Book Review: Empire of Storms (ToG #6) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.


I know I say this every time I write a review of a Sarah J. Maas book, but seriously, WHY DID SHE LEAVE IT LIKE THAT?!

I need more, and I need it NOW.

I know there are issues with this. I hate Rowan and his possessive control over Aelin, and don’t understand why every single character needs to have a romantic pairing, but Maas has a way of writing plot lines that suck you in and are just seriously addictive. I’m total trash for it, I don’t even care.

Once again the drama has been kicked up yet another notch and once again we’re left with a gaping hole where this book once was, a massive book hangover, and A YEAR LONG WAIT until we find out what the hell happens next.

I don’t know if I’ll survive.

Send help.

This next paragraph contains romantic interest spoilers, be warned…

I adore Lorcan and Elide and I will ship them to the end of the earth. The pairing between Manon and Dorian I feel is a bit unnecessary, I always felt like Manon was a fierce independent woman who doesn’t need a man, but there we go. And can we just please spare a thought to that tragic, uncomfortable beach scene which I feel like everyone could have done without having to endure… ahem.

Anyway.

Crown of Midnight and Queen of Shadows are still my favourites in the series so far, but I really did love this one too overall.

Next stop, Tower of Dawn!


 

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September Book Merch Haul!

In September, I seemed to actually spend less money on actual books, and more money on book things. We’re talking candles, bookmarks stationary etc. So when I did my book haul, I thought, ‘hey, maybe I should do a merch haul too…’, and so here we are! It actually took me a while longer than expected to put this post together, but I finally got there.


Bookish Candles

Yes, they need their own sub-sections…

Happy Piranha

The first candles I received in September were from happypiranha.com who I rep for over on bookstagram. I absolutely adore their candles; they smell amazing, and the packing is just gorgeous! I talked about them a whole load in a blog post not too long ago, which you can read here.

One of the candles I got this month, which was part of my rep package, was “The Greatest Show on Earth” candle. I also bought the “Polyjuice Potion”, “Courage” and “Wing Leader” candles.

 

Don’t forget that if you buy anything from HappyPiranha, you can get 10% off by using my code: INCASEOFPIRANHA


Bookish Burns

I recently discovered another UK candle company, called BookishBurns, and just had to buy the “Court of Dreams” candle. It smells really fresh with a hint of citrus, and is also sparkly!

I’ll defnintely be buying more from this company in the future (I have my eyes on the Hogsmeade Autumn Treat candle…)

 


Book & Nook

Yep, we’re still going on the candles… September was a long month, okay?!

I bought 3 candles from Book&Nook this month:

  1. Liesl’s Song (Wintersong inspired, 4.5oz)
  2. Rhysand (ACOTAR inspired, 4.5oz)
  3. Weep (Strange The Dreamer inspired, 7oz)

I absolutely adore all of them, but I think my favourite is Liesl’s Song – it smells Uh-MAY-Zing! I already had 2 candles from this company, so knew I’d love them, but they still surprise me every time!


Bookmarks

I may have gone a little overboard on the bookmarks this month… is that possible? Can you have too many?

I bought bookmarks from the following companies and love them all!

HappyHello

HeyAtlas

Ink&WonderDesigns

StrangeTheBookmark


Other Stuff

Funko Pop Vinyl Figures:

  1. Luna with Glasses
  2. Harry Potter (#1)
  3. Newt Scamander

Literary Emporium:

I bought the mystery lucky dip box from LitEmporium, which comes with a randomly selected stationary item, jewellery item, and pin badge. I was so surprised by this, and even though it states that the items will be “slightly imperfect”, I couldn’t actually detect a fault with any of them! I love each item, and they’re of such amazing quality. Whether I’ll buy another of these boxes for myself, I don’t know, just because I’m scared I’ll get the same item. However I will definitely be buying them for gifts for friends!

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Book Sleeve

I bought my first ever book sleeve this month! It’s from BookBuddleUK and the quality and print design are just so worth the money. I struggled for ages to find a UK book sleeve company who’s designs I liked, and BookBuddle just ticked all of the boxes. I bought the large hardback size, which fits all of my heftier hardbacks in nice and snugly. The print is super cute and woodsy, perfect for autumn. I definitely want to buy a paperback size in the future.


