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Monday, February 8, 2016

Review | Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Title: Mortal Heart
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publication: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Bought it
Series: Yes, His Fair Assassin series, Final book

Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and the stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...

-From Goodreads

Review: I went into this book with low expectations thinking that nothing could be better than Dark Triumph. While Dark Triumph is still my favorite of the series, this one definitely comes in second. There were quite a few aspects that I loved and just a couple small things I didn't. 

I had a love/hate relationship with Annith's character. I loved watching her courage grow throughout the book. Seeing her take initiative and go out on her own, making her own choices really earned some high points with me. However, her stubbornness gave her a one-track mind that I found a bit annoying at times. While she started to get a little better at the very end of the book, some of her attitude throughout the book threw me off a little bit. 

My favorite part of this book is in the middle when Annith is traveling. She begins with a band of hunters and then runs into another group. I loved seeing different aspects of the world and I loved seeing Annith learn more about the world around her instead of what she was brought up to know in the convent. 

Also I loved the romance. Seeing Annith grow more into herself and grow into love was fun to read about. I think LaFever really packed in the swoons with this book. While the love interest was a bit predictable, I was still pleased with how it all played out. I'm left wanting more of Annith and B's romance.

I kind of felt at this point that the over-arcing story was getting to be a bit old and stalling. There was a lot of mundane tasks in the court compared to the other books. It was really lacking the big politics that were in the other books. While it was still there, it was a slow point of the book. There were also other slow points in the books that seemed to drag on to me. That put a small drag on the book for me but overall I really loved the story and characters. This was a great finish to the trilogy!

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of the extended world that Annith explored? What about the romance, the assassins, the hunters or any favorite (or not-so-favorite) aspects of Mortal Heart?

Friday, February 5, 2016

February Reading Ideas

I really love seeing monthly tbrs. I'm always curious what people are planning to read or interested in reading. In the past, I've tried to do monthly tbrs but I'm such a mood reader that it has never worked out for me as I end up reading maybe one or two books on my tbr for the month. But I miss it.
When the month begins I always have some idea of what I want to read. So this month I thought I would try it out and post the books that I'm thinking of reading this month along with the books I definitely plan to read and then compare for myself what I end up reading.

Without further ado.. here are some books that I'm going to read/am thinking about reading this month:

A Darker Shade of Magic - I've decided to join in the #ADSOM readalong! So excited to finally be reading this one. I've already started it and I'm loving reading V Schwab's writing again.

The Love That Split the World - I've heard amazing things about this one so far. I'm craving a good romance and I'm hoping this will satisfy my craving. 

The Immortals Quartet (Wild Magic, Wolf-Speaker, Emperor Mage, The Realms of the Gods) - I'm hoping to read this quartet for my A Series A Month challenge. It would also count towards the Tamora Pierce Challenge that I signed up for. I read the Song of Lioness quartet last year and I'm stoked to read some more Tamora Pierce!

Captive Prince (and Prince's Gambit, book two) - These books have been eyeing me from my shelf and calling for me. I've heard great things about these books and I must know why!

What books are you hoping to read this month?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January | All Wrapped Up

January was an okay reading month for me. I finished 6 books... okay technically I only read four books, but since I was so close to finishing two more when the month abruptly ended, I'm adding those last two into January. So let's get on to what I read last month :)

Books Read

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)    Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - I just did my review on this one and I quite liked it! I'm so glad that I finally picked this one up and read it. There's so much more to this story than assassin nuns. I ended up giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - Wow, this book was fantastic. I didn't expect to fall head over heels in love with it, but I did anyway. I did a review on this one earlier this month. And spoiler, I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. 

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)

 Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers - This book was everything and more. So much to love about this one. It blew me away. My review went up this week where I gushed about it over and over again. I, of course, gave this one 5 out of 5 stars. 

Just Visiting

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler - There is a lot to love about this book, but it fell a little short for the potential for me. I really liked it a lot, the diverse aspects was the most enjoyable part to me. The breaking down of stereotypes, and the realistic exploration of teens that are soon to be setting off for college was enjoyable to read about. But something was missing for me. I ended up giving this one 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

The Impostor Queen (The Impostor Queen, #1)

The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine - It's been awhile since I've read a book that leaves each chapter on a cliffhanger that makes you want to keep reading, but The Imposter Queen does just that and doesn't let you put it down. And it was so good! I loved the magic, the romance, the world. So much to love within this book. I want everyone to read it (you should definitely check it out!) I gave 4.5 out of 5 stars to this one!

