Tower of Dawn | Spoiler Talk

[WARNING: Do not read if you haven’t read Queen of Shadows (QoS)Empire of Storms (EoS) or are planning to read Tower of Dawn (ToD).]

After I finished reading ToD last month, I realized that I personally would have been fine having skipped that book and just spoiling myself in preparation for the final installment of the Throne of Glass series. Although, I think it is skippable, I do not know how important Chaol, Nesryn, or any of the new characters will be in the final book, which is why I attempted to pull out the most important tidbits from ToD and share them in this post.

There a few reasons why I don’t think ToD was worth the time or money that I will detail below before I jump into the spoilers.

  1. Before jumping into this book, I already despised Chaol and was indifferent to Nesryn, and nothing about this book changed my opinions on them. If you like these characters, you might find this book a worth while read and in which case I recommend not continuing to read this post!
  2. This book was just too damned long. It took forever for me to read because there was just so little happening in the first part especially. Most of the time with SJM books, I have found the pay off in the end worth continuing on. But in this book, I’m not sure any of the revelations justify the time wasted trying to finish the book, unless you’re a die-hard Chaol fan.
  3. Finally, I don’t think that this book illustrates how far SJM has come as a author. I’ve read almost every book she’s written at this point (I still see no reason to pick up The Assassin’s Blade). I know this is an unpopular opinion but Throne of Glass was horrible. It was so derivative of other popular YA novels and Celaena was one of the worst Mary Sue’s I’ve ever seen disguised as an assassin. But I’ve kept reading. And since Heir of Fire and A Court of Mist and Fury, I’ve had complete faith in her ability to churn out great rollercoaster books.

That being said, I have no doubt that ToD was just filler book. She’s been publishing two books per year and this year it caught up with her and she had to publish something this fall. I don’t fault her for it and I don’t fully regret reading this book. I just feel like writing this post will make have made the experience worth it.

Quick Recap

I’m not going to summarize the entire book; that would take forever. I just want to set up the novel before I jump into the spoilers I think will be important to know/remember to ready for the final book.

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Set during the events of EoS, ToD opens with Chaol & Nesryn having reached the Southern Continent at Antica where they travelled to in order to find someone who could heal Chaol after his accident at the end of QoS which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Antica is known the world around for their healers, second only, perhaps, to the Fae healers of Wendlyn.

They were also charged to act as diplomats and convince the khagan to join Adarlan and Terrasen in their war against Duke Perrington (aka Erawan)’s forces in Morath. Unfortunately for them, the khagan recently suffered the death of one of his children and the family is in mourning that renders any war negotiation inappropriate. Therefore, Chaol & Nesryn must cosy up to his remaining children who are nearly all vying to become the heir to the khaganate.

Now that we’re all caught up, I’ll proceed with all the spoilers you’ll find necessary if you plan to read the seventh and final book in the Throne of Glass series, which still does currently not have a title and is tentatively slated for a Fall 2018 release.

Spoilers

#1 Chaol and Nesryn, who are friends with benefits at the beginning of the novel, find new lovers.

Chaol falls in love with his healer, Yrene, who is the unofficial heir to the position of Healer on High. She is eager to leave Antica in order to help her homeland of Fenharrow in the war. She also hates Chaol as the former Captain of the Guard to the Adarlan king who slaughtered and enslaved her people. So naturally she falls in love with him while he’s all broody about his disability and his wavering loyalty to Nesryn.

Nesryn, meanwhile, grows close to Prince Sartaq who commands their country’s army of ruk riders. The ruk is an enormous eagle-like bird that just might stand a chance against the witch’s wyverns. In ToD Nesryn joins Sartaq as he investigates who is abducting ruk eggs. In a moment of fear that he might die, he reveals he loves her and the book ends with Sartaq as the presumed heir to the khaganate, even after he’s revealed his feelings for Nesryn.

#2 Magical healers may hold the key to saving people whose bodies have been invested by the Valg.

Yrene discovers by healing the dark magic that lingered in Chaol’s back preventing him from being able to walk how her own healing power may be used to combat people who have been completely taken over. Her suspicion is tested and proven at the climax ToD when they discover a Valg has been impersonating khagan’s pregnant daughter Duva.

Yrene and Chaol also suspect that Maeve and Valg are aware of the strength of this power, which explains why the Valg hunt Yrene throughout the novel as she tries to learn the root of the dark magic lingering in Chaol and why Maeve has kept the Fae healers (and secret source of the healing power in the Southern Continent) so close to her.

#3 Aelin’s evil Fae aunt Maeve is not really her aunt but a freakin’ Valg princess.

That’s right. Maeve is a Valg princess who is the reason the Valg princes turned their sights on this world. She ran away from them and they came looking for her, which is the cause of the first great war. And because of her powers, she was able to trick the most powerful Fae in this world Mab & Mora that she was their sister.

