Dark, Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews

REVIEW: Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff

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Synopsis:

From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hands sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.


It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order couldn’t stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Nevernight Chronicle, Jay Kristoff, comes the first book of an astonishing illustrated dark fantasy saga.


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MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Where do I even begin? I truly have so much to say and so many emotions that it’s hard to pick where to start this review…

Well, I suppose I should start with the fact that I have been a Jay Kristoff fan for a while. I read Illuminae first and later read Nevernight by him. Both of which, I really enjoyed. They were very different but spoke to me in their own ways. I heard about this book years ago when Jay first started promoting it. I was so stoked for it to come out in 2020, but it was pushed back to 2021 for understandable reasons. Anyways, I knew the general premise of Gabe telling the story and that it was about a world with evil vampires. I was a little leery because male main characters can be a real miss for me and vampires aren’t a genre I gravitate towards. But after seeing what Jay did with Illuminae and Nevernight, I was willing to give this book a go.

After watching Jay promote this book and the hype train get bigger and bigger, I let myself fall deep into the train. I somehow own 21 editions of this book. No, that is not an exaggeration. A small part of me worried that I was wasting my money if I disliked this, but a louder part of me had confidence that Jay would make me fall in love with this world. So I dove full on in and on release day, I was up at the book store buying yet another copy of this book as soon as they opened.

After quite literally consuming this book these past few days, I can say that every single penny that I spent was worth it. This book is without a doubt in my top three favorite books of all time. And I absolutely love that because it has become so hard to find books now that can become top favorites like that. It hasn’t happened for me in years at this point. I don’t think there is an accurate way for me to put my feelings towards this book down on paper. There are so many wordless emotions I have and deep feelings that I could never portray by speaking them. All I can say is that this book spoke to me. It gripped my heart and made me never want to leave. The characters felt so raw and real to me and the world felt the same. The broken parts of this world hurt so bad and the small glimpses of hope that these characters had warmed my heart.

“If he wanted a war, I would be it. If he wanted a fear, let it be me.”


Gabriel- Despite struggling with some male characters in the past, I am happy to say that I bonded with Gabe pretty much instantly. From the beginning prologue-like chapters, I felt a pull to him. I wanted to see what made this broken, jaded, smart ass man the way he is. And after reading this story and the small amount he told us (in the grand scheme of this being 1 of 3 books), I can say that I love him with my heart and soul. A part of me connected in an indescribable way to the part of him that has lost something. As someone who has gone through loss, I can say that the way Gabe deals with it and how it was portrayed felt so realistic to me, that I found myself tearing up at the smallest glimpses of Gabe’s pain. I felt a bond with him that only people who have lost those closest to them can feel and there are no words that I can give you to describe what that means to me. To have a character speak to those dark and broken parts of myself is something that I don’t know if I’ve ever truly had. And I can’t think Jay Kristoff enough for that, truly.

“May I present Dior Lachance, Prince of Thieves, Lord of Liars, and incorrigible little bastard.”


Dior- I might be starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s hard to describe how I feel about Dior. When I think about her, I just get this light and giddy feeling. She was one of my favorite parts of this book and the whole plot twist surrounding her gender completely blew my mind. Like I just sat there for 10 minutes after that chapter staring in to space, thinking about how mind blowing it was. I 100% did not see it coming at all, not even a little bit. The rest of the book, I was almost always smiling when she was around. Her banter with Gabriel was fantastic and seeing their relationship grow both broke and mended my heart. I am scared to death for Dior’s safety in the future books and I am not ready for the inevitable separation of her and Gabe.

“Because I miss them, like a piece of me is missing. And I love them, like love is all I was. And there is nothing I’d not do, no depth to which I’d not sink, no price I wouldn’t pay to have them back and here with me. Because they were my all and my everything.”


Astrid- I loved Astrid. I adored all the parts with her in it and I couldn’t get enough scenes with her. She knew what she wanted and went after it with her whole self. I definitely got strong Mia Corvere vibes and I’m honestly down for that! The only complaint I would have is that I wish we got just a little more of her and more development of her and Gabe’s relationship.

“You play a game you cannot win.”


Liathe- Did I know she was going to be important in some way? Yes, because she kept appearing and Jay put a lot of emphasis on her character. Did I have any idea she was going to be who she was until like the page before we found out? No. Once again, this was a plot twist I did not see coming at all. And to be honest she is one of the characters I am the most excited for in the future books. I have a feeling the relationship and the dynamics between her and Gabe in the future books will be rocky and heartbreaking. I’m also dying to know what she wants with Dior and what her true motivations are.

