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February 13, 2014 • Cee • Holy Mother Cover

judgingabookbyitscoverSTpng

Inspired by Pure Imagination Blog and Stacked.

Let’s be honest, nobody follows the age-old cliché that tells us not to judge a book by its covers. If you say you do, I am side-eying you. Book covers are the first thing that attracts any of us readers to a book. Before you pick up a book, the cover can essentially make or break a book. If I don’t like a cover design, I won’t pick it up. Lucky for us, publishing companies publish different cover designs, especially when a paperback book comes out. Sometimes we like it, sometimes we don’t. Let’s discuss these cover changes, shall we?

Today, we look at the cover of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas!

This is a no-brainer. The paperback has the superior cover. Hands down! Just look at it!

SO BADASS.

I just love everything about it — the detail in her outfit (so frickin’ awesome and gorgeous); her hair whipping to the side; her armor, her belts, her weapon holders; the way she’s wielding her swords; and the way she looks like she’s stalking out from a fog, ready to kick ass! AHHHH. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Seriously, she is armed to the T. I don’t know why, but her bare feet makes her even more awesome. That stealth. I would not want to cross her path.

Whereas, the hardcover fails to leave an impression on me. Sure, the dagger attached to her biceps is kind of cool and all, but that’s about it. The way she’s positioned with her head turned towards the reader and her hand tightened into a fist is really awkward. It just look like she’s flexing her muscles. Like what even? Does she want an arm wrestle or something?

The paperback is a major upgrade. You better agree with me or we will have words. ;)

Which cover design do you prefer? Is there anything you would change in the covers?





August 30, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

Sarah J. Maas - ToG .3The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass #0.3) by Sarah J. Maas
May 1, 2012
Bloomsbury Children’s
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When the King of the Assassins gives Celaena Sardothien a special assignment that will help fight slavery in the kingdom, she jumps at the chance to strike a blow against an evil practice. The misson is a dark and deadly affair which takes Celaena from the rooftops of the city to the bottom of the sewer—and she doesn’t like what she finds there.

myreview

First sentence: “The cavernous entrance hall of the Assassin’s Keep was silent as Celaena Sardothien stalked across the marble floor, a letter clutched between her fingers.”

In The Assassin and the Underworld, Celaena has returned to the Assassin’s Keep after three months in the desert. When she gets back, Arobynn is apologetic and showers her with lavish gifts. He commissions her to kill Doneval, a businessman from Melisande, and retrieve important documents to prevent a slave-trade business from occurring. Celaena prepares herself by staking out Doneval’s place with the help of Sam, who reveal a part of himself to Celaena. And then something happens, revealing everything and everyone is not what it/they seem to be.

I enjoyed this novella a lot more than the other two. I think most of it had to do with all the Sam and Celaena interactions. All the scenes made my heart want to burst out of my chest. They like each other. It’s so obvious! And Sam is too cute. Of course, he’d do something so sweet to make Celaena happy and something so selfless to protect her. Where can I get a guy like him?

Another reason why I enjoyed this novella was because we get to see Celaena in action and see how she makes mistakes. (I complained about the lack of it in previous novellas.) It was interesting to see how she wasn’t entirely successful in her infiltration of Doneval’s house. She made mistakes that led to her capture. I liked that we saw she had been too blinded to see Arobynn’s true motives and see that she had been misled. A real critical error on her part to trust Arobynn.

I was extremely fascinated by Sam’s comment about Lysandra, a courtesan who’s getting ready for her upcoming Bidding. He claimed that Lysandra annoyed Celaena and did shit things to her because Lysandra wanted Celaena’s attention and acknowledgement. So interesting because despite not liking each other, they both yearn for acknowledgement from those who are much powerful than them. Here are two females who live in an extremely male society. They need acceptance and they don’t get it from each other. However, I was  discouraged that yet another female is portrayed in a negative light. 

I wonder what the next novella will show us – in Celaena’s growth as an assassin and her budding romance with Sam.

gradeB+

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Sarah J. Maas - ToG .4The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass #0.4) by Sarah J. Maas
July 20, 2012
Bloomsbury Children’s
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Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . .

myreview

First sentence: “Curled into the corner of a prison wagon, Celaena Sardothien watched the splotches of shadows and light play on the wall.”

The Assassin and the Empire is set a month after Celaena and Sam left Arobynn’s home, trying to find their way out from under Arobynn’s thumb. They decide that, to truly escape Arobynn’s hold on them, they have to leave the Assassin’s Guild and leave Rifthold. However, they do not have enough money to sustain them. Sam finds a job for them, to kill Ioan Jayne, the biggest crime lord in Rifthold, and Farran, Jayne’s right hand man. However, things do not go as expected. This novella sets up how Celaena ended up where she is in Throne of Glass.

