Spoiler-free review: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Empress of a Thousand Skies reviewHappy Tuesday!

Today, I wanted to talk about Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza with this spoiler-free review. I’ve wanted to get more into science-fiction lately and this novel sounded exactly like a story I’d enjoy. And despite a few elements I’ll go into details about in this review, I really liked it.

Empress of a Thousand SkiesFirst of all, I’d like to talk to you about the few flaws I found about this novel, so then we can talk about everything I loved about it. To me, Empress of a Thousand Skies suffered from its length, as it is 316 pages long. While it worked great to keep the story moving, the story could have used a bit more world-building; and by that I mean that while things were definitely explained, I wished they could have been shown more instead. Some key story points (one in particular) felt almost brushed off when it had the opportunity to be a truly emotional, heartbreaking moment. Some plot points seemed a bit “easy” as well, realizations of secrets also being a bit too easy for the characters. The first 30 pages or so, I wasn’t sure what to make of the story and Rhiannon. I had a hard time understanding her and her actions as well as the direction of the story, everything felt a bit confused. After that though, it changed and that initial feeling of confusion definitely went away. These elements explain why I rated this book four-star.

Rating_(1)Now, let’s go into all the positive. While I said the world-building could have been expanded on, I absolutely loved everything we got to learn about this universe and its history. It was obviously extremely well-thought out. Alyosha’s background and how it goes hand in hand with the history of this universe were especially so well described and developed upon. the religions aspect of things is incredibly well thought-out and developed as well which I loved. The story is constantly moving and we get to explore many places and meet different aliens even if it’s just one character here and there, and I loved that. It truly made the universe feel vast, and like there are so many corners of it we haven’t even been close to yet, it’s so exciting to me. There are so many possibilities and secrets we could uncover next. The general plot was also a very positive point for me. There are quite a few developments I did not see coming which made following Alyosha’s and Rhee’s adventures so intriguing. While key elements from this novel were solved, it sets up the sequel perfectly with more questions and higher stakes. I honestly cannot say how I think things are gonna go, which is great.

“I trust you as if my soul were yours.”(4)Both point of views were very unique, and even if their names hadn’t been the chapter title, it would have been easy to distinguish them from one another. Getting attached to Aly came quite easily for me, and his character is definitely a strong point in this novel. It took me a little longer to understand and relate to Rhee, but I did and she’s a fantastic character with a history that unfolds throughout the whole novel. I could understand her mistakes, her choices and both character felt real to me. After all, even if the universe is much bigger than they are, they are still very much humans and make mistakes. Having two different world views served the story very well and helped getting a much larger idea of how this universe works and all the implications the actions of different characters had.

All in all, I really enjoyed the novel despite a few flaws, it was thrilling and it sets up the sequel perfectly, sequel I will definitely pick up. I really want to know where the story, characters and relationships go. If you love space, fast-paced and full of action stories, with complex characters, I would highly recommend Empress of a Thousand Skies!

Have you read this novel? If yes, what did you think of it? Do you have any science-fiction recommendations for me?

Until next time,

Noémie

Review: Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

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Happy Sunday!

I’ll immediately start with this: there will be spoilers in this review, so if you haven’t read Bloodwitch yet or any of the other books, click away right now! I’d hate for you to see spoilers before you have a chance to experience this novel yourself.

Synopsis(1)

I gave five stars to Bloodwitch without hesitation when I finished reading it yesterday afternoon. It truly was a spectacular novel for me, and such a good continuation of the storylines started in the previous books. I started reading it on Tuesday, the day it came out, but with university classes taking a lot of my time and the exhaustion that followed, I read a little bit each day. I also wanted to savour it as much as possible because then starts the wait

Rating_

Bloodwitch was an incredible installment. First of all, the world expanded so much more, once again, and it was a joy to see more places and meet people only mentioned before. With the characters all in different places, I got an even better sense of the vastness of the universe and my heart broke thinking how far they were from each other, especially Safi and Iseult talking about how they wished the other were here. We finally got to see the Carawen Monastery, as well as more of Poznin and Marstok which was amazing. Each place feels so different from the other, thanks to the incredible world-building and Susan Dennard’s writing. For example, Poznin was definitely grim and quite honestly scary (how Merik managed to not lose it over there is beyond me) while Marstok is full of life and movement but still not without its traps. Each place served a purpose, it wasn’t simply there to look pretty, everything worked towards the story which I loved.

