Tag: Fantasy (page 1 of 90)

BOOK REVIEW: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J Maas

BOOK REVIEW: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J MaasA Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)
by Sarah J Maas
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

“This is Velaris,” I explained. “The City of Starlight.” 
His throat bobbed. “And you are High Lady of the Night Court.” 
“Indeed she is.” 

My blood stopped at the voice that drawled from behind me. 
At the scent that hit me, awoke me. My friends began smiling.

Out of the blue last week at work I was suddenly in the mood to pick up on where I had been on my ACOMAF audiobook, just to have some familiar noise playing in the background while I was working on a few mindless tasks. Well, SURPRISE surprise, one thing led to another and I was suddenly sucked back into the world of some of my favorite characters in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE. I realized while I had been finishing ACOMAF, though, that I had started to become a bit jaded. You see, this book did not live up to what I wanted it to be. Yes it is amazing and intense and features some GREAT scenes but it was almost too much. I think it fell into this trap of being a final book while also….not being a final book. Even though ACOWAR is the final book in Feyre’s trilogy, as we all now know, Maas is writing a few more books and novellas in this world, with these characters. In my opinion, she threw in wayyyy too many new plot points in order to end this trilogy but also set up for things to come in future books. UGH. I get it but again, I was disappointed and I don’t think I wanted to admit it to myself until I just started re-reading it.

“Because the books were full of magic, and things they wanted to keep humans from knowing.”

Because I don’t really even know how to begin reviewing this book, the “final” book in this series that has meant so much to me, I might just start by listing things I loved.

-Since the book was again in Feyre’s POV but there were so many things going on with so many characters that Maas let us see these other interactions through Feyre’s daemati powers (or through other things as well). I thought that was really well done and interesting!

-How sassy Az is. LOVED that he was the one to teach Feyre to fly. Good lord I loved getting to know him better. P.s. I ship him with Elaine x1000

-Getting glimpses into the other courts….how I need a story about Kallais and Vivienne and her becoming High Lady of Winter….we all know it’s going to happen

– Tarquin saying they’re alternating holidays with Amren and Varien..I died

-Getting kind of more Lucien again…also I want a book featuring him and perhaps Vassa???? Maybe?????

-THE FUCKING BATTLE SCENE ESP WHEN THE LAST GROUP SHOWED UP. FUCKING SOBBED MY EYES OUT.

He said at last, “I’m a warrior. I’ve walked beside Death my entire life. I would be more afraid for her, to have that power. But not afraid of her.” He considered, and added after a heartbeat, “Nothing about Nesta could frighten me.”

Aaaaand then there were the things I didn’t like as much:

-As much as I am dying for all the rest, how I think Sarah added too much. I felt overwhelmed with the ending and all of the new characters and possibly threads and directions that she possible could go in

-Elaine…lol seriously though I was sick and tired of her until the very end when she did ~the thing~

-Jurian having this weird bullshit redemption arc….didn’t buy it AT ALL.

“One life may change the world. Where would you all be if someone had deemed saving my life to be a waste of time?” 

And other, long and random/not so random thoughts:

Mor.
I fully enjoyed seeing her more vulnerable in this book. As for her whole reveal, guys, I am 100% fine with her being gay and I don’t know how more people weren’t. Didn’t feel “thrown in” like so many people are saying, wasn’t a “plot twist” –people were just calling it that on Tumblr. You guys, we only have ever gotten FEYRE’s perspective on things. And she’s been a part of the inner circle for a few months…how would she have picked up on anything but the very basics of all of their complicated relationships??? The only thing that REALLY bothered me about the whole deal is that Mor thought that she couldn’t have told any of them. ESPECIALLY AZRIEL. I’m pretty sure if it came down to it, he would have wanted her to just tell him so that he didn’t have to sit around pining for her, hoping that someday she’d change her mind. But now 500 years have gone by and he’s going to be fucked up when he finds out (even if he does start some tentative thing with Elaine). They all love her so much, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that they won’t accept ever bit of her, especially after she tells them.

