Blue Lily, Lily Blue ( The Raven Cycle #3 ) by Maggie Stiefvater Review.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: 21st October 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Amazon

Synopsis:

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Review:

When I finished The Dream Thieves I never expected that Blue Lily, Lily Blue would suck me into the plot so much. Oh boy, what a journey this book has been! I wish that the previous book would have been that great and now I really hope that The Raven King won’t disappoint me, but here we go.

“There was something unfamiliar about him. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.”

 

I have mixed feelings for this one though. I mean, it was okay-ish for me, but definitely, the third book in the series could do much better than being the “filler” book in the series. I felt like there wasn’t much happening in the book and it dragged on, relentlessly. The first chunk of the book was interesting because I was once again invited into the familiar setting of the books and I really, genuinely, wanted to know why Maura disappeared. However, the search for Maura was slightly tiresome to read and I really had to sludge through the middle of the book, which fell a bit flat, for my liking. Thankfully, things did pick up in the end and there was the whole grand ending of the book that did set up the finale of the series in The Raven King.

“There is no good word for the opposite of lonesome.
One might be tempted to suggest togetherness or contentment , but the fact that these two other words bear definitions unrelated to each other perfectly displays why lonesome cannot be properly mirrored. It does not mean solitude, nor alone, nor lonely, although lonesome can contain all of those words in itself.
Lonesome means a state of being apart. Of being other. Alone-some.”

 

Blue Lily, Lily Blue was more emotional than all the other books. By now, we know the characters and how they used to be, but this book changed a lot and went deeper with everything. It slowly builds towards the big showdown, the final revelation of what we expected to happen since book 1.

As for the characters in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Maggie Stiefvater never fails to impress me with the way she gets into her characters’ heads and express all their doubts, feelings and insecurities for the readers to interpret. I did appreciate the slight romance between Blue and Gansey. Three cheers for Bluesey, guys! It happened. Sort of. But it wasn’t enough. It took three books to get the shipping out of the docks. Maggie Stiefvater, I really hope there’s more of Bluesey in The Raven King or else I would combust.

“How unfair she’d been to assume love and money would preclude pain and hardship.”

Another issue I had with this book was the absence of Noah and Ronan. I understand that the latter had the entire book focused on him (The Dream Thieves) but I really wanted Maggie Stiefvater to give him a bigger arc, romance-wise, after the revelation of his sexual preference in the previous book. I needed more Ronan. I really hope the tiny sparks between him and Adam would burst into fireworks in the final installment of the series. Great play with the hand lotion, by the way, Ronan. You playa.

“Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”

There were some baddies introduced in this book, like Greenmantle, the Gray Man’s former employer who disguises himself as the boys’ new Latin teacher and his eccentric, smart-mouthed wife who reminded me of that evil blonde in 22 Jump Street – Channing Tatum though – which were a good addition to the storyline.

Like, finally some progress of being a step closer to finding Glendower! Or that Adam has enough of being his old self and Ronan of doing something good with his dream power. Gansey showed some vulnerability as well and doesn’t seem to be this perfect, polished guy anymore. He is still the obvious leader of the group, but something raw starts to show through. Which for me, is character development and less boring than having Gansey from books 1 and 2.

“They regarded each other. Adam fair and cautious, Ronan dark and incendiary. This was Ronan at his most truthful.”

Also, finally, there is some attention to Blue’s character and her power. Everything seemed far more interesting this time around. There are new characters (funny ones!!), new locations, more in-depth moments. I’m starting to repeat myself, but woah, just so much happened that makes me happy (and sad?!).

Sadly, I didn’t enjoy Blue Lily, Lily Blue as much as I hoped. I really wanted to love this one but I wasn’t blown away. It didn’t surprise me with the same spark like the previous two books had and I just wanted things to piece together so I can finally see the gang awaken Glendower. Though I might have had some issues with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, it did succeed in getting me excited for The Raven King.

I can’t mention it enough, but the story moved forward and I’m so excited about this! I can’t wait to read The Raven King, because I’m psyched!

My rating: 4.75/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐.75

 

July 2020 | TBR

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stievater – first time read – ebook

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The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – first time read – ebook

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Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare – first time read – physical – reach at least halfway until months end.

