Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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Though Aelin Galathynius has returned home to Terrasen, her people are not ready to accept her as queen. Meanwhile, the dark forces fueled by Erawan grow stronger. With the kingdoms surrounding her fracturing to pieces, and no willing allies to accept her royal claim, Aelin, again, fights against death to save her friends, family, and throne. Somehow, she must learn to harness the unquenchable fire within her and discover the meaning behind a centuries-old prophecy in order to save her kingdom and her life.

Wow! Another stunner in the Throne of Glass series. As with Queen of Shadows, this one starts out slow, but it really picks up. Look forward to the return of some amazing characters, crazy plot twists, and, of course, drama. The ending is yet another cliffhanger, and I, for one, can’t wait to see how this series will end. As good as the book is, be warned that it is VERY YA. In a break from Maas’ other books in the series, this one is appropriate only for high school grades and up.

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here. 

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Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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After freeing the fairy courts from Amarantha’s grasp, Feyre returns to the Spring Court to become Tamlin’s bride. But her life is far from the perfect “fairy tale” she may have expect. Tamlin remains distant after his ordeal Under the Mountain, and his fierce protectiveness of Feyre borders on suffocation. Feeding Tamlin’s paranoia is Feyre’s standing bargain with Rhysand of the Night Court. Required to spend two weeks of each month in Rhysand’s court, Feyre must periodically leave the safety of the Spring Court for what she believes will be darkness, torture, and shame — a mirror of her time with Amarantha. But, to Feyre’s surprise, the Night Court is far different than its reputation, just as the Spring Court fails to provide her with the love and warmth she expects. Soon, Feyre must make a choice regarding the two courts, one that may very well change the future of the realm forever.

In the second book of Court of Thorns and Roses, Maas continues her tradition of writing a book that takes FOREVER to get going, but, once it does, it’s awesome. Seriously, this book is far too long (like 200 pages too long), but the extra length is pretty much worth it in the end. The relationships really surprised me, and I was very excited at some of the plot twists. Definitely ready for the next book! Be warned, though, that this book is VERY adult. You may want to skip over some parts if you’re not a fan of more explicit material (more details in the analysis).

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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In this mix of fairytale and myth, Feyre, sole provider of her once-wealthy family, finds herself at the mercy of an angry fairy after she kills one of his kind. Due the human-fairy treaty, Feyre can choose to either live in the fairy world forever, or be killed for her offense. She leaves for the fairy court with her new companion, Tamlin, never to see her family again. In the Spring Court, Feyre laments the change in her situation, despite the surprising kindness from her host. But, as with everything in Feyre’s life, all is not what it seems. Tamlin and his court harbor a dark secret — one that it will fall to Feyre to discover and solve, before she loses everything she loves.

As you know, I LOVED Throne of Glass, so I was super excited about Maas’ next series. It doesn’t disappoint. This new book is largely a Beauty and the Beast retelling, with some other multicultural myths thrown in. The world-building is amazing, the female characters (especially villains) strong and entertaining, and the drama will make you want the next book right now. Hold on through the beginning (it’s a bit slow), but the end is definitely worth it.

Rating: 4/5 

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

 

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In the fourth book of the Throne of Glass series, Celeana (Aelin) returns to Ardalan to defeat the king and release his hold on the world’s magic. But first, she has some scores to settle. She must avenge her former love, Sam’s, death, eliminate the King of the Assassins, and figure out a way to fund her fledgling army. In her path are the monstrous Valg, controlled, of course, by the corrupted king. Dorian, who may have been Aelin’s ally, is tightly imprisoned in a Valg prince collar, and of no help to either Aelin’s or his own people. Somehow, with the few rebels who assist her, Aelin must rise above her enemies to free Ardalan and reclaim her throne in Terrassen.

So this series is fantastic, but this was not my favorite book. I gave it a high rating because the ending really picks up — but it takes so long to get there. Honestly, most of this book is set-up that we don’t really need. If it just would have been shorter, it would have been so much better. I hope this doesn’t deter you from reading it, though! The ending is totally worth it and I’m super excited for the next books — not least of all because I have to see who Aelin winds up with! And read more of Manon — duh. And imagine ways I can make Aelin’s wardrobe a reality. And….

Rating: 4/5 

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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In the third book of the Throne of Glass series, Celeana’s duties as King’s Assassin require her to kill the ruling family of another kingdom. Leaning Choal and Dorian behind, Celeana travels to the distant land, hoping to somehow find a way to thwart the Ardalan king and his plan to conquer the surrounding kingdoms. But, instead of forming a plan, Celeana is haunted by past tragedies and spends her days attempting to deny her true self. Though she may run from it, the truth of Celeana’s heritage hurtles toward her at full-force. She must find a way to accept who she really is and embrace her role in the coming war, before the king succeeds in his brutal mission.

I love Throne of Glass so much!! So much! This one was a little rough starting out because Celeana is depressed and angsty at first, but things eventually pick up. This was, by far, the heaviest fantasy piece in the ToG series, so you may love or hate that new development. In this third piece, relationships between the characters become more complicated (of course!), some incredibly awesome new characters come into the story (Manon forever!!), and the drama with the King of Ardalan’s quest to take over the world deepens. There were definitely a few “OMG” moments thrown in there. Fans of the action in this series will not be disappointed (though you’ll have to have some patience until the story picks up). If you love ToG like I do, don’t hesitate to continue in the series — it’s only getting better! If you haven’t started ToG yet, I’d definitely start with the first, as there are so many elements to the story. Happy reading!

Rating: 4.5/5

*YALSA Teen’s Top Ten, Nominee, 2015

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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In this sequel to the Throne of Glass, Celaena adjusts to her new life as King’s Champion. Though life at the palace is filled with food, new clothes, and time with her best friend, Nehemia, Celaena bristles at being forced to assassinate those who stand against the tyrant king. What’s more, though she declared herself interested only in own freedom, Celaena finds herself yet again called to duty by Queen Elena. This time, she must solve the dark mystery behind the evil king’s power before he uses it to destroy the world. In this second novel, even Celaena’s expert skills are tested as she battles otherworldly forces, the secrets of her past, and the desires of her own heart.

This second book was AMAZING! I had some issues with the first book, but this one was excellent right from the start. Get ready for a ton of action — lots of Celaena’s crazy ninja moves, secrets being spilled, insane plot twists, and, of course, romance. I am definitely excited to see where this series is going (especially after the bomb that gets dropped at the end of this book!), and am already reaching for the third book. If you’re a fan of Throne of Glass, don’t miss this one! If you haven’t read it yet, definitely start with the first.

Rating: 5/5 

*YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014 

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.