“It matters not what you hold faith in. But you must hold faith in something.”


Aaron & Chloe- These are the two that I probably had the biggest emotional changes about over the course of the book. Aaron, I hated and could not stand at the beginning, but I adored him by the end. Chloe, I really liked and was rooting for in the beginning, to only hate by the end.

“Hearts only bruise. They never break.”


Justice and Jezebel- Yes, these two characters deserve their own section because they were the MVPs of this book. My heart was ripped out of my chest when they both died and I am truly not okay with it.

“I didn’t give this sword a name, girl. She came with one.”


Ashdrinker- A talking sword that has been broken and has a mysterious past you say?? There is literally nothing else you could say to have me more intrigued.

”Thou shalt suffer for this, Silversaint. And it shall be legendary.”


The Forever King & the Vampires- It has been a while since the villains of a story truly scared me, but the ones in this book for sure did. They were evil incarnate, and Jay did the vampire thing so well! I truly see how this entity that puts no value in time is scary and feels like such a big obstacle to overcome.

I could sit here and try to go over all my feelings about the rest of the characters but there are truly so many that it would take hours. The rest of the characters I had probably the appropriate feelings you’re supposed to have. Some I changed how I felt over the course of the book and others I felt lukewarm about.

“We believe in life after death because oblivion is too dark an abyss to stare into. We tell ourselves our creator cares, because the thought of a maker who doesn’t is too terrifying to consider.”


There is one more thing I wanted to talk about before we get to the end of this review. And that would religion and the role it plays in this story. I am personally religious, so seeing what Jay did with it in this book was interesting. Seeing Gabe go through this roller coaster of believing in it, losing his faith, and then finally putting it back into Dior broke my heart and sealed it back together again. Whenever religion and God were brought up in this book, I could tell that Jay Kristoff had thought about these things before and it made Gabe’s journey feel easier to connect to. I’ve never seen something like that and there were times where it brought me to tears.

To end this review, all there is left to say is that this book left its mark. Almost instantly after finishing it, I felt one of the worst book hangovers of my life come over and it hurt to know there was nothing left to read. I went to bed thinking about this book, I dreamed about it multiple times during the night, and it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up. If that doesn’t speak to how much I love this book, I don’t know what does. I went through one of the biggest emotional roller coasters I’ve gone on in a long time while reading this. There were literally points where there were tears streaming down my face for thirty minutes straight and parts where I was so angry at what was happening to these characters that I was shaking. But all of that just speaks to how beautifully written this book was… And I wouldn’t trade it for the world! There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how much this story means to me or how much I need the next book!

Dark, Fantasy, Favorites, Illumicrate Unboxings, Romance, TBR

UNBOXING: April Illumicrate “Dearly Departed” Box

Hello Lovelies! I’m back with another Illumicrate unboxing today! This box was a bit late but it’s here now and I could not be more excited!


The Book:

The book this month is absolutely STUNNING!!! First off, I could not be more in love with the book pick itself. A dark, polyamorous romance you say??? HELL TO THE YES!!! Add on the stenciled edges, exclusive endpapers, and one of the prettiest art prints I have ever seen and this has GOT to be one of my most favorite books I’ve ever gotten! I can’t wait to dive into this read!


The Items:

The Beautiful Mason Jar Glass by @thatslovelydearshop
Dread Nation Sickle Key Ring by @palaceofresin
Gideon the Ninth Magnets by @_saintdri
Monthly Enamel Pin by @stacey.mcevoy.caunt
Nevernight Book Organizer by @rosdottir

As far as the items go this month, I think Illumicrate did well for the most part. A majority of their budget had to have gone to the book pot, so with that in mind, the other items were better quality than I would have thought.

While gorgeous, the book pot isn’t my favorite they’ve ever done. I love the Egyptian mythology theme, but their Forgotten Fables and Folklore book pot is still my favorite.

My favorite item BY FAR is the Nevernight book organizer! I am not ashamed to say that I’ve already put it to good use, housing some of my books! My least favorite item has to be the key ring. It’s not awful, but it’s not my fandom and you run out of enthusiasm for them after a while!


