Soul of the Sword

Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa       

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA Fantasy

Edition: Hardback

Goodreads Summary: One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Shadow of the Fox left at such a cliffhanger I wanted to start Soul of the Sword as soon as possible, I just needed to know what happens! Especially since the last book just recently came out in hardback, it would be great to read the whole series this year.

Likes: In this book Yumeko seems to have matured and grown from the events that took place in Shadow of the Fox. I like seeing this change in her, it shows how seriously she is taking this quest she is on, and how seriously she is taking what happened to Tatsumi. She is not only more mature outwardly, she is also trying to look inward and come to terms with who she is. I love that we see this internal struggle and how she is trying to become more comfortable with who she is. That was a beautiful aspect to the story. Another thing that I liked was how much was shown of the other character’s backstories and thoughts. Relationships form and growth happens in these side characters and I love that. This book has continuous world building and goes more in-depth about the history and magic of the land. The new creatures that are shown are awesome, I loved that we got to see more!

Dislikes: In this book there is a character that is shown every once and a while and this character is a complete mystery. They were a mystery in the first book and still are throughout this second book. I like that we get to learn more about them, however, I wish that more would have been shown. This is just a personal preference that I feel like there was a lot left out that should have been added about this character, however, I am guessing that this character will become more prevalent in the last book which is why I am not that upset about it.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a ton. The characters are so much fun, and I love that this story has a lot of growth and self-reflection for each character. I love the new creatures that we see, and I like how we get different POVs that weren’t shown previously. I do wish that a certain character would have been flushed out more, but I am hoping that they are in the next book.

The Last Wish

The Last Wish (The Witcher, #.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: three stars

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Edition: Kindle

Goodreads Summary: Geralt the Witcher — revered and hated — holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in this collection of adventures in the New York Times bestselling series that inspired the Netflix show and the hit video games.

Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good…and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

I have been playing through The Witcher 3 on my PC for a while, and watched and loved the TV show recently, so I just had to pick up the books. It seemed like everyone had the same idea because when I went to buy them The Last Wish was sold out and the first three books sold out right after I bought them!  That’s why I read the Last Wish on my Kindle, though I would have preferred the physical version.

Likes: I like that since these short stories take place with large time gaps between them we get to see vastly different portions of the world and Geralt’s life. There is a ton of worldbuilding, so many different characters and character relationships, and a bunch of magical creatures that are shown. There is also so much history to this world that I love. I can tell that the author put in a lot of time and effort creating this world and the characters in it. I also liked the magic in this story. I think I might have been confused about it if I had not played the game before reading this because it is not really explained. However, I still like how Geralt uses magic and potions in the story.

Dislikes: I don’t know if it is just because I am not used to Andrzej’s writing style or what, but the book seemed disjointed to me. It would skip from story to story so quickly and with no introduction to the new story, that I was left confused at times. I did like that this book showed so much in terms of worldbuilding because it was made up of short stories, however, I think they could have had a smoother transition. I also feel like some of the short stories weren’t that exciting to me and served no purpose. Some of them I was just not interested in the entire time, and I didn’t see what I was gaining out of reading them.

Overall, I rated this book three out of five stars because I was left confused at times and that decreased my enjoyment of the story. I would have to backtrack sometimes to figure out what was going on, and that wasn’t enjoyable. The confusion that I felt, the dull short stories, and my lack of enjoyment made me deduct two stars for this book. I still look forward to the other ones because I did love the world, the characters, and the magic so much, I was just a little disappointed in this book.

March 2020| Reading Wrap Up

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA, Mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is a YA mystery about a highschooler named Pip. In her town a high school senior, Andie, was murdered and the whole town believes it was Andie’s boyfriend Sal – who ended up committing suicide – who killed her. Pip, however, does not believe that Sal killed Andie and is determined to find who really did. One of the biggest things that surprised me about this book was how wrong I was the entire time. I was so sure that I knew who did it and I was hating the book because I thought it was so easy, and it turns out I was wrong! I love those type of surprises and that was one of the main reasons I loved it. I also really liked the characters in this story. Pip was so determined, and I really respected that. I won’t talk about any other characters because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I liked a lot of them too. The central thing that I disliked was that I felt like the Pip wasn’t as thorough in her investigation as I would have liked. There were so many events and people that I thought she should have checked out but she didn’t. However, since I guessed wrong, maybe it is a good thing no one investigated what I thought they should have.

