Juliette Crushes Her TBR Pile Posts

16034235Juliette crushes her TBR pile #2: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Pages: 404

Published: May 7th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

ISBN: 9781619630345

From Goodreads: In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Buy this from Amazon here: Throne of Glass

My expectations were way way high for this book. I’ll admit I’m a fan of book porn and follow quite a few book instagram pages. This book is all over those. It already looks like a ton of fun, but that fact that it kept showing up in these pictures made me want to read it even more.

I was not disappointed. I also wasn’t blown out of the water. It was a lot longer than I expected and I felt like a lot of it could have been condensed to make the book more approachable for less experienced readers. But that’s okay because this book seems to be doing just fine being as big as it is.

This book gets criticized a lot for Celeana being obsessed with clothes even though she is this well-trained assassin. I have a couple arguments with that. First, people can like whatever they want and don’t have to fit neatly into specific boxes. Second, she didn’t choose to be an assassin. Who knows how her life would have gone if she could have done anything she wanted? She had no choice in what happened, but she did the only thing she could do and she became the best at what she was. That doesn’t mean she lost all the other parts of herself, like loving pretty dresses. Also, the author wrote this book probably knowing that her primary audience would be women. Don’t women love reading about the clothes? I don’t think there was anything wrong with this aspect of the book.

What I didn’t like very much was how she seemed to be attracted to every guy. Okay, maybe it was just two and I know love triangles are a big part of YA literature but it felt really forced to me. I didn’t really think her connection with either Chaol or Dorian was very strong and I didn’t really find myself wanting her to be with or fall for either one of them. For me, that’s a crucial thing. I need a good love story to at least be a good side story. I wasn’t feeling it at all.

The writing was pretty well done. I didn’t think the magic system that seemed to be being set up in this book was very unique or original. But it moved fairly quickly and strong female heroines are always good to see.

I’m surprised this book gained as much popularity as it did considering the lack of emotional connection that I felt. But maybe I’m the exception in this case and a tons of people feel differently than I do.

Reading this review back to myself it sounds like I’m giving it a bad review. I’m not, I actually really enjoyed this book and plan on reviewing the rest pretty soon. It’s rare that I’ll enjoy a book based on plot alone, but it feels like this book has a lot of potential and hopefully it’ll go somewhere great. 🙂

If you’re a YA fan or want to explore the genre this one would be a good one to pick up. It’s not whiny like some of the other books out there and it’s pretty solid, even if the love triangle makes me roll my eyes a bit.

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with ,

Juliette crushes her TBR pile #1: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

153008

Pages: 1015

Published: September 5th 2003 by Tor Fantasy

Buy from Amazon: Kushiel’s Dart (Kushiel’s Legacy)

From Goodreads: The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good… and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission… and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair… and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.

Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.

 

Yay! Let’s get started crushing my TBR pile!

I’m also open to suggestions for things I should add to the pile. Leave me comments or email me at paperbacksandfrosting@gmail.com.

The first book I chose was Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. I chose this because these books have kind of called my name for a long time. I’ll see them at the library or at the bookstore and just want to take them home with me. They’re very pretty. I didn’t know much about them except that they were controversial and a fantasy. I love fantasies and am always looking for new worlds to explore.

This is a fantasy unlike any other I’ve ever read. But before you freak out and expect it to be because of the sex, let me stop you right there. Yes, sex is a part of this book, but it isn’t the main theme in this book. While we’re on the subject though, let’s get it out of the way since I know that’s what most of the people looking to read this book want to know about. Yes, it’s kinky and not regular vanilla sex. It’s not romantic either, but all of it is necessary to the story, which is something I loved. I hate when sex is in a book just for it to be there. It should mean something to the story. It definitely does in this book. But it’s not as prevalent as the other reviews of this book would make you believe. This is not a small book. It’s a ton of pages and the percentage of those that have sex scenes written on them is very small. It’s also not as graphic as you may think by reading some of the reviews. I’ve read books with regular vanilla sex in them that had scenes that were a lot more graphic and made me way more uncomfortable. But like I said, this isn’t regular vanilla, so if you’re squeamish at all about that kind of stuff, then unfortunately this may not be the book for you. It is essential to the plot and you’d miss a lot if you had to skip over everything.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get down to the more important things. 😉

This book is complicated. I’m not good at billions of characters and this book does have that. This was one of the big downsides of this book for me. I knew it would be as soon as I opened it up. There are lists of characters that take up multiple pages in the beginning. That’s a huge red flag for me, but I know that doesn’t mean the story isn’t good, so I dove right on in anyway. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the book has a lot of characters and I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I didn’t get confused. I did. Quite a bit. I’m a tough reader though so I managed to keep up with the story and enjoy it even with that confusion.

The relationships in this novel are awesome. My favorite part about any story I read is the connection I feel between the characters. This book has a ton of that. Not only can I feel the connections but I can feel the differences in all of them. That’s the sign of an incredible author right there. In everyday life you the relationship you form with one person is going to feel different than the relationship you form with another person, but that doesn’t mean they’re not equal in their value to you. I could feel all of that in this story. Phedra’s heart is so big and she feels so much and I could feel all of those complexities and I loved it.

There is also a lot of intrigue and scheming and all of that good stuff in this novel. I’m normally not as big a fan of all of that, but for the most part I liked it in this book. Not 100% of the time, but most of the time. If you are a fan of GoT and are looking for another series to tide you over, I think this is one you should definitely pick up. The world is just as rich and there’s just as much scheming.

The other downside for me is the fantasy element is actually quite light. Yes, this is clearly a different world and it runs differently than our own, but there isn’t magic or dragons or anything like that. That was slightly disappointing to me and maybe that’s my own fault. I don’t like researching books much before I pick them up. I think that gives away too much of the story and takes that element of surprise away from me. So yep, no magic, that made me sad, but it is a very rich new world I was able to explore.

With all that being said, my review of this book is positive. I’d say pick it up if you’re a fantasy fan and aren’t intimidated by long books or sex. It’s a fun read and the world is great to get lost in. Overall, I’d recommend it and plan on continuing the series.

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with