Tag Archives: Sarah J Maas

Book Review: Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas.

Queen of Shadows is the fourth installment in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. It carries on the story of Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, once known as Celaena Sardothien, as she utilizes and faces her horrifying past in order to become the queen she was born to be.

After the disappointment of Heir of Fire, I was in no rush to read this book. It had been sitting on my windowsill since December until I decided, this week, to force myself to finish it. And I am glad I did.

The first half of the book seemed rather slow and played out, a lot of what was written seemed rather irrelevant and could have been left out. I would give specific examples if there were not so many to choose from.
The second half of the book, on the other hand, was very fast paced and kept to the storyline and point as much as possible. When I hit that switch in the book, I could not put it down.

As usual, Sarah’s writing is almost impossible to fault, being economical, well structured, and correct in all senses of the word. Her storytelling is another story. As I have said, a lot of what she writes is unnecessary. The stories and characters also seem rather unoriginal, a lot of the time, as I pointed out in my review on Throne of Glass.
On a more positive note, she does have a certain knack for creating strong bonds and emotions between her readers and her books. She did with me, at least. I found myself trapped in an unrelenting cycle of emotion whilst reading this. From excitement, to rage, to disgust, to sadness, to worry, the list goes on. I even cried, which only three books have ever been able to make me do.

Going back again to previous reviews for this series, I would like to make a note that, while most of the characters have stayed the same, the story, and a few characters, have finally shown some form of progression. It only took four books.
As for the characters who have not progressed, they have become increasingly more annoying. Aelin and Rowan’s romance still sickens me, as it completely stole a defining trait from Aelin’s personality and made her as cliché as any other protagonist with a love story.
It was interesting, however, to see Aelin finally have an emotion other than grief. It made reading about her a lot more palatable.

The book is predictable and only managed to surprise me a couple of time within its six hundred and forty-five pages. AND Sarah is still using those godforsaken ‘phantom’ metaphors and similes.
Although, Sarah has put reins on her character switching in this book. There is still plenty of it, however, it is used much more effectively and flows naturally with the storytelling.

Even with the lack of progression and the boring first half, the latter half was very strong and well written, and much more enjoyable. Needless to say, I recommend this to the same readership as the previous books in the series.



Book review: ‘Heir of Fire’ by Sarah J. Maas

Okay, I haven’t done one of these in a while and am a little rusty, so don’t hate on me too much if this is a terrible review.

I read this book quite a while back, which really doesn’t help my struggling to write this review. Truth be told, I can’t actually remember a whole lot of it, but I think that’s more down to me not enjoying it very much, more than me having read it so long ago.

Heir of Fire is the third book in a series of 6, I believe, though not all of them have yet been released, or even written, for that matter.
I have read the first two installations in the Throne of Glass series (Throne of Glass and Heir of FIre), as well as the prequel novellas that have been compiled into The Assassin’s Blade, and, with the exception of the novellas which I didn’t enjoy too much at all, the series seems to be getting progressively worse with each book.

On a whole I enjoy the books and the series, but when the end of the series comes, I  think I’ll be forcing myself to finish that last book.
Anyway, on to the book!

It’s already been made pretty clear that I was not overly fond of this book. It had its good parts and bad parts, as almost all books do, but the bad outweighed the good.
The story and the characters have all become a lot more cliché in this instalment. Celaena, despite revealing her true self and becoming this magically powered Fae queen, has fallen victim to a typical love story with her bad-boy, Fae, soldier boyfriend, and their hate/love relationship.
Alongside becoming cliché, everything has become very predictable, even more so than it already was.
Another thing I disliked about this book, and this goes for the entire series, is that there is a serious lack of progression, for both characters and writing. Everything I’m reading not only feels as though it’s been repeated a hundred times, but the writing itself hasn’t aged, or matured, or grown. And if I have to read a ‘phantom’ simile or metaphor one more time, I may start tippexing the damn book. As for the characters, while they may be becoming more powerful or have new things happening in their lives, they are the same things but simply told differently, or things end up exactly like they were beforehand.
The books have lost all of their shock and awe factor, with everything moving at a turtle’s pace, if that turtle was a baby and that baby turtle was dragging weights through thick mud. This book could have had at least a third cut out.
The last thing I will slate about this book is the constant switching between characters and stories. One minute I’m reading about Celaena, then it’s Chaol, then it’s Dorian, then it’s Dorian through the nurse’s eyes, then it’s Chaol through Dorian’s eyes, then it’s Celaena through her instructor/boyfriend’s eyes – UGH!

Okay, now the good things. Hmm. Good things…
Well, one good thing is Chaol, and if he ever dies or if his character gets ruined, I am going to drop this series like a ton of bricks. I think Chaol is a great character, and one of the few in these books that I actually enjoy. It was refreshing to see him finally having his own story, rather than just being a side to Dorian or Celaena.
The balance of humour, action, romance, and everything else of the sort is still enjoyable. If I’m honest, I think most of the good things about this book are simply things that haven’t been ruined from the previous books. I can’t seem to think of anything that this book brings that is both, good and new.

Given the lack of progression in style, writing, and characters, I recommend this to the same audience that I have the first two instalments.



Book review – ‘The Way of Shadows’ by Brent Weeks

Oh my God! Where do I even begin?

