Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder | Book Review

51254682_253121442254630_2335582475167727616_nBook: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study, #1
Genre: High Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

“Yelena, you’ve driven me crazy. You’ve caused me considerable trouble and I’ve contemplated ending your life twice since I’ve known you. But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”

Looking for the perfect post – Kingdom of Ash hangover read? Well look no further. I picked this book up not hoping that it would cure my mourning period, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it gave me a lot of Throne of Glass vibes. It was like picking up the first book in the series all over again after finishing the final. But the best part? The plot and the characters were new to me.

Poison Study is one of those books that I’ve heard nothing but praise for since my introduction to the online book community. It’s a classic favourite for many. I’ve read a Snyder book before and after finishing Touch of Power, I was told that Poison Study is way better. So yes, this has been a long time coming. And did I enjoy it? Let’s just say that I had a difficult time putting this book down.

Yelena has a choice. A fast death or a slow one. After deciding her fate by agreeing to be the poison taster for the Commander, a new life of tests, danger, and chance await her. Yet this is also her opportunity to live. It’s the most freedom she’s ever been granted. And despite playing the biggest risk of her life, this is the path that introduces her to people she could finally allow herself to care for. But her dark past is not too far out of reach and when she discovers a side to her that can easily send her back to her execution, Yelena finds that poison is not the only danger she has to face.

“To Yelena, our newest food taster. May you last longer than your predecessor.”

The pages kept flipping mainly because of my love for Valek and Yelena’s growing relationship. Which is funny because when I first started reading, I found out who Valek was going to be and didn’t particularly like the idea of him in that position. But finding out early allowed me to imagine him the way he was supposed to be written. He read as a middle-aged man at first, but was actually much younger than I was made to believe, so I’m glad I got that misunderstanding out of the way early.

Despite that mix up, once I accepted the way things were going to play out, I lived for every interaction between the two. Especially when Valek was always encouraging Yelena. Like “yes go ahead and read my books, go ahead and snoop through my stuff. You were eavesdropping in my office? Well it’s about time! You were worried that I wouldn’t want you training? But it’s such a good idea!” Every time Yelena stresses about getting in trouble, he surprises her by agreeing with her tactics, which I found hilarious.

“Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. Not what I would consider the good life. Death has its perks.”

The way this world was set-up, with the uniforms and districts, didn’t scream fantasy to me. I was expecting more fantasy elements but was given a world that read more dystopian. I mean, the magic was there, but it was suppressed. Nevertheless, this was a near-perfect book for me. I enjoyed it immensely and can now say that the hype is well-deserved.

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Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

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Book: Kingdom of Ash
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #7
Genre: High Fantasy
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …”

It’s coming down to the end. Aelin has played all her cards and now it’s up to her allies, friends, and family to prepare and defend her home and the world from an enemy promised to doom everything in his path. But their focus is drawn thin when battles take form in separate areas and when another enemy gets involved. Racing to meet in the middle, Aelin’s court and allies march through obstacles to their final battle. Their one goal: a better world.

“Let’s make this a fight worthy of a song.”

Kingdom of Ash, the final instalment in the Throne of Glass series, exceeded my expectations. I was on the edge of my seat due to the high stakes. It was easy to jump back into this world and be engrossed in the story because of my love for the characters, because the long anticipated wait for this final was beautifully set-up by the previous books, and because this was the best written and paced book in the entire series. It was a stellar conclusion that left me mourning the story I invested many years in.

You would think that a one thousand page book would contain at least a few slow scenes, but I was surprised to find that despite all the war talk and battles that took place, I was never bored. It was clear that everything, every last word, was needed, was intentional to fully complete this epic seven-book series. I was onboard with everything Maas had included.

*Spoilers Ahead*

I entered this series fiercely loving Chaol and left it fiercely loving Dorian.

This book. This book.

It was everything. And let me tell you, I was worried that Maas had added too many characters on her plate; the original melding with those from Tower of Dawn. Potentially causing the pacing to not work if so many characters had point-of-views, that there would be too many small story-lines going on with all the separated groups, and that I would not enjoy any of the characters because of all the jumping around. But I had no trouble with any of these aspects in the book because no one was added as a filler, everyone had a purpose for the bigger picture Maas wanted to paint, and most importantly, I love all the characters. There wasn’t really a character I didn’t enjoy or wasn’t interested in reading about.