CASSIAN AND NESTA.
HOLYYYYYYYYYYYYY CRAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP. They are my ship of ships. My OTP. My heart yearns for them. I had FORGOTTEN all of the little moments they share in this book. S:DLGJSODGJSEIOGJSEOPGJE$O. BUT. That being said, I recently, quickly re-read ACOFAS too and reading all of this good stuff just makes all of their interactions from that book even more fucked up. I mean I get it. Nesta 100% has a baaaaad case of PTSD after what happened with her father, after seeing this war. But fuck. It’s Cassian. If anyone knows what she’s dealing with, it’s going to be him. I am dying to any information on their book. Dying to know if they’re mates or if have always just had this weird bond because they have found each other worthy opponents from the very beginning. Sighh….

So yes. I did love this book. I love this book 4.5 stars worth and that missing .5 star was still almost enough to break my heart. I love these characters and I will happily re-read ACOMAF which is still my favorite until the day that I die. Thank you Sarah for introducing us to this court of Dreamers. I will never forget them.

Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.

BOOK REVIEW: Clouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

BOOK REVIEW: Clouded by Envy by Candace RobinsonClouded by Envy by Candace Robinson
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

Review:

Clouded by Envy was not only filled with complex characters, but it was unlike anything else I have ever read.  It was such a unique book!  Especially since it was set in the 90s, I was obsessed with all of the mentions from the past.  So if you adore fantasy books and want to read something that is unlike anything you’ve ever read before, definitely add this one to your list!

Each day she had carved a new word into the wood: selfish, lost, hate, missed, broken, insanity, misunderstood, heart, longing, and Hook.

We followed siblings, Brenik and Bray, who were fairy like creatures that called themselves bats.  They came to Earth, after escaping from their world Laith, since their kind was being hunted down and slaughtered.  While they lived in a tree, a second round of neighbors now occupied the house next door. Their new neighbors were Wes and Luca and I couldn’t wait for all of them to meet!  But Brenik and Bray’s past set them up on two entirely different journeys.  One was filled with light and the other was filled with darkness.

Bray rolled to her back, still smiling, as she stared up at the ceiling. Her chest was still filled with happiness—more than in The Goonies when those kids found the ship of treasure.

Bray was such a joy to be around.  Her happiness was absolutely infectious and her interactions with Wes and Luca made me laugh and smile.  The more we learned about Wes and Luca, oh my heart. I liked them right from the start.  And I kept my fingers crossed that something would happen between Bray and Wes. It was all so innocent but at the same time magical.  Their moments together were tender and it felt like they were made for each other. Wes could be so serious and Bray was a bundle of fun, they complimented each other perfectly.  Well, except for the fact that he was a human and she was a fairy.

His head was a place he could not escape—an internal battle with no end. It wasn’t her— it was never her— it was always him. Brenik got that, but it didn’t stop it. Nothing did.

We alternated chapters between Bray and Brenik, and Brenik’s chapters had such a different feel to them.  Not only was he jealous of his sister, but he was completely self-centered and didn’t always think about the consequences for his actions.  He just wanted instant gratification.  Some of his moments could be so erotic and then it would take a turn down a dark and twisted path and I was left with my mouth hanging wide open.  I didn’t like Benik at all, but ironically his chapters were consuming.  His thoughts and the dark road he traveled down was impossible to turn away from.

Reaching forward, Wes placed his palm to her chest. “This is what makes you beautiful, Bray… Your heart.” He leaned forward and kissed the delicate area and caressed his way up, until he met her mouth.

On top of watching what happened to Bray and Brenik, there were also mysteries to figure out.  I had some guesses, and while I didn’t figure out Bray’s, I figured out what would happen with Brenik.  Since Brenik went down that darker path, I have to give a trigger warning for –View Spoiler ». Usually that sends me over the edge and makes me livid.  But it didn’t and when you read this story you’ll see why. So when I reached the end of the book, I was shocked what a trip the epilogue was! The ending left us at the perfect stopping point but at the same time we were set-up perfectly for a spin-off book. I for one am super excited and can’t wait to read it!

BOOK REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie GarberLegendary (Caraval #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever...

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.

“Not everyone gets a true ending. There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.”

Some books are instant reads. Some books take a while to sink in. Some books you know you need to wait until you’re in the right mood. And some books-some books will be good no matter when you start them. That is this book.

“Scar, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I swear there is nothing going on between Dante and me. You know how I feel about boys who are prettier than me.”

But, in this case, it was also that other book that I wasn’t in the mood to read until recently. And do you see what the result was? Do you understand how it wickedly dipped it’s claws into my heart, gouging me from within, causing rivulets of blood to seep into my soul? We all know Garber loves her blood, though, am I right?