“I trust you as if my soul were yours.”(3)

And the story. Oh my. I’ll start by saying that reading Sightwitch before Bloodwitch is so so important, I can’t say that enough. With the knowledge I had from Sightwitch, some plot points started to fall into place and you don’t want to miss on that (also my girl Ryber deserves it, thank you). This book focuses particularly on Aeduan, our bloodwitch, and I did not know what to expect. Well, let me tell you: it was astounding. I was hooked from the prologue, there’s no other way to put it. Getting the opportunity to follow him more really made me feel for him, and understand him better. Some things about him made more sense with this story and it answered some question I had such as who was his father, how did he come to work for him… His arc, in my eyes, was really about him figuring out who he truly is and how his past affected his present. It was about making choices and crushing the expectations he had of his own life, which I could relate to more than I could explain. Susan Dennard expressed it so well through her writing, which I cannot stop praising. It’s addicting and gorgeous all at once. The story she chose for him was the perfect way for him to go on this journey. He’s hurt for most of the novel, stepping closer to death with each chapter and it gives him the opportunity to think a lot. But the story was still action-packed, because he was not alone: Iseult and Owl were with him. It was strange to see him having to rely so heavily on Iseult but it worked perfectly and their bond strengthened. I was going into this novel not being sure what my thoughts were on Aeduan and Iseult’s relationship but any doubts I had were simply brushed away. I officially ship it with my whole heart. It was so complex, fascinating and multi-layered as they both tried to understand the other. As usual, I loved Iseult and felt for her as she had an introspective journey of her own which, plot-wise, worked so well with Aeduan’s. Truly, Aeduan’s arc was phenomenal.

“I trust you as if my soul were yours.”

We finally see Safi at the Floating Palace and her ability being used just as she never wanted it to be used. And this triggers a crazy chain of events I found thrilling and I was also very much surprised by the direction it took towards the end. Surprising being, of course, very good. I mean, for instance, I did NOT see that Habim/Mathew trying to kill the Empress twist coming AT ALL. The implications for the next novel are simply shocking. We followed Merik being separated from Ryber and Cam very early on (I was disappointed, I’m gonna be honest, but it all made sense so it’s okay) and brought to Esme by Kullen. And if I thought Esme was terrifying before, having one of our main characters physically in the same room as her was every synonym for terrifying added together. I kept staring at my book, saying very loudly « STOP HURTING HIM », him being Merik. He’s just some kind of experiment to her, a means to an end and that whole storyline was heartbreaking to me as I love Merik so much. Esme is a great villain. Susan Dennard created a stunningly dark atmosphere surrounding this whole part of the story, and it was done brilliantly. And seeing how far Vivia has come since Windwitch was a joy to see. Her story is very political in this one too and I loved getting to navigate Nubrevnan politics with her at the helm. Once again, I was surprised to see the turn the story took, but I’m so glad to see how Vivia took charge at the end. Also, she got to interact with characters from outside of Nubrevna which contributed to the world expanding, and I loved it. And the end was spectacular. So many storylines converged, plots began to fall into place together and it was intense. It concluded some of the arcs while opening up new journeys for the characters and breaking my heart in the process. Between Safi and Iseult finally reuniting, Merik and Safi seeing each other for a few seconds but finally knowing the other is alive, Iseult bringing Aeduan back to life, and Merik putting himself and Kullen in ice to try to save the others, I was a total mess. The last 150 pages were even more fast-paced than the rest of the novel, with so much action, it was a wild ride. I think I might be in denial about the fact that I’ll have so long to wait to know what happens next.