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June 2020 |Wrap Up

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare – first time read -physical

Rating: 5 stars

Read: May 18th – June 7th

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Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – first time read – physical

Rating: 5 stars

Read: May 29th – June 8th

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievater – first time read – ebook

Rating: 4.5 stars

Read: June 9th – June 14th

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stievater – first time read – ebook

Rating: 5 stars

Read June 20th – June 29th

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The Dream Thieves ( The Raven Cycle #2 ) by Maggie Stiefvater Review.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: 17th September 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Amazon

Synopsis:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Review:

OH MY GOD!!!

I don’t know how to write this review.

This seems really dramatic because I get the feeling that this feeling is going to be even worse with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I’m draining all my “ohhhhh my god” energy early, but still.

I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO SAY, LET’S SEE IF I CAN KEEP IT COMPREHENSIBLE.

So much of this book is character-driven instead of plot, which sucks for people who love plot BUT GREAT FOR READERS LIKE ME who don’t even pretend to give a damn about plot and are 100% here for the characters. Honestly, if you asked me what progressed in terms of the Glendower plotline, I would find it very difficult to give you a straightforward answer. I don’t even know what went down with Cabeswater to be honest, except somehow it’s inside of Adam??? I think??? One thing I definitely did not like about this book though was that the boys (and Blue) spent a significant amount of time separated from one another. Noah is absent for a good chunk of the book due to his ghostliness, but Gansey and Adam spent a bit of time in Washington and we’re left with Ronan and his brothers (bless Matthew though) or even worse, Ronan and Kavinsky. I AM NOT HERE FOR THESE BOYS BEING SEPARATED. I mean don’t get me wrong it’s great to see them break off a little bit for some individual character growth, BUT I NEED THEM TOGETHER AT LEAST 90% OF THE TIME. So much of what I love about them is their dynamic between each other as a group and I don’t like being deprived of that. I do have a note about Kavinsky though, which is ??????? I don’t understand his role and why he was so much in this book and why we had more of him than Noah, an actual Raven boy. Okay, so he’s Ronan’s guide-person regarding his dream-thieving but couldn’t that have been done by like, a ghost of Niall Lynch or something. Like what is the point of Kavinsky (who has the same name as Peter Kavinsky, which is annoying because that Kavinsky is SO MUCH BETTER).

Okay, I think I’m going to do this Raven boy by Raven Boy. Let’s start with Noah.

Noah is absent for a good part of this book, which is probably-almost-definitely due to the whole “where did Cabeswater go” thing. Which I definitely wasn’t paying close enough attention to as I probably should have, but anyway. He’s a ghost and is not subject to the same corporeal rules as the rest of us. What I do want to talk about though is his amazing interactions with Blue in this book!!

“Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.”

I wish I had friends I could practice making out with. They’re not even a couple to be shipped but I am 100000% here for their friendship alone. The rest of them could all leave but if I were left with Noah and Blue as friends for all eternity, I could be okay with it!! It’s a precious thing between the two of them because Noah is so much more present when Blue is around. She needs to be there in order for his other relationships to grow stronger. Which only makes their relationship grow stronger. I love it so much. Also, I missed Noah a lot in this book, but tragically didn’t even notice until he reappeared later, because I’m the worst.

Ronan. I am still not as obsessed with Ronan as I feel I could be. I think if I were to read this book a second or third time, I would be. Based upon my experience rereading The Raven Boys, I definitely liked him more the second time around. Part of it is because of his particular plotline in this book I think. I didn’t like the parts about Kavinsky, I didn’t like him being separated from the boys. My heart continually broke throughout the whole story when it came to his mother and how he was banned from seeing her or stepping foot in his childhood home. I just felt for his whole life, and his whole family, you know? And, because I can’t stand the idea of not knowing something even though I desperately craves going into something spoiler-free, I read the epilogue and also his Wiki page, which I didn’t really want to do but I think helped me connect with him more and feel more sympathetic to his plight.

Adam was… Weird, again in this book. Maggie foreshadowed pretty well he was no longer the same person, after all, he just sacrificed a part of himself during the Raven Boys and honestly, it was great. It was a good weird, it was well done and very interesting seeing Adam coping and slowly changing as Cabeswater lived inside of him.

Now here’s the thing though— I really thought Adam was going to become a bad guy. Like I said, I could recognize his struggle and his change, his obvious moodiness and the constant fights with Gansey were at least deeper and complex (added to the ones I absolutely loathed where he’d reproach Gansey trying to be a good friend, even when it turned out it wasn’t even Gansey’s doing)… But I thought he was changing for the worst. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I was enjoying it nonetheless, but I’ll have to charge myself guilty for actually thinking this was going to be the way Maggie pushed Adam out of the way to make way for King Gansey of all things good for Blue.