This all is revealed by a chatty stygian spider while she holds Nesryn and Sartaq prisoner. These spiders, which (according to the Throne of Glass wikia) were introduced in Heir of Fire, are revealed to be Valg handmaidens to Maeve, guarding the portal to the other world from which they came. (If you remembered these spider things, props to you! I certainly did not. I laughed out loud when they were introduced at a pretty serious moment.)

End Note

If you’ve read this book yourself and think I have neglected to note any important spoilers feel free to let me know & I might add them to my list along with a link to your blog in thanks! Also feel free to let me know if I got anything wrong or if  you think that ToD was worth reading. Although I wouldn’t have minded skipping this one, I still rated it three stars on Goodreads because it was enjoyable at times. But I do also wish I had used my time to read books I know will be so much better.

Thank you for reading!
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October ’17 TBR + Goals

I was hesitant to make this post, especially considering how busy I’ve been and how I’d like to use as much as possible of my time working on writing this month. Nevertheless, October is my favorite month, and there are a bunch of books that I think would be perfect reads for this time of year!

For this month’s TBR I have a list of books from which I will most likely pull my reads, but I by no means hope to attempt to read all of them! That would be madness, and highly unadvisable if I want to get anything else done this month. I’m hoping to read at least three

 

[In no particular order]

  1. It by Stephen King
  2. The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales & Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
  3. White Cat by Holly Black
  4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  5. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
  6. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Goals

#1 Prioritize the blog each week. Last month I let the blog slide as I got busier with work and wanted to spend more time reading to finally catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, which I did manage to finally do after months of being behind!

#2 Get my grad school application materials organized. Last month I decided I definitely still wanted to return to grad school for my doctorate. I want to be prepared well in advance of my deadlines so that I’m not in a panic when everything’s due (likely around December). This will entail asking for my letters of recommendation, tidying up writing samples, and likely writing some personal statements.

#3 Be ready to kick NaNoWriMo 2017’s butt. It’s been three years since I won, and I want this year to end my losing streak!

End Note

I’m hoping to have a writing-related post up this week on Wednesday. I Skyped with my writing buddy last night and her excitement for her story revived my own so I’d like to start dedicated more time to it after work. Fortunately my next full day off work is Wednesday so I’m hoping to get a lot done then, including some blog posts. So hopefully I will see you then with my next post!

Thank you for reading!
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A Book Haul of eBooks and Fairytales

A few weeks ago after I learned my free time would be severely limited as result of my new job, I decided to treat myself to some new books. As I was browsing for the books I would purchase, I realized one of the books of an author I was looking into was free in its Kindle edition for Amazon Prime members, so I downloaded some others I found that interested me as well.

In general, I’m fairly restrained when it comes to buying books, so I rarely get the chance to do a haul. Therefore, I decided to seize the day do one today (at long last)!

This book haul comes at a time when I’m kicking my writing into full gear, which is why I want to get my hands on everything that looks like it might inspire my own novel. Therefore, you’ll find that many of these books are in the genre(s) in which I want to write: fantasy.

Amazon Prime Free eBooks

 

Heist Society by Ally Carter. This book is the reason I began searching for what other eBooks were conveniently available for free download on Amazon Prime. I saw an interview where Leigh Bardugo recommended Carter’s work for anyone interested in heist books like Six of Crows. I’m skeptical (based on its cringe-y cover), but I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised!

The Spy with No Name by Jeff Maysh. This book and author I’ve never heard of, but I like a good mystery and the intrigue of spies. Not sure when I’ll read this book, though, as there are so many amazing books I want to read right now. This one smells to me like one buffer book when I need something random to fill my time when I don’t feel like jumping into something super thought provoking.

Air Awakens by Elise Kova. The is the first book in a series I’ve seen talked about a lot in the book blogging community! I’ve intentionally kept myself in the dark as to what this book is about, but I’m happy to have the opportunity to finally see if this book, and series, is for me.

Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond. This book I’ve already DNF-ed. I didn’t have the highest of expectations for this book, but I did have an open mind as I’ve been eagerly anticipating Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman. This book very quickly lost me. I compared it to fan fiction on Goodreads, but honestly that’s unfair to fan fiction as I’ve read far better written fan-written stories with realistic, nuanced characters.

Thieving Forest by Martha Conway. This book, like most of the others on this list, is one that I know next to nothing about. I haven’t even reread the summary to remind myself why I decided to download it. I just saw the medal on it and decided to trust that distinction. Like The Spy with No Name, this is one I’ll probably save for when I’m between books and don’t know quite what I’m in the mood for.

