A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.
Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.
When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.
This will be the hardest review I´ve ever written. Not because I´m not able to find the right words to describe my feelings towards this book – It´s more because I´m not able to form any thoughts without spoiling this story. And I feel that whatever I will say will most definitely spoil a good portion of the story. * sigh *
That´s why I´ll just tell you to read the synopsis very carefully. What´s revealed there is more than enough to either whet your reading appetite or to turn you off.
What I will throw into this review is the fact on how controversial this book is. I see lots of people hating or loving `The Black Witch` ( The Black Witch Chronicles #1 ) by Laurie Forest. I found the story itself great. So great I´m actually looking forward to read more. You won´t get your every day, typical witchy read with this one because the story is dark and carries topics that evoke strong feelings from readers.
The characters are, in my opinion, strong and very diverse. Also good to mention would be the slow character development. Although this is something that usually brings me to the brink of insanity I found myself enjoying the slow growth. It added depth to the story. To a story that´s already interesting and exciting.
Now, as for the controversial issue: I don´t mind books that tackle strong and often unlikable topics. I can oversee these while reading and just appreciate a story for what it is: A story about a witch. ( that´s in a nutshell, y´all. I can´t go into more details, I SWEAR!) It´s a fantasy with magic and all.
With that being said- If you´re a reader who wants their Heroes / Heroines squeaky clean and completely flawless then `The Black Witch` might not be for you. There are no hearts and flowers or rainbows and unicorns here. Also- If you´re the sensitive type then just go ahead and skip this read. There´s no reason to read this book knowing full well you´ll be appalled.
If you´re like me and can set your own personal beliefs aside then go for it. Have fun with the story. Just keep in mind that it´s not for everyone. You´ll either love it, like it or hate it.
The Cover – 5 Stars: This is the type of cover I would love to see more often. It´s quality. The whole thing is just harmonious.
The Story – 4 Stars:The story isn´t anything new but I did enjoy the vibe it gave. Plus the writing was great.
The Characters – 4 Stars:Although I did have a few hiccup moments I ended up loving these characters for who they were. Without them- the story wouldn´t have been what it was.
My emotional state after finishing this read:Excited for the next installment.
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
I said I would get out of my genre comfort-zone and that´s exactly what I did.
I saw the book cover for `The Cruel Prince` by New York Times bestselling author Holly Black and I knew I this was going to be my first 2018 fairytale read.
The fact that this book went way beyond my safe-bookish-place would be an understatement, yet I still enjoyed it.
I´d say it was a great experience filled with firsts. This was the first time I´d read anything from Holly Black. I´m a fan now. Her writing is engaging and her storytelling ability is fab. It was also the first time I had read anything like this book.
`The Cuel Prince` started out really cool with a day-to-day scene but with a dark twist. A game changer I didn´t see coming. And what a nice change of wallpaper it was to read about humans living in a world of magic and liking it.
A very colorful and adventurous tale.
What I loved most was the dedication and the map ( God, that map is just so cute ). The map was super helpful while reading because I find it difficult to imagine newly created worlds.
But still, there was something missing for me. I can´t really put my finger on it but it bugged me a bit.
I won´t say that this wasn´t my cup of tea because the story was actually good and I had a great time while reading but I just didn´t spend days afterwards thinking about the story. I didn´t have a bookhanger nor did I feel the need to hit up one of my book besties and rave about the story. Stuff I would usually do after reading a book.
Perhaps that´ll happen with book #2? Let´s keep our fingers crossed. Rumor has it that the next book will come out sometime around 2019. Until then it´s going to be a keep-eyes-open year for news.
All in all I´d say `The Cruel Prince` (The Folk Of The Air #1) was a decent out-of-my-genre-comfort-zone read. ( If that makes any sense)
Would I reread this book? I´m not sure. Let´s wait for book #2 and decide then.
Would I recommend this book?Sure! It´s a great story.
The Cover – 5 stars ( Absolutely gorgeous. I love it. A total eye-catcher.)
The Story – 3 stars ( Although I liked it I felt that a few key points were missing. Maybe that can be blamed on me comparing the book to a contemporary romance. Remember, I´m expanding my horizon! )
The Characters – 3 stars ( They were good. I liked them.)
