February 2020| Reading Wrap Up

Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

*** SPOILERS FOR THRONE OF GLASS (because this is the sequel)***

Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series. In Throne of Glass Celaena becomes the King’s Champion. This book is about the experience that she has being the Champion. The struggles of having to kill for someone she hates, and all of the judgement she gets for it. The mysteries in this book were fascinating, and the addition of magic (that was seen at the end of Throne of Glass) into this story added another element to it that I loved. This books brings us closer to side characters and learning more about them was exciting to me. I loved all the side characters and hope that we continue to learn more! The main thing that I disliked with this story were all of the secrets between characters. Especially because I truly believe it goes against the character’s personalities and relationships. I don’t believe it is something that they would have done, it seems like the secrets were there to move the plot along. Some devastating things happen that could have been avoided if there weren’t so many secrets.

Pros: gained more information on side-characters, mysterious, magic system was interesting, wrenched my heart.
Cons: so many secrets that were unnecessary and unbelievable.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/05/crown-of-midnight/

Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Rating: ★★★★

Legend takes place in what used to be western United States, but is now the Republic. It is a story of a girl named June – who is trying to become a top military leader – and a boy named Day – who is one of the most wanted criminals in the Republic. June’s brother is murdered and Day is the main suspect. This is a story full of mystery, hardship, relationships, and trust. One of the things that I love about this story is that it has so many themes, there isn’t just one main element to the story, there is a lot going on. What we are lead to believe at the beginning of the story quickly shifts and changes as the story progresses. I love this complex aspect of the book. It also has two wonderful main characters who both believe that they are doing good, even though some might see them as “bad guys”. I appreciate when books have complex characters that are morally gray. It leads to great morality discussions which I believe are important to grow. Though I did love the two main characters, I did not enjoy parts of their relationship that developed because it seemed too fast and unrealistic given the circumstances. It seemed forced to me.

Pros: complex story arc, morally gray characters, good pacing, full of surprises.
Cons: main character’s relationship seemed unnecessary and unrealistic.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/08/legend/

Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

Strange the Dreamer is about a boy named Lazlo Strange whose dream is to go to the lost city of Weep. He is a junior librarian who spends most – if not all – of his time in the library, so it seems like he will never fulfill that dream. However, one day a band of warriors from Weep show up requesting that people come with him to their city. This begins a huge journey for Lazlo, who wants more than anything to solve the mystery of Weep. I love Laini Taylor’s writing; Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favorite series ever, and I was not disappointed with this story. The writing was just as beautiful, and the world building was complex and thorough. I loved the characters, as well as the relationships that evolve between them. The magic in this book was surprising and interesting, not what I was expecting at all. The only thing that I did not care for was that it was pretty slow in the beginning. I still liked what I was reading, it was just a little slow for my taste.

Pros: plot twists, beautiful writing, interesting magic system, intriguing mystery.
Cons: pacing was slow in the beginning.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/13/strange-the-dreamer/

Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1) by Laini Taylor

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Edition: paperback

Goodreads Summary: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

I have been wanting to read this book for the longest time! Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favorite series EVER and it made me curious to read this series. Chloe from bookswithchloe on YouTube had a read along and a liveshow where she talked about this book on her Patreon at the end of February. It was just so perfect that this book was chosen (as I read it in February and am just super behind on my blog posts)! I honestly wish I hadn’t waited this long because I LOVED it.

Likes: All the suspense and questions were beautifully worked into this story. I usually don’t care for not knowing things, but the way that it is done in this book makes it fun and like a game. I love the characters in this story so much. They each have their positives and negatives, but they have such rich backstories that explain why they are who they are. The only person I did not care for might be a spoiler, but I swear they are the worst. I get that bad things happened in their past, but that just doesn’t excuse the things they are doing in my eyes. There is so much beautiful imagery in this book. The descriptions of dreams and the different parts of the world are incredible. I truly love Laini Taylor’s writing. Something else besides her descriptions that I love are the plot twists and crazy surprises that are in her stories. She always makes mysteries that I think are the main big one that I am trying to solve throughout the book, and then, BAM, there was really a huge twist that comes that I didn’t see because I was so focused on the smaller mystery. It is insane how skilled she is to be able to do this, and it makes her stories powerful and unique.

Dislike: The book was a little slow in the beginning. It wasn’t to where I was bored or anything, it was just kind of dragging on. I don’t know how to explain it exactly. I was loving what I was reading, but I wasn’t enjoying the process of reading it because of the pacing. Another thing that I did not like was a huge spoiler at the beginning of the book. I won’t say any more about it except that it really made me enjoy later parts of the book less.

Overall, I was not disappointed in this story at all. I had high expectations because of how much I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and this book lived up to them! I don’t think I liked it as much as that series, but I did truly love it and look forward to reading the next one!