Next Month’s Box (May):

I’m excited for next month’s (this month’s lol?) box. I love me some stenciled edges so I’m looking forward to those. I am also looking forward to the Addie LaRue and City of Brass items!


Overall, I did enjoy this month’s box. The Nevernight item made the box pretty much worth it items wise, but what really sold me was the book! It’s probably my favorite pick from Illumicrate so far this year, not gonna lie!

~Autumn💕

ARCs, Blog Tour, Dark, Fantasy, Release Blitz/Blast, TBR

BLOG TOUR (+EXCERPT): A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Hello Lovelies! This wonderful book is out in the world today and I was given the amazing opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for its release! I have an excerpt from the book for you guys below to check out!


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Synopsis:

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.


EXCERPT:

My mother was screaming at the Comte. Again.

I slammed the front doors behind me and walked down the carriageway, under the dappled shade of the poplars that lined it. A hundred paces away, I still heard her, though at least I could no longer hear the Comte’s frantic endearments and low, rapid pleading. He should know by now that wasn’t the way. Perhaps I should tell him. Adrien was the first of my mother’s patrons I had ever liked, and I did not want to leave Normandy just as spring was breaking. Just as we were beginning to make progress.

Though perhaps we were not. Mother would not be screaming at the Comte if the work were going well. She would not take the time. Alchemy was a demanding science, even if some scoffed and called it charlatanry or magic. It required total concentration. If the work were going well, the Comte would scarcely exist to her, nor would I, now that she would not let me be of use. The com- position must have broken again. This was about when it had, last round. I could not be certain, since she had taken away my key to the laboratory. She could hardly have de- vised a worse insult than that if she had tried, and lately she did seem to be trying. The laboratory was mine as much as it was hers. If she did succeed in producing the White Elixir—which turned all metals into silver—then it was only because of my help. She had found Jābir’s text languishing in a Spanish monastery, but it had been I who translated it when her Arabic wasn’t nearly up to the job. I had labored for months over the calcinary furnace to make the philosophic mercury the text took as its starting point. I had the scars on my hands and arms to prove it. And now that success might be close, she wished to shut me out and deny my part, and claim it for herself alone.

But if she was acting ill and cross, it meant she had failed. A low, smug hum of satisfaction warmed me. I didn’t want the work to fail, but I didn’t want her to suc- ceed without me, either.

A distant smashing sound rang out from the chateau. My mother shattering something against the wall, no doubt.

I sighed and shifted my letter box to the crook of my other arm.

I knew what this meant. Another move. Another man. The Comte had lasted longer than the rest. Over two years, long enough that I had begun to hope I would not have to do it all again. I hated the uncertainty of those first weeks, before I knew what was expected of me, whether Mother’s new patron had a temper and what might set it off, whether he liked children to speak or be silent. Though I was no longer a child, and that might bring its own problems. A chill passed over me, despite the warm afternoon sunshine. God only knew what the next one would be like. My mother had already run through so many of them. And with the recent changes in France, there were fewer rich men than ever looking to give patronage to an expensive alchemist, even one as beautiful and famous as Marguerite Hope.

I veered off the carriageway, into the soft spring grass, dotted here and there with the first of the lavender anemones. I sat by the stream, under the plum tree.

There was no screaming here, no pleading, no signs that my life was about to change for the worse. I inhaled the soft, sweet scent of plum blossoms and opened my letter box. If this was to be my last spring in Normandy, I wanted to re- member it like this. Springtime in Normandy was soft and sweet, sun shining brightly and so many things blossoming that the very air was perfumed with promise. Everything was coming extravagantly to life, bursting out of the dead ground and bare trees with so much energy other impossible things seemed likely, too. I had always been hopeful in Normandy when it was spring. Especially last spring, when Will was still here. When we sat under this very tree, drank both bottles of champagne he had stolen from the cellars, and spun tales of everything we could achieve.


LINKS:

Samantha’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/smcohoe

Samantha’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samanthacohoe/

Wednesday Books Twitter: https://twitter.com/wednesdaybooks

Wednesday Books Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wednesdaybooks/

Buy link for A GOLDEN FURY: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/a-golden-fury/

Dark, Fantasy, Reviews

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) by Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads | Amazon US


Synopsis:

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?


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Fear was poison. Fear was a prison. Fear was the bridesmaid of regret, the butcher of ambition, the bleak forever between forward and backward.

