Spoiler Free Book Review – Mistborn: The Final Empire

Hello hello! Welcome back y’all!! Today, I’m going to be reviewing Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. You’ve all seen me scream about how awesome and believable this book was, so let’s jump right in to my finally full review.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson - Cover

Book: Mistborn: The Final Empire

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Adult

Summary: For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

This saga dares to ask a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails?

Continue reading “Spoiler Free Book Review – Mistborn: The Final Empire”

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim – Review

Good morning and welcome my friends! I hope your week is off to a great start. Today, I shall be reviewing Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. This was an interesting retelling of Mulan, I really liked Maia and Edan, and the plot was really good.

Book: Spin the Dawn

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.


Quote: “Seize the wind,” I whispered. “Don’t become the kite that never flies.”

*Maia. Maia was fierce, independent, and determined to make a place for herself in a world dominated by men and I loved her. Her loyalty to her family, her strength in the face of all those who tried to end her, and the lengths to which she went to save her father’s business and become the Imperial tailor were extraordinary and I was so proud of her for that. The flashbacks that she had of her family before the war were so sad, and I missed them as much as she did.

*Edan. Edan is over 500 years old, but who cares? He still seemed to be an annoying teenager, and I loved him for him for being that obnoxious and annoying but also pretty wise guy. Him and Maia bickering and arguing was amazing, and the lengths that he went to save and protect her was so sweet. His past was also heartbreaking, and it just made me want to hug his annoying self and make everything okay.

*Lady Sarnai. We don’t get much of her, but I think she’s an awesome character. Yes, she’s the villain, yes, she’s beyond cruel, but I felt so sorry for her, especially after Maia found her crying, and I really hope that she has some sort of character arc in the next book. It would be awesome, because she also kind of challenged the patriarchy in her own way, creating terror wherever she went, and I secretly wish that she and Maia become friends.

*Book in general. I loved the plot, the world-building, and the writing. I’m not one for flowery writing, but I really liked it here. The world was beautiful, and I liked the inclusion of magic and demons, and how everything was set up (minus the scissors, more on that below). It was really interesting and new. The plot, and Maia’s quest to sew three gowns from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars was super amazing. The ending didn’t really shock me, but I’m kind of excited to see what happens in the next book.

*Mulan Retelling. This had so many elements of Mulan and I loved it. Mulan is probably my #1 favorite Disney movie, and there are a bunch of similarities between Spin the Dawn and Disney Mulan (in my opinion). Some people have said that it’s not really that similar beyond Maia dressing up as a boy, BUT, a friend of mine has pointed out that it is more similar to the original ballad and she listed the evidence in her review.


Quote: “Sometimes we must let go of what we value for the future of our country.”

*Calm down please! Maia and Edan couldn’t get their hands off of each other after ~60% and it was a bit annoying to continuously read about. I mean, I’m glad they’ve finally confessed all these feelings, and all that tension is over, but calm down a bit please??

*Magical Scissors. How the scissors work is beyond me. Maia paints with scissors, sews with the scissors, and cuts, and creates completely different things with the scissors. How? Does she cut the fabric and it stitches and paints itself in its wake? Or does she wave the scissors over it and it creates on its own? How does the scissors sew?? I’d have loved for this to be explained a bit more.

*Ending. The ending didn’t wow me, which was pretty disappointing. I didn’t really feel anything, and just continued reading, and was like “oh well, it’s over”. But I am a bit excited for the second book, so it wasn’t completely horrible. I was kind of expecting something that would hurt and rip my heart out, but it was nothing like that for me.


Quote: “You will hold the seams of our family together, Maia. No other tailor in the world can do that.”

In the end, I really liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! Maia’s courage, Edan’s obnoxiousness, Lady Sarnai’s cruelty, and the plot were super great. Besides the scissors, the disappointing end, and the excess touching and kissing, this was a pretty great fantasy, and I wouldn’t mind reading more about these characters in the next book.

One sentence summary: A great fantasy with awesome characters, and a few flaws.

Overall, 4 amazing stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you read Spin the Dawn? What did you think? Were you also intrigued by the great Lady Sarnai? Do you think she and Maia might somehow become friends? Did the huge age difference between Edan and Maia bother you? Am I the only one who was disappointed by that ending? Chat with me in the comments below!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Review

Welcome guys!!! Today’s review is of my new all-time favorite book, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardguo. I was supposed to review this last month and it totally slipped my mind?? But here we finally are! I loved the characters, the plot was okay, but the team, was ridiculously awesome. There are spoilers in this review and in the comments, so if you’d like, you can skip straight to The Wrap to here my final thoughts.

Book: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


SPOILERS BELOW!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!