Fairytale-Inspired Books

 

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This is a book that has been on my radar for a long-time and the main reason I’ve put it off is I’m not a fan of the U.S. edition cover and the price of the hardback was too high for me. I was able to order it at a reasonable price in paperback and I feel like this book is coming to me at the perfect time as I just feel like this book will inspire my own writing.

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter. This book was recommended by Leigh Bardugo in an interview I watched on YouTube in which she was asked what she recommended (redundant…leaving it anyway). I loved the summary so I decided to put it on my wishlist for a time like this when I wanted to treat myself.

What’s Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi. Because I’ve just been reading Mr. Fox, I’ve been reminded what a beautiful writer Oyeyemi is and I decided to finally spring for this anthology. I had put it off for the same reasons that I put off Uprooted for so long, but I’m excited to finally be able to read these short stories and, hopefully, have her magic rub off on me!

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. This book is not technically out yet, but it is a vanity purchase I made earlier this month. Many of the stories in this anthology are already available for free online, but I wanted to be able to put the pretty book to put on my shelves. I love Leigh Bardugo’s books and she is on my short list of authors whose books I will instantly purchase, which brings me to the final book in my haul…

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo! Ok, so this is not technically a fairytale, but the argument could be made that it is a similar kind of genre! Not that I’m a genre expert… I am not a big fan of Wonder Woman, as I did not grow up with any of her shows and have never been too impressed by “strong women” dressed in leotards. I’m not really a DC Comics fan either (based on my experience with their lame movies), but a lot of feminists I respect LOVE the character of Wonder Woman and I’m hoping this book will make me love her too! ^_^

End Note

I hope you enjoyed this post! I am not in the habit of doing a lot of book hauls, as I rarely buy/acquire enough books to warrant one. Another book that didn’t make this list because I won’t have it for a few more days is Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, her latest Throne of Glass installment. It comes out early next month, so I’m excited even though it’s centered on Chaol, a character I’ve never really liked.

Today I’ve been working on my blog in between chores. You can expect to see a few more posts later this week as we head into September. Until then, let me know if you’ve read any of these books in the comments down below.

Thank you for reading!
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Writing Again // Introducing “The Log”

Sorry it has been a little while. Shortly after the excitement of the last post I had a crisis of self. Faced with so many things I wanted to do and needed to do, I wasn’t sure what to do and it was so easy to just do nothing. Does this happen to any of you?

Fortunately I’ve been taking care of myself and feel a bit more happy. I’ve been eating a plant-based diet and enjoying experimenting with new whole plant foods I can integrate into my daily diet. I’ve also made exercise a part of my daily routine that I enjoy and look forward to. These two lifestyle changes I credit for helping me feel more ambitious and motivated again to do even more with my day, including things that have always made me happy: reading and writing.

I decided to start this post because I wanted to announce my new writing project, but I figure I’ll also talk a bit about what I’ve read recently first.

Recently Read

So far this summer I’ve read four books. I reread A Court of Mist and Fury (★★★★★) and finally read A Court of Wings and Ruin (★★★★½), both by Sarah J. Maas. Love the final installment, although I can’t help but feel the ending was a bit rushed and too convenient. Then I decided to read something that was not fantasy, so I picked up The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (★★★★½) by Gabrielle Zevin, which was whimsical and easy to read. Then I decided to finally read Passenger (★★), which sounded really good. Unfortunately that book didn’t really click with me.

Currently Reading

I’m currently rereading The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. I’ve owned thisbook since middle school and one I had begun to think about since reading Sarah J. Maas’ work because it also includes fairies, although a very different kind. It’s a nice reminder that you can be inspired by the old and make it into something new that is your own.

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I may talk about this book in more depth in the future as I think it may be lesser known YA classic and something that young readers today might truly enjoy. If you’ve read it before, please let me know in the comments!

I’m planning on participating in the BookTube-A-Thon next week in order to jump start some more reading so I’ll likely share my TBR for that soon.

What I’m Writing 

I’m writing a fantasy novel set in world kind of like ours in 1930s, but with magic and magical creatures. I think it could be considered somewhat steampunk as I want there to be a lot of alternative forms of technology. My protagonist is a young girl and…I don’t know how much more I want to say!

I’m in the beginning stages here and still need to do some major plotting before I properly get writing, but I have a beginning and end fairly well set in stone so I’m excited to see where this may go. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know I have trouble finishing novel drafts. I’ve realized in addition to low confidence in my writing capabilities my biggest problem is probably getting lost by following plot bunnies.

I may soon try to set up a Pinterest mood board for the story and share if I do. From this point forward on my blog if I mention it, I’ll call this novel The Log.

End Note

That’s all I got for today. I don’t want to make any promises about what I’ll post next, but I’m feeling pretty confident right now that I’ll be doing more and thus have more to share that is hopefully of interest to you! Hope you’re doing well and see you soon!

Thank you for reading!
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