Book Review: “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake

Hello!

I have seen this book on BookTube a lot in the last year or so. It is a very popular read among the fantasy lovers out there, but I have also seen some mixed reviews too. Some people think it’s too slow in parts and a little cliché. So, when I saw it on Prime Reading, I was sort of confused on whether or not I would give it a chance. Since it was free, I knew in my head that I could always return it and move on to the next, but the opening line pretty much washed away every inch of doubt in my mind. I will share it with you too.

Three dark queens, are born in a glen, sweet little triplets will never be friends. Three dark sisters, all fair to be seen, two to devour and one to be Queen.

At the time I started reading this book, I was caught up in a troubling situation. I was reading another book in a totally different genre but I wasn’t feeling it anymore. As much as I was originally enjoying it, somehow I lost the will to continue with it. Once I found this, I was refreshed and back to reading again. However, within about four days later I went back to another book in the same genre, and I was SO worried that I would feel burnt out after reading a similar story, but so far I feel fine to keep going with it.


055c57b555c80ebe15494ad70ad84e24Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose … it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest … but she may be the darkest.

taken from Goodreads!

Okay, I want to start this by saying that I have never met a book–much less in the fantasy genre–with the most gorgeous names for their characters! I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce Arsinoe but I think I’m close and I feel that’s good enough for now! Anyways, I’ve always been really critical about the mixture of regal and unique names together, but I felt like everyone fit perfectly with each one! I adore them so much that I even started to add a few into my monthly favorites on my naming Instagram account!

Now that I have that out of the way, I can move on to the actual review and we have lots to talk about, but I will try to keep as many spoilers out of this post as I can. No promises though!

We start off meeting each Queen, first it is Queen Katharine. She is a poisoner and lives with the Arron family.  The family as a whole has enjoyed their blessings as they have seen a poisoner Queen on the throne three times. Katharine is a bit of an intervort in the beginning. She doesn’t want to disappoint anyone especially her mentor Natalia Arron, who has been teaching her how to handle various posions both physically and mentally since she was a child. After her, we move on to Arisnoe. She is a naturalist and lives with the Milones. Her most trusted friend is Jullienne Milone or Jules for short and her familiar Camden, which is a mountain lion. We meet the two of them trying to channel Arisnoe’s gift to call on nature for everything. The girls are brave and of course stubborn, and they fill the story of adventures. And finally, our last is Mirabella. She is an elementist. She can control every element and has been in control with her abilities for a long time. Her popularity is so large that support for her sisters is only extended to their foster families and islanders.

I was a bit hesitant when I first started though. I was reminded back to when I read The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz a few years ago; it also had more than one point of view going on all at once but for that book, I wasn’t able to keep up with every character. However, for some reason I was able to stay focused on everybody’s stories for this, I was even seeing what was going on in my head. I could imagine Queen Katharine’s birthday with the fabulous Grav Noir, and Queen Arisnoe discovers Madrigal doing something she shouldn’t and the scene where Queen Mirabella finds Joseph and “warms” him up. Everything was very detailed so it wasn’t a big deal for me to form vivid images of everything going on and I absolutely loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to the end. There were certainly chapters that were slower than others, but I really loved seeing each character grow and how the whole thing worked in its own little way! I’m hoping to get back into this series around November, so it’ll be a nice fantastical birthday present for myself!

Have you read the first book, “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake yet? If you have, who was your favorite Queen? Besides the triplets, maybe tell me your favorite secondary character(s) too?

snowflake

 

Book Review: “Throne Of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas

Hello!

On the day I published my review of “Women Of Scotland” by Helen Susan Swift, I finished reading my then current book “Throne Of Glass”. If my mom hadn’t been ready for bed the night before, I would have been done with it because I was like 10% of the done so I will be forever kicking myself for that!