This book is absolutely astounding! I had doubts about it when reading the first chapter, but as soon as that was done with, I didn’t want to put it down. I loved almost every second of it.
If I’m being honest, it’s hard to think of very many faults with this book, if any.
I’ve never read a Brent Week book before, and had never heard of him (and probably never would have) until  my brother in law’s friend recommended this book to me, and leant it to me, too.
It’s an incredible mixture of everything I love about books. The storyline was breathtaking- with so much diversity, and so many surprises, which continue until the very end of the book, it’s hard to not want to read on. In fact, if I had the second book in my possession, I would start reading the moment I finish this post.
All of the characters develop so naturally with the book, and become so much more complex and rich as their back-stories are revealed. Also, with such a wide array of characters on offer (some quite literally), it’s going to be difficult for anyone to not become invested in or emotional towards at least one or two of them. I, personally, absolutely hate Roth, I connect with Elene and Logan, think Momma K is such a real character, and just flat out love Durzo Blint.
The book is exceptionally well balanced – no, not its weight. It manages to maintain non-stop action throughout, without taking anything away from the storyline  or the progression of the book. Not to mention the concoction of other things working alongside the action: romance, comedy (Dorian is hilarious, oh my God!), the development and unravelling of a fantasy world, the tackling of real life problems, and so much more.

The world is one I find particularly capturing. So dark and so corrupt, I was always going to love it. I’d say it’s unlike any world I’ve ever read about or seen before, but that would simply not be true. To be perfectly candid, it seems to me that a couple of popular stories and worlds have spawned from this one, and have, not necessarily ripped it off, but have definitely stolen a few things from it. The first one that comes to mind is the Game of Thrones series. Now, I haven’t actually read the Game of Thrones books, but, if they are anything like the TV show, I feel the world of Westeros definitely owes a few thanks to Mr Weeks. Another world this book seems a little too similar to, to me, is Erilea, the fantasy world created by Sarah J. Maas. In the case of Erilea, it’s more the story of the Throne of Glass series that is similar, not the actual world.
The world of Midcyru, the world of The Night Angel trilogy, is built on such strong foundations, and has so much depth, that it almost seems real – very cliché, I know. Everything about it is so amazing. From the slums to the castles, from the assassins to the wetboys, from the wytches to the vurdmeisters, from the prostitutes to the kings, from bottom to top, the world is full of ingenuity and brilliance.

Not only does Brent Weeks have a talent for world creation, character development, and narrative, he is also a genuinely and generally amazing writer. He’s the type of writer you can’t get bored of. His timing is excellent, his wordplay is brilliant, he is well structured, he isn’t repetitive like a lot of writers, he really connects to the reader and makes the book seem so real, and the list goes on.
I would say that the only problem I have found with his writing is that, while he does make you feel emotion towards the characters and the book, he doesn’t make the emotions strong, like, at all.

I think this book is absolutely amazing, for all the reasons that I have just given, and more. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark fantasy, action, the Game of Thrones series, and or the Throne of Glass series. Just, don’t read it if you’re like ten years old or something. Teens and above, guys and girls, teens and above.



Book Review – Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas

Errrrrr, Sarah. No. That’s not… what do you think you’re… how could you… this is not how this works, Mrs Maas!

This book was amazing! Plain and simple. As much as I now hate Mrs Maas, for reasons I shall not divulge, for sake of spoilers, I didn’t want to put this book down. Well… maybe at one point… You know when I’m talking about, Sarah.

The characters and plot have developed so much from the first book, and have really taken me by surprise at certain times. Surprises seem to lurk around every new page, and if you let your guard down for even a second, you will suddenly be lost in an entirely new trajectory of the book.
Having said that, the book, in my opinion, is extremely predictable, which was one of the few flaws I found whilst reading it. The only thing I did not see coming was the plot twist. This kind of ruined the book for me a little, because I could have quite easily just skipped half of the book, and it made me lose interest in reading it for a while – something that never happened with Throne of Glass.
The book is also a lot more action packed than its predecessor, and while this brought something new to the books, and really helped reveal the characters’ true natures, I think it took too much time away from the story and the world. Having said that, the action, along with the rest of the book, was written amazingly well. It felt so natural and so real, and never drew away from the emotion or what was happening in the scene. However, it helps that Sarah only needs to trail one character’s actions at a time – it would be interesting to see how she fares with writing a large scale battle, should one ever occur.
And somehow, even though so much more happened in this book than in the first, at the same time, not much really happened at all.

The romance in this book is a lot more… well, more. No matter which romance you side with, you will be put through hell and back – well, maybe a bit (a lot) more for one of them.
I am completely against any relationship between Dorian and Celeana, even friendship. He should just leave and never come back.

I’ve come out very emotionally drained at the end of this book. I have been wanted to cry, wanted to punch a wall, I did laugh… probably a little too much, wanted to shout at the characters, despite them being in pages and not being able to hear me. I just wanted to play God a little and have this book go the way it should… is that so bad?

I personally feel that, while this book was great, it was not quite up to the standards of Throne of Glass. The cliffhanger – sort of cliffhanger – made me want to pick up the next book right away, even though I finished reading this one at 5am. #topsleepingpattern

I’m not really too sure what else I can say. I’ve never done individual reviews for a series before, so this is very new to me. Hopefully I’ll pick up the bar for the next two books (and the novellas collected in The Assassin’s Blade). 

I’m taking a short break from this series, however, because:
A) I have so many other books to read before April
B) I don’t want it to end – though, I think there’s going to be a number five
My next book will be Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman (which was a freeby – go uni!)

An amazing book and an amazing series so far. Even though Sarah J. Maas has lost my liking (you know what you did!), her books have not.
Exactly the same recommendations as last time, ‘Anyone interested in fantasy, fiction, young-adult novels, books out of the ordinary, and just people I think… I recommend this book to you.’

I give this 3.4/5.0