“I trust you as if my soul were yours.”(2)

As always, the characters were wonderful, complex and with their own unique voices making it easy to know whose POV you’re following. I always found Susan Dennard did this very well, ever since Truthwitch, but somehow she managed to take it up a notch. I love every single character we follow even more now and grew to like some other characters which was a plus. My opinions also changed on a few of them and the revelations were well-timed too. The shock was real. The only slight thing I’d have to say is that I missed Cam and Ryber and I’d hoped to see more of them. However, as I’ve said, it worked great in the story so I’m okay with it. The character development in this series is absolutely incredible, and each character grew more in this novel, nothing was static and I loved it.

In conclusion, Bloodwitch was a beautiful novel which took me on unexpected journeys full of twists and turns, with characters I love even more with this installment (I didn’t think it was possible) and I was not disappointed.

If you’ve read Bloodwitch, what was your favourite moment? Tell me what you thought of it, I’d love to talk about it with you!

Until next time,

Noémie

Witchlands Book Tag

The Truthwitch book tag(1)

Happy Thursday!

As you know, Bloodwitch, book 4 of The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard came out last Tuesday and I’ve been talking about the series quite a lot. Today will be no different (I’m sorry, I’m just so excited about this release, I’m currently reading it and it’s SO GOOD), because I came across a fun Witchlands tag on Sam’s lovely blog, Some Books & Ramblings and I thought I’d give it a try! The tag was created by Inside My Library Mind. The rules are simple:

  • Create the Creator
  • Credit the person who tagged you
  • Have fun!

So let’s jump right in then!

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A character that grew on you

From recent reads, I would have to say Hypnos from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. When he first gets introduced, I was not a big fan for a reason I can’t really say because it would be a spoiler and the book has only been out for a month. But he really grew on me as the story went on and his character developed, and by the end, I truly felt for him and I was attached to his character!

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A character you relate to the most

Like I said in my previous tag, choosing only one character or relationship or one anything is difficult for me, because I’m a very indecisive person. I have a few characters I relate to a lot, but for this tag I’ll choose Juliette Ferrars from the Shatter me series by Tahereh Mafi (even though I haven’t read Restore me yet). I read Shatter me last year, and the way Tahereh Mafi’s writing brings Juliette to life and allows us to connect with her and her thoughts really got me. After only a few chapters, I was already relating to Juliette so much, even if our circumstances are obviously a lot different. I could see a bit of myself in her.

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Favorite setting

I was gonna say The Witchlands, because it truly is my favourite right now thanks to Susan Dennard’s stunning world-building, but that wouldn’t be very original now would it? So I’ll go with the world of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Something you should know about me is that I LOVE SPACE and the premise of The Lunar Chronicles is fascinating, it’d be so interesting to see.

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Favorite Anti Hero

Adelina from The Young Elites by Marie Lu (yes Noémie, we get it, you love her books) is the first character that came to mind so I had to choose her, especially because I read the trilogy so recently, and I truly love Adelina’s character. She’s so complex, and following her on her journey is so compelling. We follow her as we are in her point of view and it makes the story so captivating.

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A loyal character

Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare without any hesitation. His loyalty to his friends, to his parabatai, to all the people he loves really, is wonderful to see and it’s so soft. Okay, now I’m emotional.

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Favourite female friendship

I’m sorry but I’m gonna have to go with Safi and Iseult, I can’t not choose them. Their friendship truly is awe-inspiring, the love they have for each other is beautiful. They would do anything for each other, they trust and respect each other so much and I just love them A LOT. They have such an incredible bond, it’s amazing to read.

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Favourite book relationship

As we’ve established in the previous tag, I can’t choose. So for this one, I will talk about Lei and Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan because they deserve ALL THE LOVE. They meet in this pretty terrible situation and as they grow closer, they become each other’s support to go through it, and their developing relationship is beautiful to see as they get to know each other and as they come to trust each other. I can’t wait to see more of them in the sequel ♥

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Favourite villain

For this tag, I will choose the Commandant from An ember in the ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I find her truly terrifying because I don’t see where her limit is. We know that she has feelings but she is so driven to her goal, does she even have a limit to what she’ll do to achieve it? I doubt it, but I haven’t read A reaper at the gates yet, so maybe I’m wrong.

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Favourite animal/creature

I’ve always loved the thestrals from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. They are considered dangerous usually, but I don’t see them that way. It’s because of their appearance that some wizards think so, and sure they’re not the most gorgeous creature out there but that doesn’t matter. Somehow, I find it so intriguing how only people who have witnessed death can see them.