I have known about this series for an awful long time. I have seen their beautiful covers all over BookTube and they are one reason why I absolutely hate the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” because that’s how I became interested in the series in the first place! I was attracted by their covers and I just wanted them for their beauty. So, the fact that I had an open opportunity to get the first book of the series for like a dollar on Amazon, a week or two after Christmas was amazing!

WARNING: There are spoilers included below! If you haven’t read the book/series, I’d highly recommend you skip the rest of this post

16034235After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

taken from Goodreads


I knew very little before going into this, I vaguely remember reading the description when I first heard about it (seven years ago is a long time!) and checked it as “want to read” on my Goodreads account. Other than that, I never really expected to see it anywhere but on my TBR list for the next decade. That’s part of my problem when I watch book hauls on YouTube, because I will collect over 20 books at a time and look into them on the site, and I will either leave it out or put it on my “curious” shelf with the others!

The book itself is very hefty and honestly it scared me in the beginning.

It had been a while since I’ve read an over 300+ page book, but I took the challenge and was quite proud of myself for buying it back in January. I was also extremely happy I still adored fantasy/historical fiction. After going reading Melissa de la Cruz’s novel “The Ring and The Crown” a couple of years ago, I was for sure thinking I had lost all desire to read another type of book that were written in both topics again.

This book hooked the moment we hear Celaena is being taken out of the salt mines and is escorted by the Captain Of The Guard and several other guards to this strange place. I immediately fell in love with Celaena, but what is so interesting is that she has this cocky attitude during this part and if you know me well enough, you’d understand that I do not like anybody–both real and/or fictionized–that acts this way! I also have to say that I remind family members to not be like that because karma is a real bitch and she’ll find you out quick! So, the fact that I loved Celaena was semi-cocky around her guards, especially Choal, cracked me up!

Although, there were times where I had issues with imagining the glass castle and various characters, I was still able to enjoy myself while learning more about Celaena’s world and it wasn’t until I was halfway in the book did I start to see everything come together in my head. Once I established this, I could see Nephemia easier and the smallest details of the castle and what everyone was wearing in the different chapters.

Another part that I loved was the fact that even though I knew in my mind I would start to figure out how everything ends for Celaena. The duel was a huge deal for her and us, of course, but from the time I had begun reading the second chapter I was spoiling the ways everything could work out for her in the end. However, once I got there I realized that I hadn’t done anything to mess things up for myself. It was still concealed and those final three chapters moved rather fast at first but nicely stilled for a moment, but I wasn’t in the know of what was about to happen afterwards.

I have to add one more thing. It is mostly for anyone who has read the book and possibly the rest of the series. Who were seeing in your mind as the “perfect” person to play each character? For me, I had issues coming up with both Celaena and Chaol, but Dorian was actually the easiest out of the bunch. I instantly thought of Dylan O’Brien. I’m not too familiar with him, but I loved him in the movie American Assassin (2018) and the way he looked in that film, became part of the map I was seeing described in the book. Choal was next and I am furious with myself that this one appeared, but an image of the actor who played Joffrey in Game Of Thrones popped in my head. I just imagined him a little older, so they matched in age. Choal was actually my favorite male character of the book.

Now as for Celaena though, I had the worst luck figuring her out. After several chapters and learning more of her personality, I finally came to the conclusion that Dove Cameron would be perfect! I’ve seen her play a villian on Agents Of S.H.I.E.LD. so that helped me establish she could fight hard and of course, she’s a natural blonde on top of it!

Have you read Throne Of Glass yet? If you have, what book (without spoiling too much for me!) are you on now? What were your thoughts on the first book?

snowflake

Book Review: “The Ring And The Crown” by Melissa de la Cruz

17200974_1190394871070094_2385203544738160469_nBack in April, I got a chance to purchase a new book! I found it at Wal-Mart for about $8 and it was called “The Ring And The Crown” by the author Melissa de la Cruz. If she sounds familiar, she’s written the Blue Bloods and Witches Of East End series. I immediately recognized her name so my exceptions were already high to begin with, but it wasn’t long before this book wasn’t hitting that mark.