Pros: well laid out mystery, fun characters.
Cons: investigation didn’t feel thorough.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/18/a-good-girls-guide-to-murder/

Artemis
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: ★★★★★

Artemis is a story about Jazz, a smuggler and porter, who lives in the only city on the Moon – Artemis. She is hired to commit a seemingly impossible crime, but accepts because of how huge the reward is. This story is full of conspiracies, political intrigue, drama, and supposedly impossible tasks. I loved that this story went in depth into the science of things, while at the same time keeping it easy to understand. The story also continuously gets more and more complex, which kept me wanting to read more. I liked Jazz, but I found her relationship with an ex-friend to be confusing and annoying. This best friend had betrayed her and yet acted like he didn’t do anything wrong and like it was outrageous that she didn’t want to be friends with him anymore. This seemed unrealistic and unnecessary.

Pros: The story went more in-depth scientifically than I am used to seeing, Jazz was an interesting main character, the story was complex, and the political aspect was fascinating.
Cons: Unrealistic relationship with ex-friend in my opinion. It seemed not only unrealistic but also unnecessary.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/22/artemis/

The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Rating: ★★★★★

The Hunger Games is about a girl named Katniss Everdeen who has to participate in The Hunger Games – a fight to the death between one girl and one boy from each of the 12 districts that make up their nation Panem. I think the government in this world is fascinating. The Capitol is so strange, and how all the people act and treat the districts is horrible, but I still like reading about it because I want to know what made them that way. Katniss is inspiring, she goes to so many lengths to keep her family alive and safe even though she is only sixteen. I liked that the Games wasn’t just kids killing each other, there was a lot that went on beforehand in terms of training, interviews, and such. This shows how truly horrid the Capitol is because the Games are a show to them, a form of entertainment. This aspect just goes deep into the differences between the Capitol and the Districts. The thing that I did not like about this book was the love story. Katniss was just so cruel to Peeta at points, and this seemed unrealistic for her character. I understand that she would do whatever she could to save her family and herself, but at the same time I don’t believe she would keep so many secrets from Peeta. I believe she would have talked to him more about the plans and so this aspect just exhibited a side of her that was difficult to believe because it seemed to go against her core personality.

Pros: Descriptive writing, interesting government and affect the war had on the Capitol and the Districts, the Games seemed well thought out in terms of the events surrounding it.
Cons: Love story seemed to have unrealistic drama surrounding it because of a lack of communication that seemed to go against Katniss’ character.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/26/the-hunger-games/

Shadow of the Fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

Shadow of the Fox is a book about the quest to find all three parts of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, for whoever gets all three parts can summon the Kami dragon and have a wish granted. Yumeko is a half human, half kitsune (nine tailed fox) who was raised by monks. Suddenly her home is burned down and she is forced to flee with one part of the scroll. The other main character is Tatsumi, a samurai of the Shadow Clan, who is tasked with finding all parts of the scroll. I found the world in this book to be fascinating because it is so like our own except with mythical creatures. I loved the main character Yumeko. Even though she was really naive because of how she grew up, I still loved seeing how easily she made friends and convinced people to help her because of how nice she was. I found all of the other characters who Yumeko came to meet and travel with interesting as well. Their backgrounds were usually kept a mystery at first and it made me more intrigued by them and wanting to know more. The storyline seems like a simple one – Yumeko needs to protect this scroll and take it to another temple – and yet there were so many different antagonists and “side quests”, that it made for a full story. I did not really have anything that I disliked. One thing that confused me though is why Tatsumi couldn’t see that Yumeko was part nine tailed fox even though some other people could.

Pros: I loved all the characters, the story was full of adventures, and the magical creatures were fun to learn about.
Cons: I’m just confused at why Tatsuki couldn’t see Yumeko’s ears and tail.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/29/shadow-of-the-fox/

Forest of Secrets
Author: Erin Hunter
Genre: Middle Grade
Rating: ★★★★★

Forest of Secrets is the third book in the original Warriors series, so this will have spoilers for the first two books.