I didn’t enjoy this novella as much as I did the previous one. A large part of that had to do with Celaena’s naivety. Even though she’s knows not to trust Arobynn, she does it anyway. I would be extremely suspicious of Arobynn’s motives, even if he shows regret or whatever because of the shit things he’s done. Arobynn shouldn’t be trusted whatsoever. When Celaena wonders who betrayed her at the end, I’m like JUST THINK, CELAENA. I find it interesting that Celaena is not as observant as she thinks she is. If she really had been, then she would’ve seen this coming; she wouldn’t have played into Arobynn’s hands. This flaw of Celaena shows that she still has a lot to learn.

My favorite scenes are: 1. after Celaena sees Farran torture a prisoner, she thinks about her own actions and killings (love this scene because she acknowledges that she is, in a way, no different than Farran), 2. when Celaena waits and waits and waits for Sam to come home (my heart breaks because y’know, the tragic thing that happens is just terrible and ahhhh), and 3. when the King speaks to Celaena in the dungeons (I find their interaction interesting because he’s an asshole and she tries to maintain herself.)

I don’t want to spoil anything that happens in the novella, but it certainly is a good read.

gradeC+





July 5, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

Sarah J. Maas - ToG .2The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass #0.2) by Sarah J. Maas
March 30, 2012
Bloomsbury Children’s
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The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.

myreview

First sentence: “There was nothing left in the world except sand and wind.”

We are a couple months after the events of  The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, Arobynn Hamel had punished Celaena by beating her and sending her out to the desert to be trained by the Mute Master of the Silent Assassin. 

This was kind of hard for me to get into. I blame the weather. (It’s been extremely stuffy-hot, which is completely unbearable to me. It’s fitting though – the weather. As I read The Assassin and the Desert, I felt like I was with Celaena as she trekked through the hot desert.) Though, I did eventually got sucked into the story during the halfway point when Ansel, a girl that’s training under the Silent Assassin, took Celaena to the Xandria on some business for the Mute Master. That was when the story moved forward, whereas I felt everything before was stagnant.

I really enjoyed Ansel more than I did with Celaena. She’s a different She’s a nice contrast to Celaena’s serious, arrogant personality. Ansel’s personality and actions show that assassins are capable of smiling and having fun (even though we find out it was a ruse). Life should be lived, fun should be had. When Ansel’s true personality/mission was revealed, I was saddened by it, but her actions are important to show Celaena’s growth and moral conduct . 

This novella sets up the difference between Adarlan’s Assassins and other assassins (like the Silent Assassins). For Adarlan’s Assassin, they are subjected to an environment that rewards brutality, and forces these particular assassins to see each other as enemies. Their three rules would be: “1. Look out for number one, 2. No weakness, and 3. Be vicious.” And for the Silent Assassins, everybody learn from each other.  They genuinely value what everybody has to bring to the table. I enjoy seeing the differences and seeing how Celaena continues to grow disillusioned by Arobynn’s treatment of his assassins. I wonder what the next novella will bring us.

gradeC+





June 29, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

Sarah J. Maas - ToG .1The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass #0.1) by Sarah J. Maas
January 13, 2012
Bloomsbury Children’s

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On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.myreview

First sentence: “Seated in the council room of the Assassin’s Keep, Celaena Sardothien leaned back in her chair.”

What we have in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is an introduction into the Throne of Glass world and Celaena Sardothien, the main character/teenage assassin. We see her and another assassin, Sam Cortland, on a mission to collect something from Captain Rolfe for their leader/mentor, Arobynn Hamel. The mission was to collect slaves, but Celaena, with the help of Sam, have other plans. 

I really love the way Calaena was portrayed. She still has her morals and isn’t coldhearted (ie. freeing the slaves). However, I had a problem with her arrogance, which I found to be really unattractive. I understand that her arrogance and her brash attitude emphasizes that she still has a lot to learn and has yet to lose anything. Also, I had expected Celaena to showcase her talents in the novella, but nope. We get a mild version of it – Celaena fighting. No assassin-y type actions, which disappointed me.

The novella was an okay introduction to this world that Sarah J. Maas created. It set up the relationship between Sam and Celaena nicely, which I have a feeling will be extremely important in the first book. It really made me ask questions about the assassins and it made me interested to see how everything will be developed. However, I felt there was something lacking in the plot that made me hesitant to grasp onto the next novella/book. Despite that, I will continue. I’m sure my heart will be ripped out of my chest since I’m hearing Sam becomes the catalyst of some sort of change in Celaena. gradeC+