Tag Archives: Eagerly awaiting

Book Review: Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

throne-of-glass-uk-cover

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from her prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard with protect her. And a princess from a foreign land will become to one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells within the castle – and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival – and a desperate quest to root out the source of evil before it destroys her world.

***

These books have a bit of everything: action, fantasy, mystery, romance, all accompanied by a reasonable amount of blood and gore. But then, what do you expect when the main character is an assassin?

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Throne of Glass tells the story of Celaena’s fight for freedom, as it introduces us to our arrogant, sassy, strong, yet nonetheless flawed main character. Celaena travels to Rifthold to fight for her freedom, only to find herself caught up in the lives of those around her. Yes, there is a love triangle, but no, it does not become the focal point of the novel. Not at all. Instead, mystery enfolds Celaena shortly after she arrives. Just who is killing all of the competitors? What exactly does Elena want from her? And who can Celaena really trust? All this set against a brilliant fantasy backdrop!

Crown of Midnight continues Celaena’s story where the first book leaves off. Celaena is still in Rifthold and she treads a fine line between life and death, danger always surrounding her. It is in this book that we truly learn more about Celaena and her hidden past. It is in Crown of Midnight where we really witness the danger this deadly assassin poses to the country, and to those around her.

It took me some time to properly get into Throne of Glass – I liked the characters, but something about the story didn’t really grab me until I was half way through… After that, I tore through the novels. And I can honestly say that I really liked them!

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Book Review: Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

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The U.S. cover

For it has been many years since she left the place where her hands were crippled by a fire – years in which she has nurtured her special talent with animals.

Sevenwaters is also much changed. It is now enslaved by the fey prince Mac Dara, a force of malignant magic who is responsible for a party of travellers disappearing. When Maeve discovers the body of one of the missing men, she and her brother Finbar are lured to the Otherworld on a journey that may save Sevenwaters… or lead to catastrophe.

If Maeve is ever to dream of a future, she must confront the darkness of her past.

The first thing I have to say about this book is that I don’t love the blurb… This is truly a fantastic novel, and I just don’t think that the blurb does it justice. Personally, if I was unsure of Juliet Marillier, if I didn’t already know that I have loved every single one of her books, I might not have picked this up. As it was, I pre-ordered the American edition, just because I couldn’t didn’t want to wait the extra month for the Australian edition. And I’m glad that I didn’t wait.

Flame of Sevenwaters was everything I expected, and so much more.

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(Semi)Book Review: Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Rating: 4.5/5

As a MASSIVE Juliet Marillier fan I feel privileged to live in Australia as it means I was able to buy her newest book Shadowfell earlier in the month (apologies to US fans who have to wait until September!). And I devoured it. I would have posted about reading it earlier, but I’ve been busy recovering from the book-hangover it induced.

It is marketed as a young adult novel, but I would argue (and my mother would agree!) that Shadowfell is the kind of book everyone can enjoy, no matter their age.  I really enjoyed this novel – in particular the main character Neryn and Flint, and the Good Folk who surround them. As usual, Marillier’s novel is brilliantly crafted and entirely gripping. aplaceformorethoughts

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I don’t normally reblog other people’s posts… but I really admire Christopher Ruz and it’s great to read about his writing process – and his plans for what might happen later! A great interview with a great writer. 🙂

The Metanautics Department

One of the fringe benefits of doing reviews is that if I come across a book that I really like, I may have the chance to speak to the author and do a little information gathering from a fan’s perspective. So, I’m going to kick off a series of “book-based” interviews with Christopher Ruz, author of the recently-reviewed Century of Sand. Christopher is in Australia and I’m on the East Coast of the USA, but thanks to the wonders of Skype we were able to talk in real time and inject a little spontaneity into the proceedings.

Warning: as the title states, this interview contains many spoilers for Century of Sand. So, you’d better hurry up and finish it before you read onward…

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Upcoming…

BooksBooksBooks!

That is exactly what my mind is screaming at me… In an excited, fan-girly way, naturally. It is the National Year of Reading, and there are so many books awaiting publication that I am looking forward to getting my hands and my eyes on!

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Games as a ‘valuable learning tool’

After watching the Gabe Zichermann video ‘Gamification’ (see here), I started trawling the web for articles and research to support the idea of games as a tool of learning. And I found this…

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Games and Learning

A good friend brought this video to my attention, and I must say, I was incredibly impressed by Zichermann’s presentation, by the concepts of fluid intelligence and gamification. I am a traditionalist (as noted on other occasions), I am one of those people who idealise sitting by a window with a cup of tea and a book, but I realise that such a situation is not for everyone, and particularly that it is not for many of the kids who are in our schools and our libraries right now. aplaceformorethoughts

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