Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I think that there is allot to discuss regarding Kingdom Of Ash. But first lets go back to book one and the novellas.
They were mildly interesting but very few characters stuck around for the main series and of the few that did only Yrene became a main player.
Throne of Glass - 5/5
This book was amazing, with action, romance and world building tied together perfectly... this book was everything I could ever want from a fantasy novel. Excellent character building combined with superb storytelling combine for a wonderful book.
Crown of midnight - 4/5
I loved this book, a bit slower perhaps than Throne of Glass but many of the love triangle issues from the first book are somewhat resolved. However this is the last book with the "original gang". The stakes are high and all decisions have severe repercussions.
Heir of Fire - 5/5
Wonderful continuation to the series, interesting new love interest as well as some new supporting characters.
Queen of shadows - 3/5
Slow but interesting. This book has it's moments where it absolutely shines but overall it fell short of the stranded set by the first three books in the series.
Empire of Storms - 4/5
This book was epic it had me laughing and crying it definatly brings back some of my favorite aspects from the first two books. In this book we begin to see a small erosion of the male characters (their personalities fall short of what was originally established) which was more than a little disappointing.
Tower of Dawn - 1/5
Oh god this book was just horrible. So many characters introduced last minute, trying to remember their names just gave me a headache.
Kingdom of Ash - 2/5
The beginning aka Aelin in the coffin dragged on FOREVER. The thought of her losing all her scars felt a bit like a cheap shot. Nox is back (yay!) Elide refuses to forgive a man who was a slave for a large part of his life and made a decision in his own favor but still regrets it. Besides her drama with Lorchan, Elide plays no role in this book. Gavreal is amazing as always but his death was insignificant and poorly written. Connal's death was too swift. Aedon and Lysandra have perhaps the most realistic relationship. Lysandra lies to Aedon therefore losing his trust. Aedon is constantly warring with his emotions because he does love Lysandra but the fact remains that he cannot trust her and he is still angry with her. Evangiline acts as their child and brings together. This book was well done. Manon and Dorian never had a relationship in the first place it was just sex. Glad they broke up. The thirteens death was poorly explained and even more poorly written. I've never cared much about the thirteen so I was actually glad to see them be killed off. They were annoying and added nothing to the story. Yrene's relationship with Chaol felt rushed. And why was she pregnant? What's the point of having a pregnant character if your just gonna send them into the worst of the battle? The best part of the book was when Dorian became a woman and groped himself. I laughed so hard. Then the moment was over and it was boring again. Anyways there's also the fact that this book had absolutly no stakes.
Here is a short list of characters I would have killed off in this book:
1. Ren - adds literally nothing to the plot
2. Dorian - Should have been killed off while closing the gate
3. Lorchan - Has been reduced to Elide's punching bag.
4. Yrene - She is pregnant, and annoying. Her death could have tugged at our heart strings.
5. Chaol - As one of the original three (Chaol, Dorian and Celeana) his death would have pulled at every readers heart strings.
6. Manon - She is annoying
7. Evangaline - Show that there are stakes and that death does not discriminate by killing off a child. This would also make or break Lysandra and Aedon
8. Lysandra - If not Evangaline then Lysandra. She is annoying and a pawn in the later books. Loved her in Queen of Shadows but after that her character just diminished.
9. Hassar - Annoying
10. Nesryn - Nesryn is so freaking annoying. She was barely introduced properly and tbh I forgot she exsisted. She adds nothing to the story.
11. Sartaq - He is literally just Nesryn's manic pixie dream boy.
And here is a list of characters I have chosen to live.
1. Maeve - She had good reason to flee her valg life I think that she should have been banished to another realm opening up the oppertunity for a novella
2. Erawen - He said he loved his brothers I would love to see them reunited. See what valg life in their original dimension. Maybe have Erawen redeem himself and see the light. I could totally see him as an old storyteller. Or flee and pull and Ender Wiggen.
Just to clear some things up, I ship:
1. Dorian x Sorcha
2. Chaol x no one, ( him and Yrene just don't work)
3. Elide x Nox (They are closer in age than her and Lorchan and may have had the potential for immediate chemistry as they are both from Perranth)
4. Aelin x Rowan (or Fenrys they just went through so much together, however they do seem more like best friends.)
5. Manon x No one ( All she wants is sex and despite what most people have convinced themselves, she was never lesbian. She treats Elide like a little sister. She seems like the type of woman who would be a miserable partner. I'm glad Dorian got away.)
6. Aedon x Lysandra (Enough said)
Now to address one thing that absolutely ruined this book: the overwhelming, unending feminism. This book was pact full with feminism and it made the story almost unreadable. Here is a list of all the feminist ideas that made an appearance.
