A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: February 16, 2021

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 3.5 Stars

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*Amazon and Bookshop are affiliate links*

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

This is going to be a tough one. I LOVE Maas. I started reading her books when A Court of Thorns and Roses came out. This was probably my least favorite Maas book.

First of all, SMUT. Be forewarned. I don’t like smut. I don’t mind sex scenes if they have to do with the story or if they are short romantic scenes (more like Outlander). This book could have been 100 pages shorter without the unnecessary smut. I HATED how Nesta used sex. It was toxic. SHE was toxic and no one seems to mind that. She freaking emotionally abused Feyre for most of her life and yet people hate Tamlin?! Tamlin needs some work, don’t get me wrong, but Nesta… hated her. She was freaking toxic to EVERYONE! And people are like, “Oh poor Nesta and her trauma, she’s freaking BA and she’s so strong, blah blah blah…” No. I’m sorry, I have been through trauma, study trauma, want to be a trauma therapist. And no. That does NOT excuse the toxic way she treated people around her.

Now, I am ALL for redemption stories. I want a Tamlin redemption arc. AND I’m all for Nesta redemption.

So. Now on to things I liked! Maas bringing attention to trauma and how to start dealing with it. And, like in the book, surprise: sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll doesn’t fix your problems. Maas definitely did a lot of research in dealing with trauma and the techniques she used are techniques that anyone can use! Kudos to her for doing that well! She included techniques like breathing/ meditating, exercise, facing your trauma, talking about your trauma, and finding a group of women (or men if you are a man) who have also been through trauma. The only thing I would add (now this is a fantasy series so I don’t think they have these here…) is trauma therapy! I also loved how Maas included TIME in dealing with it. It takes sometimes years to deal with trauma. Don’t give up.

Wow. Told y’all I was passionate about this subject. Alas, I will move on from saying trauma a million times…

Let’s talk plot! Maas has got to be a master world builder! She added a few things and brought back a few plot points that were amazing! I am VERY interested and invested in this world! The things she has brought back… *shivers* in anticipation! I keep wanting to say the plot points I loved but I don’t want to give away spoilers! ARGH! She’s definitely building up to something way cool!

The next book is about Azriel, Elaine, Lucien mess. THAT is the book I am most excited for! Azriel is by far my favorite and he deserves all the happiness!!! But Lucien does too. And Elaine. This is going to be a mess I can’t wait for!

I will say, that I am happy with the ending of A Court of Silver Flames!

Crown of Bones (Crown of Bones #1) by A. K. Wilder – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: January 05, 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy, Magic

Adventure Rating: 4.5 Stars

Goodreads | Bookshop

Raise. Your. Phantom.

For fans of epic fantasies and sweeping adventures, this ensemble cast will immerse you in a world of unique magic, breathtaking action and unforgettable characters.

In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come …

A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen.

A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the nine realms.

A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea.

And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.

My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to surprise us all. 

*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Thank you so much!

This book actually took me by surprise. YA books have been a bit of a let down for me recently so I went into this book thinking, “Sigh, I wish I was reading an adult fantasy.” Boy was I glad to be proven wrong! I freaking LOVED this book! The only reason it’s not 5 stars is because I don’t know yet if I will re-read it. BUT I do and have already recommended this book to numerous people. It is seriously SO unique!

I don’t even know where to start. The loveable characters, the world building, the magic, the plot?! I want to gush about it all!

I guess we will go in that order! Ha! Characters. Ash. I LOVE her! It’s been awhile since I’ve loved a heroine this much. She actually made me laugh out loud. Y’all, I am an emotional person IRL, but when I read, I’m just not. I get excited, but I don’t really laugh or cry or anything. This one made me laugh and have readers anxiety. Ash is hilarious. She’s just a regular girl. She’s neither, “oooh I’m so clumsy but so cute but don’t know it” or “I’m a freaking boss and a mary sue”. Ya know? She just goes about her day. She’s determined to do a good job, on well, her job. And she just wants to be a good person. I can’t say enough good things about her. And the others! Marcus! He was a treat as well. Not as good as Kaylin, but I’m getting to him. Marcus… I felt bad for him most of the time honestly. He tried so hard to do all the right things and just couldn’t quite get there. He’s the cinnamon roll of the book. Okay, KAYLIN! Swoon! I don’t even mind the insta-attraction. Because it wasn’t insta-love. He is the dark and mysterious and playful and powerful man of the book. I leeeerve him. Book boyfriend material right there. Samson, Piper, and Belair get honorable mentions as great side characters to help build up the MCs.