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An intimidating character

I see Ia from Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan as very intimidating. Her personality is so large, and she has already accomplished so many things before the end of the novel. I’d be really intimidated if I were to meet her.

There we go, here’s the whole tag! If you’re interested in doing it, consider yourself tagged, I’d love to see your answers ♥

Who’s a character you find intimidating? I’m curious!

Until next time,

Noémie

 

The Tropes Book Tag

The Tropes Book Tag (1)

 

Happy Wednesday!

The lovely Clara tagged me in the tropes book tag created by JesReadsBooks, thank you so much Clara! ♥ She’s absolutely phenomenal and her blog is as well, please check it out! It was definitely challenging but fun to answer these questions, so let’s jump in!

Hopelessly Devotedname two character from separate series that you ship.    

This is honestly the hardest question out of all of them because I have never even thought about it until today. It took me a long time to figure out, but I settled on Safi from Truthwitch and Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices. Why? Because of the way they love their friends so deeply, having an unbreakable bond with them, Safi with Iseult and Will with Jem. They’re pretty loud people, impulsive in their actions, having to improvise quite often. I think it’d be fun to see how they interact.

hopelessly-devoted1.pngname a female MC who didn’t need a man to complete her.

I had two potential characters for this, but I chose Rin from The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. Rin doesn’t have a love interest in this novel and she didn’t need one. She works well on her own, she’s very hardworking and determined and once she puts her mind to something, there is no stopping her (for better or for worse). She knows what she’s capable of, and The Poppy War was a lot about Rin discovering who she is, what she can do and figuring out what she wants to achieve, at least in my mind. So, no, she didn’t need a man to complete her.

hopelessly-devoted2.pngname your OTP.

Listen, you can’t ask me that question. You just can’t. I have never been able to choose one OTP from a book, and I never will which I’m completely okay with. I will love all my romances. Instead, I’ll give you some of my favourites, in no particular order, some of them from unfinished series so maybe not exactly canon (but I’m hopeful!), some nostalgic: Emika & Hideo from Warcross, Laia & Elias from An ember in the ashes, Lei & Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire, Safi & Merik from The Witchlands, Enrique & Hypnos (with possibly a third character) from The Gilded Wolves… and this is just a small sample of my OTPs. See what I mean when I mean I can’t choose?

Hopelessly Devoted(3)name a book that represented mental illness well.

Easy answer for me with Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. Mental illness is not part of the storyline, but Liesl, the main character, has been confirmed as bipolar by the author and it is ownvoices. I suffer myself from bipolar disorder and before reading this book, I’d never read a book representing bipolar disorder well, but bipolar disorder mostly being used as a (badly researched) plot device. With Wintersong however, I could see myself in Liesl even if she suffers from a different “version” of bipolar disorder than me. I understood her struggles, her reactions to certain things because I would have reacted the same way. I honestly teared up at how good the representation was and especially because it was not used as a plot point.

Hopelessly Devoted(4)name a main character that did (or almost did) ruin a series for you.

For this one, I chose a character that did, in fact, ruin a series in the way that I will never get past the first book. That character is Matthew Clairmont from A discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I had, at first, rated this book four stars but the more I thought about it, the more I felt I had to lower the rating to a three. I loved Diana as a character, I thought she was brilliant. As for Matthew, well, I didn’t catch up on how uncomfortable he made until later in the novel. When I did however, finishing the book became much harder. The way he sometimes talks to Diana, his actions… His whole character made me very uncomfortable, and I decided to not continue with the series.

hopelessly-devoted5.pngname a duo that when from friendship goals to relationship goals.

I thought this one would be easy, but as I looked through my goodreads, I realized quickly it wasn’t. It turns out I may or may not have a type when it comes to romances in books and in general…But I decided to go with Jem and Tessa from The Infernal Devices because I feel like they were actually friends before at least Tessa realized there might be romantic feelings involved, and I just love their whole friendship/relationship.

Hopelessly Devoted(6)name a book you would forget for one reason or another.