So that’s it!

One HUGE book merch haul… I’ve never bought any merch before, so I really went to town this month whilst I had the money to do so, and made sure that I got a little bit of everything to try. I’m so impressed by all of these companies, and can’t recommend them enough – there really are some very talented people out there!

I still have orders from Society6 and Meraki Candles on their way to me, but I’ll save those for my October haul, seeing as I am now on a BOOK BUYING BAN.

Oh god, save me.

I need it, and I will be thankful for it, but it’s going to be tough… wish me luck!


Liked this?

Click here to see my September Book Haul.

September Book Haul

It’s the end of September already?! Where has this year even gone?!

There have been some amazing releases this month, and considering that last month I didn’t buy a single book, what with being on a boat and all, I think I’ve done pretty well to control my book buying this month! So without further ado, this is what I’ve bought:

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Godsgraveby Jay Kristoff

Alex & Elizaby Melissa De La Cruz

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The Bone Seasonby Samantha Shannon

Invictusby Ryan Graudin

Things A Bright Girl Can Doby Sally Nicholls

Warcrossby Marie Lu


Whilst I many not have bought many books in comparison to my usual 15+ book hauls, I did buy a whole load of bookish merch, which I don’t normally do… oops! I got some amazing items though, so I’ll do a separate post for that haul tomorrow!


What books did you buy this month? And what upcoming book releases are you excited for?

In The Spotlight: Happy Piranha Candles

Hey everyone!

Some of you may know that I am a rep for the fabulous company, Happy Piranha! And I figured I’d do a little feature post to tell you a bit more about them, and show you some of their amazing products – there’s even a special discount code for you all at the end!

Happy Piranha are an online company based in the UK, who specialise in themed candles. They have a HUGE selection ranging from book inspired scents, through to game themed scents for all you gamers out there! Not only to they smell incredible, but they also have some of the most gorgeous label designs that I have ever seen on a candle. Like, EVER.

Here are some of my favourite candles that I have taken photo’s of on my bookstagram:


“The Greatest Show On Earth”Caraval and The Night Circus inspired candle, this smells of Toffee Apples. It’s a very sweet, indulgent scent, perfect if you love sweet scents, but smells even better when burning!

“Polyjuice Potion” – one of several Harry Potter themed candles, this one reminds me of marzipan, another sweet scent and one of the most incredibly detailed packaging designs. This one smells great burning, but I sometimes like to just leave it sat in a room with the lid off… My room smells amazing!

“Wing Leader” – inspired by Manon Blackbeak from the Throne of Glass series, this is my ultimate favourite candle of any candle to ever exist. It smells so fresh, and has a gorgeous pink colour!

“Courage (Gryffindor)” – one of four Hogwarts House scents, this one smells divine. A warm, woodsy scent with a hint of sweet cinnamon, this is the perfect smell for the Autumn season, and any Gryffindor!


Happy Piranha have also just launched a range of tealight sets!

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The three sets are:

Unicorn Farts (Pack of 6)

Waxtasia (Pack of 6)

Every Fragranced Candles (Pack of 12)

The packaging for these sets are super cute, perfect for gifts leading up to Christmas, and to make it even better, each tea light in the box has a different scent! I can’t wait for my package to arrive so I finally get to try these out!


Make sure you all go and check out HappyPiranha.com – all of the candles are very reasonably priced for the incredible quality of the products, but you can also get a 10% discount by entering the code INCASEOFPIRANHA at the checkout.

Go and make those Piranha’s extra happy!


 

Book Review: The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

23592175Synopsis: Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.


I have heard so many good things about this book and Hardinge as an author.

I don’t know if I was just reading this at the wrong time, but I just wasn’t all there for this book. Firstly, it took me AGES to get through. Like, 2 weeks… it’s barely 300 pages long…

Like I said, I don’t know if it was just because being on a boat for 6 weeks had completely mentally drained me, but I found the first half of the book painfully slow. It wasn’t until half way through (coincidentally, when I was settled back at home) that I became more engaged with the story and the characters.

