The Cruel Prince – Review

With this being one of the most anticipated releases of 2018 and both Leigh Bardugo and Victoria Aveyard loving and praising it, I had pretty high expectations and Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince really did live up to my expectations. 

5183qQfkZCL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Jude and her two sisters see their parents murdered at a very young age. And nobody else than the coldblooded assassin takes them with him to the world of Faerie. Being mortal in the Faerie world, Jude must prove herself more often more intensely to be approved than any other faerie itself. She must be as dangerous, as dreaded and as smart as the Fey themselves to survive and to receive the thing she wants most: power.

She no longer wants to me mocked for being mortal, she no longer wants to threatened, she no longer wants to be belittled by the arrogant prince Cardan. But as she finds herself in the middle of the downfall of the world she so fiercely tries to prove herself to, she has to decide: her own desires or the future of her world.

To be honest, the book startet a bit slow and I didn’t know what to think of Jude’s obsession with power, but it surprised me at the end. The end offers so much more than the cover text as the ladder only talks about Jude’s “stairway to power” other than political intrigues and the future of the world she grew up in.

I could really identify myself with Jude in most points, as she grows up to love her parents’ assassin but never quite forgives herself for the important role he plays in her life. And the struggle she goes through, her behaving more and more like a faerie and feeling like a faerie in her heart but never being treated equal.

I think talking more about the book’s development would give up too many secrets that one must unravel during reading, so I guess this is the end of the review! Although the book started slow, it turned out to be a fantastic plot with many turn points.

Caraval – Review

After what felt like forever and thousand great books in between, I finally finished Stephanie Garber’s Caraval

51NGaqZ3yVL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_The two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, live alone with their father, the cruel govenour of Trisda, on the island, far far away of Caraval’s magic – a performance once a year, hosted by the master Legend, where the audience can participate in a show and win a price. Scarlett has always dreamed of visiting Caraval one day and finally gets the chance – only one week before marrying an anonymous count to once and for all save her and her sister from her father’s clutches. When Scarlett and her sister arrive at Caraval with the help of the mysterious sailer Julian, her sister disappears. Scarlett can no longer enjoy the show but must find her sister before the game is over or her sister disappears forever.

To be honest, when I read the plot, I didn’t expect a story this intense, as my introduction to the story is really only a very small part of the whole intrigue. Not only must she find Tella, Scarlett must also find out the truth about Legend and his intentions. This book offers so much more than just the search of a lost sister as it slowly reveals the dark secrets of Caraval, its master and  the role the sisters play in it.

I was truly surprised by the fantastic ending as so many turns await for you on the next page. The quote “Welcome for Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems” therefore fits outrageously good to the whole book, as not one thing is quite what it seems.

I also loved the concept of the story, as often the boyfriends or men dissapear, but in this case, the sister disappears. Meaning, the book deals with sisterly love and the will to protect each other.

I also really enjoyed reading from Scarlett’s point of view as I could really empathize with her, willing to marry a stranger to protect her sister takes courage.

SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVE THE INTENTION OF READING THE BOOK!!!

At the end, I first had to deal with the fact that Julian was Legend’s brother and therefore was like 80 years old – despite the fact of looking 20. That kind of thew me off. And I first hat to bear the thought that Legend wasn’t actually a psycho maniac holding Tella captive and trying to kill the sisters. But I guess we’ll see about his intentions in the sequel Legendary.

SPOILER ALERT END

So, all in all, this book really surprised me positively, with its turns and twists, it really is the definition of a page turner!

Crooked Kingdom – Review

Kaz Brekker – oh no you didn’t. How can anyone ever live up to your standards, I ask myself . How can anyone ever write a book as brilliant as this ever again? Leigh Bardugo, you took your writing to a whole other level. The second novel of the Six of Crows Duology plays only days after the first novel ended, leaving Kaz Brekker’s gang with nothing but their anger about Jan Van Eck’s betrayal and the worries about Inej, who got captured by nobody else than Van Eck. Determined to get his Wraith and money back, Kaz comes up with a plan so brilliantly minded no one is safe – making them the most wanted people in the world.

I have nothing to say about the fact that these novels are the most fascinating ones I’ve ever read. Leigh Bardugo writes in a way I haven’t seen anybody write, yet this is only a small part of why these books are my favorites. The dialogues are vivacious, the characters are lovely and the plot is the most epic one ever. Also, how does Leigh Bardugo can come up with these masterplans of Kaz’, I wonder?!