I was so pleasantly surprised she didn’t and that instead, it was simply a complex battle inside of Adam to figure out who he is like identity is a recurring theme in TCR books, and what Cabeswater and the Raven boys now meant to him, finally independent, finally his own person, finally away from his abusers. For someone who complains about being spoonfed my feelings so much in your average YA formula, I am sadly guilty of really thinking —and kind of looking forwards— Maggie was heading down this path. In the end, I’m just blessed she changed my mind.

One more time though, I had to find myself enjoying Adam more through the eyes of Ronan. Their interactions bless me.

Gansey and Blue can share a paragraph because I think a lot of what happens to both of them in this book is in regards to the other. In The Raven Boys when we weren’t entirely sure that Gansey was Blue’s true love, I was really voting for it to be Adam. Not that I wanted him to die, but I desperately wanted him and Blue to stay together, even if they could never kiss. In The Dream Thieves it’s not even a question but solely exists as fact that Gansey is The One. Which is not surprising, but a little disappointing. On the other hand, though, I thought it was precious when Gansey argued with himself about how he shouldn’t like Blue but was losing the battle. I think he also wanted Adam to be able to have her, but his connection to her was just too strong. I’m glad she finally came out with the truth because then Adam could begin to heal and move on to his next love interest that I definitely don’t know the identity of. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t upset with her for still hurting him after doing so. One of the worst parts was when he called her his girlfriend, and I heard my heart shatter because I knew Blue hadn’t thought of him that way for a while – or like, ever maybe. She was stringing him along and he was innocently following! Because he is a puppy and JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.

But the sensible part of Blue, which was usually the only part of her, thought that had more to do with Richard Campbell Gansey III having a nice mouth than with any blossoming romance. Anyway, if fate thought it would tell her who to fall for, fate had another thing coming.

Gansey added, “I would’ve thought you had more muscles. Don’t feminists have big muscles?”
Decidedly not in love with him.

In fact, while the entire Adam and Blue dynamic developed in this book and the previous book, I was sort of waiting situations where Gansey and Blue found themselves interacting alone and to find a slow connection brewing between them. Because it’s there, and it exists, but it bothered me the fact I barely got any sort of interaction between them on that regard until After Blue broke up with Adam, supposedly because she, at last, acknowledged her feelings for Gansey but I had no reason to believe she suddenly had a crush on this man she’s barely interacted with.
I found the aforementioned quote to be adorable and endearing, and especially believable. While I know this paragraph doesn’t actually mean Blue dislikes Gansey, there is nothing that would make me think this girl has anything remotely close to a crush when in the next paragraphs go something like this:

Adam allowed Blue into their circle as well, his eyes meeting hers for a moment.

I’m picking this one, Fate, she thought ferociously. Not Richard Gansey III. You can’t tell me what to do.

I’m sorry, but to then be met with this halfway through the book:

As they baked in the sunlight, she let herself think it:
I have a crush on Richard Gansey.”

 

I liked the involvement of Blue’s family, though. I’m super-appreciative that Neeve has gone, although I have a suspicion she’ll be back sooner rather than later. I didn’t wholly understand the tarot cards thing and the Gray Man thing, but I’m hoping that won’t be too much of an issue. I picked up enough and I’m sure that will be fine. I like him and his perspective a whole lot more than Barrington Whelk, so I am grateful for that. I think his relationship with Maura is a little weird, though. I actually find myself looking forward to his role in the next book, so I expect to have my feelings for him evolve.

The writing in this book is stunning once again, and I am in awe of Maggie Stiefvater’s talent. Contemporary is not a favorite genre of mine, but fantasy is, so it’s a little bit of a mash-up that could have turned out to be something average, but it definitely isn’t and I commend her for that. There’s a lovely balance between the two and her selection of words and their placement together is like a melodic stabbing to my heart – but like, in a good way in which I thank her.