Quote: “No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”

*Kaz “Dirtyhands” Brekker. No words need to be said. Okay fine. I love his grayness, how he murders and attacks and kills mercilessly. How he has no conscience unless it had to do with his merry little band. His terrible childhood. How he is totally swoon-worthy. Also because I’m twisted and have this strong desire to love him, or make him see the world without wanting to kill or just thinking other humans are pieces of a chess game. His tragic past also added to his character and just made me understand and feel for him even more. His love for money and what can only be called arrogance made the story even more hilarious. (When he nearly drowned, and Nina tells him he has to live to get his 3 million kruge, and he instantly clears and says 4 million-that made me laugh so much)

*Inej. She’s been through so much trauma which drives her everyday. I love how at the end, even though her shoes were melting to her feet and she was tired and exhausted, the thought of saving other girls from slavery spurred her to continue. I also absolutely love Inej and her relationship with Kaz. Every single time they spoke to each other, it was filled with sarcasm hiding their love and admiration for each other. The way she also worries about the whole group and about every plan was just sweet and amazing.

*Jesper and Wylan. These two are amazing. Jesper for his quips and Wylan for being so cute and worried. Their constant flirting too was hilarious and I loved them both individually, and together. Wylan was adorable and is the only one who acted his age. It’s not that surprising, since he didn’t have a really horrible past compared to the rest of the Dregs.

*Nina and Matthias. I didn’t really like Nina? But her optimism, and her loyalty to her people and the way she flirts with everything was cool. Matthias was the same. His constant sour mood and the way he slowly warmed to the rest of the Dregs and actually began joking with them was great. Also, their enemies-to-lovers romance was okay, though I didn’t really care about them. Together they made Kaz’s merry little band complete.

*Dialogue. All the dialogue in this book is genius. Purely amazing. The sarcasm, the wit, the awesomeness that is every word in this book makes me want to read it again and again. There’s a reason this book has 18 pages of quotes on Goodreads (and I think that is still not enough…).

*Diversity and Representation. This book is amazingly so diverse. The characters are a mix of skin tones, and many are bisexual or gay. Nina is curvy and is also considered the most gorgeous of them all. Kaz is also disabled and yet he’s still one of the most feared gangsters in the Barrel. I also love how it doesn’t consume his character or that it isn’t the focus of the story. And Wylan is dyslexic, yet he’s still amazing and smart and it doesn’t make the gang feel any different towards him. They all suffer from PTSD and it’s handled while also not taking over the story which I thought was perfect.

*Plot. The plot was okay. I didn’t really care about the heist, but more about the characters which is a bit surprising, since I LOVE heists. I thought it was just meh and I focused more on the characters than on the plot.


Quote: “Take good care of my babies,” Jesper said as he handed them over to Dirix. “If I see a single scratch or nick on those, I’ll spell forgive me on your chest in bullet holes.”

*Wylan’s POV. My adorable little Wylan did not get his own POV. I would have loved to read his POV and figure out what he was thinking, and how he was coping with Jesper’s constant flirting, and being the only one with a decent conscience compared to the rest of the crew. It was really disappointing that he was left out.

*The Ending. (Note: A friend has pointed out that I might have read this wrong, but until I re-read it, I think I’m going to leave my initial opinion the way it was.) I could tell and feel that there was going to be a trap at the end of the book. The fact that Kaz walked right into it without anticipating it made me upset. I was surprised that he agreed to go to an island picked out by someone else, and even more surprised and frustrated when he realized it was a trap after it was too late. The reason he didn’t give Van Eck Kuwei was because he just wanted to cheat him, not because of a trap, and I felt that that was a little out of character for him.


Quote: “Please, my darling Inej, treasure of my heart, won’t you do me the honor of acquiring me a new hat?” 

I really loved this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The characters are spectacular, the plot was okay, and I can’t wait to read book 2. I’ve definitely found my new favorite book and this is going to be probably at the very top of my favorite books of 2019.

One sentence summary: An okay heist with strong and complex characters.

Overall, 5 stars

★★★★★

Have you read Six of Crows? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for books similar to this? Am I the only one who didn’t really like Nina? Let’s chat in the comments below!

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – Review

Hello everyone!! I hope you all had a great weekend. Today I’m going to review We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. The plot was predictable and the story was slow, however, the characters were hilarious and amazing. I was a bit disappointed because the plot wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be.

Book: We Hunt the Flame

Author: Hafsah Faizal

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.


Quote: “Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.” 

*Nasir and Altair. Words can not begin to describe how amazing both of these guys are. Altair Al-Badawi is annoying, talkative, obnoxious, and a serious pain. Yet I still enjoyed his jokes and endless talking. Nasir Ghameq, the notorious Amir Al-Maut (Prince of Death), was gloomy, very dark, and such a poor boy who’d been wronged too many times in his young life. I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he didn’t have to carry so much pain in his heart. I absolutely loved him. He and Altair were such great platonic friends and made me feel amazing.