I fell in love with all of Kaz Brekker’s gang – obviously Kaz himself, Inej, Nina and Matthias, Jesper and Wylan (and Kuwei if you can count him). Therefore, one can imagine that the ending is very emotional of somebody loving each member of the crew – but no spoilers!

As mentioned in my Six of Crows Blog Post, there have not been many books I read where I enjoyed multiple characters telling the story, but Leigh Bardugo couldn’t change my mind more. All of these characters have their own interesting story and I would love to read all of them, if they are ever written.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Don’t continue reading this paragraph if you intend to read this book (which I highly recommend).

Especially, I’m a huge fan of Kaz and Inez and therefore loved the ending where he bought her her own ship and found her parents. I strongly believe they are off sailing the seas hunting slavers together by now.

I cried when Matthias died because he and Nina where soulmates. There have never been two couples in a book I love that much, so these book really were the exception as I both love Kaz and Inej and Nina and Matthias. Also, I can’t stop thinking about Nina’s last words to Matthias (“May Djel watch over you until I can once more.”). That kind of stayed stuck in my head.

SPOILER ALERT END

I don’t know how to ever love a book as much as I loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom as these books are rare masterpieces, in my opinion.

WAR STORM – Review

I can’t express the feelings overwhelming me right now, the minutes after I finally finished one of my favorite book series ever. I’ve waited what felt like thousand years for Victoria Aveyard to finally tell the story of Mare Barrow – and she killed it. The fourth and final book of the RED QUEEN series is absolutely stunning, with great turning points, incredible dialogues and a fantastic ending. This book is probably the best I’ve read this year and the defiantly best of the series. After KING’S CAGE has not really won me over, this book has really made me cry – in so many ways.

After Cal has chosen his crown over her and the revolution, Mare has to protect her heart from everything that is coming her way. She is determined to overthrow the kingdom and ending the reign of the boy who has caused her so much pain: Maven. But the Scarlet Guard can’t end the long lasting suppression of the reds without allies, and so she must side with the boy who broke her heart: alongside Cal and his silver allies, she tries to overrun a kingdom that has caused the death of so many innocent.

The battle between Reds and Silvers, heirs and slaves, Mare and Maven. Victoria Aveyard has really made the impossible possible: with this epic conclusion to this heartwearming series she COMPLETELY convinced me!

SPOILER ALERT (anyone who wants to read this book do not read this paragraph):

At the end, Mare and Maven fight one on one and Mare survives, having no memory of what happened to Maven. I’ve always wanted to believe that somebody could still cure Maven and rip his mother’s part out of him, leaving his beautiful and carrying soul. But with the book ending, Maven can not be cured and dies at the end. Or does he, because Mare doesn’t know if or where he is still alive… I’ve heard that Cal could have helped his brother survive and is keeping him save and captive without Mare knowing…Epic Reads!!!  

Sooooooo, at the end, Maven MAY be dead – but deep in my heart I wanted him to be nice. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cal and Mare together and will always hope the lightning girl and the Chlore prince have a future – but Victoria Aveyard gave me the burgeoning hope that Maven could still have a heart – but nothing.

SPOILER ALERT END

However, she really gave this story an epic finale with Norta becoming a free republic, although the end of Norta isn’t really mentioned. Another thing that I really respect of Victoria Aveyard is the liberal perspective of sexuality:

Evangeline Samos is gay. That is a really cool thing to write, considering the homophobia in this world. Being able to live your sexuality in the free Republic of Montfort, Evangeline, Elane (her girlfriend) and her brother Ptolemus run away from their parents, turning their backs on Norta and the Kingdom of the Rift. I’ve hated Evangeline the first two books because she was such a devious witch considering Mare and the redblooded, with her silver pride and her “soon to be queen” perspective. But during this book, one becomes to see the human side of her – being controlled by her parents, living a life that is forbidden in her country – loving a girl – and having to marry a boy she doesn’t love.

Do you know the principle of many people telling a story – each person tells one chapter – but there is actually just one main character. Am I the only one who wants to skip the chapters with the boring people and just wanting to read what the main character has to say? Well, this book was different. I still love Mare’s story the most but this book was the only book that didn’t bore me when Evangeline and Iris were telling their story.

So – all in for one – this book threw me over in the best possible way and I recommend it to everyone who likes a strong female character, a revolution and fighting for their rights!

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