Her craftsmanship of these characters is phenomenal, and they’re all so hashed-out with the perfect amount of detail that makes you instantly feel a connection to them. Even though he’s not my favorite (although he is growing on me), I love the way Maggie has created Gansey, and all the different layers of the boy he is. I love that Blue can look at him and see the different personas just because his face twitched or he glanced at one of his friends. There are so many different layers to this boy and I am just itching to know all about them. He’s such a mom character and he wants everyone to be comfortable and happy, and he knows he can provide that if only they would all listen. He has this outpouring of love but they all seem reluctant to take it based upon their own personal battles, which makes him struggle with it all piling up inside of him.

cannot wait to read the next book. I do want to know more about the Glendower search, so hopefully, the next book has a bit more and I can convince myself to pay more attention I’m not sure that will happen, but I’ll try. This is such a wonderful series. I am so grateful to exist in a world where my path can cross with it.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike Review (ARC).

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Publisher: Touchstone

Publication Date: 4th September 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: ARC provided by NetGalley

This book was vividly amazing. Equal parts Outlander, Camelot, and Game of Thrones, the characters are vibrant, the settings surround you and the story draws you right in.It’s funny how circular Langoureth’s story is. It all pinpoints to singular moments, unspoken choices, longed for dreams of a different life. Darkness colors the edges of the parchment just waiting to swallow the ink, and yet there is so much life, love and light keeping the darkness at bay that in the end, it boils down to a good story, woven in the richest of inks, and set with the sands of time.The book boyfriends in this novel are insatiable – be it the winter-eyed Rhydderch or the emerald richness of Maelgwn’s peepers. I would choose either equally and live out my days in happiness. Nope – I’d choose Maelgwn! His destiny is his own.This is by far the best #arc I’ve received and had the pleasure to consume to date! Could not put it down! The history burns from the page in all its bitter glory as if it only happened yesterday and I loved it. I loved every minute of it!

My rating: 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater Review.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: 18th September 2012

Genre: Paranormal

Source: Amazon

Synopsis: 

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Review:

THIS BOOK IS MIRACULOUS.

I have to admit, I was skeptical of all the hype around the series at the beginning. But it literally took me seven chapters to fall in love with the storyline and the characters. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to be a fan of the multiple perspectives, but it was very well done and it really added to the story.

The storyline itself is so encapsulating that it definitely has power over me. I’m all ready to go out and get the rest of the series, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. There was a mix of comedy and seriousness in this novel, and it was perfect for me.

“We have to be back in three hours,” Ronan said. “I just fed Chainsaw but she’ll need it again.”

“This,” Gansey replied, “is precisely why I didn’t want to have a baby with you.”

This story is mainly built on its characters, and boy did they not disappoint. The ending of the novel had me wondering how in the world did they get from the rich and powerful raven boys to the cold and broken raven boys. I’m honestly in love with every one of the characters.

I highly recommend this, the hype is real guys. Overall 4/5 stars. I love being a part of this fandom.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

 

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin Recap.

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Serpent & Dove is a hate to love story that takes place in a fanciful historical France. There is a war going on between the witches and the church ever since the current monarchy stole the land from the witches and began slaughtering them. Lou and Coco are witches who steal to survive. Lou left her coven because her mother, Morgane, is evil. In comes the tall and handsome stranger. Reid is a chasseur. Chasseurs are witch hunters who are sworn to the church. When Lou and Reid end up in a scuffle, the only way to save Reid’s reputation is for the two to be married. Unbeknownst to him, he just married a witch. The two have a difficult marriage at first, as their morals did not align, but the two soon began to fall in love. Then one day they attend a performance with the archbishop and discover that the archbishop had an affair with Morgane and he is actually her father. The witches begin to attack the city. Reid learns that Lou is a witch and declares that, to him, they are not really married. Lou runs away upset and it captured by her mother. To defeat the current monarchy and reclaim the witches’ land, Lou’s mother plans to sacrifice her heir, then to all of the monarchy’s heirs shall perish. The Madame Labelle, local madam, reveals that she is Reid’s mother and she had an affair with the monarch. If Lou is sacrificed, Reid will die too. Reid, Coco, Ansel, Madame Labelle, and Beau (the king’s heir) travel to the Chateau to get Lou back. To save Lou, Reid had to sacrifice his father and it also revealed that he can see magical patterns like the witches (he saw the thread of life connecting Lou and the archbishop). Reid has magic. At the end of the book, they plan to go into hiding with Coco’s aunt and the blanc witches. The Chasseurs still want to hunt Lou down and kill her before the witches have the chance to finish the sacrifice. This would counter the curse and protect all of the king’s heirs.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin Review.