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers - I challenged myself to read this whole trilogy this month as my Series a Month challenge and I did it (give or take a day in Feb. to finish it:)) This one surprised me with how much I ended up liking it. The romance was one of my favorite parts, but I also really enjoyed seeing Annith grow into herself. This story earned 4.5 out of 5 stars from me. 


Series a Month Challenge - I completed this one for this month! I read the His Fair Assassin trilogy!

#RockMyTBR - All six books I read this month are books that I own! Very proud of myself this month for knocking some of my tbr out! Simon was an ebook I own, but the rest are all physical copies I own.

Flights of Fantasy - I read a total of 4 fantasy books this month! (Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph, The Imposter Queen and Mortal Heart).

Backlist Books - I read 3 backlist books this month. Grave Mercy (2012), Dark Triumph (2013) and Mortal Heart (2014).

Tamora Pierce Challenge - I didn't pick up any Tamora Pierce this past month, but I plan to in Feb!

Other Things I Enjoyed This Month (TV, Music, & Movies)

New Girl - I've been binge watching this show and I'm so in love with it! I love each and every one of the characters. This show puts a big, goofy smile on my face.

Purpose (Justin Beiber) - This came at a complete surprise. It started when I heard someone whose music taste I trust started to rave about this cd, so I checked out and then I couldn't stop listening to it. 

The Age of Adaline - I had a feeling I was going to love this movie and I did! My husband even liked it. The story is fantastic and I really liked the different way of filming. It's whimsical and a magical realism story which lands it right up my alley. Definitely watch this one if you're even a tad bit interested in it! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review | Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Title: Dark Triumph
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publication: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Bought it
Series: Yes, His Fair Assassin series, Book Two

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair, the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybille naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skill are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to life for...

-From Goodreads

Review: Sybella is such a mystery in Grave Mercy that I was so excited to get to her story and learn more about her. I didn't know what to expect, for I had absolutely no guesses as to what could have made her what she is. And what I found... well.. this book basically blew me away. 

Sybella is such an interesting character and one that I really grew to love. She has this shell that it takes awhile to get into but when she opens up, she opens up with her whole heart. She had so many layers and depth to her that I really enjoyed getting to know more about her as the story went on and getting to learn her layer by layer was one of my favorite aspects of the story. 

I'm not going to mention the love interest, because I feel like it's a pleasant surprise who it is and it really adds to the story. But I will say that I was so happy to get to see this character come back again. And he is such a fantastic love interest, especially for Sybella. I loved seeing those two together and what they bring to the other one and how they lifted each other up. On top of everything, this book was also a fantastic love story.

I can't forget to mention the story itself. I was on edge throughout the whole book. LaFevers really knows how to weave an intense, deep, yet fantastic story. I didn't want to put this book down. Not only did I have to know what happened next for Sybella and the love interest, but I also had to know where the story was going. I think LaFevers did such a fantastic job continuing the over-arcing story from Grave Mercy into this story with very little confusion. It was easy to fall back into the court politics that began in Grave Mercy.

This is definitely my favorite book of the series. It's one of those books that you can't quite get out the right words to say exactly how much you loved it or why. But I loved it so, SO much and I can't wait to revisit this one someday.

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of Sybella's world? What about the romance, the assassins or any favorite (or not-so-favorite) aspects of Dark Triumph?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review | Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publication: April 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Bought it
Series: Yes, His Fair Assassin series, book one

Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts - and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismael's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany - where she finds herself woefully under prepared - not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death's vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

-From Goodreads

Review: I have no idea what in the world took me so long to finally read this book. I'm very happy that I have finally read this (and almost finished the series). I was really surprised with this story and how much I liked it. With all the hype and the concept of assassin nuns, I really wasn't sure where this story was going to go. But there's so much more than assassin nuns that makes this story awesome.

One of the things that I loved was the world, and the mythology behind the world and the Gods that are in this world, such as Mortain that the assassin's serve. The story goes deeper as you read and I kept feeling myself falling further and further into the world and the story. 

A favorite aspect of course, (no surprise here!) is the romance. Oh Duval, you, lovely man, you. What a match this ship makes and I'm completely all for it. I love the character development throughout the story as well. Not only do we see Ismae growing and maturing through the novel but we get to see glimpses of other characters as well.

I didn't really expect to have court politics being a part of the story, but it was really interesting to read into how things were happening in the court along with Ismae's story. It brought a dimensional element to the story and really built up for the next books without feeling like it was overwhelming.

Since reading this one, I've read Dark Triumph and am currently very close to finishing Mortal Heart, so be on a watch for those reviews coming very soon! :)

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think of the world? What about the romance, the assassins or any favorite (or not-so-favorite) aspects of Grave Mercy?