Fear was Can’t. Fear was Won’t. But fear wasn’t ever a choice.

To never fear was to never hope. Never love. Never live. To never fear was to never smile as the dawn kissed your face. To never fear solitude was to never know the joy of a beauty in your arms.

Part of having is the fear of losing. Part of creating is the fear of its breaking. Part of beginning is the fear of your ending. Fear is never a choice. Never a choice.

But letting it rule you is.”

Okay… To be completely honest with you, I have no idea how to write this review. My thoughts and feelings are just too complicated and all over the place to put into words. And, to be honest, you can probably find a much more conclusive review out there that will be able to articulate their feelings better that mine. All I can really say that might get my point across is that this series means a lot to me, for many reasons.

One of which is that my mother passed away while I was reading it… And the ironic part about that is that my mother was the one that warned me away from this series. I let her read the Caveat Emptor and, I kid you not, she looked up at me and said, “Why the hell are you reading this?”. You see anyone that knows me knows, that I am soft-hearted, a hopeless romantic, and I hate when a book ends in anything less than happy. So, my mother thought she was protecting me when she tried to warn me away from it. Little did I know, me pushing past her warning would save a part of me when my mother had a heart attack 6 days later.

After what happened to my mom, I understood Mia’s character on a level that many people just can’t understand. I understood her fury, her need for vengeance, and her hate. I knew firsthand what it was like to lose a parent and to want to hurt anything or anyone that took them away from you. To want to scream at the world that it’s not fair. Not right. But, through Mia, I also learned acceptance of the fact that it’s never “fair”. That no matter what world you live in or what god(s) you have, life just isn’t fair. It takes from anything and anyone. But you’ve got to live through it anyways. Because what else can you do? You either let the unfairness carry you away in a sea of despair, or you say, “F that” and you fight. You fight every day to live and try to be happy. Because no one else is going to do it for you.

So, to some up those long paragraphs, Mia Corvere and her story mean a lot to me. Not only because of who she is, but the experiences that we have had that tie us together. I will always love Mia and she will forever hold a place in my heart that no other character can. So, the purpose of this review is that I want to thank Jay Kristoff, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me a chance to know her. It’s been a wild ride, and I don’t regret a minute of it.

I can’t wait to see where Jay will take me next.


Other Books in the Series:

5 🍁s ~ Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

5 🍁s ~ Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Dark, Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


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“You’ll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be, girl, is someone’s hero… But you will be a girl heroes fear.”

MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
There are no words that I can use to describe the masterpiece that is this book. It enthralled me from the very first page and would not let me go. I would sit it down and I would find myself unable to concentrate on anything because all I could think about was this book! This is truly one of those books that haunts your every thought and you are never the same after reading. It is that remarkable and beautifully written.

Mia- I just love Mia so much. Every time I thought that she was doing something stupid or I thought she was falling for a clear trap, Mia would completely turn things around when I least expected it. There were many times when her plans were revealed and I was shocked to my core!

Mr. Kindly- I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND I WANT A CAT LIKE HIM. WHERE CAN I GET ONE!!??

Tric- I really enjoyed Tric’s character and his relationship with Mia. I loved how he was always looking out for her and the banter between them was one of my favorite parts of the book. I will miss him very much.

Ashlinn- The plot twist with Ash and her brother was one of the most shocking reveals I have ever read. I just sat the book down and stared off into space for ten minutes trying to compute it in my brain because I was that thrown. I just don’t even know what to think anymore… Is Ash good or bad? She clearly didn’t want to kill Mia at the end until Mia forced her hand. And what about the obvious regret Ash feels at the start of that chapter in her POV? Does she have feelings for Mia?

The Red Church- I loved anything and everything about The Red Church. Their inner workings and the power structure just fascinated me and I’m really sad that it looks like that part of Mia’s life is going to end.

Overall, I obviously highly enjoyed this book and I will be continuing the series! I need to know what happens next like I need air!!!

**P.S. I just want to take a moment to thank the person that really convinced me to read this series: Piera Forde. Without her channel and her continuous praise of this book, I honestly don’t believe I would have read it and I wouldn’t have fallen in love with it like I did.**


Other Books in the Series:

5 🍁s ~ Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Dark, Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.


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“She’d grown up inside books. No matter how dark life became, shutting out the hurt was as easy as opening a cover. A child of murdered parents and a failed rebellion, she’d still walked in the boots of scholars and warriors, queens and conquerors.

