The Wicked King Book Review

I succumbed to the hype around The Wicked King by Holly Black last week and picked up a copy. It’s getting 5 stars left right and centre, but also some threes and harsh comments. Why?

It’s mostly down to Cardan and Jude’s relationship. A lot of people are in love with their crude relationship and I too, found it interesting and drew me in to reading further. But most of the people docking stars from the book is because of Jude and Cardan’s relationship and the message that they worry it could bring across to younger readers. YA is after all aimed at roughly fourteen to eighteen year olds and those on the younger scale could think the toxic relationship depicted is okay – their reasoning not so much mine.

But The Wicked King doesn’t really say hey, this is alright. The ending to the story (which I won’t go in to further detail) does not in anyway make the reader think the choices made lead to good consequences. So, I wouldn’t say the Folk of the Air series idolises toxic relationships, if that’s a worry. It’s definitely not a good relationship, but it’s interesting.

I gave it 4 stars. Mostly, because I found Jude irritating. I loved the ride this book took me on but I didn’t love Jude’s stupid decision making. I get she was in over her head and could I have done any better? Probably not. But I wanted her to rely on someone anyone. In hindsight I feel a little harsh giving it this rating as it’s definitely a book I’d reread.

I also can’t wait for the next instalment of the series! What were your thoughts? What did you think of The Wicked King?


 

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Also I know this blog has been a little bit quiet as of late and that may have been because I’ve enjoyed starting my less eloquent Bookstagram, a little too much.  I’m @ensworldofwords. DM I’d love to hear your thoughts on anything bookish 🙂

 

Review of Kingdom of Ash, the end of the Throne of Glass Series

I finished Kingdom of Ash around two weeks ago now and I was at a loss for words for so many reasons. For the start I’ve been a fan of this series since only the first book was out and the prequel short stories.

*ahem* Spoilers ahead for the stories up to Kingdom of Ash, so if you haven’t read the first five books look away, or be spoiled.

I loved the character Celeana Sardothien, I thought she was fun and badass. She was the character my seventeen year old self at the time felt energised reading about. I loved how the story grew and took this massive turn in Crown of Midnight that I could never have expected ever – hello Aelin. The story plunged in to the world of the fae and this huge plot to stop the Valg demons. IT became HUGE. And I loved it. Heir of Fire was awesome. Honestly, I need to sit down and do a thorough re-read of this entire series when I can finally get all my books in one place.

Aelin/Celeana always had these mad plans that were fun to read about and usually only became apparent to the reader by the time her plan was in action. It was fun to read but I grew tired of these wild surprises by Empire of Storms. I still liked the surprises but I began to want to be in the know. She always felt a bit distanced. I don’t know if this was because I changed as a reader (I’m 23 now and I like to think I’ve changed and I know my tastes in books have too).

I was never a Chaol fan, he grew more intolerable for me as the books went on and so I was distraught at the idea of an entire novel for him. I tried to read Tower of Dawn and I did DNF it and then reaped the spoilers online so I was ready for Kingdom of Ash. I did quite like Yrene in the short story before she got Chaol-ed (it’s a verb now).

In the same vein there were aspects to the stories that irked me, how everyone was beginning to pair up and find love. This is a fantasy series so my disbelief is somewhat suspended but not to the point everyone finds love. So when people began to break up in Kingdom of Ash I mentally cheered that on for some damn realism. Heartless? Perhaps.

This is series amazing and evolves with every story. Celeana Sardothien even read differently from her prequels as an assassin. Sarah J Maas is amazing at writing books about characters who change, even in her other series the characters are so effected by the world and the events that transpire. Sometimes authors don’t capture this and their characters seem almost like they’re made of rubber. So I don’t think Kingdom of Ash could be reviewed as a standalone, it definitely wasn’t written as one. I like to try and rate books apart from what transpired before as if they could stand alone in their own awesomeness. But I don’t think I can with Kingdom of Ash because this was an awesome series and while I didn’t love Kingdom of Ash it is the end of a series that I would and will still call one of my favourite series of all time.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

3.5 / 5 Stars

I read someone else’s review on Goodreads and they summed it up perfectly for me, but their comment has long since been buried and I can’t find it. What they basically said was, “they go to war…. and then another….and another war….and another war….” The story really hammered in the fact this is basically a WORLD WAR and everything is HOPELESS but we fight with HOPE. The odds weren’t in Terrasen and its allies’ favour. I felt that was very hammered in. I also don’t enjoy books about wars so it really wasn’t for me (I haven’t even read Lord of the Rings). I also didn’t like how a character who only appeared not so long ago was integral to ending the damn war.

