Thursday, 15 September 2016

Frost Like Night: Review & Giveaway

Title: Frost Like Night (#3)
Author: Sara Raasch
Pub. Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Harper360
Pages: 496
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe. Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defences, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach. Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

I always struggle so hard with finale books and put them off, there are just always so many expectations and hopes riding on it. You want the finale to be utterly satisfying, one that answers all your questions and leave you feeling happy with how it all ended. A bad finale can completely ruin a series (*cough* Allegiant), and an amazing one means it solidifies that series as one of your favourites, one you recommend over and over again. I was really nervous going into this one, as I had enjoyed book one but felt the second suffered from the oh so common second-book-syndrome. I knew that the finale of this was going to make or break this series for me and I am so happy to say that it made it for me.

This finale was exactly what I needed it to be. There was so much action in this book, more than the first two books combined. The pace, and pace is very important to me, was perfect and I found myself unable to put this book down. This book also gave us a new POV, as we get Meira and Mather, as well as finally getting Ceridwen's POV. I absolutely loved that, as she quickly became my favourite character and was so happy Raasch chose to give her a POV in this one.

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Something I especially loved about this book was the character growth that we see Meira go through. She is getting more confident in her role of Queen, and the role she will need to play in order to destroy Angra. She is learning to use her power, to control it in a way she hasn't been able to before. I really came to like her character and connect with her in a way I hadn't been able to in the first two books. I have to comment on the romances in this book, as we still managed to have some adorable moments during all the action and bloodshed. I have had my ship from the beginning and felt quite confident in it. I was so happy with the romance in this book, both the main romances in fact. They were utterly adorable and great relief at times, as this book has a lot of twists, turns and shocks.

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Me the whole time I was reading this book!
I really feel like this was the best book in the whole series, it is definitely my favourite of the three. It was just so perfectly balanced. It had all of the action that you could want, but then also found time to have those slow moments with characters where you can really connect with them, where you come and care for them so much. This book got me so invested in the characters and I got so scared to continue because I didn't want anything to happen to them, and I couldn't trust that they'd all make it out of this alive. This was an action-packed book and I absolutely flew through it, I just couldn't seem to put it down.

The only reason it didn't get a perfect rating was because I felt the ending was a little too predictable. I would have given it a much higher rating if I hadn't guessed how it would end, or if there had been a bit of a shock to the ending. I had another idea for how the series might have ended and a little part of me wished that it had gone that way. By the end of the book though, I was really satisfied with the conclusion and where my favourite characters ended up and I am glad the book ended how it did.

4/5 Butterflies

I felt this was a fantastic conclusion to this series and I don't think any fans of the series will be disappointed. It had action, twists, and romance; we see favourite characters grow and change in the best possible way. This book made me laugh, it made me tear up quite a lot and it had me hyperventilating as I worried so much for the characters. If you loved the first two books then you definitely don't want to miss the finale, it is an epic conclusion to a fascinating fantasy series.

Sorting TOG Characters Into SLA Kingdoms

For a little bit of fun, as part of the Harper 360 blog tour, I have sorted three of my favourite Throne of Glass characters into the Kingdoms they would be in. I have gone for Throne of Glass characters as I am still making my way through Empire of Storms.

Celaena Sardothien - She would be in Winter, with her white blonde hair and blue eyes!

Chaol Westfall - I think Chaol would be in Cordell, as they are known for their brown eyes and brown hair.

Nehemia Ytger -Nehemia would find herself in Autumn, which sounds beautiful!

Title: Ice Like Fire (#2)
Author: Sara Raasch
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Pages: 479
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

Title: Snow Like Ashes (#1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Pages: 432
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
About Sara:
Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.
Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+ | YouTube | Amazon | Reedsy | Wattpad

3 winners will receive a signed copy of FROST LIKE NIGHT, US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
9/12/2016- Young Adult at Heart Interview
9/13/2016-  Reviews from a Bookworm Review
9/14/2016- Fiktshun Guest Post
9/15/2016- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews Review
9/16/2016- The Cover Contessa Interview

Week Two:
9/19/2016- Quartzfeather - Review
9/20/2016- Writing My Own Fairy Tale - Guest Post
9/21/2016- Bookish Lifestyle - Review
9/22/2016- Two Chicks on Books Interview
9/23/2016- Mundie Moms - Review

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Weekly Recap: YALC & London Comic Con

I have had such a hectic month, which is why I haven't really blogged much during that time (who am I kidding, I've been a useless blogger all year!). At end of last month and start of this one I got to have a week and half off work, and it was amazing. I loved every single minute of it and really didn't want to go back to work. During this time I went to London Film and Comic Con and YALC (Young Adult Literary Convention) for the third year in a row with the fiance. It was absolutely brilliant, but completely terrible for my bank account. 