The heavens grant us only one life, but through books, we live a thousand.”

WHAT JUST HAPPENED???? Can you tell me? Because I sure as hell don’t know! One minute, I was happy and I thought I had a tentative idea of what this story was about, and then Jay Kristoff just goes and writes this book… which rocked my entire world. I just can’t wrap my head around this book or any of the events that happened in the last 50 pages. My brain is just fried from that many plot twists back to back and my heart is in pieces…. Help me! I need the next book like yesterday and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!


Other Books in the Series:

5 🍁s ~ Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Dark, Fantasy, Favorites, Reviews, Romance

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

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 Goodreads Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.


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1st Read Rating: 5 Stars
2nd Read Rating: 5 Stars
3rd Read Rating: 5 Stars

May 9, 2019 Review (5 Stars)-
MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:

*This whole review is basically going to be me gushing over how much I love the characters and the series so… You’ve been warned*

This book is my favorite book of all time… I’m just gonna let that sink in for a moment…

“To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.”

No matter how many times I read it, I still love it more than words can describe each time. My love for these characters and this series grows more and more as time passes and I can’t put into words what this series means to me. It deserves literally all of the stars and more and me rating it five stars doesn’t do it justice.

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

Rhysand- Rhys is my favorite male character ever. I fall for him every time I read this book and I absolutely sob my eyes out every time I read chapters 54 and 55. Hearing him talk about everything he has been through and was prepared to give up for Feyre’s happiness guts me. He always put her first and always gave her a choice, no matter what he wanted… I can’t put into words how perfect he is and I don’t believe that it is possible to love a character more.

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”

Feyre- I’m not gonna lie, it has taken me a while to warm up to Feyre. I wasn’t her biggest fan before this book. She came off whiny and I just didn’t like her way of thinking. I honestly feel like her character is what turns a lot of people off to this series during the first book. But I have found, that if you push through the first book, her character goes through one of the biggest arcs I have ever seen. Feyre turns into this strong and independent woman that I really admire. Late ACOTAR Feyre and late ACOMAF Feyre are SO different, you barely recognize her. And I have come to really appreciate that part of this story. I personally feel like Sarah is best when she is writing about a character that starts of broken.. and that is what Feyre is at the start of this book. She is in one of darkest places imaginable and watching her slowly come back to life throughout this book brings me to tears. Every. Time.

“And I realized—I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.”

Tamlin- After reading this book for the third time, I have stopped being angry at Tamlin… I am well past anger now. I HATE him and his character. The whole ending to this book pisses me off to a whole other level. I don’t care what Tamlin does in ANY future books, I will never forgive him for what happened to Elain and Nesta… But more so for Rhys… whose mother and sister were slaughtered because of TAMLIN. That can never be undone in my opinion and I’ll never forget it. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and that’s never gonna change for me.

“When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.”

Lucien- A lot of people didn’t blame Lucien like I feel they should have. He was a bystander to everything that happened and he just watched. He watched Feyre waste away and, in my mind, he doesn’t deserve Elain and he never will. (Yes, I have read the future books and I know a lot of people forgive him, but I’ll get more into why I do not in my ACOWAR review).

“The Court of Dreams. The people who knew that there was a price, and one worth paying, for that dream. The bastard- born warriors, the Illyrian half breed, the monster trapped in a beautiful body, the dreamer born into a court of nightmares… And the huntress with an artist’s soul.”

The Court of Dreams-
I love every member of The Court of Dreams SOOOOOO much. They are all so beautiful and perfect and their stories break my heart. I cry every time I read about it and I am so happy that this group of broken misfits have found each other. There is no better squad family out there.

“I think Nesta feels everything— sees too much; sees and feels it all. And she burns with it. Keeping that wall up helps from being overwhelmed, from caring too greatly.”

Nesta- A lot of people struggle with Nesta’s character, but I don’t. After that point in ACOTAR where she tells Feyre that the glamour didn’t work on her and she searched for her sister, I knew that Nesta was a good person. She uses that anger and steel on the outside, but I can tell, she’s just as broken as The Court of Dreams members, she just hides it better. AND I really hope that Nesta’s book does justice to her character and we get to see more of the beautiful person that I know is there deep down.