I wish I could forget The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, so I could forget I actually lost a whole month reading this book, which I ended up rating one star. To this day, it might be the only book I rated one star, so it’s saying something. I came close to just quit reading a few times but by then, I’d already read more than half of it and lost weeks to it, so I just wouldn’t give up. It was dragging, with awful mental health representation in my opinion … I want to forget it.

 

Hopelessly Devoted(7)name your favourite villain.

Ask me my favourite anything, and I will freeze every single time. I don’t have the ability to pick favourites, I will change my mind every time because I love a lot of things, so I’ll name two, from the same series: Valentine and Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments. They are both very creepy in their own way, but they appear “normal” as in they blend in quite easily (at least before people realize they’re villains) and that is scary in itself. Valentine believes he’s doing the right thing, that his views are the right ones and that is also terrifying. Sebastian uses people without seeming to feel at least an ounce of remorse, and he was a very good actor at the beginning which I believe makes him a very interesting villain.

Hopelessly Devoted(8)name a book that could have benefited from a bit of parental guidance or adult supervision.

The characters from The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes could have benefited from having better adult supervision, because then maybe they would have listened to said adult supervision. I absolutely loved this book series, and I wonder how different things would have turned out if they’d had different adults around them (maybe they would have thought twice about putting themselves in danger?), it’d be interesting!

Hopelessly Devoted(9)tag some friends.

If you see this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged! ♥

And here we are for the first tag on this blog! That was super fun to think about and write, so thank you again Clara!

I’d love to know all about your favourite OTP or characters from different series that you ship!

Until next time,

Noémie

The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard: reasons why I love this universe

Why I love The Witchlands series

Happy Sunday!

This reading week for me was all about The Witchlands, a series written by Susan Dennard; I read Windwitch, the second installment in the series throughout the week, finishing the last 100 pages Saturday afternoon. But I didn’t stop there, I decided to read Sightwitch, the novella following Ryber, one of Truthwitch’s characters that same afternoon, and I finished it in one sitting. I was determined to finish it before dinner, and I did, which I was so happy about. Why, you may ask. Well, you see, the next novel set in this world, Bloodwitch, comes out on the 12th of February, so that means I’m all ready for it (I’ll ignore the fact that after I read Bloodwitch, I won’t have any more books in the series to read and I’ll have to wait and I’ll probably cry…)!

And in honour of the new book coming out in two days, I thought I’d celebrate by talking to you about why I’m so in love with this universe, going through each book starting with Truthwitch, which I read last month. I’ll keep this spoiler-free in case any of you want to read this series in the future!

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One of the first things I loved when I started reading Truthwitch was how quickly the action starts. The beginning is fast-paced, with action that also very much starts the world-building. Bits of information get introduced, and even if I didn’t understand everything at first (which was the point I think) I loved being able to get to know the world already. And the action doesn’t stop there, this book has a lot of it, with small moments to breathe for the action to pick up again in new ways. It kept me engaged all throughout the novel. But as much as I love action, I also love captivating characters and Truthwitch didn’t disappoint in this area either! Our main duo, Safi and Iseult, are phenomenal. With very distinct voices and personalities and an incredible bond creating a wonderful friendship, following them in their adventures was thrilling. I have to admit to liking Iseult slightly more in this novel, but I loved Safi too! I guess I simply related to Iseult a bit more, that’s all. Their friendship is simply out of this world, they love each other so much and their connection was one of my absolute favourite thing in this novel. We also get introduced to some pretty marvelous characters aside from Safi and Iseult: Merik, who I loved from the beginning with his determination and love for his country, Aeduan, who I found mysterious and fascinating, Evrane, Kullen, Ryber … The character building in this novel was amazing.  And of course, the world-building was spectacular, I could easily see this world in my mind, with the magic and the politics and how everything entertwined. The magic system is so captivating, I loved it and all its possibilities. Side note, I took the test the author made to figure out what our witchery would be, and I got Aether witchery, which I’m really happy about! So in conclusion, Truthwitch was a five-star read for me, with no hesitation.