The most significant event that we start off with is Aelin’s captivity. Her experience preceding her escape was rough. She was forced to endure one of the hardest trials that I have ever read a character go through. It was hard to read those chapters. But on the other side of it I feel like it brought back the character previous to the one I couldn’t connect with in Empire of Storms. I talked about it in my review for that book, but Aelin, to me, became this unreachable robot. A plot device, not a character who possessed relatable human qualities. I guess what I’m trying to say is that from the point of her recovery, it made me see a more raw and human side of her. She was no longer this disconnected character that was only being used to drive the plot forward. She wasn’t just spending her time swaggering and scheming. I just think she was really powerful in this book, and not just in the physical sense. Her development was beautiful, and there were a couple of scenes from her that really stood out.

“Fireheart, why do you cry? And from far away, deep within her, Aelin whispered toward that ray of memory, Because I am lost. And I do not know the way.”

And Rowan? I honestly don’t have much to say about him. He is my least favourite in the series and he didn’t make a significant impact in this book, at least from my perspective. I disliked Rowan in Empire of Storms. Did that change for the better in this book? A little. But not by much. There were so many other main characters to be invested in that I wasn’t bothered by his inevitable presence.

Let’s talk about the chapters I looked forward to the most. With Manon and Dorian and The Thirteen. Because, yes, I’m Manon and Dorian trash, and all I want in life is for them to admit their feelings, get married, and be happy. But it hurts when your favourite pairing is so stubborn. They had some great moments though. I really hope they did end up getting married because what a badass power-couple they would be. And Manon deserves nice things because she lost so much.

Speaking of loss… I don’t think I’ve ever been punched in the gut, at least not until The Thirteen made their sacrifice. Yes, I sobbed, on the train surrounded by strangers, may I add. I mean it when I say it ruined my week. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. But I was also immensely moved by this scene. Moved by the way it represented the power of friendship, family, and sacrifice. What one is willing to do for those they love, for a brighter future, for something they believe in. I just wanted to give my friends and family all hugs after that. It really made me think and feel like no scene ever has.

“Live, Manon. Live.”

Speaking of deaths and sacrifice… Gavriel’s death hit me pretty hard too. But putting aside my sadness for these two major death scenes, I appreciate that they died for a good reason. Maas could have easily killed off a few of her mains for the sake of killing them. Instead, I can tell she put a lot of thought into these character deaths. Again, every little detail was intentional, everything that happened was for an important purpose.

“Yet the songs would mention this—that the Lion fell before the western gate of Orynth, defending the city and his son.”

Anytime we reach a final in a long series, it’s exciting because of the long years leading up to the big moments. In Kingdom of Ash especially, reunions and first meetings between characters were finally happening . The entire series lead up to all of these relationships and interactions and to be able to finally read about them was everything. For example, Elide and Lorcan and Aedion and Lysandra becoming a couple, the Dorian and Yrene meeting, and the Aelin and Yrene and Chaol and Dorian reunion. Just all the characters coming together and combining their strengths to fight for a better world was a powerful and emotional sight to witness.

“Aelin looked at Chaol and Dorian and sobbed. Opened her arms to them, and wept as they held each other. “I love you both,” she whispered. “And no matter what may happen, no matter how far we may be, that will never change.”

I’m not even exaggerating when I say it was hard to sit still while reading this book. But from all the excitement and nervousness I had obtained, it was understandable. There was so much at stake, there was tons of bloodshed, and the battles lasted for pages upon pages. I found it to be really unsettling. It caused me a lot of anxiousness. But I also find aspects of politics and war in fantasy books to be really interesting, which is why Kingdom of Ash is highly rated by me.

This final was epic. It was powerful and it affected me in ways I wasn’t expecting. The mourning period I endured when I finished this book was tough. As you can already tell, Kingdom of Ash was an emotional ride for me and it wrapped this long series up in a satisfying and heart-wrenching way. I expect nothing less from Queen Maas.