Serpent & Dove

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: 3rd September 2019

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: Amazon

SYNOPSIS:

Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, book one of this stunning fantasy duology will leave readers burning for more.

REVIEW:

THIS BOOK IS 528 PAGES OF PURE AMAZINGNESS!

We read in two perspectives, a witch and a witch hunter. We have one of my favorite enemies-to-lovers tropes. I picked it up on a complete whim during tome topple, because the premise of a witch and a witch hunter being forced into holy matrimony sounded too good to pass up. Nothing makes me happier than enemies to lovers romance either. A good one at that. But to say Serpent & Dove was merely a ‘good’ enemies to lovers romance undermines all that is special about this debut.

This book really lives up to its hype and then some. As someone who is a slower reader and is easily distracted, I read this 500 something page book in a few days. A feat that may usually take me a week. Which is a testament to what a great story I thought this book was? I was seriously on the edge of my seat. Itching for more and more breadcrumbs that Shelby Mahurin was giving me every time Lou and Reid so much as breathed in the same room.

This story is set in Cesarine, a french inspired city that also feels Victorian-y, partially because of the medieval views on women. To be a witch in the city of Cesarine is a death wish, as The Archbishop and the church (and by extension the Chasseurs aka witch hunters) are the pillar of this city. Anyone found guilty of using or being associated with magic and witches risk being burned at the stake by the church.

“Wicked are the ways of women—and especially a witch. Their guile knows no bounds.”

Personally, I really loved the setting and thought it complimented the story incredibly well. I have the benefit of not being historical buff, so any inaccuracies just happily go over my head.

I just adored Lou AND Reid as individuals. I’ve capitalized the ‘and’ here because often the F/M characters in romances can feel very… one-sided for me. By this I mean I often adore the female character and feel a bit lukewarm towards the male character. Serpent & Dove is the exception to this because I enjoyed both Lou and Reid’s perspectives immensely.

Although… I still marginally enjoyed Lou’s perspective more in this story. I think anyone who has read (and probably enjoyed) this story will agree that she just shines off the page. More so, she is just so much damn fun. On a relentless quest to live, Lou is uninhibited by social constraints. I loved her foul-mouth and wild spirit. Seriously, she scales rooftops, robs aristocrats, wears disguises, and gets into brawls. She’s also gifted with magic, completely unbeknownst to Reid when they marry. But she’s forsaken magic in order to remain hidden. I love her arc and figuring out just who Lou was hiding from kept me turning the pages.

“I didn’t want a husband. Didn’t want to be shackled to anyone in marriage, especially someone as stiff and self-righteous as this Chasseur.”

Where Lou is crass and unrestrained, Reid is a civilized and proper man of society. He needs to be as a Chasseur, a holy man dedicated to the Church and to eradicating the witches tormenting his city. Upon meeting Lou, Reid immediately detests her because of her loud and unapologetic ways, and for not acting like a proper lady of society. Their differences make for the best banter and it just helped to fuel their romance. He soon learns that he can’t control Lou, which makes this story all the better because Lou refuses to sit down and listen to anyone, especially Reid.

“Now move, or I swear to God, I will strip naked right here and dance the bourree!”
I thrust my hands on my hips and looked at him expectantly.
He didn’t even glance at the people around us.
Instead, he kept his eyes trained on mine, a slow smirk spreading across his face.
“Do it.”

I loved how Reid had a gradual arc of coming to love and accept Lou, not wanting her to conform, as they became closer and more intimate. Despite the fact that he’s a witch hunter with abhorrent views on magic, he isn’t the obvious ‘bad guy’ in this story that I anticipated he might be. I thought that a lot of the characters here existed in grey areas and I enjoyed them all the more for it.

Oh and the romance I keep mentioning? Well, I think the best should be left unsaid. The excitement of how Lou and Reid meet and the circumstances they find themselves needing to marry one another was so much fun. There’s that word again… FUN! Also, the Nina and Matthias feel are strong here. The dynamics are pretty similar – Lou being the witch and Reid the witch hunter. But this story is definitely unique in its own right. But if you’re having Nina and Matthias withdrawals… you’re just going to love this. Also, this is story isn’t strictly a young adult. There are steamy scenes (very minimal). Much to my surprise and approval. Not going lie, I loved it. Just as much as I love the one-bed trope, which naturally makes an appearance… 😉

I loved the unique magic system Shelby Mahurin has created for her world here and seeing the ways different types of witches wield magic. I think I only picked up on two types of witches – blood and… whatever Lou is. I’d be interested if there were more in the forthcoming books, but would nevertheless still be happy just to see Lou wield more of her own magic.