“Most people wanted to escape. Get out of their heads. Out of their lives. Stories are the easiest way to do that.”(1)Next is Windwitch, the sequel which still follows our main cast of characters, but with a special focus on Merik Nihar, which was very exciting for me as I loved his character in the first novel. This novel was a four-star read for me (leaning heavily towards a 4.5 stars honestly), because I felt like the plot was a bit slow, even if it was still full of action. Still, I loved it because of how much it expands the world. Some of the politics of the first book become much clearler, and also much more nuanced seeing them through the eyes and voices of new characters. Merik’s journey is life-changing, both in terms of what it means for the world and how much his character develops and grows through it. I now love him even more! The addition of his sister’s pov, Vivia, was very compelling to see things with a different perspective. I loved getting to understand her character much better than before, with more depth and nuance. And the introduction of Cam in the narrative was brilliant, all you need to know is that he’s so sweet, I love him and he deserves nothing but happiness, that’s it. This book is very much about journeys, travelling and emotional for the characters, and it was heartbreaking at points because I’m so attached to them. And I found some of what I loved in Truthwitch again in the sequel, the writing is still so skillfully crafted and addicting. Reading felt once again like exploring in a fantasy rpg video game, pushing the boundaries of the map even further and I mean that in the best way possible as I love exploring in Dragon age or The Witcher for example. e2809cmost-people-wanted-to-escape.-get-out-of-their-heads.-out-of-their-lives.-stories-are-the-easiest-way-to-do-that.e2809d2.pngWhich leads perfectly into Sightwitch, the novella following Ryber. I loved getting to know her more since she isn’t really present in Windwitch (for story reasons), and getting, essentially, her origin story. I related to her a lot, and felt for her through the whole novella. The format was also very gripping, with flashbacks and illustrations to bring the world even more into focus and into life. I loved how the action felt like going through the different levels of a video game, unexpecting twists and turns awaiting at each of them. Even with a setting a bit more restricted, the world expanded so much and I think it’s important to read it before Bloodwitch as it helps understand some of the events of the previous books better.

e2809cmost-people-wanted-to-escape.-get-out-of-their-heads.-out-of-their-lives.-stories-are-the-easiest-way-to-do-that.e2809d3.pngIn short, why do I love the Witchlands universe so much? For its characters, its ever-growing and more intricate world, the addicting writing and the now emotional attatchment I have to it all. I’m so thrilled to read about the next adventures that awaits these characters I love on Tuesday!

Have you read this series? If so, what did you think of it? Do you have a favourite fantasy series, or recommendations?

 

Until next time,

Noémie

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday
Happy Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words in which you answer three simple questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

My progress of reading has been quite good lately so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to write this post. The beginning of 2019 is a huge contrast from last year for me in regards to reading: I’m reading much more, and more consistently as well and I’m so happy about it! The past few days might have been a bit slow because I had long days at university, but I still managed to read which I’m glad for.

  • What I’m currently reading: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Sans titreHaving read Truthwitch at the beginning of the year and having absolutely loved it, I knew I had to read Windwitch soon. And with Bloodwitch, the new installment in the series coming out in six days, it seemed like the perfect time to go back into the Witchlands universe. So far, I’m really liking it, I’m 30% in and the action is picking up quite a bit. I’m still amazed at Susan Dennard’s talent, her writing is vivid and addicting, the world is still expanding, and I can’t wait to see what I discover reading this book.

  • What I recently finished: The Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu

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As you can tell from my previous post, talking about how much I love Marie Lu’s work, I really loved this trilogy. It was a very intense read, emotionally heavy and dark, and I loved every single page of it. I was warned the ending would probably make me cry, and it did, I was heartbroken and sobbing when I got to the acknowledgments. I’m so glad I decided to pick it up this year.

  • What I might read next:
  • Sightwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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I never plan a very strict TBR, I mostly choose the book I’m most in the mood for at the time. But I have a feeling it will be between these three books when I do finish Windwitch. Sightwitch is an obvious one as it is the novella that came out after Windwitch, and that the author recommends reading before Bloodwitch. Legend being the only Marie Lu series I haven’t read yet, it is also a good choice simply because after reading two of her series, I want to read ALL OF THEM. And in January, I started my reread of The Shadowhunter Chronicles with The Infernal Devices and I’d love to start my reread of The Mortal Instruments this month. As you can tell, I can be pretty indecisive when it comes to deciding what I’ll read next. I never want to read a book I’m not in the mood for, because then I wouldn’t do it justice.

