A Court of Frost and Starlight – Sarah J Maas

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 12.00.32 PMPublisher: Bloomsbury YA

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Page Count: 272 (Hardcover)

From the Jacket:

Feyre, Rhys and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated – scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.

A Court of Thrones and Roses is one of my all time favorite series. I own the print editions and have the second and third installments on audio (because we all know the first one isn’t nearly as important or enjoyable – boo Tamlin). I was a bit disappointed by A Court of Wings and Ruin because it felt like some of the magic created in A Court of Mist and Fury had been lost. It didn’t diminish my love for the series as a whole, but it did put a bit of a damper on my excitement about it. Because of that, it was with  guarded excitement that I counted down the days for A Court of Frost and Starlight to be released.  This is just a short novelette meant to bridge the gap between the first three books and the spin off series.

I was finally able to sit down and read it last night (two whole days after I received it, the horror) and breathed a sigh of relief as I turned the final page. I really needn’t have worried, because while nothing really major happened, it felt like Maas found her voice again. It was absolutely wonderful to be back in the Night Court with these characters I’ve grown to love so much. The banter was spot on and so very witty. I laughed out loud several times and read much of the book with a big stupid smile on my face.

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Maas wrote ACOFAS from several different perspectives, a few of which we’ve never had before and I absolutely loved it. The chapters are pretty short and follow the characters as they prepare to celebrate the Winter Solstice together, which is very much like a Christmas celebration. They put up decorations, shop for gifts, and take time away from day to day responsibilities to be together. All around those preparations and celebration however, we learn about how all of the characters are coping, or in some cases, not coping, since the war. Some of the plot decisions were frustrating to read, but I know she’s creating conflict and opening up avenues for the new series.

I will say in a **minor spoiler** that Queen Maas FINALLY delivered that wall scene, you know the one.

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I won’t give away any details, but oh my goodness was it HOT. She really stepped up the dirty talk and I am HERE. FOR. IT. I’ve placed it in my top three favorites along with the scene at the inn and basically all of chapter 55 in ACOMAF. I think I loved it so much because it felt like those scenes. There was something missing between Feyre and Rhys in A Court of Wings and Ruin, almost like someone else was writing their dialogue and love scenes. This was not the case here, and I’m hoping she doesn’t deviate again.

Everything considered, Maas set out to deliver a short story to link the two series, and fill in some of the details from after the war and I think she succeeded. And it’s clear based on the final product that she had a great time doing it. At the end of the book is an expert from the first installment of the new series, and after reading it I’m not sure I can bear the wait. It’s clear it will be written from the perspectives of both Cassian and Nesta, but beyond that I don’t know much.  Fingers crossed we get more details soon.

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Any other ACOTAR fans out there? Gush with me will you?

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April 2018 – Wrap-Up

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It has been A WHILE since I’ve done a wrap-up post, but April was a really good month of reading so I thought I’d give it another go. I’ve got so many five star reads to tell you about!

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 1.37.17 PMPachinko – Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.20.19 AM

I’ve got a full-length review for this one here. In a nutshell, it’s a sprawling multigenerational saga about Korean refugees in Japan during Japan’s colonization of Korea. It’s heavily character driven, and is about parenthood, family, friendship, sacrifice, racism, and perseverance. It’s an incredibly important and beautifully written tome that I’ve added to my list of all-time favorites. I look forward to reading more of Lee’s work.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.56.32 PMCirce – Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.20.19 AM

I also did a full-length review for this one, which you can read here. Circe is the best book I’ve read this year and another I’ve added to my list of all-time favorites. I’m head over heels in love with Miller’s writing style and have not been able to stop thinking about Circe since I finished it. It is a book I will recommend to any and everyone, but is essential reading for fans of Greek mythology.  This left me with a MASSIVE book hangover.

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 8.39.34 PMThe Scarlet Pimpernel – Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.24.27 AM

This was my book club’s pick for April. Despite the fact that the synopsis sounded really quite exciting, and the reviews were great, I put it off reading it until the last minute. Set during the Reign of Terror, right after the beginning of the French Revolution, The Scarlet Pimpernel tells the story of an anonymous band of English gentlemen who rescue French aristocrats from being executed by guillotine by smuggling them out of France. The opening chapter drew me right in, but then things got tedious. Chapters 2 and 3 see the introduction of so many new characters I lost track several times, and the dialogue is really off putting. I almost bailed on it, but didn’t want to miss book club so I powered through and I’m glad I did. While it’s not the best or most exciting book I’ve ever read, it was fast-paced and fun and had a sweet romantic element that I was not expecting.

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.56.48 PMThe Alice Network – Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.24.27 AM

I’m always reading a print book and listening to one on audio. The Alice Network was an audio read for me, and I’m so glad for that. The narrator does an incredible job bringing the characters to life and I would have missed out if I had read it myself. The story is written from dual narratives, one set in 1915 during World War I and the other in 1947 in the aftermath of World War II. Quinn focuses on the role women played during both wars and the book has a little bit of everything; spies, intrigue, adventure, charming Scottish men, and romance, and I loved it. I won’t soon forget the story of Eve and Charlie.

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 9.07.07 PMChildren of Blood and Bone – Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.20.19 AM

I saw this book all over my Instagram feed and was having some serious FOMO, so I bought it on a whim. I started it the day it arrived and did not put it down unless I absolutely had to (work and parenting) for two days. It’s a West-African inspired YA fantasy told from several different perspectives, that to me felt very reminiscent of The Stone Sky series by N.K. Jemisin (which I also loved and you should read it right now if you haven’t already). I cannot remember being this sucked into a YA series since The Hunger Games and I can hardly wait for the second one to come out. It has all the elements you would expect from a YA fantasy; adventure, magic, angsty romance, bad ass heroines and action, but it also has a diverse cast of characters and a focus on race and prejudice. This one absolutely lives up to the hype. My only complaint is the wait until the second installment.

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The City of Brass – Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.20.19 AM

From the moment I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it and was ecstatic to see it as a Book of the Month selection. Despite having a print copy, I ended up listening to the audio version, and once again am so glad that I did because the narrator does an impressive job and it was helpful with the pronunciation of names and places. The City of Brass is a complex fantasy set in the Middle East, full of magic, lush world building and fast-paced adventure. It was a lot more political than I anticipated, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. This is the first in a trilogy and ends on a massive cliff-hanger so read at your own risk.

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 10.22.44 PMThe Song of Achilles – Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.20.19 AM

Last, but certainly not least is, The Song of Achilles. The minute I finished Circe, I went online and ordered this one. Thanks to Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, I was able to read this in a single sitting. This is Miller’s debut and tells the story of Achilles and Patroclus, the true story, not the Hollywood version with Brad Pitt. I was enamored once again with her writing and got lost in this tale of love and friendship. Obviously, the end of this story has already been written, so I ultimately knew what to expect, but I still cried my eyes out. I loved this one just as much as Circe, but it left me with an ache in my heart. Despite that, it’s one that shouldn’t be missed.

If you’ve read any of these let me know. Did you guys read anything good in April that you want to recommend?

Hour 16

Got the kids home and in bed and spent about an hour and a half doing some housework. Thank goodness for audio books. I’m really getting into The Flight Attendant, but unfortunately I have no way to track page count for the purpose of the readathon. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I was getting kind of sleepy, so we took about an hour break and ate some dinner and watched a couple episodes of Brooklyn 99. That show is my JAM. Any other fans out there?

I ended up deciding on The Likeness and am settling in for a few more hours of reading before I call it a day.

Hope you’re all getting in some good reading, no matter how you do it.

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