A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

12/05/2016 | 3 Comments

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 640
Format: Hardcover
Buy on Book DepositoryBuy on Bol.com
Goodreads
five-stars

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.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

First Thoughts (BLOG)

The cover looks a bit ‘plastic.’ where the cover of A Court of Thorns of Roses was badass, the one for A Court of Mist and Fury just doesn’t appeal as much to me. I do like the colors, but the woman on the cover and the dress just seem a bit fake to me.

I had a few theories after finishing the first book, mostly about what happened between Feyre and Rhys at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses and I can’t wait to find out if I was aiming in the right direction or not.

After the first few chapters: Nope, this is not Young Adult (refers to a very  steamy *cough* and detailed *cough* scene)

Thoughts upon finishing (BLOG)

H O L Y  S H I T. This was pretty much my line of thought for an hour straight after finishing A Court of Mist and Fury. That ending was out-of-this-world, batshit crazy, a ride through crazy town, and absolute utter torture. I’m not even attempting to explain the why to you because there is NO WAY I want to spoil this book for you.This is a bo0k you need to read and make-up your own mind about.

There are so many plot twists in this book that you won’t see coming and I’m afraid of mentioning things that will give it away. Which is why I am going to review this book a bit differently. I’m going to give you a list of reasons why I think you should read (and love) A Court of Mist and Fury. I have no doubt that there are tons of awesome ‘non-spoilery’ reviews out there telling you about the characters, the world-building, the plot, and anything else worth mentioning (because, believe me, everything about this book is worth mentioning). But I don’t fully trust myself, as I’m still an emotional wreck after finishing this book (and I finished it 5 days ago…).

10 reasons why

  1. Did you love A Court of Thorns and Roses? If your answer is yes I’m pretty sure you’ll love A Court of Mist and Fury as well, if not MORE. View Spoiler »
  2. It’s written by Sarah J. Maas. If you’ve read any of her books before, you most definitely know what I mean with this. Anything written by Sarah J. Maas is worth reading. She’s a wizard with words; her writing is out-of-this-world awesome.
  3. Everything you think you know, you don’t. The plot is so damn rich. Twists and turns and so many emotions around every corner. You just gotta read, read, and read until you reach the end (which will leave you begging on your knees for the next book).
  4. Steamy scenes. No kidding, this is NOT young adult guys, A Court of Mist and Fury has scenes that’ll have you blushing and fanning yourself. I loved every single piece of it.
  5. Feyre’s character development. In the blurb, it is revealed that she survived Under The Mountain “at a steep cost.” She’s pretty messed up over all that has happened and Sarah J. Maas does such an amazing job at describing Feyre’s thought process. It wrecked me just how well it was described. Feyre is depressed and has a serious case of PTSD, and take it from someone who’s suffered PTSD, it was so realistically portrayed that at times I had trouble keeping the tears at bay, because I know that feeling so well.
  6. New characters! Ones that are SO worth getting to know!
  7. Friends and family. Finding a home. This plays such a big role in the book!
  8. A Court of Mist and Fury will leave you addicted. I’m not even kidding. I didn’t want it to every end, and when it did, I craved more, SO MUCH MORE. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself until May 2017.
  9. The ending. I have no words for that ending. You have to experience it yourself, just so you can understand the pain I’m in after finishing this book. Sweet, beautiful, aweful torture.
  10. You just have to read A Court of Mist and Fury because I tell you to.

 

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Ruined by Amy Tintera | ARC Review

02/05/2016 | 2 Comments

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ruined by Amy Tintera | ARC ReviewRuined by Amy Tintera
Series: Ruined #1
on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 368
Source: the Publisher
Buy on Book DepositoryBuy on Bol.com
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

 

What I thought

It feels like forever since I managed to read a book for myself, but once I got this beauty from Harper Collins I was pretty damn excited to sit down and read away. Even more important, I finally felt like sitting down and writing a review about it after I finished this gem of a fantasy! Ruined is a strong start to a new and what appears to be a VERY promising YA trilogy!

Em is a great main character. She doesn’t have magic, and in her kingdom this is seen as a weakness, as ‘useless’. Opposed to what her kingdom thinks, she’s a very capable and strong person. She doesn’t need magic to make her fierce, her strong will and determination do the trick for her. She puts together an elaborate plan to get revenge, but that doesn’t quite go according to plan.