I do think this is a story largely driven by the romance. So I’d be more inclined to recommend it to readers who want to read a fantasy/paranormal romance. Because this book could seriously be your next favorite.

“I loved her. Despite everything. Despite the lies, the betrayal, the hurt. Despite the Archbishop and Morgane le Blanc. Despite my own brothers. I don’t know if she returned that love, and I didn’t care. If she was destined to burn in Hell, I would burn with her.”

My rating: 5/5 stars. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lord of Shadows ( The Dark Artifices ) by Cassandra Clare Review & Recap.

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 22nd May 2018

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: Public Stores

Lord of Shadows was amazing. I loved it so much more than Lady Midnight, I’m so invested in the storyline and the characters ( my blackthorn babies )…I’m so glad I decided to get the paperback edition so I would be able to buy Queen of Air and Darkness also. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Cassandra Clare’s books is how layered they are. The first time you read them, they’re just pure entertainment. You laugh, you cry, you sit on the edge of your seat, and you occasionally set the book down so that you can take a moment to compose yourself. But the best part is that once it’s over, you cannot stop thinking about it. Whether you’re coming up wit crazy theories, scouring the book for references to Cassie’s other series, or just calmly reflecting on all the philosophical questions ad subtle references to the real world issues contained within the 700 pages you just read. Or maybe that last one’s just me.

Lord of Shadows was no exception to this rule. In this second installment of the Dark Artifices trilogy, Cassandra Clare wove together a beautiful masterpiece that continued the story laid out in Lady Midnight, set up the upcoming The Last Hours series, and stood out on its own at the same time. Diehard fans will not be disappointed.

This is the biggest book Cassandra Clare has written yet, but it doesn’t read like it. The plot is engaging, the characters are as dynamic as ever, and the appearances of characters from other Shadowhunter series are exciting without taking away from the story. It’s the kind of book you can’t stop reading, partly because you want answers to all your questions, and partly because you don’t want to leave the world.

In other words, Lord of Shadows is a typical Shadowhunter novel, except a bit darker, and a bit more daring. It’s similar enough to the other books to satisfy long term fans, but different enough to keep everything new and interesting. If you’re a fan of Cassandra Clare’s writing, I don’t know why you wouldn’t pick it up.

The book begins with Kit trying to steal the Shadowhunter bling. Jace shows up and is like, nah dude you’re a Herondale.

Emma, Julian, and co are at the pier fighting sea monsters. There is romantic tension and ichor everywhere. Emma is pretending to date Mark and Julian is not a fan. They are summoned back to the Institute where they discuss sea monsters and secret missions with Clary and Jace. Clary secretly tells Emma she’s had visions of herself dying, so she can’t agree to marry Jace. Excuse me?? ( I’m so shocked but I understand where Clary is coming from).

Julian and Kit go to the Shadow Market to find something for Arthur’s faerie-induced madness. It doesn’t go well for anyone. Meanwhile, the others explore the burnt-out warlock Malcom’s house, where they find a faerie glove and a tentacle. It’s probably important.

The Centurions arrive at the Institute to “take care of the sea demons” like Julian and Emma need their help! Perfect Diego has a secret fiancé! Rude! Ty think Zara and the Centurions are up to something (samesies) and makes a tentative peace with Kit so he will stop trying to run off.

Despite Emma trying desperately to keep away from Julian, the two of them make out in a storm and it’s beautiful. The leader of the Wild Hunt shows up and wants Mark to rescue Kieran who has been sentenced to death. Everyone says NO WAY but Mark sneaks off to do just that. Emma, Julian, and Christina follow him to the Unseelie court. They find Kieran and demand he be freed. The Lord of Shadows aka the faerie king himself allows Emma to fight his best warrior in one-on-one combat for Kieran’s life. She wins even though the fairies have tricked her into seeing her dead father’s face on the other warrior. ( For a moment I thought that Cassie’s was making her father to be alive all this time and being captive by the Unseelie King. THANK GOD it was just a glamour ). Chaos ensues but they escape with some help from the Seelie court.

