Review of Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

empireofstormsEmpire of Storms
By: Sarah J Maas
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Hardcover

My Rating:
star

Summary:
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

My Thoughts:
Gah, this book was so well done. I personally feel that this series has gotten so much better as it has progressed. I love the additional characters and how all their stories have woven together into this complex and wonderful fantasy world. Personal note- I’d read the novellas, The Assassin’s Blade, prior to reading EoS. You don’t have to, but some characters from the short stories appear in this book so it’ll help you get all the lovely details.

This was one hefty book but, for me, it didn’t feel long at all. I was completely sucked in and found it to be fast paced and a quick read (regardless of the intense page count). The chapters flip between character point of views and I loved seeing things play out from different point of views. Each of these characters means so much to me and I love getting more details about how they feel and their motivations.

Because of the time spent with other characters we aren’t in Aelin’s mind as much in this book but I honestly didn’t mind that. I felt we got to see how she appears to others and it was really compelling. There was a character from the prior books missing from this one- mentioned but we didn’t see anything from their point of view. I’m sure this character will appear again but there will probably be some disappointed readers.

In this series the quests seem to grow as the series does which really ups the tension and sense of unease for the reader. As with the best fantasy (in my opinion) I really can’t fathom how these people will be able to save themselves and this world. This was such an intense read but there were some humorous parts as well as romance. A warning for the younger teens- some of the romantic scenes were pretty steamy and might be a tad mature for some readers.

I enjoy that the characters can find solace in each other and reading their interactions helped me to connect with all of them. Maas really knows how to write character chemistry.

A whole lot happened in this book and there were some twists- being a fan of Maas and her other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, I wasn’t overly surprised by some happenings. I do think that some of the storyline in each book has sort of overlapped and these books do have some resemblances. I don’t mind this myself but some reveals seemed a little less climatic because of this.

That all being said, the ending of this book was fabulous. I absolutely loved the set-up and Maas is rather evil for making us wait for the next installment.

eosig

Final Thoughts:
My review is rather vague but I don’t feel I can really venture into too many details otherwise this would be full of spoilers. For me, EoS was possibly the strongest in the series yet and I can’t wait to read what will happen next.

Lego Cover Art- Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Today I’m very excited to share the Queen of Shadows cover redone in Lego. My talented husband is responsible for the digital work on this cover and I think he did an amazing job.

I’ve been a fan of Sarah J. Maas for years and must say her book covers do wonderfully  in Lego. This is the third cover of hers we’ve done and I am still eager to go back at some point and do Throne of Glass and Heir of Fire.

QueenofShadows320fin
Extras

Past Lego Covers

Blocks Unhinged   The Immortal Rules   UnboundLego320

 LegoStillBlue320 thewinnerscurse320fin MortalHeartFinal KissOfDeception320 ACOTARLego320 TheWrath&TheDawnLego AMSDRLego320

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

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses
By: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

The Story:
I have been a fan of Maas since reading Throne of Glass and have felt that each book has gotten better as the series progressed. I had some high hopes and expectations for ACOTAR and let me tell you…I was a tad nervous for the first 100 pages. There had been so much hype and the folks that have read it prior to me all said it was so magical and wonderful. My worry was misplaced- ACOTAR turned out to be completely beautiful, epic and wonderfully written.

I love anything to do with the Fae so Sarah J. Maas taking them on-I was immediately sold. Then knowing that it was also a retelling of sorts of my favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast…let’s just say this book had been on my most wanted list. Maas created such a rich world that incorporated traditional Fae lore interwoven with her own rich creativity. I loved the mention of various Fae and that they are ruled by a High Lord, seven for each court.

The story started with Feyre’s home town and her struggle to upkeep a promise to her mother and keep her father and two sisters fed. Because of this she had been forced into the role of a huntress and provider. I thought that Maas created a very vivid town and home life for Feyre though not many pages were spent there. Once we cross over to the lands inhabited by the Fae I felt that the descriptions became even brighter and more vivid.

As I said before the story was slower in the beginning but after a certain point it became impossible to stop reading. I became addicted to this book and felt it painful to put it down to sleep. The action and stakes were raised and things became tense. Since I was aware that this was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast I was able to see where the story was going at places but I enjoyed seeing the parallels and found that this aspect enriched my reading experience. I felt that Maas was very clever in her presentation and incorporated that romantic yet tragic feel of Beauty and the Beast seamlessly with the Fae. Really, it was beautifully done and captured my imagination and heart.

The Characters:
It was a slow burn for me to really connect with Feyre but once I did she became a favorite. I felt she was realistic and though I found her family-life a slower portion of the book I did feel that her reactions especially in feeling she’d abandoned them to be admirable. I loved that she was a complex character that suffered from her guilt. She pushed herself to take actions for the better good that struck war to her soul. I thought her internal monologue and torment was wonderfully done.

The Fae in ACOTAR were done so brilliantly. I absolutely loved the description of the Sureil was exquisite,

A face that looked like it had been crafted from dried, weather-worn bone, its skin either forgotten or discarded, a lipless mouth and too-long teeth held by blackened gums, slitted holes for nostrils, and eyes…eyes that were nothing more than swirling pits of milky white– the white of death, the white of sickness, the white of clean-picked corpses.

Isn’t that so creepy yet beautifully morbid? Many times I have found descriptions of the Fae to veer on the silly side but not so with Maas’ creatures. They were often the stuff of nightmares…but the beautiful ones, the High Fae, were something else altogether. Tamlin, Lucian and Rhysand- oh my. Each was unique, beautiful and complex. I could read so much more about each one of these characters. I’d love to read about their lives prior to ACOTAR (wishing for novellas).

And the main villain…perfectly and delightfully evil. Very little was mentioned or explored about the villain’s past or motivations but it worked very well for me. I totally bought this villain’s evil streak and feared for the characters as they were forced to interact with this person (don’t want to give anything away with gender).

Final Thoughts:
Though A Court of Thorns and Roses started on the slow side for me as the storyline picked up I became absolutely addicted and unable to tear myself away from Feyre’s story. I am thoroughly in love with these characters and know that the wait until the next book will be unbearable. Maas successfully incorporated the heart of Beauty and the Beast into a modern story depicting the Fae.

Lego Cover Art- A Court of Thorns and Roses

Today I’m so excited to share a new Lego Cover for A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I loved every word of this book and the cover screamed to be remade in Lego. Usually, my husband does the graphic work after I shoot the pictures. This time I did the entire thing solo. I hope you enjoy it!

ACOTARLego320

Past Lego Covers

 Blocks Unhinged   The Immortal Rules 

  UnboundLego320 LegoStillBlue320 thewinnerscurse320fin MortalHeartFinal KissOfDeception320

Review of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)Heir of Fire
By: Sarah J Maas
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Physical ARC
Source: Publisher

This is the third in a series so there will be some spoilers for the two prior books. If you’ve not started this series read my review of Throne of Glass

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

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