It was LOOONG. So Long. Too Long. I agree with a lot of people that some of these tiny battles could have been cut out.

Aelin’s torture was brutal and that’s another thing with these books. They change so much I honestly don’t know what I was going to be reading. Like brutal torture, or pretty detailed sex scenes. I don’t mind reading sex scenes but I like to know that I’m going to be? Throne of Glass wasn’t detailed – I don’t recall it becoming detailed until Queen of Shadows was it?  Correct me if I’m wrong.

Speaking of those kind of scenes, I liked the evolution of Elide and Lorcan’s relationship as well as Lysandra and Aedion. I honestly just loved Aedion as a character and his struggles in the war and just rallying Terrasen. This book developed such a love for the idea of Terrasen.

I enjoyed the take on the gods. I like how they were perceived as gods and beyond the characters comprehension. But how they could potentially be just powerful beings from another world. I also liked how those gods’ histories also felt like legends and fairytales for Erelia.

Which brings me to the prophecy. Harry Potter inspired my love for a good ol’ prophecy. I like how we see how effected Aelin is by it and how it weighs on her as a character.

I love that we got some Aelin and Rowan. Aelin deserves all the damn happiness in the world.

Aelin was still a badass, swords and plots and fire-breathing bitch queen magic.

Dorian was awesome and his part in the story was amazing. He personally helped me understand Manon better and grow to like her journey.

The ending was fitting.

So overall, I rated the book 3.5 stars. I wouldn’t read this again if it wasn’t for the novels before this as the style of story wasn’t for me. The novel was also so damn long and could have really been 200 or pages shorter. However, I was invested in the characters and as a whole I felt it wrapped up the series fairly well. It can’t be rated as a stand alone and this rating doesn’t reflect my feelings on the entire series which I suppose I’d give a …

4.5 Stars

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas

Renegade by Mallory McCartney ~ Review

I got free copy on NetGalley in exchange for a review.

This book is a prequel to Black Dawn that came out earlier this year. I’ve never enjoyed reading prequels as they were meant to be read and always found myself loving the prequels when I hadn’t read the main series first. I think the Assassin’s Blade is the only exception to this for me. Renegade followed that rule as I loved the novel as story of itself and plan to read Black Dawn soon. I would rate this novel….

★★★★

Renegade by Mallory McCartney

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Six years before the Black Dawn Rebellion, Adair Stratton and Emory Fae are following in their parent’s footsteps and living at The Academy, a home for those who are gifted. The pressure to uphold the future of their parent’s dream falls on them. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. Even if Emory tries to make him see differently. An unexpected group of friends keep him there, but as whispers of unexplained disappearances start reaching from the capital, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath- for the first time in years, they demand the Fae’s listen to their proposition for a new treaty, holding the news of Nei’s father’s abrupt death over them. Caught in the middle of politics- Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis search for the one thing that matters most- finding out the truth.

 

Why I loved this book:

  • The world was rich and full of magic, which left me wanting to know how it worked and how everything was linked. I liked the idea of the teens searching for answers on their own, it had this Harry Potter like charm. And I especially liked Emory’s cunning, which also showed it was something they all did often.
  • There was mystery to this magic filled world that the characters were unaware. I liked the fact we got to discover it (and its evil sides) with the characters.
  • It had a cute magic school vibe, but teamed with the fact the characters were so in tune with their surroundings so it was also a little ‘break out of their surroundings’, which I loved.
  • If you have heard anything about Black Dawn then you’ll probably know Renegade is about how a villain becomes one, I kinda found this out after researching hesitantly. I didn’t let myself know who would be the villain and this made it an even more interesting read as I spent a while guessing. The three guys; Memphis, Adair and Brokk all could have swung that way at different times and really hammered in the idea their choices defined them. I loved this.