This book is about Fireheart trying to figure out and prove what happened to Redtail – a Thunderclan deputy who was killed. This book had significantly more happening than the first two books which was nice. There were a lot of secrets that came out, not only about Redtail but about other warriors as well. I liked delving into the backstory of some of the other cats, it shed some light as to why they acted the way they did. I also liked that the relationship between Greystripe and Fireheart mended pretty well. The ending was upsetting but at the same time, I understand why a certain cat made the choices they did. I also liked the themes of this book, the story really went into clan loyalties versus blood loyalties and I appreciated that. The main thing that I disliked was that Bluestar had such a closed mind. She wasn’t willing to accept anything Fireheart was telling her and this seemed to go against her personality.

Pros: The themes of the book were nice, more backstory for events and characters, mended relationships, there were several sub-plots, and the ending was believable.
Cons: Bluestar was more close-minded than I believe her character is usually.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/06/01/forest-of-secrets/

The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

The Assassin’s Blade is the prequel to the Throne of Glass series, and contains five novellas, each one following a different adventure that Celaena – the most feared assassin in her country Ardarlan – goes on. I read this book after reading Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight (because I decided to read it in the publishing order), and so this book gave a lot of insight into why Celaena acts the way she does in the Throne of Glass books. I loved seeing more into her background, and these books really opened my eyes to her personality and even to why she uses some of the expressions that she does. There are wonderful characters in this book. I did not expect to get attached to any since these were short stories, but I ended up loving a large portion of the characters. This book eliticted so much emotion from me. I was amazed by the different adventures that it had, heartbroken at times, and joyous at others. I honestly can’t think anything that I did not like.

Pros: full of incredible adventures, great cast of characters, eye opening to what made Celaena the way she is in Throne of Glass, great world building, and the writing style really pulled the emotions out of me.
Cons: Not a single thing I can think of. I love this book!
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/06/02/the-assassins-blade/

Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★

Siege and Storm is the second book in the Grisha Trilogy, so this will have spoilers for the first book.

Siege and Storm is about Alina trying to stay in hiding with Mal so that the Darkling can not find her. However, since their battle at the end of Shadow and Bone, the Darkling has gained a mysterious new power that makes escaping him harder than ever. I really like that this book takes place in a bunch of different areas that weren’t shown in the first book, so there is a lot of world building. I have always found the magic system and world interesting, and so I liked that there was more of that in this book. I also liked that there were new characters introduced in this story who I actually enjoyed. We meet a few bands of people who are fascinating and who I want to learn more about. Though I liked the new characters, I started to like Alina less and less. I understand the struggle that she was going through, however I believe she started doing things that went completely against who she is as a person and I don’t believe that she would have been capable of doing any of it. Also, I still don’t like the relationship that this book is trying to force between Alina and the Darkling. It just doesn’t make any sense that she would feel an attraction to him at all in a romantic way. They may be connected emotionally because they are similar, but that doesn’t mean that she has any reason to find him attractive romantically. It is just something that I don’t believe is realistic.

Pros: world building, magic system, fun new characters.
Cons: there were just a bunch of things I struggled to believe would have really happened.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/06/05/siege-and-storm/

Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Rating: ★★★★

Catching Fire is the second book of The Hunger Games series, so this will have spoilers for the first book.

It is difficult to explain this book without spoiling it, but it is basically about Katniss and Peeta going through the ramifications of them both winning the Hunger Games. There wasn’t supposed to be two winners so they have to prove that they are helplessly in love, or else they could be harmed. This book shows a lot of what happens after someone wins the Hunger Games, and I liked seeing a different aspect, rather than just seeing the Games again. The arena in this book was fascinating and I liked it more than the first one because of how dynamic it was. There are also many new characters in this book and I liked meeting them and learning about the different people that were in the Games. Similar to the first book, I did not like the romance in this book. There were so many secrets, and like in the first book, the secrets just hurt people. I also thought that the beginning of the book was slow. I liked that it showed some background to the Games, but it did seem to drag on.

Pros: new characters, shows a new side of the Games, and the arena was interesting.
Cons: beginning was slow and romance was annoying.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/06/08/catching-fire/

A Dangerous path

A Dangerous Path (Warriors, #5) by Erin Hunter

My rating: four stars

Genre: Middle Grade

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: ShadowClan has a dark new leader, but will he be satisfied with his power now — or does his desire for revenge burn even more strongly? Fireheart fears that there is a connection between the rise of Tigerstar and the terrible dreams that haunt his nights, murmuring of danger and death.

