A Court of Silver Flames Review

A Court of Silver Flames is the fourth full-length book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas. This book takes place after A Court of Frost and Starlight, the novella in the series which bridges the original series to the upcoming later books. A Court of Silver Flames follows Nesta Archeron, Feyre’s sister, who has grown distant and cold after the events of the war. To stop Nesta from self-destructing, Feyre orders Nesta to live in the House of the Wind with Cassian where she will train and work in the building’s library. Meanwhile, one of the queens from the mainland wants revenge on the Cauldron. Nesta, who stole something for herself from the Cauldron, may be the only one to stop her.

A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4)

A Court of Silver Flames was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and when I started reading it, I knew it would quickly become one of my favorite reads of the year. Many readers were upset that the next installment of the series follows Nesta, as she isn’t typically considered one of the favorites among the main characters for her harsh personality. However, I think many readers, even those who don’t consider themselves fans of her character, will be rooting on Nesta throughout the book. One of the strengths of this author is writing complex characters who experience a lot of character development throughout a book or series and this is certainly true in A Court of Silver Flames. In fact, A Court of Silver Flames may be my new favorite book in the entire A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

The greatest strength of this book would have to be Nesta’s character development. I think many readers will relate to Nesta and how she views her situation and herself. Nesta harbors a lot of guilt regarding the events that took place in the war. In turn, she often reacts harshly and closes herself off from others, as she doesn’t want or doesn’t feel that she deserves their kindness. Throughout the book, Nesta begins to make friends, develops a meaningful relationship, and regains the control that she lost in a healthy way. In previous books, readers only see Nesta how the other members of the inner circle view her, which is not favorably. I enjoyed seeing Nesta’s commentary on the members of the inner circle and seeing the depth of her character that the inner circles often misses.

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the pacing. Typically in books by Sarah J. Maas, there is a lot of info dumping at the beginning of the book and it takes a good hundred pages (or more) for the action to kick off. While this book does a little summary of the events in the novella at the beginning, there aren’t large info dumps at the beginning of this book as readers of this series are now very familiar with this world. As a result, readers can jump right in to the action of this novel. Within this book, there are four sections and I found each section equally interesting and engaging. A Court of Silver Flames is almost 800 pages long, but I couldn’t put it down and at no part of the book did I find that I was just pushing myself to finish.

A Court of Silver Flames also brings a lot of promising side characters and plot for future books in the series. Within this book, we are introduced to a couple new interesting and complex side characters who I feel will have a major impact on the remaining books of this series. Additionally, some old characters, such as Eris, have new information brought to light that could possibly change the directory of their individual storylines in the future. While A court of Silver Flames has a definite end for the main characters of the story, there are many promising new developments and loose ends that leave readers with a lot of questions. I think many readers may be concerned that new books just may drag out the series rather than add to it, but after seeing some new plot lines in this book, I do not think that will be the case.

One aspect of the book that some readers may not enjoy is the physical villain of the story. Briallyn, the queen who is trying to enact her revenge on the Cauldron, actually does not appear much in the story, which may irritate some readers. For me, this didn’t bother me much because I didn’t see Briallyn as much of a villain as I saw her as a foil for Nesta. Both went into the Cauldron and were changed dramatically. Both are extremely angry by their circumstances, but one chooses to use the change for good and the other tries to use the change for bad. For me, the “villain” of the story was more Nesta versus herself as she grappled with all of her recent trauma, her newfound abilities, and her self-worth. To me, that was the more powerful struggle present in the book, and since I enjoyed that aspect of the story more than the whole aspect with Briallyn, I was satisfied with the conflict in the story.

Overall, A Court of Silver Flames was a highly enjoyable read for me. For my personal tastes, it contained the right amount of character development, romance, and action to keep me engaged throughout the entire book. From the first page, I knew this book would be a five star read for me. It is going to be difficult for another book to top this one in 2021. I give A Court of Silver Flames four out of five stars.

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons #3) Review

book review

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3)

While the bat’s away, the cat will play. 

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas is the third book in the D.C. Icons series. In this installment, Selina Kyle transforms into wealthy socialite Holly Vanderhees and her alter ego Catwoman to take over Gotham City while Batman is away. However, Selina’s plans grow complicated when Batwing interferes.