The book starts with Aewlyn and shows how much power she has and how she can control it since she’s been away to Avalon. The second character is Princess Marie-Victoria who is heir apparent to the Lily Throne, while her mother Queen Eleanor and her magical adviser Merlin (and Aewlyn’s father) at her side. Marie has been plagued with sickness throughout her life so she’s still quite frail but as heir she will do her duty to the people of London. However, she does not want to, plus she doesn’t even want to marry the Prussian Prince Leopold after he opened Pandora’s box to win the war – in an act to bring peace to both sides, these two will have to marry to secure the alliance.

However, there are more characters included into the story than besides these five people. You have Prince Wolf, who is Leo’s brother, Isabelle of Orleans, who was arranged to marry Leo as a child while her father was still alive to secure the family fortune and an American named Ronan who comes to the season searching for not only a husband but a title to help her secure her family name as well! And this is where the review turns a little sour. So if you haven’t read it yet, I don’t suggest you to continue reading this next section!

There are a lot of pros and cons to the story. I liked the outline of the ball, magic and the two main characters, but there were unfortunately too many cons in the story as well! The amount of characters and their roles with each other can be extremely confusing if you’re not careful. I think Isabelle could have been just a mistress to Leo and that’s it, but instead her story line is as big as Marie. And I felt Ronan and Wolf could have been a separate story altogether.

One of the biggest things with the plot that I had trouble wrapping my brain around was the time frame. It talks about London and the Prussian Empire but there is not a direct date and I know because it’s a fictionalized story it shouldn’t matter, but if you’re going to talk about King Henry VII in certain sections, you need to be more clear on where it is at that time for all of these characters. Melissa gives you more descriptions on the fashion and magic, but the most important part of the story is missing!

Despite the fact that I have written out this book review, I have not finished the book. I still know what chapter I left off on, but I cannot continue to read it. I actually gave it a 2 on the Goodreads rating. I know my mom will think I let the reviews I read about the book itself has helped in my judgement but all they did was help me realize that not all books deserve a full 5 stars and if I don’t think a book is up to par then I need to stop.

If you’ve read the book, what were your thoughts on it? Did you ever finish it?

snowflake

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The Goodreads Challenge 2017!

Now that it is officially summer, I’ve seen quite a few bloggers put up posts about books they will be reading for the next two months. I’ve found like two posts that basically inspired this blog post in a way and they are Emmie of Carpe Diem Emmie and Amie of The Curvaceous Vegan.

I also have another reason why I wanted to write this post. Last year I had to create a Goodreads account because the other site I was using was basically disappearing at the start of the year because more people were on there. So I had to make a whole new profile and figure out of the 300+ books I had on there which ones I wanted to keep in the bottom of my TBR list and I also wanted to keep track of the books I had read while I was in school. I want to say I had over 1,000 books in different shelves. Of course majority of them were located just in my to be read list.

One of the things I did last year, was make myself a goal of books to read for 2016. I had found a way out of my reading slump and I decided to give myself a chance and put in 7 books. I was pretty proud of myself for completing three books out of the seven, I even re-read the first Harry Potter book and I NEVER re-read books ever! It is literally once in a blue moon kind of deals! The other two books I read where Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

This time I only gave myself a fair shot. I didn’t want to go over my limit because I do blogging full-time and if anything happens within my family–like recently–I usually don’t read a whole lot anyways.  So I only put myself down for at least five books for 2017! I thought it is a pretty fair number for me and I’m moving slowly but I think that’s to be expected but I do have over 7 months left of the year so I think I can do it!

