Tuesday, February 21, 2017 06:00

Review | Erika Johansen - The Fate of the Tearling.

26542535Title: The Fate of the Tearling.
#3 of The Queen of the Tearling.
Author:  Erika Johansen.
Pages: 478 pages
Published: November 29th 2016 by Harper
Source: I received an ARC copy from the bookstore Van Ditmar.
In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.
And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them. To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne. So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

Rating:

SPOILER FREE if you haven't read the first two books either.

This series has a lot of ups and downs. The Queen of the Tearling blew me away. I was confused by the world-building, but I fell in love with Kelsea and the side-characters, like the Mace. There was something about her actions and the way it moved the plot into interesting directions that got me hooked.

The Invasion of the Tearling was SO different and it took me a good amount of time to get into it. Kelsea showed an even darker side and I appreciated the fact she was so flawed. We got more information about the Red Queen, who rules in Mortnesme, and how she became that ruthless person. The only thing I did not like was the new storyline that was added, because it really did not seem to fit the atmosphere of the first book. I always thought this story took place in a more Medieval setting and this new character made me realize that was not the case at all.

That storyline continues in The Fate of the Tearling and starts to play a bigger role. It shows the basics of the world-building and how Kelsea's world was created. The background information was interesting, but at the same time I didn't care for the characters who played a role in it. I kept flipping the pages in the hope the story would switch back to Kelsea. It was an interesting (and in the end brave) decision to create such a plot though. 

Kelsea has a long journey, coming from the girl who grew up in the Woods into a Queen who is capable of handling tough situations. I still admired her and the way she deals with everything that got in her way. I don't think she always made the best decisions, but she always made them with her country in mind and that loyalty is admirable. 

The ending was something I did not expect and took me off guard – and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. It matches the new approach the story took in the Invasion of the Tearling, but at the same time it did not give me enough satisfaction. This is probably one of those endings you can never completely hate or dislike, it just messes with your thoughts.

I liked the overall series, but I have to say that the sequels did let me down after The Queen of the Tearling. This might because of my different expectations or the fact I did not like the world-building in the end. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on the movie and any further books from this author, because she does know how to write.
quote review
These people are so damned proud of their hatred! Hatred is easy, and lazy to boot. It’s love that demands effort, love that exacts a price from each of us. Love costs; this is its value.
Monday, February 20, 2017 06:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Wrap Up + Giveaway.

loveathon2017-c[428]We’ve sadly reached the end of the event! Be sure to stop by all four host blogs (Alexa Loves Books, The Novel Hermit, Super Space Chick & The Daily Prophecy) to read a little bit about our thoughts on the event, and our acknowledgements for the people who have so generously donated and enthusiastically participated.

I had a fantastic time this year and I am so happy I could host this event together with my co-hosts. They had so much creativity and it reminds me why I'm still trying to return from my blogging slump. You have no idea how motivating it was to see all these sweet messages going around the blogosphere! And I had a blast hosting one of the four twitter chats, because I got to chat with so many new bloggers. Keep this going after the love-a-thon!

Also a big thanks to the people who were so generous to donate the books for the awesome prize packs: Tor Teen, Disney-Hyperion, the NOVL, and Alex from Booksy Daisy Reviews.

Prize Pack #1
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
Becoming Bonnie newspaper
Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (ARC)
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (ARC)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon + Dean Hale (ARC)
Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (ARC)

Prize Pack #2
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
Becoming Bonnie newspaper
The Nerdy + The Dirty by B.T. Gottfred
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Updraft by Fran Wilde
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Gauntlet by Holly Jennings (ARC)
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (ARC)
At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (ARC)

Prize Pack #3
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly 
Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The Infinity of You and Me by J.Q. Coyle
Spindle by E.K. Johnston
Dreamworld by Kit Alloway
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Romeo and What's Her Name by Shani Petroff (ARC)
The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (ARC)
Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman (ARC)



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Sunday, February 19, 2017 21:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Let Me Sing You a Love Song.

loveathon2017-c[428]Now’s the time to let your musical tastes shine! Dedicate a love song (or two or three) to your favorite book characters, and tell us why. Get as creative as you want, whether you decide to film a video, share a playlist or write out some lyrics and snap a photo. Link up at Alexa Loves Books.