I have never been a huge superhero person. However, I purchased the first two books in this series because I liked the authors. While those books still sit on my TBR, I’ve been wanting to read the Catwoman installment for awhile now. When it appeared as a Kindle deal, I immediately purchased it. Then, I proceeded to sit on my couch reading it until I finished. Lesson learned: Get more into superheroes.

The main reason I enjoyed this book was the characters, especially the main character, Selina. This is a stand-alone book, but her character and her motivations were completely fleshed out. I know Catwoman is considered a morally gray character and this came across within this story. I also appreciated Luke, or Batwing, because his character was equally fleshed out and his backstory added to his character. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn were also fun additions to the cast.

At this point, I’ve read several books by Sarah J. Maas. Sometimes, the pacing is a little off-putting to me. This book was one that I found myself turning the pages until I found out what happened next. This book has a nice balance of flashbacks, character growth, and action scenes that rounded out the novel well. The ending especially gripped me and I was satisfied with the conclusion of this story.

There are some aspects of this novel that some readers may not enjoy. The ending is a little bit far-fetched and some readers may prefer a more dramatic and realistic ending than the small “cop-out” aspect of the novel’s end. Additionally, I’ve seen in other reviews that Catwoman in this story isn’t as hardcore as she typically is portrayed. I cannot speak to that representation but can say that I enjoyed her as a character in this book.

Overall, Catwoman: Soulstealer was a fun book for me. I would recommend this book to readers who are fans of superheroes or those wanting to check out something that they don’t typically read. I give this book five out of five stars.

A Court of Frost and Starlight Review

book review

While this book promises frost and starlight, my feelings towards this book came out more lukewarm.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas is a novella that will bridge the third book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series following Feyre Archeron and a new trilogy set to focus on different characters in the series. In this book, Feyre is adjusting to her new role in Velaris, as her friends also deal with their new lives following the wars they recently survived. Since its Solstice time, the friends will all be together again to face their futures after the war.

When I heard this book announced, I was incredibly excited for more adventures with some of my favorite characters. However, after I heard several mixed reviews for this novella, I was afraid that this would be another average book in the series for me like A Court of Wings and Ruin. While there were some aspects of the book that I surprisingly enjoyed, there were others that didn’t really meet my expectations. As a result, like many other readers, I have mixed feelings about this book and the direction where this series heads next.

One of the aspects that I surprisingly enjoyed was seeing more of Elain and Mor. Elain definitely had the least dynamic of the story lines of the sisters for me in the original series, so I enjoyed seeing more of her in this story and wanted to know more about her future, especially concerning her love interests. It was also cool to see Mor possibly going off on her own adventures in the future. However, I felt disappointed knowing these stories may not be as emphasized in the next few books because it seems like this series will shift more to Nesta’s story line, at least in the next book.

This brings me to another disappointment of this story: Nesta. There is so much that can be done with Nesta’s character because she endured so much and has such a different personality than the other characters in this series. However, I felt like her ice queen image was emphasized way too much in this series that it prevented readers from connecting with her and wanting to know more about her future. There just seemed like to big of a jump for me in her character from the end of the last book to this novella. Even though she wasn’t necessarily my favorite character in the original series and I do think her actions in this book could be realistic to what she experienced, I felt it wasn’t written in a way that will get readers interested in her story line. For me, one of the only parts that makes me want to push on is knowing that it will move to Cassian’s war camp setting.

As for Feyre and Rhysand’s story line, I have mixed feelings again. I love Feyre and Rhysand, so it is always fun to read more about them. I enjoyed getting to see them married, happy, and planning for the future. However, I guess I expected less open ends to their story line. I’m happy knowing I will see them again in future books, but at the same time, I wanted a more solid end to their story as well. Another drawback for me in terms of their story line was I felt like most of the book either contained similar interactions that they had in other books or the same new scene rehashed multiple times. Like I mentioned before, I enjoy their appearances but it took up so much of the story that I would have rather maybe seen some other characters have more time instead, especially since the focus will no longer be on Feyre and Rhysand.

Overall, I think A Court of Frost and Starlight is more content for lovers of the series. However, I would recommend that readers go into reading that book with the expectation that it’s going to be a mix of fun scenes and story starters rather than a solid story line. I give this book three out of five stars.