Em’s plan seems to go quite smoothly, until it doesn’t anymore. This is the only somewhat predictable part of the book. It’s not hard to figure out what makes her doubt her initial plan. I mean, she has to pretend to be the wife of the prince, it doesn’t really take a genius to figure out what could go ‘wrong’ there and how shit could go seriously wrong in a matter of seconds if her secret came out. But I didn’t found myself caring about the predictability at all, simply because the romance was amazingly well-done. A slow-burner, a wonderfully well-written slow -burning romance between Em and the prince. What’s not to like?

I really liked how you get to experience the events in Ruined both from Em’s perspective and Cass’s perspective. I enjoyed being able to see both their sides of everything that happened, it makes it easier to understand their actions and their reactions.

I really hope we’ll get to know more about the backstory in the sequel. For a first book in a series Ruined had the perfect amount of info to intrigue the reader and to make the world stand out,  but I do hope there’ll be more worldbuilding in the sequel, as I’d love to know more about the Ruined, both as a people as well as their powers. They are feared by all society and I’m thinking there could be quite an interesting story behind that.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

I just love it when a book is action packed, has a budding romance, and a kickass heroine hell-bent on revenge for her parent’s murder. Those are all the right elements to make for a great read. Ruined is a very strong start to a new series and I can’t wait for its sequel! For all you fantasy lovers out there, Ruined is one book to put on the wishlist!

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Race Recap: Antwerp 10 Miles (2016)

30/04/2016 | 2 Comments

As you can all probably see, this is a new feature on my blog! In my latest post I shared how I would be making some changes and this is one of the first sections I added. I have mentioned my runs before, but only briefly, and that’s something I have wanted to change for a long time. Truth is, I run 3 times a week, training towards half a marathon and I want to start sharing my journey and progress with you! So from now on I’ll be doing Race Recaps from the running events I did!

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16 April was race day! The Antwerp 10 miles! I’d been training towards this race for the past few months. It would be my longest distance run up to date and to say I was a little nervous would be a big fat understatement. I’d run quite a few 10k distances before, but the leap from 10k to 10 miles (a little less than 17k) is a pretty big one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well-trained and I’d run distances longer than 10k by myself (and with my dad), but still, this would be a first and I think firsts are always pretty nerve-wracking.

Before the start

I actually planned on wearing long tights during the 10 miles, but when we parked the car and I saw how sunny it was (against all odds!) I grabbed the pair of running shorts I’d hastily thrown into my bag the day before, just in case the weather decided to play nice, and changed. Armed with an iPod filled with kickass fast paced music and the best running buddy a girl can wish for (aka my dad) I joined hundreds of others at the start, nervously shifting my weight from foot to foot. Tons of banners with funky little motivational quotes like “sweat, run, smile every mile” helped in calming down some of the nerves a bit and once the starting shot ran out I resolved to just run, have fun along the way, and not worry about setting a time.

Kilometer 1 – 5

I noticed pretty fast that this was going to be a good run. I set a good pace right away, the weather was GREAT and there were supporters cheering the runners on everywhere. After the first 2k the first tunnel appeared. I have never trained for those and I had been warned in advance to take them slow, as it would be hot inside and because you’re climbing, because it’s an easy way to drain all your energy when you haven’t even really started. I took it slow and as a result I pretty much breezed through the frist 5k.

Kilometer 5 – 10

A little after passing the 5k marker and right before the second tunnel was the first water point. Can’t say I really needed it yet, but with the sun shining brightly and right another hot tunnel coming up ahead I wasn’t going to complain or pass it up. Freaks by Timmy Trumpet blaring in my ears, running was going great and I was having tons of fun watching all the supporters that were literally EVERYWHERE along the route.

Kilometer 10 – 15

Normally, after passing the 10k mark, I start to tire a bit and running becomes a little less fun for me… However, that wasn’t happening, yet. I mentioned the supporters before, and I they pretty much pulled me through those next 5 kilometers. I was hearing my name shouted along with encouragements left and right for quite some time already. At first I wondered how they actually knew my name, silly me, because my name was on my starting number, haha. The music, crazy amount of supporters along the route all attributed to the GREAT atmosphere. It’s the best thing to experience! At one point my dad grabbed a cone and shouted my name through it, supporters all around started clapping and shouting my name, it was crazy, and it all put one big CRAZY smile on my face.