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The doom and gloom – Negative Points:

  • I think there were maybe two scenes that had Emory’s point of view and I fell in love with her voice instantly. So this makes me really want to read Black Dawn but also made me wish I would hear more from her in the prequel.
  • I didn’t like Brokk, in the beginning I really dreaded hitting his point of view. He struck me as a bit too whiny, but I found I grew to stand him later as he matured and had to face things.
  • Lastly, I struggled to keep up with a few of the fight scenes. I re-read certain parts to see if I missed something but I still couldn’t seem to work out how some characters or their magic moved from one place to another. I get it that battle is hectic and all that but it took me out of the story as I struggled to work this out.

 

Overall it definitely makes me want to pick up Black Dawn!

Signal Boosting: The Empress by S.J. Kincaid / Review

I’ve read so many amazing books and while I would not say this series is amazing for me (probably because I’m not much of a space nerd) it was like political drama novel art. I couldn’t put it down. It got to 4AM at one point and I just had to finish it.

 

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The Empress by S. J. Kincaid

★★★★

The Empress is the second in the Diabolic series and I loved Diabolic, I liked how Nemesis struggled with her humanity and fighting against everyone’s beliefs as well as actually fighting. It was a fun action packed book and Empress did not disappoint. And there are so many points that I want to gush over but I feel like mentioning too much would be spoilery. This book has so many twists and turns its like nothing I’ve read in a long time. I hardly expected any of them and after a while it made me honestly dizzy! I was just along for the ride that was Empress.

I read this almost a year ago but I never considered writing a review, but after a small investigation in to where the hell is book 3 and realising it was projected for around this time and still is untitled and basically non-existent I thought I’d just mention this. It’s crazy because for as much as I’m aware Diabolic was a really hyped first novel. If anything I’d say Empress blew Diabolic out of the water. It was a rollercoaster ride of feelings, I was excited, happy, sad, angry, down-right confused(in a good way). My only real gripe about this book was Tyrus, he seems too infallible.  While I really enjoyed this read and it put me on a bit of a book slump because I was just left reeling. When the next book comes out I have a feeling Tyrus is going to annoy me a lot in the next book. However, I want to see how this crazy space drama plays out. YA novels as of late seem slightly on the predictable side and the Diabolic series is anything but predictable.

 

Check it out even if you’re not super in to sci-fi, I don’t even like Star Wars that much (don’t hate me) but I could still enjoy this series.

The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

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IM ALIVE. I survived university and then I read THREE awesome books so I’m clearly not broken ~ Which is legitimately what I thought a couple of months ago when I couldn’t sit down with a book. BUT NOW I can’t wait to tell you guys about them.

 

 

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The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

★★★★

 

I was super excited when I heard Alexandra was writing a sequel to her trilogy, The Darkest Minds and the fact it was also not another trilogy also seemed awesome. I’m a little tired of stories stretching on when they could be more awesome for stopping and leaving some things to the imagination and not just running out of steam and falling face first in the to the mud. However, by the end of this novel I wished it had been split in to 2. Sounds crazy? But hear me out.

The Darkest Legacy is a few pages shy of being 600 pages long and it seemed almost a little two rushed in places. The puzzle fitted too well together for the sake of not having an even higher word count. It was also an emotional, action-packed, never stopping roller coaster of a novel. Not even the last chapter let me breathe. GIVE ME ONE PAGE OF FEEL GOOD, PLEASE. Tell me they took a chill pill and bought a dog, or something. So while I loved the action, I wanted it to give me a chance to breathe and those characters. I also still want a continuation from this novel, there’s so much to be explored in the novel’s messed up world.

On another note, Zu (Suzume Kimura) has a great voice as the narrator, which surprised me because she was voiceless in the trilogy. She was like the teams mascot, previously a cute little girl who had to wear rubber gloves to control her electric abilities. Like a human Pikachu. But 5 years later, 17 tear old Zu is a badass. She explains her reasons for being voiceless the in the trilogy and I loved how having a voice was integral to her character. It was nice to see her character grow between the two stories. I never expected to love Zu so much, possibly more than Ruby who felt a little too angsty for me (Ruby went through a lot of crap even before the trilogy started for her angst certificate to be legitimate. Not hating on Ruby.).

