Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 4
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 1st, 2015

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Note: This post reviews the fourth book of the Throne of Glass series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire before reading this review.

Celaena Sardothien has returned to Adarlan – and she is ready to do what needs to be done, no matter the cost. With both Prince Dorian and Aedion Ashryver, her long-lost beloved cousin, imprisoned by the King of Adarlan, Celaena must risk everything to save the people she cares about.

But that is only the beginning. The King of Adarlan must be brought down, his tyranny and corruption brought to an end. With the help of her friends, and the Fae Prince Rowan faithfully at her side, Celaena must embrace the truth of who and what she is if she is to save Dorian’s people, her people, and the rest of Erilea from the impending darkness ahead.

This fourth book of the Throne of Glass series was the best so far. Not only was it an action-packed page turner, but it was rich with character development. Maas definitely upped her game with this one, and I am ready to jump right into the next one, Empire of Storms. 

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Heir of Fire

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 3
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014

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Note: This post reviews the third book of the Throne of Glass series. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, before reading this review.

Celaena Sardothien, the King’s Champion, has been sent on an errand to the distant continent of Wendlyn. But instead of doing the King of Adarlan’s bidding, she finds herself on a mission of her own: to find the powerful Queen of the Fae, Maeve, and learn more about the ancient weapons the King of Adarlan has come to possess.

But she has more to learn than this – so much more. Celaena has been running from the truth of who and what she is for ten years now; her past, too terrible to confront, her power, unimaginable. She trains with Rowan, a prince of the Fae, and is easily outmatched by him, despite her skill as an assassin. Rowan does not let her off easy, but instead pushes her, challenges her, and ultimately breaks her. It is at this time that she must make a decision: to crumble into worthless nothingness, or to rise up and become the person she was destined to be.

I enjoyed this third installment of the Throne of Glass series… after the first two hundred or so pages. It took me a long time to get into, but once I was into it, I didn’t want to put it down. I’m hoping the next book, Queen of Shadows, picks up with the same pace this book ended with.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Crown of Midnight

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 2
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 27th, 2013

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Note: This post reviews the second book of the Throne of Glass series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Throne of Glass, before reading this review.

After winning the brutal contest and earning the position as the King’s Champion, assassin Celaena Sardothien only appears loyal to the king she serves. She plays the part the king demands of her, in hopes of finally attaining her freedom. Celaena is also being pulled in different directions by the ones she cares about most: the Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian, the Captain of the Guard, Choal, and her best friend, Nehemia, Princess of the threatened kingdom of Eyllwe. Since each of them have their own expectations of her, she struggles to decide where her trust, her loyalties, and her heart truly lie.   

But as she uncovers more and more of the king’s dark and powerful secrets, it becomes harder for Celaena to do his bidding, especially with her own secrets about who she is, secrets so dangerous that she trusts no one with them; secrets that could affect the future of everyone.

Sarah J. Maas is quickly becoming a new favorite author of mine. She drew me in first with her series A Court of Thorns and Roses, and is continuing to captivate me with her series, Throne of Glass. For some reason, this book was a little difficult for me to fully get into. I’m still enjoying this series, its characters, and the fantasy world, and I look forward to seeing where Celaena goes from here!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Throne of Glass

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series, book 1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 7th, 2012

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Celaena Sardothien is willing to do whatever it takes to buy back her freedom – even if it means selling herself to the same king who destroyed her family so many years ago. She accepts Prince Damian’s offer, agreeing to be his champion in a fight to become the king’s assassin. If she can beat the other champions in the competition, she will serve the King of Adarlan for four years, after which she will be given her freedom.

What her competition does not know is that she is really Adarlan’s Assassin, her name widely known across the land. No one could have thought that the most feared assassin is an 18-year-old girl. The only ones who know the truth are the king, Dorian, and Chaol (the Captain of the guard). Celaena and Chaol eventually have an understanding between them, and even a friendship; Celaena and Dorian begin to have something, as well. While she has nothing but contempt for the king, she feels differently about his son.

In this exciting first book of the series, we meet a strong heroine who is not afraid to fight for what she wants, a prince who wants to be more than what his father has become, and a guard who will protect, no matter the cost. This YA cross between Game of Thrones and Hunger Games drew me in immediately, and continued to hold my attention till the end. I look forward to continuing the journey with Celaena in the second book of the series, Crown of Midnight.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

The Golden Braid

Title: The Golden Braid
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 6
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 17th, 2015

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Note: Even though The Golden Braid is the sixth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Rapunzel. 

Hagenheim, 1413

When sheltered Rapunzel receives another marriage proposal, her controlling and over-protective mother moves them to a new city, one where she hopes to better hide Rapunzel from unwelcome suitors. Rapunzel and her mother meet some trouble on the road, and are rescued by a knight – Sir Gerek – who is later rescued by Rapunzel, who knows a thing or two about knife throwing.

Wanting nothing better than to learn to read and write, Rapunzel begs Sir Gerek to teach her. Reluctantly, Sir Gerek agrees to educate her, despite the fact that they each find the other to be difficult. That is, until they realize that their feelings for each other are beginning to deepen. But will Rapunzel’s mother once again get in the way of her daughter’s happiness?

I loved this book. It’s definitely an imaginative retelling of Rapunzel that felt new and fresh. If you are a fan of fairytales, this one is a must-read!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Princess Spy

Title: The Princess Spy
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 5
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 4th, 2014

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Note: Even though The Princess Spy is the fifth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of The Frog Prince. 

Hagenheim, 1413

A romantic at heart, Margaretha has high hopes for her suitor, Lord Claybrook. But when Colin, an injured Englishman, arrives in Hagenheim claiming to be attacked by none other than Claybrook himself, Margaretha begins to doubt that her suitor’s motives are true. Because of Colin’s language barrier, he is unable to explain himself to anyone other than Margaretha, who alone speaks english.

As Margaretha befriends Colin and helps him recover, she decides to take a closer look at Claybrook. To her dismay, she begins to uncover his secret plot to overthrow her father, the Duke of Hagenheim, and realizes that the future of her family’s kingdom – and her own future with the man she truly loves – depend on her own stealth and resourcefulness.

I really enjoyed this book, though it was not obvious that it was a Frog Prince retelling. I thought it was fun getting to know Margaretha more, after reading stories about her mother and her brothers, too!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Captive Maiden

Title: The Captive Maiden
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 4
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 23rd, 2013

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Note: Even though The Captive Maiden is the fourth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Cinderella.

Hagenheim, 1403

Ever since her noble father’s death, Gisela has been mistreated by her stepmother and forced to work as a servant in her own home. But she does not let her stepmother’s cruelty change her kind, compassionate heart. She is as beautiful inside as she is out, and Valten, the firstborn son of the Duke of Hagenheim, notices. Gisela used to daydream of falling in love with Valten years ago, having been around him and his family when her father was alive. But now, her dreams have turned to ash as she is considered so far beneath him. Everyone, except Valten, seems to think so.

A ball is thrown in Valten’s honor, and Gisela simply has to go, even if she risks her stepmother’s wrath. But Gisela soon has bigger things to worry about when her very life is in danger and she is used as bait to help capture the Duke’s son. Will Valten be able to save Gisela, and save himself?

I read this book before The Fairest Beauty, the one that precedes it. Because of that, I have been a fan of Valten from the beginning. I love him, Gisela, and their romance. It is so beautiful! This book might be my favorite Melanie Dickerson book ever written. (Besides The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest; that one is definitely up there.) I recommend this book for any fans of Cinderella retellings!

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