Because of this post I've found out that I don't listen to romantic songs at all. Most of them are more about lost loves and broken hearts, but I guess that's also right for some of my sunken ships. Here are the three combinations I came up with:


John Legend – All of Me.
Beast – Dark Triumph (Robin LaFevers). He is described as incredibly ugly and huge, but his heart is so pure and sweet – it would sweep me right of my feet.

Jesper Lindell feat First Aid Kit – Slow down.
Shadow and Bone.

Mumford and Sons – I Gave You All.
Throne of Glass.
16:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Valentines Care Package.

loveathon2017-c[428]
Is there anything more exciting than receiving a surprise care package from one of your best book buddies? Didn’t think so! If you had the opportunity to surprise one or more of your favorite characters with a care package for Valentine’s Day, what would you be sure to include? Have fun virtually shopping for the character(s) you love and let us know via photos, collages, etc., what you would love to send them! Link up at Super Space Chick

I would send Sybella (Dark Triumph – Robin LaFevers) a new knife for her collection. And to stay in this theme, I would give Lila (A Darker Shade of Magic) a perfect pirate blade.
Nina (Six of Crows) gets a box of chocolate.
Copies of some of my favorite books go to Hermione (Harry Potter)
I want to give Chaol (Throne of glass) a big hug, because he is such a misunderstood character.
Cress (Lunar Chronicles) gets a set of hair products and a fancy hair brush.

Some random ideas:
Alina gets some sense, so she is able to make the right choice at the end of Ruin and Rising.
I would ship an indestructable tank packed with ammunition to Georgia and Shaun (Feed)
12:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | X meets Y.

loveathon2017-c[428]Mix and match away! This challenge is made for you to combine the books and movies/tv shows that you love in some way, in order for other people to find new recommendations for things to check out. Whether inspired by characters or themes, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

New Girl / Fangirl.
Reason: Cath and Jess are both a little awkward and they have great support around them.
downloadNew_girl_season_4_2
The Walking Dead / The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Reason: The zombies in the book are just as ruthless as the ones in The Walking Dead.

download (1)images

PRIZE PACK (US):
Passenger Disney-Hyperion
Vassa in the Night Tor Teen
Love and First Sight Little, Brown & Company
Unforgiveable Harper Collins
Tor Teen pin Tor Teen
The Dark Talent pin Tor Teen
Amberlough pin Tor Teen

PRIZE PACK (INTL):
Passenger Disney-Hyperion
Truthwitch Tor Teen
To Catch a Killer ARC Tor Teen
The Great Pursuit ARC Harper Collins
Metaltown tattoo Tor Teen
Tor sticker Tor Teen
Arabella of Mars paper dolls Tor Teen
Becoming Bonnie newspapers Tor Teen


01:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | On The Road (Trip!)

loveathon2017-c[428]
Let’s go on a road trip! Pick 3-4 people—fictional characters, readers/bloggers, authors—you’d love to take on this road trip; a place you’re headed towards like Disneyland, Grand Canyon, Martha’s Vineyard, etc; and what you’ll be doing on this road trip, like topics of discussion, who’s driving, who’s in charge of the road trip music, etc. Link up at The Novel Hermit.

I would love to hang out with Nina (Six of Crows), Sybella (Grave Mercy), Hermione (Harry Potter) and Lila (A Darker Shade of Magic), but it is hard to come up with a destination, since we don't have anything in common as a group. The best I can think of to make sure everyone is having a good time:

1. The first thing we do is go to the bookstore and hang out there. Lila is probably driving although she has no license, because she is easy like that. Sybella can look up books about fighting, Lila can read up on managing your own boat, Nina can drool over all the cook books and I can walk around with Hermione in the fantasy section.
 
2. Then we go and pick up some food, especially for Nina who loves to eat. We definitely need to bring a lot of chocolate, marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies.
 
3. Our hang-out location is probably some castle in a warm country. Sybella and Lila can practice fighting, because there is enough room and there are probably different weapons hanging on the wall as decoration. They can show us some ways to defend ourselves. Afterwards they can explore the castle, while Nina, Hermione and I rest next to the fire place with a book - and of course there will be guy talk.
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