Told you I was going to gush. I have a lot to say!

World building! Wilder does a fantastic job weaving her own take on magic and a fantasy land together in this great mix! She introduces the reader to history, current political events, and some future prophecies as well. She honestly could write so much in this world! More more more!!!

Magic. It’s so bleeping cool y’all!!! The magic users are the elite of society. They can call up “Phantoms” and those Phantoms represent their magic. There are a few different types, like warrior, healing, callers, alters, and a few more! And each phantom can look differently depending on the user. Some people have wicked sweet animals, some have stuff like trees, and some have shapeless magical mist blob thingys. It’s all very unique! And I liked the rules. It doesn’t take anything out of the user to “call up” their phantom, but it does take it out on them when they use their phantom.

The plot then I swear I’m done. Ash accompanies Marcus on his journey to go the “magic” school on an Island that is neutral to politics. (Boy, wish I could live there.) Along the way they get into every single trouble you can think of. Good thing they have a healer with them. (She needs a pay raise. She is overworked.) Their troubles don’t end there. It is just one bad luck thing after another. It makes it way more exciting.

Loved the ending and I can’t wait for book 2!!!

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2) by Roshani Chokshi – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads | Bookshop (Buy from local bookstores!)

Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever in The Silvered Serpents.

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.”

*I received an e-arc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

*This is spoiler free if you have not read the second book!! There might be some small spoilers from the first book!*

Our adventure begins by dropping you into our gang’s lives a few months after book one. And it’s so sad! They are all apart doing their own thing while Severin is drowning in his sorrows. Severin quickly calls them all together to finally find The Divine Lyrics. Then things really pick up.

They are not thieves like the gang from Six of Crows, but they are treasure hunters. So freaking cool. They each have a job to do within the crew. And of course, Severin trying to “protect” them, treats them all horribly. Especially Laila. *Cue tears* But through that, I love how close Laila gets with Enrique and Zofia! Those three are the sweetest ever. I love them.

Zofia was probably my favorite character this time! She is very logical to the extreme but she is learning social cues and maybe learning some of her own heart. I for sure ship her with a certain someone. And this book put wind in my ship’s sails!!!

I liked Hypnos but he was sort of the annoying/ little brother character? I don’t know how to explain it.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE WRITING?! I give 5 freaking stars to the writing alone. It’s pure magic. Chokshi makes the reader feel all five senses while reading. And it’s different for each character. One character will see snow as sugar while the other feels it as tiny ice droplets that makes their skin freeze. She also writes AMAZING food scenes. Made me hungry.

The plot read like an adventure, treasure hunting movie! They travel to Russia and discover new places to find the mysterious book. And they all go through plenty of trials and pain!

This book had it all! Love- platonic and romantic, descriptions to die for, characters you love, ice creatures come alive, myths and legends, twists, and a cliff hanger ending that will leave you begging for more! I can’t wait for the next book!

Check out my review for the first book HERE! It was written a couple years ago so my style has changed a bit. 😛

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: October 23, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance

My Rating: 4 Stars

Amazon


“Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.” 

This is going to be a hard one not to say any spoilers since it’s the 7th and last book of a series. BUT I figure if you are reading this, you’ve read most if not all of the books. This is going to be a quick, short, review.

The first half of the book, I was really engrossed and could not put it down. The readers anxiety was real, y’all! However, the last half kind of seemed like a cop out. In the first half, I thought the adventure, the characters, and the story all had that quality that makes you think about a book even when you are sleeping. You just had to know what was going to happen, and if you didn’t find out you might spontaneously combust. Rowan’s pain was felt. As was Aelin’s pain. It was really really sad. Then the last half of the book, I was like, huh, wow, that’s convenient.

Final Thoughts. This is a really fun read. There were a lot of feels at different parts of the book. I know a lot of people cried, I teared up, but none fell. I still have questions about the ending. About what happened to some side characters.

November Wrap-Up and December TBR

Alright loves, I think I am going to start doing one post for these at the beginning of each month! I really, REALLY like the way, Jessie, Novel Heartbeat does hers, so I will be modeling mine somewhat after hers! I love the way she gives a little bit of insight into her life as well! 

In November I read 3 books. I thought I was going to be able to read more but once Thanksgiving rolls around my family is busy until January. Ha! 

