunday carrying around my phone as I did chores and some crafting. I’ve heard great things about this book and I know it’s getting made into a movie, so I asked my friends if I should read it or just wait for the movie. Well, you can imagine what they said. Lately I’m not one to read straight YA or NA books. I want fantasy. So I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as they did. Honestly. But I found myself giggling and smiling, and a few times gasping. I was hoping my daughter would read this, but there’s so much love I fear the book would get tossed in my face, so I think I’ll wait and convince her to read it when she’s older. But if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. It was really sweet. I wish there was just a wee bit more at the end, but all in all, I was happy. Grab Everything Everything HERE.

If you’ve never heard of Overdrive, I hope you look into it. All you need is a library card. In fact, I get many of my books from there and this month made me realize how many audibles they have also. I think I’ll be utilizing them more often. Check it out HERE.

~Melpomene

Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

empire Well, now…where to begin…I have so many feelings all jumbled up in my head. But, here goes.

This is the first book that I actually read with my children. My daughter read the first five books, including the prequels, last year, and my son was sucked into them after we went on vacation and we listened to the first one on our trip. So it was kinda fun reading along. It was crazy to be able to scream and yell and vent together.

Being that this is the 5th book in a series, you should be all ready to handle the amount of emotions that Sarah’s books will pull out of you. But this one was different. This book seemed more epic, if that’s even possible. So many storylines were going on at the same time, it was stressful. I kept waiting for the massive explosion from when they all crashed together. And let me tell you, explosion was exactly what we got. There were alliances made. Deals drawn. And that ending…my heart was messed up. My kids were NOT happy with that ending. They were yelling at me. I was laughing at them. I’m used to this kinds of devastation, but they are not.

While I was enjoying myself, this book seemed to take a turn for the NA world. Just a heads up there. This series, up til now, was pretty YA and the sexy scenes were fade to black. Not so with this one. It was quite descriptive and I had to block off a few spots for my teens. Now don’t get all huffy. I’m not about censorship, but I will do that for my kids. I like the sexy parts, but not for my kids. I won’t go into more about that, but I will say this, those scenes are the reason I gave this a 4 instead of a 5.

Besides all that, I will recommend this series if you like fantasy. Sarah creates worlds that are so unbelievable and yet they sound so real. I haven’t heard the audible for this one, but I did use it for my reread/relisten and the stories are even better when you hear them.

~Melpomene

Buy Empire of Storms HERE

Melpomene’s Top 15 of 2015

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I decided to stick with a top 15 instead of 25 this year. 25 seemed a bit overachieving, so I toned it down a smidge. And I was going to write this long and beautiful post, but then I realized I just can’t write long and beautifully, so you get short and sweet. Here you go.

1. Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story by Renee Carlino

2. November 9: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

4. Iniquity (The Premonition Series Book 5) by Amy Bartol

5. Breathe (Colorado Mountain Series Book 4) by Kristen Ashley

6. Restless Waters: A Left Drowning Novel (Left Drowning Series Book 2) by Jessica Park

7. The Song of David (The Law of Moses Book 2) by Amy Harmon

8. Kyland by Mia Sheridan

9. The Forgotten Mountain (The Collectors’ Society Book 3) by Heather Lyons

10. The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

11. Where Sea Meets Sky: A Novel by Karina Halle

12. The Air He Breathes by Brittiany C. Cherry

13. Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed Series Book 1) by Leisa Rayven

14. Burned: Fever Series Book 7 by Karen Marie Moning

15. The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 13) by J.R. Ward

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The Gamble (Colorado Mountain Series Book 1) by Kristen Ashley

Elude (Eagle Elite Book 6) by Rachel VanDyken

Walk Through Fire (Chaos) by Kristen Ashley

Gus by Kim Holden

The Raven (Florentine series Book 1) by Sylvain Reynard

What were some of your favorites??

~Melpomene

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

01court How does one put into words all these feelings I have? This book was epic. This book was fantastical. This book was magical. This book was beautiful. There are not enough stars to rate this story.

SYNOPSIS
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

This book most definitely had the Beauty and the Beast feel, mixed with faeries. It worked perfectly. It had the feel of a Young Adult book, but it was definitely New Adult. Anyone familiar with the fae know that they are not G-rated. But that isn’t what this story was about. Was there love? Oh yes. But this story was about more than that. It was about friendship and loyalty. It was about curses and evil. It was about looking deep inside yourself and finding the courage to stand up and against the evil that’s surrounds you.

Feyre has grown up with a very hard life. She has done so much for her loved ones, but none of them do things for her. When she’s forced to live with Tamlin, she is thrust into a fight that she had no idea was going on. She has to make tough decisions that will forever change her. But she will be strong.

The men in this book were amazing!! Lucien was the BEST!! He’s the best friend and the comic relief. But he will do his job and help anyway he can. Rhysand was a mixed bag of tricks. I loved to hate him. But in the end, I find myself a bit taken with him. The verdict is still out though. Now, Tamlin was perfect. He is a protector of his people and land. He would anything for them, including dying, if only to save those he loves. The connection between him and Feyre was amazing. Swoon worthy actions and words, which made me fall for him.

“You’re exactly how I dreamed you to be, too.”

If you like fairy tales, you will love this book. I am kicking myself for not reading Sarah’s books sooner. But I plan on rectifying this soon. If her first series is half this magical, I will be a very happy muse.

Well done, Sarah!!

~Melpomene

Buy A Court of Thorns and Roses