“Passed over one of those mountains, where a winged male stood beside a heavily pregnant female, gazing at those very stars. Fae.”

I can’t forget. That little Feysand cameo was everything. Adding an extra layer to my already intense emotions. It was such a tease though. I want to know more about this new exciting chapter of theirs.

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab | Book Review

48428811_215696239369796_1507550816729300992_nBook: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity, #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Dystopian
My Rating: 2/5 Stars

“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”

I can honestly say I have no idea why I decided to pick up this book. It was more of a spontaneous and “filling a void before a big book release” type of decision. This Savage Song had a lot of aspects going against it in terms of my preferences. There was no romance, I grew out of and stopped reading this genre years ago, and there are monsters; I dislike reading about most supernatural/paranormal creatures that are not fae. I remember when this book was first released and everyone was freaking out about it being a YA book with NO ROMANCE. Wow! And I was sitting there like, “is that supposed to impress me?” But let me tell you, I did not enjoy this book, and the “no romance” part surprisingly had nothing to do with it.

The city of Verity is split in two. Kate Harker’s father rules the side where monsters are controlled and August Flynn’s guardians rule over the side that kill monsters. Monsters are summoned into existence from the crimes of humans. They are an epidemic that citizens fear. Yet, August is a monster, a rare kind. All he wants is to be human, to not be feared, to be free from his monstrous instincts. Kate wants to be like her father, powerful and feared. But when their paths cross, and everything goes downhill, they are forced to unit and discover what it means to be themselves; a monster and a human.

“You wanted to feel alive, right? It doesn’t matter if you’re monster or human. Living hurts.”

I’ve already talked about my dislike for urban fantasy. When I went into this book expecting a strange and different story, I instead discovered too much normalcy for a book about monsters. Imagine a YA contemporary where teens go to high school, but with a monster. The mix of monsters and normal life? Yeah… that’s not my cup of tea. And unfortunately for me, that is the whole premise of this book.

The two main characters, though, held my attention at different points in the story. August started it off, persuading me to feel bad for his situation. He was the first character or aspect of the story that brought out an opinion or emotion from me that wasn’t just “I don’t care about this book.” I eventually favoured Kate as well, though her character was not so simple to care for. In the end I questioned how it was possible to like both characters equally when they were so different? Victoria Schwab’s choice of characters are always so interesting and intriguing. Each one brings such opposite dynamics to the story that make it so complex and rich and terrifying.

“Plenty of humans are monstrous, and plenty of monsters know how to play at being human.”

I found Kate’s father to be really interesting as well because I couldn’t tell if he actually loved his daughter. The question I kept asking myself was would he break if she was in trouble? What would he do if the monsters he treasured hurt her? I was waiting for a moment to reveal his “human” side but perhaps I expect too much good from characters who were never meant to be written that way.

Now, if I love romance so much, why did I not have a problem with a lack of it in this book, like I was expecting? I realized that as long as the book provides an interesting relationship, whether that be a romantic or platonic or partners-in-crime dynamic, I will most likely be invested in how the two characters interact and develop throughout the story. How they grow to care or respect one another. August and Kate taught me that.

I loved Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, so I was obviously disappointed that this book did not live up to the hype a lot of readers gave it and the hype I gave it because I enjoyed the author’s previous work. I don’t know if I’ll continue to the next book, but then again, I never thought I would pick up This Savage Song either.

“The beautiful thing about books was that anyone could open them.”

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It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover | Book Review

48363944_860422611001222_2182099671361519616_nBook: It Ends with Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Standalone
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”

This book is my biggest fear.
And I’m so happy I finally read it.

I’ve been a Colleen Hoover fan ever since I picked up Ugly Love a few years ago. But it took me two years to bring myself to pick up It Ends with Us due to its sensitive subject matter. I mean, why would I willingly read something that could trigger me? But I knew it was important for me to get through. I wanted to know how this subject matter was going to be dealt with and I wanted to know if I would learn something from it. Especially because this story is rooted from the author’s real life. 