For it was also said the Prince of Hearts was not capable of love because his heart had stopped beating long ago. Only one person could make it beat again: his one true love. They said his kiss had been fatal to all but her—his only weakness—and as he’d sought her, he’d left a trail of corpses.

I needed this book when I was at my lowest of lows, when no other book was doing it for me, when I didn’t even know it was the cure. I’ll admit that, while everyone probably knows I’m an emotional mood reader, this book took a little longer for my interest to pique. Was it because I had gotten the Caraval ARC so long ago that the new release seemed underwhelming because of time? Was it because my daughter was born only two months before and I just was too exhausted to pick it up, then lost track of time and forgot all about it and eventually decided ‘eh, I’ll pick it up when I pick it up since it’s not shiny and new anymore?’ Was it really a time thing? Or was it something deeper? Did I know my heart would yearn for the more complex, yet so wonderfully simple, things in life the older and (dare I say) more mature (sophisticated?) I got? No matter the reason, I wasn’t ready for this book, and if I had read it sooner I’d have ruined it. That’s what I do know.

So enter Tella.


I’m not the type of person that likes when main characters change, so I was having a somewhat hard time reconciling the fact that I was no longer going to be following Scarlett and Julian as closely. But once this book got past the first couple chapters-I was hooked. The love interest, to me, didn’t seem like he was going to bring anything new to the table, and perhaps he didn’t, but all of sudden, when we got to that ball, early on, I was done. In fact, that scene was pivotal in so many ways it shaped the tone for the rest of the story.

Scarlett was Tella’s person—the one someone in the world whom Tella could always count on. Tella might not have believed in falling in love, but she had literally bet her life that Scarlett loved her. Tella would destroy the world before she allowed anything to happen to her sister.

Tella is headstrong. Tella loves adventure and men and living life to the fullest-and she loves her sister so dearly she trusted that she’d come through for her during Caraval. But Tella doesn’t believe in love. She doesn’t believe in giving herself over to someone so fully they can hurt you. Unless it’s her sister, or, in this case, her mother, expending that love to anyone else is a risk-and she’s not willing to take it. But Dante is dark and alluring and he always seems to come through for her. And I’m so trash for it-I really am.

Tella had exchanged things with other young men, but never hearts, and though she still had no plans to relinquish that part of her to Dante, she was beginning to understand how hearts could be slowly given away, without a person even realizing. How sometimes just a look, or a rare moment of vulnerability like the one Dante had just shared with her, was enough to steal a fraction of a heart.

And that’s the thing with this series-I feel like I can’t say much about anything, yet the art and the fangirling and the obvious love for it is everywhere, so how do people not know things? I’ll stay true to myself and not spoil anything…but man do I want to. Scarlett is on her own secret missions, Julian knows something he’s not telling anyone, Tella meets a mysterious new guy, Jacks, who is more than meets the eye, and the stakes of Tella winning the game are so high-they might just cost her her life. This book is so out of this world imaginative without being crazy (I lie-it’s so crazy), I can’t help but to fall deeper and deeper in love with it the more I think about it.



The seamstress shook her head, again muttering something about Tella having no idea what sort of game she was playing.
But Tella knew exactly what type of game she was a part of: one that would destroy her and the people she cared about if she didn’t win.

There’s just something so deep and moving, to me, when a male character plays like he can’t be the hero for the heroine and, in this case, truly means it and exercises it. But they are always always first in line to save the damsel in distress, to do sacrificial things that don’t seem like a big deal to them but are actually the world to the heroine and, actually, extremely deadly, and who would stop time, move the world, and alter the stars to make sure the girl doesn’t die and…these heroes speak to my heart, make my soul soar, and make a giddy fangirl out of me. And, even better? I love when the hero and heroine have a witty repartee going. And I love love love when the girl has another guy nipping at her heels, making the hero have to show a little grit of the teeth, a little tensing of that square jaw, and a flash of jealousy in those heavenly eyes. Again-trash for it.

DROWN IN IIIIT

And Julian like…I can’t help but be obsessed with him as well, too. His story is so amazing, to me, the way he would do anything for the girl he loves, even though he has serious commitments elsewhere-in this book we see Scar and Julian’s relationship tested, and Julian falters a lot…but I think we’re in for an epic end to that love story and I’m so here for it-I always loved these two, and I loved that we got to see it here. And that’s the thing-I never care for other couples when it comes time to move on, but we can’t truly move on from these sisters. They have two sexy as hell brothers, and I need both of their HEAs in my life, OKAY?!