My emotional state after finishing this read– Satisfied.
I´m giving `The Cruel Prince` by Holly Black 3 out of 5 positive stars.
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 trilogy accomplished one thing: It made me rethink my standards because I´m slowly convinced that my standards are set too high.
Why? I´ll get to that after I release the ball of energy from my brain via dramatic rant.
A quick rehash – I avoided this series for a long time. I discreetly kept my distance and watched hundreds of bloggers throw out posts after posts about the ACOTAR series.
I caved in. I bought the books. I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
1.739 (!!!) pages later… I´m wondering why I keep ignoring my gut feeling.
Honest to God, I have no idea where to begin with my review here as there´s so much going on in `A Court of Wings and Ruin` book #3 by Sarah J. Maas.
I will start off by shouting out the fair warning about spoilers in this review. Simply saying that this book wasn´t good just doesn´t cut it. I will have to go in-depth with explaining my thoughts and reasons as to WHY this wasn´t my cup of tea. Not even my cup of coffee / hot chocolate or glass of ice-cold coke.
Book #3 starts off with Feyre being back at the Spring Court. Yupp. She tricked the evil enemy and decided to live with Tamlin ( the other supposedly evil enemy ) to save the ones she loved and to possibly find a way to win the war that´s threatening the world.
This is where I have to interrupt because this part just proved I was right before in my review for A Court of Mist and Fury. Tamlin wasn´t the bad guy. He was painted out to be one but wasn´t. He wasn´t Rhys. That was the problem. He loved Feyre and acted out of love. Continued to act out of love and acted like a normal jealous guy/faerie.
I liked his character and would have loved for him to have a happy moment. Besides, Feyre playing the Martyr twice…. uhm…. Let´s say once is enough. Twice is just silly.
Feyre returned to the place that ruined her and acted as Rhys´s spy, gaining all the info on Tamlin`s plans for the war that was near.
When she felt her job was done she practically dusted her hands off her skirts and left the Spring Court, taking Tamlin´s best friend, Lucien, with her.
That scene was a bit more colored out with more deception and mind games but it still had no purpose other than to create more drama and to introduce more characters ( because this book, too, could have been at least 300 pages shorter ).
After a few hurdles Feyre and Lucien made it back to the Night Court where alot of war plotting took place.
It was time to look for alliances and gather them to create a force that would eliminate the evil King for good.
That spanned throughout 699 pages.
And somewhere inbetween all the plottings a reader got a glimps of the romance, the saving of cities, and readers also got to witness how Feyre´s human sisters were dealing with their new lives as faeries.
Here´s the thing- A writer creates a world with 7 realms and only 2 get full attention throughout 3 books.
The Courts of Prythian
After finishing this trilogy the Night Court felt like it was the size of Russia and the Spring Court felt like Area 51 in Nevada. A fenced in piece of land, abandoned and lifeless where the Night Court was full of sparkling stars and rainbow rivers and cities filled with happy people…. ( you get my point).
A reader does get a small glimpse of the Autumn Court but only because Feyre and Lucian pass through it. The Autumn Court could have used a little more details and love because I can imagine that place being truly beautiful.
The Summer Court- well, Feyre, Rhys and Co. visit that place / or had business to take care of there but it wasn´t enough. The author gave the sub characters more attention than she did the Summer Court.
The rest of the courts felt non existant. Sure, they were mentioned and if I remember correctly… a meeting with all the high lords was held at the Dawn Court ( I could be wrong, though. It could have been the Day Court as well).
Back to the story:
After alliances were made the war began.
Now, I´m no expert on the arts of war. I will admit, though, that I´ve been spoiled when it comes to reading about war. I want it to be graphic, I want to feel the character’s pain, I want to see worlds crashing to the ground and people fighting for the greater good. I want to see some crazy shit happening because magic is involved.
I wanted to FINALLY see super Faerie Feyre go all bad ass on the battlefield with her 7 different powers. I wanted her to unleash her beast and wipe out all evil. Maybe even have a one on one stand-off with the evil King and battle together til the bitter end. After all, her character had been worked up to that point. Feyre, the deadly Faerie with the abilities to turn anyone to dust ( I´m being dramatic. No, I´m actually not being dramatic. That´s how she was portrayed).