Meanwhile, a mysterious and vicious threat unlike any other has invaded the forest, placing every cat’s life in peril. Fireheart’s beloved leader has turned her back on their warrior ancestors, and Fireheart can’t help but wonder if she’s right. Has StarClan abandoned them forever?

I low-key wasn’t looking forward to this book too much because of how the last book went, but it surprised me in how much I liked it! I had completely forgot all of the crazy things that happened in this book.

Likes: The previous book was not my favorite in terms of plot progression, and so I really enjoyed this one because it had a lot happening in terms of the tension between Fireheart and Tigerstar. This book does have a good amount of suspense that left my heart racing. It made me worried about the characters, and afraid of what was going to happen to them. This story had good pacing. It never seemed to lull, and there were several plot points that were happening at once, and they were all interesting. The end of this book had me crying. It wasn’t necessarily unexpected, it was just destressing and yet felt right.

Dislikes: It still seems so unrealistic that all of these clans are putting up with Tigerstar’s crap. Like seriously, he is killing cats and doing all of these terrible things, and yet almost no one is doing anything to try and stop him. That is just frustrating. Bluestar’s character also continues to go downhill for most of this story and I am over it. I understand what is troubling her, but at the same time I don’t think that she would have this type of reaction based off of what she had to go through in her past. She went through very traumatic times in her past without breaking like she did in the past couple books, and so I don’t think it is realistic that she became so unstable in these books.

Overall, this book was a great read! Bluestar’s character confused me, and the clan’s actions frustrated me. However, I loved the pacing, the plot progression, and the suspense enough to get over those dislikes. I gave it four out of five stars because of the frustrations that I had, but I still did love this book.

Heir of Fire

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: 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?

OH MY GOSH can I give this book a million stars?? The Assassin’s Blade was my favorite book in the series before I read this one and I did not think it could get any better. Boy was I wrong! This book is my new favorite and took this series in a direction I did not expect.

Likes: There are so many new characters in this book, and I love them! We finally meet characters that are magical, and it is so interesting learning about their culture and abilities. And this book doesn’t only introduce “good” magic characters, it also shows morally grey (if not evil) characters. The witches and elves are so cool, I really hope that they are in the next book often! This book also goes more in depth about Celaena’s background and powers. She is forced to learn more about them, and I loved seeing that side of her. There are also a ton of sub-plots in this book which made for a fast paced story. There always seemed to be something important or fascinating going on somewhere. Even though the book was quite long, it didn’t seem like it because of the pacing and because of how well it was written.

Dislikes: The only dislike I have – and I am really reaching here – is that some of the “immortal” characters seem more immature than I would have thought. There are characters that have been alive for hundreds of years, and I assumed they would have been more in tune with their emotions and more wise than they were. I don’t even know if I would consider it a dislike though because of how much the characters have been through to make them the way they are. I suppose it was more of a surprise than a dislike.

Overall, this book blew me away. I loved it so much and hope that the next books are just as good. The new characters are incredible, the sub-plots were fascinating, and the magic is mind blowing. I loved it through and through.

Rising Storm

Rising Storm (Warriors, #4) by Erin Hunter

My rating: four stars

Genre: Middlegrade

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: Fireheart’s traitorous enemy Tigerclaw has been vanquished and exiled from Thunder Clan — but Fireheart can’t shake the feeling that he’s lurking in the forest, waiting for his chance to strike.

That’s not the only problem facing the young warrior in these blazing summer months, as he struggles to handle sinister omens, an apprentice with a shocking secret, and a devastated Clan leader who is a shell of her former self.

Meanwhile the forest gets hotter and hotter … and everyone braces for the coming storm… Ages 10+.

Continuing with my re-read of the series, we have gotten to one of my least favorite books of the original six book series. It is still an enjoyable read, I just think that it had a weaker storyline than the rest in the original arc, and I think the characters themselves didn’t go in a great direction.