“If you’re here to learn about Legend,” he said, “I can tell you more than anyone inside there.”
“Would you tell me who he is?” Tella asked.
“You know I can’t do that.”
“You could if you were Legend.”
Dante’s voice rumbled with a laugh. “If I was Legend I’d definitely never tell you.”
“Because you don’t trust me?”
“No,” he answered slowly, gently tugging her even closer. “I’d hold on to my secret because I’d want to keep playing the game with you, and if I told you the truth it would spoil all the fun.”

And the peril. Like…no it’s not crazy but there are so. Many. Scenes. That take my breath away, that made me gasp and smile simultaneously (because I’m a sick individual, we know this), and one scene even resulted in epic proportions unmeasured in recent history. Well, okay, I’ve had some good peril moments lately (and I bet in book 3 we’ll get mooooreeee), but there are two scenes that make my life complete. I love them. I need them. I want more of them. I shall return for them and re read them over and over and over again-I do so love a good hero saving ‘not his girl but he sure loves this girl’ scenes. I don’t think there are enough well written scenes that test the hero’s willingness to die for the girl…we need more of this, yes? Yes. Always. Infinitely. Never enough.

Tella claimed she didn’t want love—she liked to say love trapped and controlled and ripped hearts apart. But the truth was she also knew love healed and held people together, and deep down she wanted it more than anything. She enjoyed the kisses, but a part of her always wished that whenever she walked away from a boy he’d run after her, beg her to stay, and then promise he’d never leave.

And, because of said romantically perilistic scenes that had me so happy I could have peed my pants, I immediately took to the Twitter verse I’m so horrible at to find special editions of each (I am in such huge trouble here. SUCH HUGE TROUBLE). And. Every. Caraval and Legendary and Finale edition. That’s right-I’ve spent way too much, and gotten way too much merch. And I STILL haven’t found it all-but I’m SO CLOSE I CAN TASTE IT. My Finale luck has been immense, But that’s due to my awesome foresight (and UK Bestie, the unshakeable Pea) and ability to realize I need that bright red cover in my life, and all it’s brothers and sisters right next to it-all shapes and sizes and colors and ethnicities-we’re all equal here, okay? One love and all that jazz? I don’t discriminate-paperbacks, hardbacks, colored pages, signed pages, UK editions, different colored editions, book box editions…I want them all, I need them all. But, alas, I’ve failed on at least two-I’m hoping my luck changes! EEPS!

…there was more to life than staying safe.

So, here we are. I’m just a girl, loving a book, falling harder for a series many are obsessed with, spending more money than I have on merch and pining away for the final book. But maybe that’s the thing-my body wouldn’t let me read the second book so quickly because it knew I’d need the last book as soon as possible. But honestly, really, do you think this was an accident? Fooled you all. I had it planned the whole time, you sillies.

Now who’s the genius.

**********************

Why. Why did I wait so long to read this book? Where has this book been all my life?

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of my slump flying far, far away.

RTC

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BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

“You are in the right place, at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that is enough.”

Books have the power to transport us. To transform us. To take us anywhere in the world we want to go. We can live different lives, become the hero, become someone we’re too scared to be in real life. We get to be the best version of ourselves, and it’s all nestled in the pages of books. But who tells us those stories? Are the storytellers the heroes themselves? Do the authors live their best life, or are they living out a fantasy right alongside us, bringing their dreams to life, letting us immerse ourselves into their delicately woven illusions? That’s the power of storytelling…and it’s the heart of this book.

The circus is one of those phenomenons that either strike you odd or ignite your whimsical, child-like side that can’t help but be addicted to it’s splendor. I’ll admit I’ve never had an opinion either way-yes, I went as a child, but no, not often and not enough to truly obsess about it. But during college, I picked up a book centered around a circus because it was coming out as a movie-Water for Elephants. I loved it. And I can’t say I immediately needed more books about a circus, but I wasn’t who I am now. I didn’t think to expand on a topic that was new to me, that appealed to me, because I simply didn’t understand that I could. The thought didn’t even cross my mind.. I didn’t obsess like I do now. And…well…I can obsess like no one’s business.