Back in the human world, Ty, Livvy, and Kit overhear Zara’s plans to overtake the LA Institute. Sea demons attack and a waterlogged (not dead!) Malcom shows up demanding Blackthorn blood. Diana spirits the kids away to London but Arthur stays behind.

In the Seelie court, the queen shows Julian a vision of Arthur sacrificing himself to Malcom who then promptly resurrects Annabel. Annabel straight-up stabs Malcom. He dies for real. After they watch this gruesome scene, the queen tells Julian of a way to end the parabatai bond (so love can prevail!). The queen also bargains that if they bring her the Book of the Dead, she’ll help them against the Unseelie King. Julian, Mark, Emma, Christina, and Kieran (my fab 5) fly away from Faerie land on some awesome Wild Hunt horses.

Everyone is reunited in London. But they quickly part for further adventures and/or detective work. Julian and Emma head to Malcom’s old house. Cristina has to stay behind because she has been bound to Mark through a Faerie prank. Kieren isn’t into it. Or is he?? Diana is off to Idris to barter for warm peace. Ty, Livvy, and Kit head to investigate Blackthorn Hall.

At Malcom’s old house, Julian and Emma discover sketches by Annabel and Malcom’s old diaries. Annabel appears and tells Julian the Unseelie king gave Malcom the ability to raise her. She’s not happy about it and no, Julian can’t have the book. J&E (Jemma? Carhorns? What is their ship name?) capture some piskies to find out where she went- Porthollow Church. But it’s a trap! They battle a blood demon. There’s more blood everywhere.

At Blackthorn Hall, the kids discover a memory stone. They go to the Shadow Market and a warlock named Shade shows them how to reveal memories of Annabel, tortured for loving Malcom. The Downworlders attack them but Magnus shows up and saves them (YAY MAGNUS!). Livvy is injured but they escape and she is healed. Alec and the kiddos (aww) are at the London Institute and together they research all the things.

Cristina and Kieran and Mark have a moment. We get major 3some vibes (later Emma calls this “sexy weirdness” cuz she is getting the vibes too). Kiernan goes to meet with this brother and kills his other brother. It’s not good even though that guy was such a jerk. Kieran learns that the Unseelie King has sent the 7 Riders of Mannan after them all. Danger!!!

The kids fight off the Riders- Gwen (of the Wild Hunt) and Diana (they’re sort of dating, it’s adorable) show up to help and they escape. Meanwhile J&E fight off the other half of the Riders and Emma kills one with Cortana. It seems important and mysterious. High on feelings, Emma and Julian confess they still love each other and things get STEAMY. Julian reveals that the Seelie queen said there was a way to break the parabatai bond but it would break ALL the parabatai bonds and they can’t do that!

Back at the London Institute, Dru discovers Jamie lurking around. She arranges a meeting between him and Cristina and he says she has a secret artifact that might allow passage to Faerie. Dru has a weird trip to Faerie picking up a stone in Jamie’s bag.

In Idris, Diana confesses she is transgender to Gwen. He’s totally cool with it. They have a hot date but discover an anti-Shadowhunter blight taking over the land.

Everyone is reunited back at the London Institute. The Unseelie King is accidentally called on some sort of supernatural telephone and gives Kieren his memories back. Kieren is pissed and thinks Mark has been using him this whole time. Julian real-talks with Magnus who says he and Emma should take their love problem to the High Inquisitor aka Alec’s dad.

The Riders show up at the Institute and a battle ensues. Our fave Shadowhunters are nearly beat when Annabel appears and threatens to tell everyone the Unseelie King’s name. The Riders disperse. Annabel demands an audience with Julian. The two of them hatch a deal and everyone portals to Alicante in Idris.

Magnus falls ill before Annabel’s testimony begins and it all goes downhill from there. Zara and her hate friends throw stuff at Annabel as she is forced to testify with the Mortal Sword. She gets upset and kills the Inquisitor with the sword (poor Alec!). A fight breaks out and Emma’s sword Cortana breaks the Mortal Sword. Enraged, Annabel kills Livvy. The books end with ALL OF MY TEARS.

My rating is 5/5 stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

June 2020 | TBR

 

pink-roses-monthly-tbr

Siege and Storm (Shadow & Bone #2) by Leigh Bardugo – finally finish it – physical/audiobook

Lord of Shadows ( The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare – first time read – physical

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin – first time read – physical

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L.Armentrout – first time read – physical/audiobook

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater – first time read – physical