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The Darkest Minds world was still interesting and also tragic. I won’t say too much, in a way to avoid spoilers. But it seemed like Alexandra had put so much thought in to how the world would have changed and the politics. It was a great read and I recommend it to anyone who was a fan of the previous series.

 

 

I’M BACK! ~ Books I read during my hiatus

IIIIIII’MM BAACK!

*springs out like the Chryssalid no one asked for and definitely didn’t want*

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(Also a picture of me desperately looking for good reading material.)

 

 

Jokes aside I have narrowly survived the most part of my degree and so I can now focus on fun! I have however hit a major book slump, which I’m hoping A Court of Frost and Starlight will fix when it comes out on May 1st.  I had to be back before that came out, I wouldn’t be a true fan otherwise!

I read a total of books between essays and worrying over essays – not too bad if I say so myself.

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  1. First up is Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia.

I would call it the We Are Okay of 2018. I felt a really deep connection with the character and it also made me look at myself too. Deep. I loved the story and I’d give it 5/5 Stars. Eliza and Her Monsters is about a girl who has a massive online following for a webcomic she created under a pen name but didn’t want anyone to know who she really was. It was really interesting to see how everything played out, her relationships online and in the real world. I also loved the cover! ❤

 

2. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

4/5 Stars. It was slow going in comparison to the first book although the stakes rose massively by the end which redeemed it. The characters were definitely effected by the events of the first novel and that was nice to see! We see a lot more Lila and also her time on a totally-not-pirate ship. I loved the introduction of the character Alucard Emery and he is probably one of my favourite characters because of spoilers and is just generally well written. This also ends at a wonderfully evil point that will make you neeeed the third book.

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3. The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo

3/5 stars. I was passing through Waterstones when I saw it on display and it was a very pretty display of vines and I liked the cover. I’ve now also lost it in my apartment, which serves me right for being vain I suppose.

I prefer crime shows rather than novels but occasionally I try not to read YA books. The Invisible Guardian plays upon Spanish mythology and legends, which effect the investigation over a serial killer. It also delves in to the main character’s history and I liked that part. The way the myths were handled just didn’t suit me, it didn’t seem all shiny and new because I’ve read a lot of fantasy already. I haven’t done my homework but it was interesting to know that Spanish paganism was similar to what I know of British – in ways. It’s the first in a series which I probably won’t continue. It seems Redondo is trying to create a paranormal crime series.

 

Let me know your thoughts!

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Punch book slumps and chryssalids ~

 

and don’t forget to…

 

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Garbled Review of Warcross by Marie Lu

If you weren’t aware, I’m a  massive nerd so this book called to me. Que nerd montage:

Nerdcompilation *ahem* So that’s why I had to read Warcross. There are so many anime and manga adaptions that involve VR but not books….that I’m aware of. Also I’ve read her Legend trilogy and I loved it. I still need to finish her other one though.

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4 /5 Stars

I think I’m being star stingy. I mean I knew what this book would be like before I picked it up, I wanted to read it for the very reason I took away the star. But I also wanted the ending to be different and the relationships that formed were a bit typical. Don’t get me wrong I loved…

 

  • The descriptions of Emika’s world and how VR changed it.
  • I liked Emika’s tough girl character and I was really interested in all the memories of her father. I’m never usually that interested about a dead character I never met when alive.
  • VR.

But to avoid spoilers…. the ending didn’t thrill me. Emika’s love interest seemed odd and yet predictable. And in the back of my mind I thought the elite Warcross hacker could be XXXX, but that’d be crazy, right? RIGHT? But apparently it might actually be them.

However, I am totally ready for the sequel. Because I did pick up this book because I love the VR trope and Marie Lu’s writing. Also I want to see if elite hacker’s supposed identity is a joke. I honestly hope it is.

*Also I just found this amazing merch by accident! It won’t let me copy a picture over 😦

**And speaking of pictures I found this amazing drawing of Emika :O I really liked how colourful she was <3.

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