And here’s the thing-circuses are, like, a coveted theme now. Caraval, Legendary (which is what lead me here because I NEED MORE CIRCUS), and, obviously, as mentioned above, Water for Elephants. And, ya know, I just can’t seem to find that many circus books that appeal to me. Everyone is obsessed, there are movies that touch on it, and yet, these are the only circus books that speak to me, and they are all vastly different. One is about running away with the circus to chase your dream and finding out the circus is far darker than you could ever have imagined. One is whimsical and flowery and completely mysterious-a game within a game within a game. And then, inexplicably, one is literally made because of a game. The sole purpose of the characters’ lives…is to win a game against an unnamed opponent. So here we are. My point in all this was-it’s a total fandom and I’m just now jumping on the bandwagon, but I fell hard after Finale (especially), and now I have nowhere to go, like I’ve hitched my wagon to a horse that’s reached the end of it’s journey.

I wouldn’t change it for the world-I’ve piqued with Tella and Scarlett, Dante and Julian, Jacob and Marlena, and, most recently, Marco and Celia. It’s been a slow journey over the years, building up into something inexplicably magical and wholly unattainable, when you get right down to it. Nothing will ever live up to this wonderful batch of books. And, with this latest discovery, I feel so wholly…uplifted.

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

When I finished this book, it was like the air was vacuumed from my lungs-I was breathless. Speechless. I was crying, FFS. Like…why? It wasn’t as if this whole book wasn’t beautiful-it was-and the romance??? My God the romance. It was everything. The atmosphere? Otherworldly. Mesmerizing. Dazzling. Glamorous. But it was as if a piece was missing. I adored it, mind you, but it felt unfinished, in a way. I couldn’t explain it. I was missing that unforgettable ‘wow’ factor everyone seemed to have grasped onto. And I didn’t get it because I had gotten what I wanted-the peril. The romance. The break down. The ultimate sacrifice. Yet my heart wasn’t full. But then. Then.

“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words.”

I can’t explain it. I still can’t, even after sleeping on it. Words have truly failed me-And words are what help me express what’s built up inside me, helps me move on and feel whole after finishing a book I love, or, in some cases, didn’t love. But, the best I can explain it is like this: Imagine you got everything you wanted…but didn’t know what you needed to make you feel complete. You just knew something was missing. And then. THEN. The end. The narrator. The representation of what it means to tell stories. To create worlds. To bring everyone together through intricately woven layers of words that bring vivid imagery to your mind, but still letting people see it as they wish, played out in their own minds as they want to-the story is the same, but everyone gets there differently-different images and different people and different ideas.

“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

The way words are made so powerful with a few sentences…it makes your not-so-full heart suddenly overflow with words-so many words-too many words-Emotions, ideas, realizations. It makes the romantic peril so much more. The end of the game’s meaning becomes vastly larger. The people surrounding the players come to life so vividly, like you didn’t even see them the whole time, even though they were so clearly there. I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. All I know is I’m gone for this book, and it’s like it all clicks into place, all at once, and this book is groundbreaking, jaw-dropping, and axis tilting. And never in my life has this happened to me. Ever.

Brilliant. Breathtaking. Awe-inspiring. Spellbinding. And still I find my review inadequate and feel as though I’m a kindergartner posing as an adult. But let’s get to the reason this novel spoke to me (I mean yes the end, but the romance still owns my soul).

“Celia, wait,” Marco says, standing but not moving closer to her. “You are breaking my heart. You told me once that I reminded you of your father. That you never wanted to suffer the way your mother did for him, but you are doing exactly that to me. You keep leaving me. You leave me longing for you again and again when I would give anything for you to stay, and it is killing me.”
“It has to kill one of us,” Celia says quietly.”

I don’t even know how to explain what Celia and Marco have, and I surely don’t know how to explain what their game truly entailed-it wasn’t what I expected in any capacity, and I find it almost jarring. It was technically a battle, yes, but was it really? To me it was watching from afar, gazing at someone that you could never possibly have, yet falling for them anyway, trying to dazzle them without them realizing it and, more importantly, you not even realizing it, yourself. Not realizing you have fallen for that someone yourself and that you’re trying to impress them more than actually win the game. And, surrounding that, we have characters that I didn’t think I could possibly be interested in, yet I had just as much of my heart at stake with them as with Celia and Marco.