I will put a trigger warning at the end of my review. I know most people may consider it a spoiler but I’m thankful I knew what it was about before I read it so I could wait until I was finally ready to pick it up. My reading experience would have been different if I didn’t know. At the same time, I do not think I can properly capture this book in my own synopsis, which is an element I enjoy adding to my reviews. This is one of those rare cases where it’s hard to be brief and not spoil the big events. 

This is definitely THE read that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’m proud of myself for getting through this. It’s a huge step for me. This is also the first time in two years that I’ve picked up a Colleen Hoover book. And I didn’t realize until I read the first page how much I missed her stories. I forgot how addictive her writing style is and how dramatic her plot points are.

Lily’s letters were one of the best aspects of the book for me. It gave the story more depth and layers, and it really drew me in. And yes, Atlas was a favourite character of mine. I loved reading about their past relationship and seeing how his role played out in Lily’s present life.

“In the future… if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again… fall in love with me.”

Another relationship I adored was between Lily and Allysa. Their friendship had a strange set-up and circumstances. But it was because of these circumstances that showcased friends who stuck together no matter what, which I really appreciated.

Everything about this book was raw and real. I learned so much. I cried when I was reading it and thinking about it and talking about it. The message was powerful and eye-opening. All I want to do is buy multiple copies and hand them out to everyone I know.

“Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet.”

*Trigger Warning*
Domestic abuse

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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young | Book Review

45775927_1914799461972348_7499486552104370176_nBook: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Series: Sky in the Deep, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

“We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.”

I’m not one who is typically intrigued by the idea of picking up a short, fantasy, standalone. I mean, when I think fantasy, I want fleshed out characters, world-building, feel-inducing relationship developments, and it was hard to imagine how a short fantasy could achieve such standards without feeling too rushed. So you could see why I was skeptical going into this. But of course, the synopsis piqued my interest in the end, and I found myself diving into a world of Vikings.

Lost in a fury of taking down the enemy, Eelyn, an Aska, never imagined that she would see her brother, Iri, fighting on the battlefield with the Riki, especially considering she witnessed his death five years ago. Left with a need to see him again, to confirm that what she saw was not a ghost, Eelyn finds herself captured by the very enemy her brother is now a part of. She quickly regrets chasing Iri when it’s made clear that he has found a new family. But with the threat of warriors, who fight against both Aska and Riki, draw near, the chance for an alliance is the only risk they can take to survive.

This was my first read with Vikings, and it didn’t take long to witness what these Vikings were capable of when the most epic battle scene leaped off the very first page. It was vivid, fierce, and it drew my attention right away as I got swept up in their fighting storm.

“I reared back and swung my axe, sending it deep into the earth, and launched myself up and over the hill, flying forward. My feet hit the dirt and I ran, punching holes into the soft ground with my boots, toward the wall of fog hovering over the field.”

“Beautiful,” is the only way I can really describe this book. I was surprised by how much richness this world was able to convey in such a short period of time. One of my favourite aspects of it was how the language focused a lot on describing the landscape. It transported me into the forests, mountains, and lakes. And beyond that, into the family dynamics, the raw emotions, and the power of surviving. Everything about this book took my breath away.

“I was the ice on the river. The snow clinging onto the mountainside.”

There was so much depth to the characters as well as room for them to develop. The best development had to be from Fiske. It was clear that he was a vicious fighter on the battlefield, but seeing him interact with his family in a soft and caring manner really made me adore him. It also didn’t hurt that he was part of a hate-to-lover relationship, my all-time favourite trope.

I loved reading about the passion each character had for their own people, their family. But also that it was made clear that until you walk in the shoes of your enemy you will never realize that they may be just like you.

The dynamic that Eelyn finds herself in was so interesting and fun to read about but I also found the outcome of her situation to be predictable. Meaning I figured that her new dynamic was going to change her perspective and her life from what she had always known, embracing it along the way. Despite it being predictable, it was lovely seeing her come to terms with her new reality. 

“I could still see a young Eelyn standing on the beach turned into the wind, a sword in one hand and an axe in the other. I hadn’t lost her. I hadn’t buried her. I’d only let her change into something new.”

This gorgeous standalone has taught me that the size of the book does not matter, that depending on the story and my taste, it’s still possible to be wrapped up in a well-developed, satisfying read no matter the length. I recently found out that there will be a companion novel to Sky in the Deep and I’m thrilled that I’ll have another opportunity to dive back into this world of Vikings.