Image result for yalcYALC just seems to get bigger and better every year and I loved every second of it. This year I had the chance to meet Maggie Stiefvater and V.E.Schwab, and they were both so lovely. I got sick on the day that Schwab was signing and I had to go home and missed it. Luckily, I posted about missing it on my Instagram and she saw it and let me know she'd be doing an impromptu signing the next day. So I still got to meet her and get all my books signed. Maggie Stiefvater had a talk, where she spoke about how she used to do portraits before she started writing books, and about one specific incident with an ugly baby. I was howling with laughter, she is absolutely hilarious.

My best friend and his boyfriend also came Comic Con, so we all got to hang out and shop the stalls together. As well as going out for lunch and Pokemon hunting, as LFCC was during the time where the world had gone Pokemon crazy, or at least we had. We also all spent far too much money. I bought a ton of books at YALC, but I also bought so many Funko Pop figures and some artwork whilst I was there too.

Other than Comic Con, I have gotten very behind on blogging and I haven't been reading a lot either. I have been busy with other things, plus I got into a very big reading slump and it has not been pleasant. I have been proud of the fact that I have stuck to my Instagram and still post twice a day. I'm loving Instagram and am hosting another challenge for September and I can't wait.

I did manage to get in a reread of Queen of Shadows, ready for when Empire of Storms releases. I was so grateful for past Charnell, who did the reread last year for Queen of Shadows and wrote up a chapter by chapter recap of the first three books. It saved me having to reread every single one. And I even wrote up a chapter by chapter recap of Queen of Shadows this time, so if you want a recap on any book in the series then you can find that here.

Okay, my haul for August is actually insane, I can admit that. It is of such epic proportions that the makeshift table I use for my bookstagram photos ended up collapsing under the weight of it. That is a sign of a rather huge haul! And this is probably the biggest monthly haul I have ever had, as it tops 70 books. That is because I bought so many on offer at YALC, but then also got a ton free there as well as a ton sent to me by publishers - Penguin sent me two sets of the 7 book Lorien Legacies series, which really bumped the haul up and gave me the chance to do a giveaway!

I completely understand how insane this looks, I will accept that. In my defence... Books were super cheap at YALC and I have no self control. I also managed to get 3 copies of Nevernight, as I got one at YALC and then two came in subscription boxes. I read and reviewed The Cursed Child and was really torn about it. I loved that it transported me back to a world I loved but the story itself was ridiculous and riddled with plot holes, and will never be canon for me. I managed to get a bunch of these signed at YALC and am excited to read them all. 

I received so many amazing books from publishers and whilst I was at YALC. I am super excited for Heartless, which I did a swap for, and A Torch Against the Night.

I am currently reading Frost Like Night and really enjoying it, which is good as I really didn't enjoy the second book in the series.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: Review

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Buy this book:  Amazon / Book Depository
Even if Blue hadn't been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.  But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.  This is the year she will fall in love.
I finally did it, people, I read my first Maggie Steifvater book! The most embarrassing thing is that I already own 8 Maggie Stiefvater books, without having read any of them and it has been like that for years now. The reason it took me so long to get to one was because I was nervous. The Stiefvater hype is intense, especially when it comes to The Raven Boy series. That hype is really off putting, as I feel it make my expectations skyrocket and I don't want to be left disappointed. And I also don't want to end up being the only person who didn't like this book.

Overall, I actually really enjoyed The Raven Boys and am excited to continue the series, but I will admit that I wasn't as head-over-heels in love with it as all the hype had made me believe I would be. It was really good, but it was also a little long and dragged at times. It is also so very, very strange! I have no idea how I had managed to go so long having zero clue what this book was about but I did, so I was a little taken aback by how utterly strange it all was.

Image result for i'm so confused gifI can't remember now where I saw this but, I saw someone refer to this book as 'a bunch of rich boys with a lot of money and spare time' and that is hilariously accurate. The Raven Boys us about Blue, a girl who lives in a house of psychics and is the only one without powers. She has always been told that if she kisses her true love then he will die. When, for the first time ever, she is able to see the spirit of someone who is going to die, she knows it is because he is either her true love or she will be the one to kill him... Or both. That boy turns out to be Gansey, a Raven Boy, which means someone who attends Agliongy Academy and spends all of his spare time searching for Glendower. Glendower is a Welsh noble, who Gansey believes is buried on a ley line in Henrietta, and who he also believes isn't really dead, just asleep, and can be awoken and then will grant one favour to the person who woke him. Woaaaah, COLOUR ME CONFUSED!!! And let the endless google searches begin as I try to figure out who the hell Owain Glendower is and whatever the hell a ley line is.