“I have tried to let you go and I cannot. I cannot stop thinking of you. I cannot stop dreaming about you.”

Okay. Well. Not AS much, but technicality.

And the sacrifice on top of sacrifice and technically forbidden love. The slow build. The feeling of falling for someone without trying to, fighting it every step of the way until you realize you’re already too far gone. And, the end, when you reveal what we all already knew but needed confirmed-that wish tree. Revealing your deepest truth.. I got intense and immeasurable feels, tears sprang to my eyes (still, though, not as much as at the end, inexplicably), and it was like the saddest but happiest conclusion. Amazing. And still, I have no breath left to breathe.

And, I do feel I need to say this, but I feel as if I’m stealing someone else’s words. Arielle is the reason I tried this book again, so I obviously looked at her review before giving this one a go. And I’ll quote her indirectly to address one of the more appealing aspects of this book-the chapters that use 2nd person POV to make you feel as though you’re walking around the circus yourself. She nailed it on the head-it’s so surreal, and it almost doesn’t work and you kind of question it, but, in the end, it immerses you into the story and it makes you feel as if you’re a part of the world, which only heightens your senses and makes the feels more intimate. And, okay, that was EXTREME paraphrasing and lots of my own thoughts mixed in, but you get the idea. You feel like you’re in the circus and, in the end, that adds to the breathlessness and utterly profound feeling, too.

I’ll admit this one isn’t for all. Yes, I will be pushing it on people, much like many of my favorites. Though, it takes someone special, someone willing to fight through not only an extremely slow burn romance, but a slow build-up to anything really happening, as well. But, once again, this new Chelsea has found a book that’s slow paced and somewhat day to day, a book she’d have hated back in the day, a book that she will cherish forever. This book is made for us readers and storytellers, it’s like a love note to those who want to voice their dreams…and it’s so utterly magnificent and glamorous that I can’t help but continue to ramble, continue to push, continue to buy all the editions of it (woo buddy I’ve got a pretty one coming!)-and what else can you really ask for in a story? I mean, honestly.

****

Words cannot express the emotion I felt upon finishing this book. This was so much more than a romance-and I never say that. This is for all the readers who feel they are never heard, understood. Who feel they are out on an island with no one to listen to them. For those who feel the world has lost it’s whimsy. Who feel that storytelling is considered a lost form of art. This book has such a deep, profound message that you can’t truly unfurl until the very last page-and, somehow, it makes this book so much better. So much more meaningful-it strikes you deaf and dumb and speechless. And, most importantly, it gives a voice to the readers and story-tellers who strive to keep words alive.

I was breathless when I closed this book. I had tears in my eyes. A story seared into my soul.

Dazzling. Enchanting. Breathtaking.

A forever favorite.

There are truly no words to express the depth of respect I have for this book and it’s creator.

RTC.

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Bring Me Their Hearts (Bring Me Their Hearts #1) by Sara Wolf

BOOK REVIEW: Bring Me Their Hearts (Bring Me Their Hearts #1) by Sara WolfBring Me Their Hearts (Bring Me Their Hearts #1)
by Sara Wolf
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

 

 
I want nothing more than to stay in this moment, my hand in his. But that’s an impossibility. A weakness. I am a monster, and he’s a human. I want his heart, and I want his other heart. His affection, his blood. I want it all.
But if I take one, I can’t have the other.

Ahhh what a conundrum. This book was just…silly. I’m sorry, but a story that obviously was in capable hands of being well-written (it was, but it wasn’t) was so repetitive and confused in it’s tone that I couldn’t fall head over heels for it-even though it contained everything I love in a fantasy.

Was this a fantasy, though? I guess it was…It just felt more paranormal to me, and I am NOT a fan of paranormal-at least, not anymore. There’s just something so tacky, to me, about it. But, I don’t want to start off on the negative-let’s talk about what worked here. For one, Prince Lucien. He was, in full truth, the reason I pushed (And I do mean, pushed) through to the end and didn’t DNF. And I, like, never DNF a book.

He just had some of the most tortuous moments, the most endearing personality, even though I think he fell too quick and too easily, in my opinion. I mean, he starts off so guarded and then begins flirting with her awfully easy. But that’s neither here nor there, because he was literally the shining light of this identity crisis of a book. I’ll admit that I was drawn in by the perilous edge to it all, but it fell short in tone and what it was trying to be.