I found the concept really intriguing, and actually loved the descriptions of Faith’s visions when under the influence of the Tree’s “truth fruit”; it was whimsical and magical whilst remaining dark and haunting. I also loved Faith’s bravery and determination to overthrow the societal views towards females – The increase of strong female characters in children’s literature over the past few years has been inspiring and long overdue!

Unfortunately, I really hated all of the other characters. I found Faith’s mother intolerable, and Faith’s father was so distant and uninvolved that for the first two thirds of the book, I really didn’t understand Faith’s devotion towards him and his memory.

I don’t feel like my review of this book can ever be 100% true to my feelings, just because I really don’t know where I sit with it, and whether my enjoyment of the book was in fact influenced by my severe need to be back on dry land! But overall, I still don’t like I would have fully enjoyed the book as I feel like the characters would have grated on me regardless of my location.

Ultimately, although it took me a while to get into it, I genuinely enjoyed it. A dark, mysterious tale with a strong female protagonist.


View The Lie Tree on Goodreads

Book Review: Salt to The Sea – Ruta Sepetys

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

28103790Synopsis: 

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across East Prussia, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed.

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.


I read this book about a sinking ship, whilst on a ship… whose wise idea was that?!

So anyone who knows me, knows that I love anything set during the second world war. I don’t know why, but there is just something about that time period that just grabs my attention.

I was sure that I was going to love this. Only, I didn’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, I just didn’t love it as much as I had expected. I have really high expectations for books set in this time period, after my favourite book, The Book Thief blew me away, and then All The Light We Cannot see followed suit.

I don’t particularly know why, but perhaps it was due to the fact that I didn’t feel connected to any of these characters for about half of the book. The story follows four main perspectives, all of which are keeping a dark secret. When I found out these secrets, I felt like for the most part, they weren’t big enough to have much significance, and so where I spent a lot of time focusing on these secrets, I lost a lot of the parts which would have made me grow fond of these characters.

The actual writing and telling of the story was beautiful. I felt like I could picture every moment, and still now, after a month since reading it, I can recall specific images in my mind. The turmoil and destruction, and sheer desperation of these people seeking to flee was depicted devastatingly well.

The ending was a bit cryptic in my opinion. I’m still not 100% sure on some of the details of how events following the disaster played out, or even who the letter at the end is written by. I feel like I would have to re-read it to grasp it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think it’s a beautifully told account of events well worthy of it’s Carnegie nomination.


View Salt To The Sea on Goodreads

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

23766634Synopsis: 

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


I can’t even begin to tell you all how much this book destroyed me… What a finale!

This gave me all of the feels, and despite what anyone says, I think I will always love Maas’ writing. When I started reading the ACOTAR I had no idea that I would love it this much! Can everyone just give me all of the related merchandise so I can make a shrine please?

Of course, it had it’s flaws, but so does every book. It’s the relationships between the characters that keeps me turning and turning those pages. The developments and plot twists throughout had me hooked, and the war, although short, gave me the chills and had me bawling my eyes out!

The only* fault that I can pick with this (*that I remember), is that the final war was SO short. For an event that the entire series had been leading up to, and the book is titled for, it felt a tad bit rushed. It was over in a matter of about 50 pages, which was slightly disappointing for me; I felt like it could have been even more epic. But still, it grabbed me and I basically just devoured the entire thing. I did have to stop reading in a public place when I came dangerously close to ugly crying…

Here are some of my thoughts on the characters by the end of the series:

I HATE TAMLIN. And always will, even though he did try to redeem himself.

I LOVE RHYSAND. Can I marry him please? Okay, so him and Feyre are great together, so maybe I can force myself to be happy for them… *sighs*

Nesta, although I hated her to start with, has grown on me and I now love her and absolutely need to read more about her and what’s going to happen!

Again, as with ACOMAF, this is probably not suitable for young readers and should be pitched as New Adult, due to the amount of sex scenes (there are a LOT).

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I seriously cannot wait until May 2018 so I can read more, and hopefully go back to The Court of Dreams, where I belong.


View A Court of Wings and Ruin on Goodreads