My Rating: 5 Stars
Review HERE
Buy HERE
My Rating: 2 Stars
Review HERE
Buy HERE
My Rating: 4 Stars
Review HERE
Buy HERE

I also got some books and bookish merch!

Books:

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Grim Lovlies by Megan Shepherd – Jessi (Novel Heartbeat) surprised me with this one! I had given her my ARC and she got it signed at Y’ALL fest and sent it back! Thank you again Jessi!!!

Merch:

November’s The Bookish Box, Story in the Stars  (I’m a rep! My code: StoriedAdventures10 gets you 10% off your first box or subscription!)

The Bookish Box Kingdom of Ash One Time Box

November’s Fae Crate, Stargazers 

Elentiya Pin by Dust and Pages

Personal Life:

My aunt from Hawaii came and visited and it was amazing!! She’s very traditional Hawaiian, so it is always a pleasure to learn more about my culture! 

We had an extremely low-key thanksgiving with just my side of the family. My dad was really sick so he stayed in bed all day and my mom and I cooked for the rest of the 6 of us (Me, my husband, our 2 1/2 year old son, my two younger brothers, my mom)! We literally did nothing but eat and play with my son! Haha! 

TBR: 

I am actually CR this one!
I’ve been putting this off. I am sooo scared.

I am only going to go for three books this month! Well, four if you include my audio book, The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2) by Brent Weeks! We will be going to Colorado to snowboard over Christmas week, so I will be busy! 

Personal Plans:

As I mentioned above, Colorado to snowboard! I grew up snowboarding and skiing, but I like boarding more! 😛

Also, my husband and I are going to be adopting!! I have a chronic disease called Endometriosis as well as Adenomyosis, so I am not able to have any more children. But adopting is something I have always wanted to do! We are beyond excited! This month we will be submitting our application to Lifetree Adoption Agency! 

A lot of you know this already, but I am an Amazon Influencer and an affiliate, which means I have a “store”. Basically I have a link, and if you shop through my link, Amazon gives me a commission. It is no extra cost to you whatsoever! If you shop through my link or store, I would greatly appreciate it! 

My Amazon Store: Storied Adventures 

My Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/shop/storied.adventures

You don’t have to buy anything from my shop for Amazon to pay me. You just have to use my link. Also, I can’t see who is buying or any of your information! It’s completely private! Thank you for considering shopping through me!

And last thing, I will be changing my rating system to “Adventure Rating” I just think it sounds cute. It will still be a 5 star system though. 🙂

Let me know what y’all think of my new set up for the beginning of the month! What are your plans for this month, bookish or otherwise?

Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) Review [Spoiler Free]

Author: Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: May 26, 2019

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Retellings

My Rating: 2 Stars



Amazon

“A thief. An officer. A guardian. 

Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…

Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spy on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.

Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. In training to take command of the military, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when his father dies and leaves behind a cryptic message that only one person can read: a girl named Alouette.

Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.

All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables.”

*Thank you to Edelweiss+ for the review copy!*

Story/Plot. The premise of the story and plot were A+. I mean, a retelling of Les Miserables?! I LOVE that play (I know it’s based off of the book, I’ve just never read it.)! Plus it’s a retelling in space!  That’s right up my alley! And that’s about all I liked of the book. Oops. 

Writing. Okay, I did like the writing. It wasn’t anything fancy or my favorite writing ever, but it was good. It was easy to follow along and I never got lost in the story. 

Characters. Here we go. Here’s the big one. I literally didn’t like anyone. Chantine was the only one that I liked SOMETIMES. Marcellou and Allouette were SO BORING! I didn’t care if they lived or died. Marcellou was all over the place. One minute he wanted to follow his Grandfather, the next he hated him. Even at the end of the book, I was like where are we at here, Marcellou? I also just saw him as a weak character and didn’t understand his charm. Allouette was just kind of a wuss most of the time. I guess she picked up at the end but she was so boring to read about. Chantine whined a lot but she had reason to. She literally had no one. And she was poor and starving. She has a really tough life. Hers was the only story line I was mildly interested in. She was feisty and she did literally whatever she had to to survive. My suggestion to her, forget about Marcellou. You don’t need him. Although,  if you know the Les Miserables story, she’s supposed to be Eponine, so it doesn’t really end well for her anyway. I could have done without the romance in this story, and usually I’m all about those ships!

Final Thoughts. A 2 star rating for me means I finished the book but it was hard to get through. I won’t be picking up the second in the series. I will say that this might be someone’s cup of tea, just not mine.