Likes: I did like the growing relationship between Yellowfang and Cinderpelt. It was heartwarming and I love learning more about the medicine cats. I also enjoyed that there were more dangers to the clan than just Tigerclaw. There are some natural disasters and humans that come into play, and this opened up my eyes to see how the cats not only have to worry about troubles in the clans, they also have to worry about outside forces hurting them. There is also a relationship development between Fireheart and another cat that I found that to be adorable. 

Dislikes: Though I did like that this book includes other types of dangers, Tigerclaw is the main villain and he seems to barely be in this book. There is little progression in the plot because of this. I also did not like the direction Bluestar’s personality is taking. I understand that she is shocked by Tigerclaw’s betrayal, but at the same time she has endured much worse than that and I feel like she would not have been as broken as she is in this book. The naivety of the other clans also surprises me. I recognize that they are having their own troubles, however, I don’t think that they would allow the things that they do just because they are having a difficult time. It seems very unlikely that they would allow Tigerclaw to do the things he does.

Overall, this isn’t as strong as a book as the other ones in the original series, but I still enjoyed it immensely. The relationships that develop in this book are heartwarming, the natural disasters that happen are shocking, and this book did wrench my heart which is a sign of a well written book. Because this story was relatively stagnant in terms of plot progression, and the actions of most of the cats weren’t believable, I am going to deduct a star. However, I still recommend this book and this whole series!

Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, Dystopian

Edition: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: SPARKS ARE IGNITING.

FLAMES ARE SPREADING.

AND THE CAPITAL WANTS REVENGE.

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest that she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. Katniss is about to be tested as never before.

In preparation for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (the prequal to The Hunger Games), I am trying to re-read the whole Hunger Games trilogy. Catching Fire was my favorite movie, and though I don’t remember much about the book because it has been so long since I have read it, I am hoping it is as good as I remember.

Likes: I like how we get to see the “behind the scenes” of the games, in that we get to see Katniss and Peeta travel around on the Victory Tour. The first book only really showed the hunger games, and so I liked seeing another aspect to it. I also liked the arena in this book. It required strategy and planning, unlike the arena in the first book. The arena is fluid and dynamic, and I thought that was interesting to read about – all the different elements the Gamemakers can add to the arena. I also like all the new characters that are introduced. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are a ton of new characters that add interesting elements to this story. They all have differing personalities, and it is interesting to learn how the games have affected them personally.

Dislikes: I did not care for the romance in the first book, and I still do not care for it in this book. Peeta is kept in the dark about so much it doesn’t make sense. If everyone would just be open and honest, there wouldn’t be so much drama. I don’t believe that people would keep Peeta in the dark, and I don’t believe he is as ignorant as they make him out to be. Another thing that I did not like was how long the beginning seemed to drag on. I did like seeing a different side to the games, however, it just seemed to drag on and on and it wasn’t that enjoyable to me.

Overall, I gave this book four out of five stars because, while I did enjoy it immensely, I did not like it as much as the first book which I gave five out of five stars. There were just too many secrets, too much unnecessary drama, and it seemed to drag on. I did still love the characters, the behind the scenes glimpse of the games, and the updated arena. The new characters were interesting and made the book intriguing. I would definitely recommend this book, it was a lot of fun to listen to, and the narrator was incredible!

Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I am still trying to alternate between the Throne of Glass series and the Shadow and Bone series because finishing both is something that I want to accomplish in 2020 – especially since the show in this universe is in production! Though I don’t think I liked this book as much as the first one, it was still enjoyable to me and I look forward to the third one.

Likes: I am still wowed by this world and magic system. We start to see parts of Alina’s magic and others that we haven’t seen before which is exciting. Alina goes on some huge adventures in this book, so a lot more of the world is explored which was fascinating. While on these adventures she meets new characters that I came to love. The new characters were so intriguing and confusing, but in a good way. They were complex, and it was honestly hard to tell what the new characters were going to do and what side they are on because they were good actors. I love this complexity. I truly believe the best part of this book was the new characters that appeared.

Dislikes: The main character’s personality starts changing in a direction that I don’t enjoy or believe to be quite honest. The actions that she wants to take involve doing things that she has been against for the entire first book. It just isn’t believable that she would change so much, so quickly. I understand that power changes people, and she has been through some horrific things in her life. However, it is just hard to believe she would want to do the things she does. Also, I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I do not like how the author is trying to connect Alina and the Darkling in a romantic way. It just doesn’t make sense that she would see him in that way at all, and it honestly seems like Leigh is trying to please the readers who ship them.