“There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

Elain- I connect with Elain the most out of the Archeron sisters, because I am most like her. Soft-hearted and a romantic at heart… and I will always love Elain because of it. Lucien is not worthy of her, and I am a firm #Elriel shipper (but I’ll get more into that in my ACOWAR review).

“And so Tamlin unwittingly led the High Lady of the Night Court into the heart of his territory.”

Overall, I highly enjoyed this book (like every other time I have read it)! I honestly couldn’t love this story more and I will ALWAYS cherish it. Whether is remains my favorite book or not (though I hardly doubt that any book could replace it… unless written by Sarah of course).

April 4, 2017 Review (5 Stars)-
I absolutely adored this book! I could not put it down even to sleep. If you are skeptical to read it, let me assure you that, if you read nothing else, read this book. I LOVE Sarah J. Maas’ writing! The world- building is absolutely phenomenal. If you liked the first book you will definitely love this book. I read it and can not wait for the next and final book. I have read this book twice now which is saying something because I never reread books. Sarah J. Maas is the only author that I will ever reread because her books are just that good. I implore you to read this book!


Other Books in the Series:

4 🍁s ~ A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

5 🍁s ~ A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

4 🍁s ~ A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas

Dark, Favorites, Reviews, Romance, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

The Darkest Captive (Lords of the Underworld #14.5) by Gena Showalter

37534683

 Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

For centuries, Galen the Treacherous has been the most hated immortal in the Underworld. With good reason! This bad boy of bad boys has lied, stolen, cheated and killed with abandon. Possessed by the demons of Jealousy and False Hope, he has always lived for a single purpose: destroy everything.

Then he met her.

Former demon turned human femme fatale — Legion Honey — sought to kill Galen, but ended up parting with her virginity instead. Afraid of their sizzling connection, she ran away…and ended up trapped in hell, tortured and abused in the worst of ways. Now she’s free, and a shell of herself, afraid of her own shadow.

Galen’s hunger for Legion has only grown. Now the warrior with nothing to lose must help her rekindle the fire that once burned inside her. But as desires blaze white-hot, will Legion run again? Or will the unlikely pair succumb to love at long last?

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**


3.5 🍁s

“After all, the harder you fought for something, the more you proved its worth to you.”

MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
I liked this book. It was a nice little novella to add to the series. It set a few things up and revealed some things that I hadn’t known before so I am happy that I read it.

Legion & Galen- Their story has been a long time coming and the only complaint I have is that I wish it would have been longer. I wanted some more development of their relationship than what I got. I did like their character development separately though. Legion went through a big arc in this book and Galen changed as well. It really showed too.

Gwen & Galen- I’m glad that they are on the road to forgiveness. I’ve been wanting them to get to know one another for a while now.

Fox- She’s a Gatekeeper huh? I like it. Plus I’m interested in seeing where her story is going to go now that the Sent Ones will be searching for her.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I will be continuing this series. How could I not when William’s book is next? I might read Viola’s book but I can’t think of anyone else that I would be interested in reading. After that though, I just don’t know. This series isn’t what it used to be for me.


Other Books in the Series:

4.25 🍁s ~ The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Angel (Lords of the Underworld #4.5) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld #5) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld #6) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld #7) by Gena Showalter

3.75 🍁s ~ The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) by Gena Showalter

2.75 🍁s ~ The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10) by Gena Showalter

3 🍁s ~ The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld #11) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld #12) by Gena Showalter

3.5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld #13) by Gena Showalter

DNF ~ The Darkest Warrior (Lords of the Underworld #14) by Gena Showalter

Dark, Reviews, Romance, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

The Darkest Warrior (Lords of the Underworld #14) by Gena Showalter

35575251

 Goodreads Amazon US | Barnes & Noble Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

A searing Lords of the Underworld tale by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, featuring a beastly prince and the wife he will wage war to keep.

He is ice…

Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm, and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire…

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily ever after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?


DNF 30%-ish

UHHHHHH. I wanted to like this book. You have no idea how much I did. I tried to put my personal feelings aside and tried to be open to Gilly and Puck. I tried SOOO hard!

It didn’t work out. I didn’t like this book at all and I knew I had to quit. I just didn’t care about Gilly and Puck’s relationship and I wasn’t into their romance AT ALL. I spent the 30% that I read, feeling sad for William and wishing for what could have been.

I learned something from this book despite DNFing it. If I ever write a book, I will follow through with my ships. I won’t tease a ship forever and then completely flip everything around. It’s not fair to the reader and breaks fandoms apart. That’s something I just won’t do.