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Last kilometers

These last few kilometers were absolutely killing. They saved the last, and hardest, tunnel for last. That picture was taken right before the tunnel from hell. The banner being the only thing that was fun about it, it says: “There’s light at the end of the tunnel”. Do me a favor, if you ever find yourself in the Waaslandtunnel in Antwerp, please curse it for me. I was told that every year quite some people collapse inside that particular tunnel, but a part of me hadn’t really believed the stories. Man, it was hard. It killed my pace, and I pretty much cursed myself for ever deciding to run the Antwerp 10 miles. The heat inside the tunnel was stifling and all I could hear was the pounding of running shoes against the asphalt echoing all around me. My legs became heavy and I looked at my dad and told him that I didn’t think I could do it. I thought I would make it out of the damn thing (the climb was about 1k up). He pulled me through it (almost literally) and told me that once we got out it would only be 500 metres until the finish. I didn’t really believe him, but once I pushed through the pain and exited the tunnel still on my feet I saw a sign saying “500m until finish”. I actually managed to run a little faster and at 01:44:53 my dad and I passed the finish line: 10 miles in the pocket!

Antwerp 10 miles

Even with the tunnel from hell, this was one of my favorite races ever, and most of that has to do with the atmosphere. I have never ran a race where there were supporters throughout the ENTIRE route, it was crazy, the whole 10 miles people were beside the route encouraging and supporting the runners. Best thing ever! I am going to train for those tunnels, and next year I’m running the Antwerp 10 miles again, hoping to better the time I set this year!

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Change is coming

14/04/2016 | 2 Comments

Hey guys!

Change is coming! Before getting into that any deeper, I might own you all a little explanation. After a cryptic tweet about needing some time to myself I pretty much disappeared for a while and abandoned my blog. I’m not going to bore you to tears with the whole story, but what it comes down to is that I hadn’t been doing too well for a while. I don’t mean physically, physically everything is more than fine, but mentally I hadn’t been doing well. I just needed the space and time to figure everything out.

What I’ve been up to

So here I am, 1,5 month later, feeling really really bad about not letting you guys know what was going on. But before I get to business, let me catch you up real quick on all that’s been going on.

I continued exercising and training. I’ve ran a quite a few 10k distances over the last few months. I ran a 12.5k distance last Sunday, and upcoming Sunday I’m running the 10 mile of Antwerp. I’m really excited for this event, because it will be my longest distance up-to-date. I’ve been giving my legs some rest this week so I’ll be in the best possible condition for Sunday! If anything, my workouts and runs have kept me sane. I’m immersed in my training, so far my journey to that Half Marathon in October is coming along quite nicely. I’m completely motivated to run and ace that Half Marathon. I’ve also completed Kayla Itsines’s first BBG guide. 12 weeks of hard work and dedication, 3 killing interval workouts every week, and I’m definitely seeing the results! My body is much more toned and I’m feeling really fit. I love it. It’s not the end of my BBG journey though, I’m doing the guide again, and I’m taking Crossfit classes as well. A friend of mine told me I might be addicted to the feeling of sore muscles, and I think she might’ve been right. 

Reading wise, I haven’t really been reading as much as I would’ve liked to. What I read is mostly university stuff. One book for my American literature class and one for my British literature class. I didn’t even notice it, but I slowly lost my joy in reading for my blog, it became too much of a must instead of something I loved to do. Result was that I no longer read anything besides my assigned reading for university. I hated realizing that, but realizing is the first step to making changes, and I am determined to make changes! I got a bunch of books from Harper Collins this week that should help get my joy in reading back though,I’ve been really excited to read some of these titles, so lets start operation ‘get-back-into-the-reading-game’!

It’s time for some change

Depp

IrisjeXx is no longer going to be a blog just about books. I love reading, but I’ve been noticing that blogging only about books just hasn’t been working for me. I want to share more with you. I want to tell you about EVERYTHING that has been going on in my life. Which, I’ll admit, has a lot to do with books and reading, but that’s not all there is to me. I want to share about the running events I go to, the workouts I do, an amazing new recipe I tried and loved, or just something else that has been going on in my life.

I’ve been thinking on this a lot lately, and I’m just going to do it. Keep going as I’ve been going and I’m just going to get frustrated, and that’s not the point of blogging. It won’t be a completely sudden change, but I’ll slowly start making some changes, which I hope you’ll like.

Hugs,

Iris

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