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The Chase by Elle Kennedy | Book Review

43635925_267298727257317_6565441545883877376_nBook: The Chase
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U, #1
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 3.25/5 Stars

“I want a man with clear intentions. A man who makes an effort and is excited to spend time with me. A man who actually wants to want me. If he has to fight himself to be with me, then chances are he’d never fight for me if it came down to it.”

After finishing The Chase and thinking about it for a few days, I have come to the conclusion that this is a Legally Blonde retelling. I don’t think this was pitched as a Legally Blonde retelling, but it gave me the vibes. I mean Summer was in a sorority house, attended a new University, is into fashion, falls for a sweet nerd, IS BLONDE. And there were parts at the end I don’t want to give away that also alluded to this theory. But what I will say about it is trigger warning for sexual assault.

Anyway, now that I got that out of the way… The Chase. I’ve been waiting for this release since I finished The Goal. I can’t put into words how much I love the off-campus series, so of course I was excited for this. But unfortunately it did not live up to the hype I gave it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book, it was entertaining, but there was something about it that was missing in comparison to the books in the off-campus series.

After almost burning down her sorority house, Summer is left unwanted by her old school and new sorority house when she transfers to Briar University. Left we no other options, Summer moves into the house her older brother Dean used to live in. The only problem is she now has three hockey players as roommates, and one of them is Fitzy. The same guy she had a thing for and the same guy who clearly doesn’t want her. Now they have to live together and potentially face what is going on between them.

“We deserve someone who gives us one hundred percent. Half-assed effort isn’t effort. Half-assed love isn’t love. If a man isn’t all in, then we need to be all out.”

This book had its good sections and its meh sections. It was slow-paced, meaning Summer and Fitzy’s interactions and relationship didn’t take off as soon as I expected. The dancing around each other was annoying. But obviously any well-written character is shaped by their experiences. Fitzy’s reluctance, as annoying as it was at first, became eye-opening and interesting when his difficulty in conveying emotions was made clear due to his harsh environment growing up.

I didn’t relate to Summer at all and was a little hesitant to read from her perspective, Fitzy, on the other hand, was more relatable to me. Not that I need to relate to a character to enjoy a book, but Summer’s personality is the type that overwhelms and fascinates me because she is so different. I didn’t know what to expect from her. But what I grew to appreciate about her, and about the book in general, was her passion for girl love. Feminism was an element that really drew me into her character.

“Do you realize how many decades you set us back every time you call another girl a slut? We’ve spent years fighting to not be viewed as sexual objects or be judged and shamed if we happen to enjoy sex. It’s bad enough that men still do this to us. When you do it too, it sends the message that it’s fair game for women to be treated this way.”

“We live in a society where too many women tear each other down instead of raising each other up. That’s absurd to me. We need to empower one another, teach future generations of girls that it’s important to stand together.”

In terms of the romance, I loved the dynamic between Fitzy and Summer when they finally started dating. They were a couple who were complete opposites, which I found interesting to read about. And of course, just as I anticipated, there were sexual lines and lines in general that were cringy. I mean this is a new adult college romance, what else is new?

I found the ending to be abrupt. When I turned to the last page, I was surprised that it was the last page. Which was a little anticlimactic if you ask me. But, I’m obviously excited to continue with this new series. And I’m excited that the release for The Risk is not too far away. I don’t know who the new book is about yet, but I can’t wait to find out.

“A woman isn’t defined by her boyfriends. She’s defined by her achievements. And her shoes.”

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A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir | Book Review

B40460091_1905292169561710_5591767262970249216_nook: A Reaper at the Gates
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes, #3
Genre: High Fantasy
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

“Curse this world for what it does to the mothers, for what it does to the daughters. Curse it for making us strong through loss and pain, our hearts torn from our chests again and again. Curse it for forcing us to endure.”

I never thought a politically driven book would warrant a five stars from me, but I love when books surprise me in a good way. I waited two years for this book. TWO. But I’m happy to say the wait was worth it because A Reaper at the Gates was spectacular.

