Tag Archives: Celaena

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Overview

Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
Fantasy, Romance, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: They’d been cleaned since the last time she’d worn them years ago, the black leather still supple and pliable, the special grooves and hidden blades as precise as ever.

Synopsis

NO MASTERS. NO LIMITS. NO REGRETS.

Celaena Sardothien is cloaked in her assassin’s hood once more. She is back in Rifthold, but this time she is no one’s slave. She must delve into her most painful memories and fight for her survival, while resisting a smouldering passion that might very well consume her heart. And she will face her former master, the King of Assassins, again – to wreak revenge for a decade of pain…

Thoughts

I’ve been waiting to read this since it came out in September last year. Waiting and dying, and constantly having other, more adult things that I should be doing… so when I finally got to read this… just unbelievable, uncontrolled excitement. I made sure that I had an entire weekend free, so I could spend my days enjoying Maas’ brilliant writing. And as usual, she didn’t disappoint.

Queen of Shadows was a heart-wrenching, breath holding journey of revenge, defying the odds, and finally coming home. I loved that even though Celaena was the character I first fell in love with, her change through Heir of Fire and final transformation in the Queen of Shadows bought us to the reincarnation of Aelin. It was such a seamless transition, that I barely realised that I no longer thought of Aelin as Celaena, but rather as Aelin. This was masterfully done and made me applaud Maas’ talent and storytelling.

The love stories that made me smile and laugh so much were expanded on, I think that Maas is a true romantic, and I just love how she builds these relationships. I was even surprised at some of the turns in these plot lines – which is quite difficult to do. Not only did these tales continue, but the cast of the story also expanded. There were many more people to love and worry for – to fear for and hope for. You know that it’s a good book when you are so emotionally invested in everything that the characters experience, not just the main heroine, but the others too.

Having read The Assassin’s Blade, I loved that I was able to recognise some of the key characters in Aelin / Celaena’s past. Every time that this happened I had a moment of pure joy – I love recognising other characters, it’s like meeting a school friend.

Yet again I am left yearning for the next release in The Throne of Glass series. Bring on Empire of Storms!

<- Heir of FireEmpire of Storms ->

Image source: Live Journal

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Overview

The Assassin's Blade

Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass Companion
In: The Assassin’s Blade (Sarah J. Maas)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Romance, Short story collectionsStrong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Collection
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Roalfe croaked as she held it up in her free hand, the garnet flashing in the light.

Synopsis

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Thoughts

I loved this prequel. Side stories that were mentioned in the main Throne of Glass series are told in full in The Assassin’s Blade. We also FINALLY get to find out more about Sam – how Celaena fell for him and what happened to him. I honestly love everything about Celaena, so of course I was going to love this book. But I’m not entirely biased… or maybe I am.

I loved the format of this book; it was a series of five short stories. I liked that you could read them as entirely separate novellas, or you could read the whole lot. There was a nice thread that followed through between each story. It provided good breaks to put the book down, but it also allowed for large periods of time to pass. Unlike the main books, there are months of inaction between each story. Even though one story is the catalyst for the actions in the next, there are periods that would quite honestly be a little boring to read about.

My absolute favourite thing about this series of short stories is meeting the man who created Celaena. The complexity that Maas lends to this character is tremendous. He is impossible to completely hate, but you kind of despise him at the same time. Just read the book, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

<- More Sarah J. MaasThe Assassin and the Pirate Lord Review ->

Image source: Super Space Chick

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Overview
Heir of Fire

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Romance, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: So out they went, into the freezing night.

Synopsis

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…

The Immortal queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

Thoughts

The third book in the Throne of Glass series takes some of the things we learnt about Celaena’s past become crystallised. The greater focus on her personal journey and self are a great change of pace. Understanding her pain and past just made me love the her even more and honestly, not many series send me through the amount of emotional turmoil and ups and downs as this series.

I love that in the Heir of Fire, Celaena creates new relationships and friendships. The main relationship throughout the book – with Rowan – is complex and slowly built. It reminds us that not everyone in our lives is friendly from the beginning or even accessible. But some things are worth the fight.

The stakes become so much higher in this book. Not only does it mean that it is a lot longer than the first two books, you are also WAY more likely to cry. Or in my case, throw the book across the room in shock of the latest plot twist. It’s a testament to how well Maas can write. Her characters and plot lines are so relatable – you can’t help but fall in love!

<- Crown of MidnightQueen of Shadows ->

Image source: Live Journal

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Overview

Crown of Midnight

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
Fantasy, Romance, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Only that he’s added that little grub, Roland, to his council, and Roland seems to have been given the task of handling me.

Synopsis

CROWNED BY EVIL. BOUND BY DUTY. DIVIDED BY LOVE.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, puts those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

Thoughts

This was a fantastic follow up to Throne of Glass. Not only did it extend on the themes of the first novel, it made you even more emotionally involved in the characters (I didn’t think it was possible, but believe me, it is!). Maas builds on her characters and storyline with incredible talent and it completely sucked me in – to the point that I spent an entire day reading (and finishing) this book.

Crown of Midnight takes us into Celaena’s past and even sees new friendships and characters. Finding out about why the main character is as tough and stubborn as she is fascinated me. The rare glimpses into her formation and training as an assassin (and what preceded this) was amazing.

The love triangle started in the first book was expanded on and I honestly think that it is one of my favourite love stories. There is a heavy theme of love, lust and loss throughout the story, but it doesn’t feel like a needy, teeny story. There is still strength and independence on the behalf of all of the characters. Especially Celaena. I always hate how in stories (like Twilight), the girl finds love and basically loses herself. This doesn’t happen in the Crown of Midnight. She ultimately choses a path other than love to follow which pulls at the heart strings but makes you feel proud of her power and strength.

This story ends in an amazing cliff hanger. I wouldn’t read this unless you have the third book, Heir of Fire, to reach for. I did… and I was incredibly grateful!

<- Throne of GlassHeir of Fire ->

Image source: Fantasy Book Review

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Overview

Throne of Glass

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Romance, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: The assassin and the prince glanced at each other, their blue eyes reflecting the same intent.

Synopsis

MEET CELAENA SARDOTHIEN. BEAUTIFUL. DEADLY. DESTINED FOR GREATNESS.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted theives and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

Thoughts

I walked away from this book just saying “wow. Oh, wow.”
That response on it’s own is probably enough to tell you how amazing this book is. One of my favorites to read again and again. This was the perfect introduction to a new author, and I was hooked from the first word.

Maas uses the traditional idea of Cinderella, but weaves through a sassy dose of attitude, power and resilience. You can’t help but feel connected to Celaena and her fight to not only keep her independence, but also her life. Combined with the delightful mix of arrogance and insecurities, the heroine is someone I could truly relate to. Alright, I’m not a kick-ass assassin and I would never be able to fend for myself in Celaena’s world – but her need to be true to herself whilst also serving someone she truly despises (and thus breaking from herself) makes me think of all of the moments in life when I’ve acted against my better nature.

That’s not to mention the two wonderfully (and multi-faceted) men who will make any that-way-inclined readers’ hearts melt. Maas reminds us that not only does love exist, it’s not simple, but the journey is always interesting and worth it.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anybody who needs to be productive and can’t afford to spend the day curled up reading. Because, believe me, once you start this book, and indeed, this series, you won’t want to put it down!

<- The Assassin and the EmpireCrown of Midnight ->

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