 

Throne of Glass Review

book review

In Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged out of a death camp to compete for the position of the king’s champion. When Celaena’s other competitors turn up murdered in gruesome ways, Celaena suspects a greater danger at play.

Throne of Glass is a hugely popular young adult fantasy series. I tried reading this book last year before I really starting reading fantasy and could not get past the first chapter. I decided to pick it up again after enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses, another popular fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas. While this may not be a new personal favorite for me, I can understand why a lot of people enjoy it and would still recommend to big fantasy fans.

I think the most difficult part of this book for me was understanding the characters and the world. Since I initially tried to read this book when I still primarily read contemporary stories, it was difficult for me to keep everything straight. However, after researching the series more and pushing past the first chapter, it was much easier for me to follow along with the story line. I would recommend digging for the same background information if you aren’t a huge fantasy reader since this book contains a lot of high fantasy elements.

That being said, I think another reason why I struggled with this book was the heavy story line involving dark magic. Obviously, fantasy books include some magical elements. However, like with A Court of Wings and Ruin, this detracted some interest on my part since I am personally not interested in story lines revolving around dark and ancient magic. This is just a personal preference and I know many readers, especially big fans of fantasy, will appreciate this aspect of the story line.

Despite some of my personal tastes towards this book, there were still many aspects I enjoyed. I know some readers may find Celaena kind of ridiculous since she wants to wear pretty dresses and sleep past noon while in a warrior competition, but I really liked that about her character. Celaena is a great example of being a physically strong female character, but still having some girly qualities. After watching some interviews of Sarah J. Maas this seems to reflect her as a person as well which made me even happier.

I also didn’t mind the emerging love triangle in this book. From my research, I know pretty much know where the relationships are in the series, but I still really liked the characters included in this love triangle. Both embody some of the typical traits of males in a love triangle at this time–the level-headed friend and the cocky prince–but they still were so much fun to read about. I particularly enjoyed reading about Dorian’s character because I felt like he was a little more developed than Chaol in this book.

Overall, there were some aspects that I enjoyed in Throne of Glass, but others that didn’t mesh with my personal preferences. While I want to continue with this series because I heard the next one or two books are really strong, I’m not sure I will because the plot really isn’t up my alley. I give Throne of Glass three out of five stars.

Rip It or Ship It Book Tag

Blogentines

Love is in this air this Blogentine’s Day with the Rip It or Ship It Book Tag. Originally created by Emma at emmmabooks (see her video here), this book tag takes characters from different books and judges whether or not they cute be a cute couple/friends or not so much. Here are my answers:

  • Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Nesta from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Since Thorne drives Cinder nuts in the Lunar Chronicles, I can only imagine how Nesta would respond. Honestly, I don’t think Thorne would make it out alive! Since Thorne is one of my favorite characters from The Lunar Chronicles, I’m going to have to rip it.

  • Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Cassian from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Even though I like Nesta’s fiery personality with Cassian, I can see Cress having a crush on Cassian. Like Thorne, he’s very confident with the ladies and is willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. I ship it!

  • Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Matthias from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Well, for this one, it depends if I think of Six of Crows Matthias or Crooked Kingdom Matthias. I definitely think Six of Crows Matthias would be too judgmental to even see Cinder as human. However, I think Crooked Kingdom Matthias could be friendly towards Cinder. I still can’t ever see them as a couple though. I rip this one.

  • Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and Kai from The Lunar Chronicles

Hm… I think Feyre and Kai could definitely get along. They both make good leaders, but also have a dash of sass in them. Even though Feyre tends to like guys in power positions, I can only see her as being friends with Kai. I ship them as friends, but not as significant others.

  • Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but I just can’t see this at all. Even though Lola definitely has an artistic streak like Feyre and is into bad boys (at least at the beginning of the book), I can’t see her Rhysand together. I’m going to rip this one.

 

What couples do you rip or ship?

The Brittany Awards 2017 Part Four: Fantasy Books

the-brittany-awards

This year, I tried to branch out a little more in my reading. As a result, I picked up a lot more fantasy books that I usually read…. and I loved them! Here are my top five favorite fantasy books of the year and two honorable mentions (book reviews will be linked to book titles):

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)

The Winner’s Curse trilogy is one of my favorite YA series and The Winner’s Kiss was the perfect conclusion! Usually, I’m unimpressed with third books of trilogies, especially when they heavily focus on war which is exactly what happens in this book. However, Marie Rutkoski’s research was clearly evident in this book. The ending was so cleverly written and I really loved the two main characters throughout this series. Since this book was so amazing, it was sad to say goodbye to this series!