What are you currently reading, or planning to read? Any recommendations from your recent reads that you particularly loved?

Until next time,

Noémie

Author Appreciation: Marie Lu

 

 

Author Appreciation_ Marie Lu

Happy Tuesday!

The past few days, I have been immersed in one of Marie Lu’s world as I was reading The Young Elites trilogy. I was at the same time thinking of an article to write, inspiration escaping me once again because all I wanted to do was to express how much I love Marie Lu’s writing and books. Then I thought: why not do that ? So here we are, with this author appreciation post, because I have so many feelings to talk about. I don’t want to make specific plans for the future, but I might do more of these, talking about authors whose work I really love.

My introduction to Marie Lu’s books was not that long ago: the first book of hers I read was Warcross, in 2018. And let me tell you: I fell completely in love and I rated the book five stars without any hesitation. Of course, I picked up the sequel and final novel of the duology, Wildcard, as soon as it came out and I’m pretty sure I finished it in one sitting, one sunday afternoon. I kept telling myself “Okay, just one more chapter”, but when I got halfway through the book, I simply gave up, knowing perfectly well I was not about to put the book down.

Sans titre (7)Then in January of this year, I read The Young Elites, which I rated three stars. Even then, I wanted to keep going with the story, The Rose Society was the only book I could consider picking up. And something about me you should know is that I usually struggle when trying to choose another book to read when I finish one. In this instance, however, it was a no-brainer. I HAD to finish this story. So I did. It was an emotionally heavy trilogy, which I loved.

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When thinking about what I love about her books, the first point that came to mind were the characters. She creates such well-developed characters, fascinating and full of surprises. It took me all of one chapter to fall in love with Emika in Warcross, as I was instantly fascinated by Adelina in The Young Elites. To me, they stood out as characters that I could not predict and as beautifully crafted characters I couldn’t help but love. Of course, both series are full of characters that I love aside from Emika and Adelina. In Warcross, I got attached to the Phoenix Riders: each of them were different, with their own stories that sometimes tangled with the main story and the relationships were everything (that’s the only way I can describe them). Zero and Hideo were layered characters, and even knowing the Warcross ending as I did, I couldn’t help being curious about Hideo, his character kept me on my toes for both novels. In The Young Elites, each character were so well put together, their imperfections standing out in a dark world, making me question their motives at every turn. They were all so deeply morally grey to me, which kept every twist and turn they took unexpected. And in the end, I couldn’t help but care for most of them.

Then, of course, come the stories. Her writing pictures such vivid worlds I found myself immersed in so quickly, and felt so passionate about. I wouldn’t know how to describe her writing perfectly, but something about it catched my attention from the beginning, and kept me reading, reading and reading. Most plot twists came as a shock, being so well-done. But what amazed me the most, and something I realized when reading The Midnight Star, was how much I didn’t know what was going to happen. For both series, the story took paths I couldn’t even have imagined; for both I pictured very different directions from what Marie Lu actually chose, and I loved it. I loved how surprised I was, how in awe of her imagination and how unpredictable the stories were. If I thought I knew something, I probably didn’t. It was brilliant. Yes I did guess a couple things, but even then I had no idea how those plot points were going to occur. All of it kept me invested in the books. The stories were so unique, full of life and details bringing them into focus, it was an amazing experience to be able to read them.

In short, it is pretty obvious how I love Marie Lu’s work. So what happens next? Well, I have yet to read one of her series: Legend. I realized after reading The Young Elites that I was reading through her series backwards, the latest release first, and the first release last but I don’t mind it for one minute. With the fourth Legend book coming out in October of this year, it is absolutely my plan to read Legend, Prodigy and Champion before then (and probably sooner than later). She has quickly become an author I truly love and I will read every new books she puts out.

Is there an author you discovered recently you particularly love? Any recommendations?

Until next time,
Noémie