I still like this series and I will keep reading it. I am moving on to Galen and Legion’s book next and I am SOOO excited about it. Then later this year, William’s book is coming out and I can hardly sit still from all of this anticipation. I know it’s gonna be great. Even better than if he would have ended up with Gilly.


Other Books in the Series:

4.25 🍁s ~ The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Angel (Lords of the Underworld #4.5) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld #5) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld #6) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld #7) by Gena Showalter

3.75 🍁s ~ The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) by Gena Showalter

2.75 🍁s ~ The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10) by Gena Showalter

3 🍁s ~ The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld #11) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld #12) by Gena Showalter

3.5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld #13) by Gena Showalter

3.5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Captive (Lords of the Underworld #14.5) by Gena Showalter

 

Dark, Favorites, Reviews, Romance, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld #13) by Gena Showalter

30044001

Goodreads Amazon US Barnes & Noble Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance

Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn’t allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairy tale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.

Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with a single unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him – until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile and seduce her into his bed.

As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they’ve forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever.


3.5 🍁s

“Don’t try to stay ten moves ahead of your opponent. Stay behind him with a knife.”

MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
I liked this installment in the Lords of the Underworld series. It wasn’t the best and it certainly wasn’t my favorite, but I liked what it added to the story. I had been waiting for Cameo and Lazarus’s story for a long time and I was ultimately satisfied with it. Their relationship and its development wasn’t my problem, the pacing of the overall story was.

Cameo- I love Cameo and I really admire her. She is strong, brave, compassionate, devoted, and I empathize strongly with her need to prove herself because of the self-doubt she constantly carries. I have always felt bad for her character because she is inhabited by Misery and this book only reiterated that. I never knew how badly the demon affected her and how it brought her down day after day. I can’t begin to imagine what she has had to deal with over the course of her life and the small glimpse during this book is enough for me.

Lazarus- Lazarus was everything I had hoped him to be. He was snarky, badass, tough, and an absolute joy to follow. I loved discovering all of his abilities and learning more about his past. Plus, his constant power struggle with Cameo was the highlight of my reading. He is by far one of my favorite males in this series.

Viola- Viola played a bigger role in this book than I thought she was going and I am happy about it. I enjoyed every one of her scenes and I need more of her! I liked her before this book and I want to see her story play out with Brochan.

Ever & Urban- These two are constantly showing up and flipping everything on its head. They are going to be a source of trouble for many books to come, I can already tell. Viola actually mentions that she feels bad for whoever ends up with Ever and I am telling you right now, I am DYING for that book. I need it right now! I also have to add that Urban’s little crush on Viola is cute right now, but it could easily turn disastrous in future books.

Siobhan- Siobhan was an… interesting… surprise. I was not expecting her to show up at all and I was shocked when I got her point of view. I must say though, every time I was in her POV, I was on the edge of my seat. Is she a villain? A possible Hades love interest? A possible ally that will be added to the Lords of the Underworld family? I just don’t know! Plus, she mentioned William’s mate being out there for like two sentences and my entire world was rocked! I need more of her predictions and information pronto!

Rathbone- Umm… yes please? I want more information on him and while you’re at it Gena, can you smack him over the head with a love interest? Please? I need more of his banter and snark!

Axel- A possible William twin? Uhh… what? Gena completely shocked me with Axel’s character for like three paragraphs and then he was completely dropped?! Who is he and is he related to William?! Tell me!

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t bad. I just felt like the pacing was slow for a large portion of it and I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to. This book felt almost like a filler. A lot of future stuff was teased and left open ended. I spent more time caring about the unanswered questions than focused on Cameon and Lazarus’s relationship.


Other Books in the Series:

4.25 🍁s ~ The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Angel (Lords of the Underworld #4.5) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld #5) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld #6) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld #7) by Gena Showalter

3.75 🍁s ~ The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8) by Gena Showalter

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) by Gena Showalter

2.75 🍁s ~ The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10) by Gena Showalter

3 🍁s ~ The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld #11) by Gena Showalter

4 🍁s ~ The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld #12) by Gena Showalter

DNF ~ The Darkest Warrior (Lords of the Underworld #14) by Gena Showalter

3.5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Captive (Lords of the Underworld #14.5) by Gena Showalter