Tag Archives: Read More Than Once

Nothing But Shadows (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

Read on 20th June, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare & Sarah J. Maas

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5 Stars

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Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

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As I repeatedly find myself saying, these installments just keep getting better and better… There is absolutely nothing about Nothing But Shadows that I didn’t like – the characters, the storylines, even the title…

I loved all of the characters. Aside from Simon, Catrina and all our other favourites, we see more of Ragnor (who is just as brilliant as I recall from The Bane Chronicles), James Herondale, Matthew Fairchild, as well as Thomas and Christopher Lightwood (cousins). The main cast from The Infernal Devices were also referenced and some had cameos.

Despite its short length, Cassandra and Sarah really fleshed out these characters and added hidden depths that you do not see coming. I’m completely in love with James (he’s an adorable bookworm for one and his “legacy” is super awesome too) and half in love with Thomas – but they’re all absolutely brilliant.

A fast, enthralling read, Nothing But Shadows had me hook, line and sinker. As I was reading, I either bookmarked or highlighted pretty much every other page.

I highly recommend Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy to any and all existing Cassandra Clare fans. That said, Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy is not a standalone – there are spoilers for people who have not read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Also, it’s a much more enriching reading experience as you are able to pick up on and appreciate the cameos and references that are scattered throughout these installments.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

Finished on 17th May, 2015

Author: Sarah J. Maas

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4.5 Stars

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A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

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A retelling of Beauty and the Beast (which just so happens to be my favourite classic Disney movie) – with fae – and written be Sarah J. Maas? I never stood a chance.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is beautifully written with an amazing plot, brilliant world building and complex, loveable characters. Plus, all the faerie men are smokin’ hot (*cough* Tamlin *cough* Lucien *cough* Rhysand *cough*), so no complaints here.

I am not an artist in any way whatsoever but I really enjoyed seeing the world from an Feyre’s perspective – all the different colors and hues that I simply take for granted. In the same way that Belle and myself are passionate about books, she is passionate about art and I loved that. It was wonderful to read how she expressed herself through her art and could read the stories behind other artworks.

Admittedly, I was slightly irritated with Feyre in the first hundred pages or so, but I understood her reasoning and motivation as to why she acted the way she did. If anything, it simply made her character more realistic. That said, Feyre underwent huge character development and I really liked her as the story went on.

I fell in love with Tamlin right from the get-go and Lucien shortly afterwards. They are both so wonderfully deep, attractive and brilliant characters. I love their backstories and how we were really able to get a feel for their personalities. Their friendship is so strong and rather inspiring. Plus, you know, they’re fae. Two new book boyfriends right here 😉

Aside from Amarantha (for obvious reasons) I loved all of the characters. At the very least, I was intrigued by the social dynamics and how that played into their behavior.

The world building was beautiful, believable, intriguing and absolutely magical. I cannot wait to discover more about Hybern, the other courts and Prythian in general.

The plot was also brilliant. I love how everything ties into each other – things that, until that point, seemed completely irrelevant and were easily forgotten. I really enjoyed the parallels between Beauty and the Beast and A Court of Thorns and Roses, yet loved that A Court of Thorns and Roses is incredibly unique in its own right.

A must read for fans of Sarah J. Maas (whose last name I recently found out is actually pronounced Mass), fairy tale retellings, fantasy and fae, A Court of Thorns and Roses is the start to a fantastic new series.