1. Men are nothing but disgusting dirt bags
2. Woman are their boyfriends/husbands keepers and their men should do as they say and not question them. They should also worship the ground they walk on or they are a dirtbag.
3. Women don't need men in their life
4. Men cannot be complex characters like their female counterparts. Instead they must be one of three generalizations: A brute, A love interest, or A jerk.
5. If a man likes sex he is a whore if a woman likes sex she is empowered.
6. Woman should rule, men should bow to them (there are 5 queens and 1 kings) and though these queens have husbands, not one of them is called king. Rowan is a freakin consort, what the heck.
7. If a woman lies repeatedly and/or betrays her friends it is presented as being heroic, if a man lies and/or betrays his friends it is presented as them being an awful person.
8. Only women can REALLY fight. Even the untrained female fighters are better than the ancient males with superpowers!
9. Guys only want sex
The feminist ideals really messed the characters up. The amazing character development for characters like Chaol, Lorchan and Aedon were tossed to the wind in this book and they just became annoying, pining for their girlfriends. Again annoying.
There were however a few male characters that weren't totally stripped of their personality for example Darrow and Fenrys and that is about it.
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Laura and her classmates have been looking forward to their senior camping trip for weeks. Three days on an island paradise, away from school and their parents. What more could they ask for?
The camping trip starts out well enough. The island is scenic and just the kind of escape to nature that Laura had hoped for. However, cracks soon begin to appear in her plans. Her boyfriend ditches her to hang out with his friends. She has to share a room with one of the teachers. But those are the least of her worries.
A student disappears, and no one can find him. Soon, Laura and the other students realize that the camping trip is anything but a dream vacation. There’s something else on the island. Something large and frightening. Something that lurks unseen beneath the earth. Something that welcomes the presence of the students because they will satisfy its appetite
Allow me to begin this review by saying that I loved Beneath The Earth. Having read All That Remains Of Me (another fantastic novel by H.S. Stone) I held a fairly high bar where Stone's writing is concerned before I even considered reading Beneath The Earth. So, I wasn't surprised when I found myself binge reading the book in my spare time and being whisked into a fictional land of monsters and drama. I was surprised however, when I finished the book and found myself less than thrilled with the ending. Let me explain...
The novel revolves around a senior in high school, Laura as she faces off a monster that is pure nightmare fuel whilst trying to resolve an ongoing love triangle. Both themes by themselves make for an amazing novel but I found that the presumed romance in Laura's head left little room for her to emotionally react to the horrors going on around her. I found my willing suspension of disbelief slowly dissolving into frustration towards the end. I just couldn't believe any young woman would put her casual high school boyfriend and her popularity before her survival or before the survival of her friends.
However, Beneath The Earth sports many well written elements. Stone excellently taps into the horror of the unknown. I could feel my pulse rushing every time I felt that Laura and her friends were in danger. Horror fans will love this book. Or, if you’re like me and your new to the genre this is a good place to start. It’s a nice thriller if you want to sit back and just enjoy being scared but still have to wake up early tomorrow. I would likely recommend this to friends and family because I think that everyone should read something now and then that gets their blood pumping and this book is perfect for that. For a horror novel it is surprisingly age appropriate. Beneath The Earth relies on the fears in the backs of our minds like a classic horror story however doesn’t take these fears to an explicit or otherwise inappropriate level. All in all this is definitely a good way to introduce yourself or a friend to the genre of thrillers.
About the Author
Even before he could read, H.S. Stone wanted to write a book. Fascinated by the stories that seemed to leap from his kindergarten teacher's books, he went home and wrote his own book, with illustrations and bound by staples. Of course, since he didn't know how to read or write yet, the book was full of gibberish.
Undaunted, H.S. eventually mastered the ABC's and continued to write throughout his grade school years, adolescence, and into adulthood. Despite earning a degree and working in a field not related to writing, he continued to pursue his writing passion.
H.S. Stone's publications include novels aimed at Young Adult and Middle Grade readers as well as several short stories. He currently lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
-Taken from Goodreads
Here is a very first look at my Alice in Wonderland inspired photoshoot.
Follow the models!
Here's a fun writing warm up, create a short quiz centered around your characters. The quiz will force you to know in-depth descriptions of your characters. It's also just a fun way to start your full day of writing. This idea struck me earlier this week so I decided to act on it.
*All races of mer are a product of my imagination
Performing at Carnegie Hall
I performed in Carnegie Hall... again!