Laia, Elias, and The Blood Shrike are on a journey. All on separate paths, all have their own agenda. Laia, finally with her brother Darin, is plagued with guilt over giving their enemy the upper hand. Now she fights to free her people and destroy the Nightbringer in whatever way she can. Elias is trapped. After vowing himself as Soul Catcher, he has to learn the hard way what it means to put duty above all else. Even if that requires leaving his humanity behind. The Blood Shrike has to take the Commandant down. There is too much riding on this mission for her to fail. The life of the only family she has left, being in danger, drives her to do whatever is necessary.

What I love about this series and what I love about Sabaa Tahir’s writing, is that the plot, the characters, and the way it’s all executed, allows me to easily fall back into the story, despite the two year drought. I struggled at the beginning, only because remembering certain plot points that were very quickly mentioned in the first few pages took time. I’m not the type to go back and reread previous books, so I was worried when reading this new instalment started off with a challenge. But the events of the previous book did get revealed in my memory the further I got.40399062_2041852722793015_3382664818686164992_n

There was so much action right from the beginning, leaving barely any room for anything in between… and yet it worked. I’ve flagged this very thing recently in another book, plot and action is not as important to me as the characters, but the difference is that I actually care about this story, so the constant action didn’t bother me. Tahir’s writing is great because she doesn’t add fill-in scenes. Everything is there for a purpose and it leaves no room for anything boring.

Something I kept asking myself through this reading experience was, when did I start enjoying The Blood Shrike’s chapters? Don’t get me wrong, I love Laia and Elias, and I genuinely enjoyed reading their chapters too, but there was something about the Shrike’s chapters that had me desperate to get to them when the point of view switched. It’s funny because you’ll find that in my review for A Torch Against the Night, I mention that I started listening to the audiobook because I couldn’t get through Helene’s chapters on my own. And Avitas Harper definitely played a significant role in my intrigue. Her sister and the baby did too. The Shrike had many interesting plot-points going on in this book.

This series is not romantically driven. My love for romance has never turned me off from these books. But comparing Reaper to the previous two books, this one definitely has more romance. I mean Elias and Laia are in love and it totally had me giddy, until it had my heart breaking.

“I’m not—” I consider. “Never mind. I am jealous. Tell me he’s old, at least? Or grouchy? Or maybe a bit stupid?”
“He’s young. And handsome. And smart.” I snort.
“He’s probably rubbish in be—” Laia smacks me on the arm. “Battle,” I say quickly. “I was going to say battle.”

“You are cruel, Elias,” she whispers against my mouth. “To give a girl all she desires only to tear it away.”
“This isn’t the end for us, Laia of Serra.” I cannot give up what we could have. I don’t care what bleeding vow I made. “Do you hear me? This is not our end.”
“You’ve never been a liar.” She dashes her hands against the wetness in her eyes. “Don’t start now.”

The Shrike and Harper? Well there were subtle hints here and there with these two, and I was grasping onto whatever they provided. If their romance develops any further, it will be slow, but hey, I love me some slow-burn romance.

“Reading lips again?”
“Only yours Shrike.” Harper’s green eyes drop to my mouth so quickly I almost miss it.

I want him.
But I cannot have him.

In each book the stakes get higher and higher, politics get messier, characters find themselves in tough situations, the world-building exceeds my expectations, and I am left with no room to breath.

I am no doubt always on the edge of my seat with this series and I can’t wait for the final installment.

Quotes that stuck with me:

-“If the Emperor is the heart of the Empire and the people are its lifeblood, then the Hall of Records is its memory.”
-“The cruelest anger comes from the deepest pain.”
-“Mariners walk the streets with a surety I fear I will never possess. The freedom of this place, the ease of it – it feels like none of it is for my people. All this belongs to others, to those who do not abide at the crossroads of uncertainty and despair. It belongs to people so used to living free that they cannot imagine a world in which they are not.”
-“Our stories have purpose. Souls. Our stories breath… The stories we tell have power, of course. But the stories that go untold have just as much power, if not more.”
-“The paradox of the magic tears at me. I need it to save the people I care about, but I can’t care about them if I want to use the magic.”

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