Completed: 

Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir
The book is about the first Tudor queen. Elizabeth of York was the daughter of King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth Woodville. She was also the niece of King Richard III and sister the missing Princes of the tower Edward V and Richard, Duke of York. She was also wife to Henry Tudor, future King after killing the last York king at the battle of Bosworth. She and Henry had a total of seven children: eldest son Prince Arthur married Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon before his death in 1502, King Henry VIII married her in 1509 and had a daughter Princess Mary, who became England’s first Queen. Elizabeth and Henry also had two daughters who lived into adulthood: Princess Margaret who married King James IV and Princess Mary was married to Louis XII of France, her second marriage was with her brother’s friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

The book was beautiful. It has tons of information about everything from the last of the War Of The Roses and her time as a York princess to Tudor queen, wife and mother. Some people have called her the forgotten princess/queen because she wasn’t into politics, but I don’t believe she was forced out of it, I just don’t think she wanted to associate herself in that area. She was way different from how she’s portrayed on Starz “The White Princess”.  If you love history and/or anything royalty, you’ll definitely love this book!

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
This was my first ever book set in the life of somebody with a physical disability, Will Traynor is a quadriplegic  after being an accident, he cannot do anything for himself anymore and has to be constantly watched and cared for by others. Whereas Louisa Clark is a young woman, who lives with her family by choice and has a boyfriend that is obsessed with fitness. In the beginning she loses her job, one that she loves, and she tries to find something else that isn’t downgrading. As a last result, she finds an opportunity as a caretaker of Will Traynor, even though she has never cared for a person with a disability in her life.

This book deals with both disability and suicidal issues. I thought it was very informative of what really goes into our lives, meaning people like me who have physical disabilities. If you’re not familiar with that, I urge you to read it. It’s a nice contemporary book though, but yes it will make you bawl your eyes out!

I think I’ve finally figured a sort of reading schedule that I want to do to finish up. Unfortunately, when I took these pictures I went by the biggest to smallest because I figured they wouldn’t look right on film and if you’re wondering what the hell these three are in right now, they’re in a big foam box. I mostly use it as a movable desk. I’m very resourceful that way!

 

 What I’m Reading Now:

The Ring And The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
On the back of the black, it says “Once, they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a formidable castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different fortunes.

As the annual London season begins–a whirlwind of wealth and magic marked by lavish parties and gorgeous girls vying for the attention of young royals–the talk of the town is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her beauty to recognize her. After falling for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, she must balance her desire for love with her duty to save her family’s position.

Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle is bent on reclaiming what is hers, but Marie doesn’t even want Leopold–she lost her heart long ago to a boy she will never be able to have.

Desperate to escape a life without love, Marie turns to Aewlyn, and the girls form a perilous plan that endangers the fate of the monarchy.

I thought this would be an interesting to continue on with the historical fiction vibe after finishing EOY in April. I should be done with it soon. I have the extended version so I can no longer go by what Goodreads says anymore as it doesn’t have this version. I’ve already started working on the book review.

What I’m Reading Afterwards:

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow’s blood is red–the color of common folk–but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince–the friend–who betrayed, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Every day the same. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she known them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life–as she sees it–is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I’m pretty sure I’ve had these last two in my possession the longest, and yet they’re the two I’ve chosen to leave last on my list. I am roughly 7% on TGS whereas I’m 3% on TGOTT. I do want to finish both books and I will, I just don’t know why I’m having such a hard time getting into the stories. I want to be able to get the third book of the Red Queen series that came out earlier this year and finally watch The Girl On The Train (and Me Before You) before the year is up!

I would like to finish this lineup so when it comes time for my birthday I can get some more books and have something to keep me busy for 2018! I know, I know I’m thinking way too ahead of myself but I want more historical books!

Here are some titles I’ve been looking into lately!

Mary, Queen of Scots by John Hale | Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII by Giles Tremlett | Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower by Susan Higginbotham | Red Roses: Blanche of Gaunt to Margaret Beaufort by Amy Licence | Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman | To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

What are you reading this year? Are there some interesting books you think I need to look into?

snowflake

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