Okay so I realize much of my audience's interests may lean more heavily in the "admiring famous authors" direction as opposed to the "admiring famous opera singers" direction but I find myself in both circles of interest. I did a post about my first trip to Carnegie Hall which was amazing and I am pleased to say that it was even more spectacular the second time around. They moment we arrived it was off to the races. I think now is a good time to point out that the invitation to go to Carnegie Hall was extended to my schools choir not just me (sigh). Our performance, Dreamweaver, consisted of Dreamweaver and Song of the Universal by Ola Gjelo followed by an orchestral middle and was wrapped up by a different choir singing Jubilate Deo. Due to some rather strict rules I wasn't able to film anything inside the hall itself but I did get to film the rest of New York!
Lions, Tigers and Bears Oh My!
(The NY Zoo... but there were no lions or tigers and the bear was really shy)
Back to the Books
Confession time, I have done very little reading this past month. Since I decided to make writing a book a serious goal of mine I have had very little downtime to read. But difficult and impossible are two very different concepts. I'm hoping to have a review up at least every month. I will alternate between video reviews and written reviews. If you would like to keep up with my adventures in writing then check out my Youtube.
How far would you go to save your sister?
In a town made of ghosts and dreamers there are only three rules to which one must oblige:
#1 Never go into the forest alone.
#2 Never talk to the ghosts.
#3 Never make deals in the dark.
Ophelia Danger broke the first two rules not thinking of the consequences and now her sister has disappeared.
To save Resa, Ophelia has no choice but to make a deal with the devil.
Long before historians added “the Great” to his name, Alexander stated, “I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity.” He certainly lived up to this ambition, conquering most of the known world in just 13 years before his death at age 33. Though undefeated in his lifetime, Alexander died unsatisfied--he always wanted more. His ambitious personality comes as no surprise considering his upbringing: born to powerful parents, he studied under Aristotle and grew up believing himself a descendant of the Greek heroes Achilles and Heracles. His parents and tutors raised him to believe he had something to prove, and this book serves as an account of what he accomplished.
Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes tells the story of Alexander the Great as its title suggests. The reader follows Alexander through his incredible life. We get see both the man and the legend. The book is a wonderful non-fiction historical novel that pulls in the reader with interesting facts about one of the most famous historical figures in the world.
This book is informative like a standard history book; however, it is engaging and interesting. The audiobook (which is the copy I received via in60learning) is only an hour long. This is perfect for a quick read or for someone researching Alexander the Great. As a blogger who is constantly logged on to either my phone or computer I can appreciate this minimalistic approach to teaching. I finished it within a day and was able to read it while working.
This is easily one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. It is also easily one of the most educational. The author grabs the readers interest by pulling them in with the legend of Alexander the Great then follows up with the facts behind each legend. I really enjoyed this and can’t wait to read more from in60learning.
While young Wendy and her brothers were taken to Neverland by Peter Pan, Alice fell through a rabbit hole and the Pevensie siblings crossed over to Narnia, another boy was taken to another fantastic place: his own heart.
Great losses crumble the worlds of even the steadiest individuals. In The Imaginarium of the Innocent, ten-year-old Tobias Young’s sense of home is torn from him in one night of wartime devastation in Belgium. Instead of security, love and peace, Toby now faces deep despair and cold numbness. In the aftermath of the destruction of his soul, he is crippled and orphaned in London.
Not only does Toby struggle to accept his handicap, he battles the will to be happy. With the help of a magical soaring eagle, Eoloswing, Toby enters the endangered Imaginarium as the Nightingale—a young man destined to save his newfound friends from the evil of the Hopeslayer. As Toby searches for answers and happiness—with his new roommate and his sister—in both the orphanage and the gorgeous and captivating floating island of dreams, he must learn to address his own heart and remember to retain his own Spark of Elan.
Written by author H. A. Betancourt, The Imaginarium of the Innocent is children’s book similar to that of the Chronicles of Narnia. The book follows ten-year-old Toby on a heart warming adventure. The readers accompany young Toby through the tragedies that build and shape him as a young boy to the fantastical adventure that molds him as a young man. This book is inspiration both in its story telling and in its characters.
Toby is a unique character in that he lacks the characteristic of being able to relate to his readership but manages to hold interest. Everything from Toby’s demure manner to his boyish charm pulls the reader in. Our curiosity regarding the main protagonist is sparked by his tragic beginnings. Right from the start readers will empathize if not relate to Toby and want him to succeed.
Overall this book was good. The author built an incredible world filled with magic and wonder. However none of the characters stood out enough to make me want to re-read this. I would recommend this book as a rainy day read. It is definitely worth your time and will fill your heart and mind with both entertainment and wonder.
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I am an American book blogger who loves to write. I love story's that have the power to change a person.
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