Instead, I saw none of that happen. Absolutely nothing. Sure, she went off and dealt with a few issues but there was no unleashing Capt. Planet. Why create a character like hers if the author doesn´t intend for her to do anything with her powers? It´s pointless.
There were beings more badass than Feyre was. Faeries that unleashed their inner beasts and slaughtered the evil. Even Feyre´s own sister hid something super powerful inside her and released her unknown powers against the King! Why wasn´t Feyre able to do that? Disappointment at it´s finest.
Tamlin entered the picture in between. Even Feyre´s father. Some long-lost, hidden away Faeries and Faerie hybrids entered the war. But what did it take to end the war? Someone who knew they had the power but waited until enough died to go ape-shit.
When the war was over history repeated itself ( the ending scene from book #1 repeated itself). Someone was dying and only through the help of all the High Lords from all 7 courts was it possible to bring that being back.
My over all opinion? No. Not everything was God awful. There were a handful of scenes that were definitely great. But a handful doesn´t make up for the rest.
Right now, I don´t understand the appeal. I have a good head on my shoulders. I even think myself intelligent enough to understand events that happen in a book. I do not understand how this book was so successful. I do not understand why people haven´t picked up on the stuff the author obviously stole from other books. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that ACOTAR is a bestseller. Because there´s nothing genius about it. No twist in the story. No surprises. Nothing that made my heart skip a few beats.
Feyre was a super strong Faerie but the focus was on how she needed to be independent and become Rhys equal. Feyre´s independence was stressed out to a point where it became eye roll worthy. There is a shadow of 2.0 Social Justice warriors in this book and it´s annoying.
The author made a point out of Rhys giving her the power and to put Tamlin down for wanting to keep her safe. Communication would have solved the Tamlin / Feyre problem. I guess powerful orgasms are gold and talk is overrated.
I´m far from being hateful with my opinion. I just…don´t understand. Do readers ignore the faults in a story when they read? All I know is that I will definitely listen to my gut feeling because I´m spending far too much precious time with this read.
Would I reread this book/series?
Would I recommend this series?
It reeeaaallllly depends on the reader. But if I were forced to give a quick answer I´d say no.
The Cover – 2 stars ( Same style, different color. Green. My opinion on the cover hasn´t changed and I don´t think it ever will. Although, the german book cover is truly beautiful. )
The Story – 2 stars ( please reread my review.)
The Characters – 2 stars ( It´s a sad thing when a reader finds the MC´s and 90% of the sub characters rather dull. The only two characters I truly loved were Cassian and Nesta. Whatever they had going on got me interested and I would really like to find out more about them, together…in a book…hopefully. And Tamlin. Despite how the author let him develop… I liked him. He sure did have a temper. Lol)
My Emotional State After Finishing This Read / The Trilogy Fed up.
I´m giving `A Court of Wings and Ruin` ( A Court of Thorns and Roses #3 ) by Sarah J. Maas, 2 generous stars.
I´m giving the `A Court of Thorns and Roses` Trilogy ( in my opinion ) solid, well deserved 2 stars.
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
After reading the publicly acclaimed „ EPIC“ novel `A Court of Thorns and Roses` I decided to go against my gut feeling and continue with book #2, `A Court of Mist and Fury` by the ( also ) publicly acclaimed genius Sarah J. Maas.
Only this time, instead of making notes while reading the story ( as I would usually do )… I decided to take on a different approach and just read the damn story first. So, basically, I´ve had more than enough time to think about the story and sort out my thoughts.
A quick reminder: Review contains mild to major spoilers. If you hate spoilers then I advise you to come back after you read the book / series yourself.
* pushing glasses up my nose *
It all starts off with the tagline on the book cover.
“For love, she cheated death. For her world, she will become a weapon.”
Not bad, right? It would have been more awesome if she were a weapon at all.
Feyre ( Heroine ) turned into a Faerie, gaining all the powers from each Lord from the different Courts of Prythian. She was the ultimate weapon of destruction after her change. Or, she could have been.
Think of her as Captain Planet without green hair. But did she do anything to show off her powers? No. I mean- If I had so many magical abilities then you can get your ass I´d be outside testing them out and putting them to good use.
Feyre? Not so much. Actually, she did nothing of the sorts. The little powers that slipped from her here and again weren´t enough to display her as the ultimate Faerie.
That was a major disappointment. I expected flying ice daggers, fire pools, mind control, manipulating enemies, etc etc.
Another thing that bothered me beyond means was the fact that Tamlin ( the Hero from book #1) was turned into a villain.
Just because my husband doesn´t agree with me doesn´t make him the bad guy.
The Tamlin topic sends a warped message to it´s readers.
When the going get´s tough, leave. Tamlin and Feyre´s relationship after what had happened Under the Mountain was strained. Feyre felt empty and out of place and somehow she became depressed.
Apparently- Tamlin had some issues, himself, he had to deal with but wasn´t the type to openly work on those issues ( issues that aren´t really clarified). The minute he tries to keep Feyre safe is when she flips her top and leaves him….behind his back.
She´s escapes the evil Tamlin * snorts * and runs into the waiting arms of the Lord of the Night Court. Tamlin´s enemy / the most feared Lord of the country.
Call me old fashioned…but, Feyre could have given Tamlin time to sort his issues out. Maybe could´ve, should´ve considered helping him? But what do I know. * wave off * I´d probably be banished by the 2.0 Feminists for even thinking about staying with someone before leaving when times get rough. I´m all for leaving someone when there´s no reason to stay anymore….but a hit and run action? Leave when he´s gone without telling him? He didn´t do anything to make her leave. It was all on her. At least go with style. Call the relationship off.
Remember: Feyre went Under the Mountain to save the LOVE of her life. Quite a few chapters from book #1 were dedicated to the LOVE she had felt. She was determined to set him free and lift the curse and free all the other Faeries. Then the love was gone and it was Tamlin´s fault? Hahaha. Nice try, Miss Author.
After Feyre left the Spring Court she settled in nicely at the Night Court and learned to read and write ( something she could have also done at the Spring Court,,,just saying) and she faced her own issues with the help of Rhysand ( a.k.a Rhys, the new almighty Hero). He gave her the love, patience and crayons she needed in order to become the Faerie she needed to be.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Up until that point I was annoyed by the faults in the story.
And this made my blood boil.
All y´all Game of Thrones readers will know who Bronn is. Bronn´s da man. Seeing a Bron is reason enough to believe that the author´s thinking cap became too heavy and slipped, making her snatch another name from another successful story.
Back to the Faeries:
Feyre learned that the feared Night Court didn´t hold up to it´s reputation. Neither did it´s Lord, Rhysand. The bad ass, fearful Faerie was a soft kitty that purred quite alot. ( I´m not kidding )
And here´s a little something that might tickle you guys: His orgasms shake mountains. Literally. I asked my husband if his orgasms were powerful enough to knock over the trees from the nearby forest ( since we don´t live in a mountain area). His answer was a confused look.
Mid-evil sexting via paper and pen and a hint of magic was quite an amusing part of this story, though. I did get a kick out of that.
All jokes aside….
This book was long and stuffed with far too many descriptions. Too many details that killed the story for me. Too many events happening for no greater purpose.
There was no need to paint a character as a villain when his actions didn´t even make him one. There was no need for the author to constantly compare the Heros from book #1 and book #2.
„ Tamlin kept me locked up. Rhys gives me freedom.“
( note: that wasn´t the actual dialogue but it comes pretty close)
There was absolutely no need to give each sub-character a full background story.
The 624 pages could have easily been reduced down to 270 if the author would have ditched the many details ( details that didn´t enhance the story in any way ).
What I did like, though, was the end. I was surprised, myself, because after reading tons of unnecessary info, the end picked up and the author delivered quite an awesome scene. But not mind blowing enough for me to rave about it, though.
So, there were two things that this book focused on:
Rhys and Feyre´s relationship
As I´ve said in my A Court of Thorns and Roses review, I can see why young adults would love this story. It´s your typical fantasy with dramatic moments that touch young ( and maybe older ) hearts.
I can see why others would go nuts over the characters because they´re full of….everything and nothing.
But was this book better than the first one? In a way- Yes. In other ways- It wasn´t.
I bet you´re asking yourselves why I’ve bothered to continue this story if I´m not liking it.
Well, the little hand written recommendation from the bookstore that was taped on the shelf underneath these books said that book 3 was amazing and a MUST READ. I´m waiting for a miracle to happen.
The Cover – 2 stars (The same as the first just a different color. I get that it´s better when books in a trilogy match but that blue….. Nope. Dull.)
The Story – 2 stars ( I have to admit that the author used her imagination a bit more for this story, but the added bits and detail- overload were so pointless. I say fire the editor.)
The Characters – 1,5 stars ( No growth, just a different Court with a different Lord. One I didn´t appreciate. Super powerful Feyre´s actions were disappointing. All the sub-characters had ( thanks to the heavy descriptions and details ) just as much of a say as the MC´s. The idea the author had of shoving the new Hero down my throat backfired. )
My Emotional State After Finishing This Read– Annoyed.
I´m giving `A Court of Mist and Fury` ( A Court of Thorns and Roses #2 ) by Sarah J. Maas 2 out of 5 stars.
Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.
Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.
A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.
Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?
A boy dreams of revolution.
Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.
And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.
He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?
It was through a dear friend of mine ( who also happens to be a writer ) when I first met author Vic James, writer of `Gilded Cage`. Our encounter was brief but Vic James left a positive impression and before she left for the evening she kindly handed out a promotional poster from her newest release. Mind you- I´ve never heard nor seen anything from Vic James before so the author and her work were completely new to me. All I was told was that I had to read her work. She´s a brilliant writer. Well, okay. If my friend says she´s brilliant then she probably is. ( I so hoped she was right.)
Even if I´m not huge on dystopian stories I really enjoyed this one.
In a nutshell, `Gilded Cage` is about inequality. A world devided into two parts- the aristocrats and the commoners. The aristocrats have magical powers and the commoners, who are just normal humans, have nothing magical but have to devote 10 years of their lives as slaves to the aristocrats. Those ten years were due anytime during a commoners lifespan. ( Totally interesting, right? I sure thought so.)
Outside a nutshell ´Gilded Cage´ is so much more. It´s exhilarating, gripping, powerful and magical. A total page turner. This is a read where you gladly do an over-nighter because you just HAVE to know how the story continues. ( Sleep is overrated anyways * wave off *)
A huge surprise for me was how I easily accepted the multiple POVs. I´m usually annoyed when a story has more than two POVs. Because, let´s face it- most multi-POVs in one story are unnecessary and / or just repetitive. That´s not the case in `Gilded Cage`. Each POV was mandatory and each contributed to the story. Just like it´s supposed to be.
I can´t really say if I have any complaints now because `Gilded Cage` is the first in a series and definitely the build-up story for what´s to come. By the feel of it- there´s going to be something huge happening in the next installment ( at least I hope there will be ).
Vic James is an icredible worldbuilder and storyteller. That alone is rare combination and Ifully appreciate the authors talent because without her abilities… I would have died of boredom ( that´s not really true, I would have slept. Lol )
I fully recommend `Gilded Cage´ to anyone who loves themselves a great dystopian story with lots of everything any YA reader craves.
The Cover – 5 stars ( I am so in LOVE with the cover. It´s an eye catcher )
The Story – 4 stars( I´m not a big fan of dystopian stories but this is definitely worth it. There´s romance, corruption, Good vs. Evil, suspense and a whole lot of nail bite worthy scenes.)
The Characters – 4 stars ( I see book #1 as a build-up and because of that I thought the characters were pretty good. Very interesting, very clever and strong. Definitely interested in getting to know them more. )
My emotional state after finishing this read – I´m anxious to continue the story. Roll on book #2… I´m not getting any younger!!
I´m giving `Gilded Cage` ( Dark Gifts #1 ), by Vic James, 4 out of 5 stars.
To purchase this book all you need to do is click here and begin to read.
Also featured with Morgana´s Book Box on Instagram