Also by this author: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 7, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
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In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
After three years of saying I wanted to read Sarah J. Maas’ popular fantasy series Throne of Glass, I have finally started it. It was totally worth the wait too! I was hooked from the moment we meet the main character, Celaena Sardothien, who is only 18 years old but is already a famous assassin. When the story opens, Celaena is a prisoner working in the Endovier salt mines. The harsh conditions the prisoners work in make it a death sentence for most, but somehow Celaena has managed to survive thus far. I’m always looking for a underdog to root for, so Celaena had my support and sympathy from the first pages of the book and especially after she is approached by Crown Prince Dorian of Endovier, who wants her to compete as his champion in a tournament which will determine who will be the next royal assassin. If Celaena wins and serves as the King’s assassin for four years, she will then be granted her freedom. It’s a deal too good to pass up, as a few more months in the salt mines will mean certain death for Celaena.
The cast of characters and the tournament itself are what really made this book a hit for me. I had mixed feelings about Celaena because she sometimes came across as way too cocky and arrogant, but even with that tendency, she really grew on me as the story progressed (especially when it was revealed that she’s a book nerd and she uses her charms to get the Prince to allow her access to his library, lol). I also really liked Prince Dorian, who was quite charming and funny. My favorite character though was actually Chaol, the Captain of the Guard. I’m a sucker for a seemingly gruff guy who turns out to be a softie and that is Chaol all the way. I loved all of his scenes with Celaena because you could tell that even though he was hard on her while they were training and pushed her to the limit, he was growing to care about her very much. I have a feeling this is going to turn into a love triangle, which kind of bums me out because I didn’t think the chemistry felt very realistic between Celaena and Dorian, but I’ll reserve judgment for now.
Aside from this cast of characters, I was especially drawn in by the assassin’s tournament. The challenges themselves were all very exciting, and Mass paced them well so that I never found myself bored even though there were so many of them to get through. The menacing atmosphere throughout really kept me on the edge of my seat, especially once competitors started turning up dead in the middle of the night with no signs of who or what could have possibly killed them. The story becomes an exciting race against time to find the killer as I found myself rooting for Celaena to not just win the tournament, but to also find and take down the killer.
Throne of Glass was a riveting first book in what I think is sure to become one of my favorite fantasy series. I can’t wait to read the second book and see what happens next! 4 STARS
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Also by this author: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Series: Montague Siblings #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on October 2, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Also in this series: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
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In this highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor—even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it. A must-have for fans of Mackenzi Lee’s extraordinary and Stonewall Honor-winning novel.
A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.
But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.
In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.
Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my favorite reads last year. The story was just so much fun and I loved everything about Monty and Percy and all of their antics. My favorite character in that book was actually Monty’s younger sister, Felicity, so I was over the moon when I heard that the sequel, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, would put Felicity front and center.
Felicity is a sassy young woman whose dream is to become a doctor. I admired her fierce determination to make her dream come true, especially considering this series is set in the 18th century so the odds are, unfortunately, not in her favor. This book is all about Felicity’s adventures as she, fed up with the way she is constantly dismissed by academics in her own country, travels across Europe in hopes of securing an opportunity to study medicine. Her adventure is funded by a mysterious Muslim woman named Sim, and the dynamic between Felicity and Sim is fantastic. I wouldn’t say they were quite as entertaining a duo as Monty and Percy in the first book, but they’re right behind them.
Speaking of Monty and Percy, my favorite duo also makes several appearances in this book, and I was so happy to see them again and know that they are still madly in love with one another. They also brought some of the hilarity from the first book with them, which in many ways, was my favorite part of this book. Without them, the overall story wasn’t nearly as funny as the first one was, and I missed that humor. The Gentleman’s Guide was laugh out loud funny from start to finish and this book was a little more serious in tone. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but since I was expecting a repeat of that, I was a little bummed that the same level of humor wasn’t there. Still a fantastic read though. 4 STARS