Right here, right now, even if it hurts—I can pretend to be perfect, human, free. Whole.

One minute they are all bantering and laughing and joking with JLA type conversations, then the next, someone is dead or being killed. It’s just so effing weird. And I know this happens in real life but-like-what? She and he would be dancing, then there’s a stampede, a little girl is being trampled, and her eye being torn from its socket. Again-what?

They can belittle me, they can mock me, they can tear me apart. But they can’t kill me. Only my own mistakes can do that.
Only I can do that.

One minute the prince doesn’t trust her-yet his bodyguard sure seems to like her???-and then he meets her in the streets and they are buddy buddy because of a hidden secret. But, again, I implore-how could a crown prince, after years of these types of marriage hand-offs, be so easily fooled by a pretty face, someone trying to kill him?

It was so easy a week ago. But now he has a face. Now he has a story. Now he stands here, looking at me as if I’m the greatest mystery in the world, his eyes both sad and hungry—starving for something he’s never known the name of.
Challenge. An equal. A friend. He’s starving for it all.
Starving for me.

And yes, I’ll admit it, the end was pretty good-but also it made me laugh. And it made me mad, the things she said to him, even though it was legit and I normally love it. It made me flinch and, frankly, hate her a little, in that moment. I just-he was my favorite person in this story and for him to be hurt in any way-it stings and it really rubbed me the wrong way- even though, again, I eat that up normally.

I suppose the biggest problem with this story, for me, stems from her monster. I think it literally killed this book. She’ll be falling for the prince (duh) and then it’s like KILL HIM RIP HIS FLESH FROM HIS BONES and it just does. Not. Fit. It’s on every other page. And how many times does she have to reiterate:

But I am a heartless, and this is my job.
But soon, he will be dead by my hand
He doesn’t know it’s his last night
I am a monster
He doesn’t understand the monster lurking beneath

And so on and so forth and what have you. Legit-You hear this All. The. Time. And it makes me so sad because subtlety would have made this so beyond epic I wouldn’t be able to stand it. If she had reiterated less. If the Prince wouldn’t have fallen so easy (though, it wasn’t insta-love in any fashion). If her monster would have (I’m sorry, I swore not to cuss anymore in reviews but) STFU. Do you understand how chilling it could have been if the monster appeared every once in a while, just creepily lurking under the surface, us all knowing it’s laying in wait? And if she would have-maybe-mentioned twice that she had a job to do instead of every other page? This book would have truly been excellent-well, aside from the identity crisis. But, honestly, getting rid of the monster inside her would have cleaned up the silliness a bit.

I don’t know. I really don’t. The villain was actually great-very evil, indeed. Though, I’ll say this, too (view spoiler)???? I’m sorry-LOTS of people would do this and it’s silly that that struck a chord in him-It’s called having a heart, buddy. Oh. Wait. Lmao. Whatever. Pun not intended but it’s well-received, I think.

I am no flower to be ravaged at your whim, angry wolf—I am your hunter, bow cocked and ready. I am a Heartless, one of the creatures your people fled from in terror thirty years ago.
I let the smallest, hungriest smirk of mine loose on him.
If you were smart, you’d start running, too.

Every other character was so overly dramatized that it became unbelievable and comical. I liked the guard, and he was good intended comic relief, but too trusting in my opinion. Prince Lucien was the best character overall, but I feel like he deserved to be a part of literally any other book in the world because this one was kind of a stinker, our main character annoyed the crap out of me ( I really liked her sometimes, but joke joke joke joke joke and they started to become reminiscent of my all time least favorite- Oh holy alien babies), and the girl that helps them? My LORD she is so overly dramatic I wanted to punch her every time she entered the book.

So, all in all this wasn’t a win for me. I had just gotten surgery and I felt tired ALL THE TIME, especially when I picked this up. Which could be a side effect but…how in the world did I finish Outlander all bright-eyed and bushy tailed? Seems fishy, to me. And it just had so much potential…wasted. And yet..I gave it a 3. Welp…2 would really suffice BUT… that end was JUST good enough to rope me in (DAMN YOU, PERIL I AM A SLAVE TO THEE) besides that twist that was predictable and eyeroll worthy and Prince Lucien deserves my support. Ha-whadya guna do??

***************

My God why? Just…no. This was…cringeworthy, at best.

BUT. I will read the next-I mean…Prince Lucien.

RTC.

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