*Zafira. She was okay. I didn’t love her, just found her likable. Her strong bond with her best friend and sister of her heart Yasmine was amazing. I also loved how she fed her people in return for nothing, and her decision to fight the sexist views of the Demenhur caliph. She was definitely a strong heroine. Her romance with Nasir was perfect.

*Kifah, Benyamin, and Deen. They were all great side characters. Kifah was strong, ferocious, and not someone to mess with. Benyamin was quietly wise, and the way he treated the rest of the characters like a tired mother was sweet and hilarious. Deen’s love for Zafira and his loyalty was very heartwarming.

*Arabian Rep. The representation was great. There were a lot of Arabic words sprinkled across the story which I really liked. The setting of the story also had the feel of Arabia to it, and I loved reading about the food, and experiencing part of the culture through a wedding.

*Writing. I loved the writing so much. It was super eloquent, and it made me smile reading the Arabic words that were used to emphasize or curse (there was a Glossary and Pronunciation Guide linked). The descriptions were beautiful and it added so much depth and beauty to the story.


Quote: “Promise me,” Yasmine said softly, “that if you die, you will die fighting to return to me.” 

*Plot. I wasn’t really invested in the plot, and it was also pretty slow. The story was also rather predictable and the twists didn’t ‘wow’ me. Not much happened until the last third or fourth of the book. However, I loved the characters and the slow-burn relationships.


Quote: “Maybe the tiny lions were merely ornaments, a display of pride for the victory over a man who defied men, only to be slain by women.”

In the end, I really liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it. The characters were amazing and in my opinion the strongest point of the story, though the plot was predictable. I loved the Arabia aspect and the Arabic words and culture helped enhance the story.

One sentence summary: An amazing Arabia inspired fantasy with phenomenal characters.

Overall, 4 stars!

★★★★☆

Have you read We Hunt the Flame? What did you think? Do you prefer a great plot or awesome characters? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Wicked King by Holly Black – Review

Welcome to another book review my dear friends!! Today, we’ll be reviewing The Wicked King by Holly Black. This was so much better than The Cruel Prince. Jude and Cardan were a lot more interesting, and the plot twists were amazing.

Book: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

Other book in the series: The Cruel Prince (Review)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.


Quote: “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.

*Cardan. Sassy, lazy, and an absolute jerk, but I love him! His smug arrogance and constant bickering with Jude was awesome. I also like that he is actually a broken guy with a good heart but it is the anger and blame placed on him that makes him hurt others. It makes his character a lot more complex. The things he did to save Jude, and the last few chapters made me love him – while simultaneously hating him for that ending – even more.

*Jude. She improved in this book and I felt she was more relate-able. Her struggle with power and making the right decisions were also very realistic. I think that as the story progressed, she grew more power hungry and too harsh on herself especially since she tried to solve every crisis by herself. She was also kind of an anti-hero, since her reasons for controlling Cardan are a lot deeper than just to keep the throne for Oak (that’s what I’m guessing).

*Jurdan?? Cardan and Jude were great. Their fascination with each other was amusing, and I was very happy that they were making some progress to not-hating-each-other-so-much until that catastrophic ending.

*Plot and Character. This was great. I didn’t anticipate many of the plot twists, and I didn’t guess correctly who was behind any of the betrayals. The many alliances and oaths that Jude had made were now catching up to her. The many different problems caused by Locke and Cardan was also very fun to read and I loved the other side characters. I’m not sure if it’s a spoiler to mention who was in this book, so I’ll stay on the safe side and just say they were all great.

*The Ending. The ending also took a different turn than I anticipated. I was so shocked and definitely not expecting anything like that to happen. However, it was realistic and plausible. I can’t wait for book 3!


Quote: “Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.” 

*Taryn, Locke, and Vivi. Taryn’s such an evil and cruel sister. I can’t imagine that she could do that to her own twin. I also passionately hate Locke, especially after the first book, and my feelings about him only intensified in this one. Vivi isn’t necessarily bad, but she made some very very questionable decisions, that I thought were cruel. I think she deserved what happened to her at the end. I originally kind of liked her, but now, not so much.

*Memorable. After two weeks, I was unable to remember the smaller bits of the story. The major plot twists and the ending, I definitely remembered, but not some of the smaller twists. I just think that is a little disappointing that it was so easy for me to forget.


Quote: “If he thought I was bad, I would be worse. If he thought I was cruel, I would be horrifying.” 

Overall, I enjoyed this a lot more than book one, and I’m so excited for the third book. The characters were more likable for me, and the plot wasn’t I’d definitely recommend it, and I hope you love it if you read it!

One sentence summary: A surprising political fantasy with great characters.

Overall, 4 stars

★★★★☆

Have you read The Wicked King? What did you think? Did you enjoy The Cruel Prince better than TWK? Are you excited for The Queen of Nothing? Let’s chat in the comments below!