Now, if I am being completely honest, the Glendower search did't interest me in the slightest. It would have been way more interesting if we had learnt more of his history or if there had been more truth to the story. The fact remains that Glendower was a Welsh noble and all evidence points to him being buried in Wales. I just felt like a story centering on a Welsh noble should probably be set in Wales. I'm not sure why the decision was made to set it in America, but it is set in a fake town in Virginia, which is where Maggie Steifvater is from, so maybe it is out of laziness and writing what you know, rather than trying to set it somewhere she doesn't know very well. I personally just felt it would have been more interesting if it had been set in Wales.

I want to talk characters now though, as I really enjoyed the wonderful mix of characters here:

Blue: Despite her truly awful name, Blue was a character that I absolutely loved and could really relate to. She wasn't afraid to be herself, act how she wanted and dress how she wanted, without concerning herself with what others thought of her. I also loved how she so quickly decided that all the Aglionby boys were bastards. I highly approved!

Image result for you're so weird gifGansey: He is a really interesting character, but not exactly likeable in this book. I hope that he will become a character that grows on me. He just came off as the hopelessly rich boy with way too much time on his hands. His obsession with Glendower borders on the comple

Adam: I really felt for Adam's character, even though he could be utterly frustrating at times. He was the only Aglionby boy who wasn't swimming in money, instead he got in on a scholarship and has to work to pay for his fees. He is struggling with a lot and determined to do it all on his own, without being willing to accept help from anyone. I understood his reasoning but sometimes I just wished he could put his pride to the side and accept help when it came to certain things.

Ronan: He was probably the most fascinating of the bunch. He gets to be the dark, brooding, mysterious Raven boy. The one who has been changed by a big event in his life - his fathers murder and the fact he was the one who found the body. He's not a happy character, nor is he a friendly one. He was fascinating though and really funny, without ever trying to be. The more I learned about his character the more intrigued I became. I am beyond curious to see what becomes of him in the next book.

Image result for you're so boring gifNoah: Our fourth and final Raven Boy was Noah, a character who lacked any sort of personality whatsoever. He was just kind of always there, in the background, never really doing or saying much. I was suspicious of him from very early on as he was so underdeveloped and nobody else was. I wish his character had been handled better, as it was a little too obvious that there was 'more' to his character.

Not to mention that we had a whole hose of side characters who all had their own unique personalities, especially the other women who lived with Blue.

The story was intriguing and magical and totally weird, and not at all what I had been expecting - although I don't even know what I was expecting. The search for Glendower still seems so weird to me. I felt the story dragged a little at the end but I will definitely be continuing the series.

4/5 Butterflies

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

My Endless TBR: The Series Shame

It's time for Top Ten Tuesday and this weeks topic is:

Owned Series I Have Not Read Yet

This weeks topic means that we get to talk about our endless TBRs. Some may be little, others may be large. Mine is now at the level where I could probably build my own castle out of it and then sit upon a throne built of books. I am not joking, I think the number is reaching about 1,000 or so books. Yup... I have a problem, but you probably already knew that. So here are some of the series that I own every single book in the series, and still have not read them.

The worst part is that this isn't even all of the series where I own every single book in the series but haven't started it. I really need to stop doing that. These series pictured total up to 46 books between them and that is a lot of reading, that is just under half of what I read in year. It would take me months to read them all, but every day a new book releases that I want to read. The TBR will honestly never get smaller, it just grows every day.

Which of these series have you read and would recommend to me?

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Throne of Glass: Series Recap

Hey guys, last year when I was doing a reread of the first three Throne of Glass books, in preparation for reading Queen of Shadows, I decided to actually make notes of every chapter. I always need to reread a series when a new book is released and it is very time consuming, especially in a series as long as this. I posted my chapter by chapter recap here on the blog and it proved very popular, it still brings a ton of people to my blog even now. I didn't add Queen of Shadows at the time, as I had yet to read it. I have just done a reread of it, having read my original recap to avoid having to do a whole series reread, and have added Queen of Shadows in.

I have a terrible memory and know a lot of you guys have this problem too. Sometimes it isn't possible to reread before starting the next book, and you are left a little confused and unsure about all the details. So I really hope this chapter by chapter recap is helpful to you all. This took forever to write up and I haven't gone through it all yet, so there might be spelling errors or really crap punctuation and I apologise. I broke the books down chapter by chapter as it seemed the easiest way.This may contain far too much information, but I noted down a lot

I feel it goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, this post is going to contain spoilers for all four of the first Throne of Glass books. I like to think you all already realised that!

You can go to individual posts for all the recaps using these links: