This summer just flew by! That’s okay, I’m ready to get back to cold weather and studying! This summer was super busy for me, and so I’m combining these two Wrap-Ups. Between July and August, I read seven books. Five in July, two in August. I completed a series up to what has been released (Throne of Glass) and an Advanced Reader Copy from Netgalley (woohoo!). I’ll leave the descriptions for each of the books and then my short review immediately below. Beware of spoilers! Go read these books and come back (you’ll love them, I promise).
1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
This book was the start of a summer full of Throne of Glass obsession. I read every single book in this series this summer and holy toledo were they amazing! This first book is one of my top three in this series so far, and I read it in a day. A really amazing, fast paced read. You can read my full review for Throne of Glass here.
2. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached. It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.
This is probably my least favourite novel in the series. Not because it wasn’t good, but because it was very much a transition piece. Everything that happened in this book was entirely preparation for the back half of the series. I hate the Chaol/Celaena relationship (having horrible flashbacks now that I’m reading Tower of Dawn), and think that this book, while necessary, could fade away. You can read my full review of Crown of Midnight here.
3. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?
The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Timesbest-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.
This is my favourite book in the Throne of Glass Series to date. I haven’t finished Tower of Dawn yet, but I still think that this will always be my number one. I loved all of the character building for Celaena in this novel. And Rowan Whitethorn is one of my favourite characters in this whole series. We learned so much about him, and why he is the way he is in this novel. I’m trash for Heir of Fire and I don’t really care who knows it. You can read my full review for Heir of Fire here.
4. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
This book, once again was a transition novel, but it also built the world and the characters. I liked this book a lot, especially once Rowan and Aelin were reunited in Rifthold! They really are the ultimate OTP (just like Rhys and Feyre). There was so much action in this book, and scheming and…. I almost don’t have the words. You can read my full review for Queen of Shadows here.
5. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.
With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.
This book is second in my rankings. I loved this book, while I found lot’s of people really disliked it. I thought the ending was horribly sad, but it wouldn’t be a Sarah J. Maas novel unless she threw your favourite character under the bus in a cliffhanger at some point. I loved the progression of this novel and how she brought back all of my favourite characters from The Assassins Blade (RIP Sam). Seeing Aelin establish her court and rally her allies was amazing. Finally getting Chapter 38 and the beach scene wasn’t so bad either! You can read my full review of Empire of Storms here.
6. The Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas
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.
The Assassins Blade is made up of five novellas explaining Celaena/Aelin’s life immediately before the events of Throne of Glass. It explained so many plot holes that I was missing from books 1-3. I’m so, so glad that I read it between Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, because I desperately needed it for Empire of Storms. If you would like to read my specific thoughts on the collection of novellas, you can find my full review here.
7. Starborn by Lucy Hounsom
Death and destruction will bar her way. . .
Kyndra’s fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age – powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.
Together, they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man’s terrifying response. She’ll learn more in the city’s subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.
If she survives the ordeal, she’ll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?
I received an ARC for Starborn through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While the beginning of the novel intrigued me, I did not finish this book. I made it (maybe) halfway to 3/4 of the way through before I lost interest and didn’t pick it up again. While the world building was quite interesting and the plot had a good start, it just isn’t a book I would pick for myself. I would recommend it to others, but it isn’t in line with my tastes. My rating for Starborn is 2.5/5.