by J. Nelle Patrick Published by Penguin Group USA
on 2014-02-27 Genres: Country & Ethnic
, Fairy Tales & Folklore
, Love & Romance
, Military & Wars
, Young Adult Pages:
An epic romance with glittering magical elements, TSARINA is swirling with beautiful prose, stark Russian contrasts, and lavish visuals perfect for fans of Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty. Romanov Russia is churning with rebellion. But Natalya holds a secret. It hums in her hands and warms her fingers with its magic, with the mystic power pulsing at its center? the power to protect the Tsar's true love. It is the secret of the Constellation Egg, Will it keep her safe?
This sounds like a magical historical read and I absolutely cannot wait for it. I’ve always been interested in the Russian royal family and can’t wait to read a story about a member I don’t know as much about, even if apparently the author takes certain licenses with his story. But that’s what is so great about fiction, you can change things!
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine. What are you looking forward to this week?
Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA
on 2012-08-07 Genres: Action & Adventure
, Fantasy & Magic
, Love & Romance
, Young Adult Pages:
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Holy freaking cow, I loved this book. Throne of Glass is the kind of book I live for. High fantasy at it’s best, though I have to say reading the synopsis before I actually began reading the book, I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to read this. I’m so glad I did though.
The world building in Throne of Glass is wonderful, if incomplete. There were things I wanted to know, more of Celaena’s back story, more history of their world, and really just back story for everything in general. There is some provided that gives you a fairly good idea of what the world is like currently in the story, but it definitely would have been fascinating to see how the current world came to be. I’m hoping more will be revealed throughout the series, but I expect the most back story to be found would be in the four prequel novellas.
Celaena is one of my favorite fantasy heroines. She’s a ruthless assassin getting a second chance at life through this Champion contest, but it also provides her time to just be an 18 year old girl. I really enjoyed that. Chaol and Dorian, as well as Nehemia and Philippa are great secondary characters. Chaol and Dorian of course are the romantic interests, so yes there is a love triangle. Most of the time I really don’t like them and immediately decide which guy I’m rooting for, but it was hard this time. I really like both guys, even if one of them is a spoiled and sometimes obnoxious prince. By the end, I still hadn’t really decided which I prefer more.
The story itself is incredibly intriguing. Faeries and magic used to be present in the world, until Dorian’s father drives them out, or they leave of their own accord once his father starts conquering the world kingdom by kingdom. What could possibly be game changing information is revealed at one point, and I was frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement. SPOILER (highlight to see if you’ve read the book): The part where Elena says something about blood kin to Celaena, implying that Celaena is a VERY distant descendent of Elena’s. END SPOILER.
Throne of Glass definitely gets my recommendation to anyone who loves high fantasy novels, or fantasy in general. While it may be a bit under developed in areas, it didn’t end up taking away from my overall enjoyment of the story. I definitely plan to read all four prequel novellas, as well as any sequels.