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

The Lunar Chronicles is another one of my favorite YA series, so this was another bittersweet read for me. Luckily, this book was a little over 800 pages and there’s a spin-off graphic novel series, so this is definitely a series that gives readers a lot to enjoy. Even though I think there were some missed opportunities in this book that would have made more of an impact, I love these characters and the story line of this book. I would read anything Marissa Meyer set in this world!

Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf, #1)

When I read the description of Wolf by Wolf, it seemed like something I would enjoy. I wasn’t wrong! As soon as I read the first chapter, I had the same feelings that I had when I started The Hunger Games, a series I really loved in high school. This book has an interesting premise with a fast moving plot. I couldn’t put this book down!

  • Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Like with Wolf by Wolf, this is a book that I knew I would enjoy especially after I read the tagline “Six dangerous outcasts, one impossible heist.” This book is extremely clever and well written. By switching between different characters, I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns of this duology. Additionally, the characters are so well-developed and realistic that you feel like you really know them by the end of book two.

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas 

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

This is originally a series that I DNF’d halfway through the first book. Even though the first and third books in this series are only okay to me, I really loved the second book. The characters developed so much and a lot happened in the plot. I literally could not put this book down–I read it in one day because I needed to know what happened next!

Honorable Mentions:

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

While not the most well written series, I really enjoyed going through this entire series over the summer as I watched The Bachelorette. This series was so much fun that I could not put it down!

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

While I liked The Wrath and the Dawn, it wasn’t one of my favorite books of the year. However, I completely loved The Flame in the Mist. This book has fantastic world building and truly captures the culture where the book takes place. Like several other books on this list, I couldn’t put this book down because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

What were your favorite fantasy reads of the year?

Favorite New OTPS of 2017

blogmas

Tons of Christmas songs talk about meeting someone under the mistletoe… and tons of books feature couples you want to find there! Here are some of my new favorite OTPs from books that I read this year:

  • Nina and Matthias from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

I loved Nina and Matthias so much in the Six of Crows duology. I really loved how they looked past the surface to understand each other, and in the end, influenced each other for the better. Their relationship didn’t come easy, so when it happened, it was all the more special.

  • Poppy and Sam from I’ve Got You’re Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number

Poppy and Sam are probably my favorite couple from a contemporary series this year. Their relationship grows slowly throughout the book and I like that Sam respects Poppy’s relationship status and doesn’t pursue a relationship with her until he believes she is single. Poppy and Sam are definitely my favorite couple out of Sophie Kinsella’s books!

  • Feyre and Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Even though Rhysand doesn’t come off as the greatest guy in the first book, it was nice to see some depth added to his character in the second book. Feyre and Rhysand develop a strong relationship throughout the second and third books and I liked seeing how their relationship changed throughout the series.

  • Nesta and Cassian from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

Even though Feyre and Rhysand are the main romance within this series, I couldn’t help but love Nesta and Cassian as well. Cassian was one of my favorite characters in this series and I think he brought out a side of Nesta that not many people saw. I hope that in the upcoming books in this series, I get to see more of a relationship from them!

  • Juliet and Declan from Letters to the Lost

Letters to the Lost

In Letters to the Lost, you get to really know the characters in depth which made their relationship even more special. Even though Juliet and Declan were completely different people, they managed to comfort each other in the worst times of their lives. Their relationship didn’t come easy, so their struggles made their relationship even more realistic.

 

What is a new favorite OTP you discovered this year?

November Wrap Up

monthly wrap up.png

This month, my reading was definitely at an all-time low. With a trimester ending at school and parent teacher conferences, I wasn’t able to read as much I usually do. However, I still read some fun books! At the end of this month, I actually reached 100 books read for the year. Here are the books that I read in November:

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (★ ★ ★)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

  • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson (★ ★)

Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)

  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (★ ★ ★ ★)

Fish in a Tree

 

Re-Reads:

  • Secret Santa by Sabrina James (★ ★ ★ ★)

Secret Santa (Point)

  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Along for the Ride

 

What was the best book that you read in November?