Overall, I did like this book, and I do still love this series. However, there are just so many things that are hard for me to believe, which is why I had to deduct a star. It seems like some of the relationships and actions of the characters happen to either move the story along or to please the fans. It doesn’t seem realistic. I do still love the world, the magic system, and the new characters. I am still excited for the last book and can’t wait to read it! 

The Assassin’s Blade

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Edition: Paperback

**DISCLAIMER: I read The Assassin’s Blade in the published order, so after Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. So, if you have not read those two books, this review may contain slight spoilers**

Goodreads summary: 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.

I decided to read this book after Crown of Midnight because I usually prefer to read series’ in their publication order. This book contains five novellas, and to be honest I didn’t have the highest expectations. I have loved all the other Throne of Glass books, but the idea of a bunch of short stories didn’t appeal to me. However, this book blew me away. It is a hundred percent my favorite book in the series so far!

Likes: I loved learning about Celaena’s past. The first two Throne of Glass books left so many mysteries about her and a lot of them were answered in this book. It made Celaena seem much more human, more relatable. Each story was so interesting that I ended up reading one a day, I just couldn’t make myself stop reading them. Her relationship with Sam was heartwarming and heartbreaking. I am glad that we are finally able to see more into that side of her past that wasn’t mentioned often in the first books. This view of her past shows how different of a person she is in in the main Throne of Glass series because of all the things that have happened to her. I also loved the characters in these stories. There were some great friendships and loves, as well as betrayal and heartbreak. I love the unexpected twists and turns that come along with these characters. I honestly wish some of them were in the main series.

Dislikes: Ummmm… I honestly don’t know. This was just such a good book. I can’t think of any.

Overall, this story just blew me away. For sure my favorite book in the Throne of Glass series so far. I wish there were more of these short stories because I loved seeing different aspects of Celaena’s past. The characters were wonderful, the plot twists shocking, and the plots themselves were phenomenal. I had such a great time reading this and I would recommend to everyone who has read the first two Throne of Glass books. (I know some people like to read it chronologically but for this book I find it important to read this one after Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. It creates an element of heartbreak and awe that I don’t think would be created if it was read first. Just my opinion though.)

Forest of Secrets

Forest of Secrets (Warriors, #3) by Erin Hunter

My rating: five stars

Genre: Middle grade

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads summary: Allegiances are shifting among the Clans of warrior cats that roam the forest. With tensions so delicately balanced, former friends can become enemies overnight, and some cats are willing to kill to get what they want.

Fireheart is determined to find out the truth about the mysterious death of brave ThunderClan warrior Redtail. But as he searches for answers, he uncovers secrets that some believe would be better left hidden.

Continuing with my goal to read one Warrior book a month, I am slightly ahead! I am still in love with this series and have noticed that I don’t remember as much about it as I thought I did. So much happened in this book! It was very fast paced the entire time, it seemed like something was always happening, which wasn’t a bad thing. I definitely enjoyed this one more than Fire and Ice.

Likes: Fireheart and Greystripe seemed to get over their issues with one another in the last book, and that made this book more enjoyable and believable. I love their friendship and loyalty towards each other, and this book continues to show this strong bond at work. There are a lot of secrets that are uncovered in this book, and they show why Bluestar acts like she does later. It doesn’t excuse how she acts, but the book delves into her past and I liked learning more about her. No spoilers, but the ending just made so much sense to me. I didn’t necessarily want it to happen, but I truly believe what happened was something the character would do.

Dislikes: I did like that we got to learn more about Bluestar but OH MY GOSH can she just believe Fireheart already?? He has an eye witness and everything! It just seems like there is so much proof and Bluestar just won’t believe him. I understand that Tigerclaw is an important person but COME ON. Ugh, that really annoyed me.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book. The friendship between Fireheart and Greystripe was back, the book started to delve into the backstories and secrets of different characters, and the ending made sense to me. Bluestar’s actions and inability to believe Fireheart has been annoying me for the past two books, but I didn’t deduct a star because I just like the story too much.