Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #0.1
Published February 16th 2012 by Bloomsbury

A Throne of Glass novella.

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.
So, ever since I finished reading Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight, I've been bubbling with excitement to get into these prequel novellas! Anything to spend more time with Celaena in her world really - and since book three isn't available for a binge read...yet, this were just what the doctor ordered.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is, chronologically speaking, the first book in the Throne of Glass series.  Which means we get a chance to meet the Celaena that was before the events of Throne of Glass, which I was especially curious about.  Since I've already read ToG and CoM, I can't say for sure what kind of a first impression Miss Sardothien would have had on me here if I'd gone into it with fresh eyes.  As it stands, I already have all kinds of love and admiration for the girl so I was just psyched to see her in action once again. I've had issues with cocky characters in the past but I find it looks good on Celaena.  Swagger on girl!

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord takes us on a whirlwind adventure with assassins and a band of pirates on a remote island.  It read exactly as all novellas should: it was an engaging and satisfying addition to the series while adding further insight into an already well established MC.  Throughout ToG & CoM, I was really curious about Celaena's references to her past, to Sam and to Arobynn, the king of Assassins so shedding some light on those aspects turned out to be a real treat!  I was also a big fan of the sheer the intensity of the plot, especially considering it's a novella and not a full-length novel.

All things considered, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord was a pretty badass read. I honestly don't have anything bad to say about this one, it drew me in from the first pages and left me wanting more.  Good thing I have three more novellas to hold me over till March!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Harry Potter MotW #20

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

  Favorite Magical Item

Oh gosh, this feels completely impossible for me to narrow down to just one...how do you chose a single favorite amongst things like the Marauder's Map, the Pensive, the Sword of of Gryffindor & the Hallows?!  And don't even get this Timelord lover started on the Time-Turner ♥  So bottom line, which item is my favorite?  Well, I'm going to have to go with:

Wand
 "The wand chooses the wizard... it's not always clear why." 
- Ollivander to Harry Potter

A wand is a quasi-sentient magical instrument through which a witch or wizard channels her or his magical powers to centralize the effects for more complex results. 

I would trample over my own mother (sorry mom!) for an actual magic wand!  I absolutely adored JKR's explanation of how wands are used to channel (or hone) one's magical powers.  I also love the use of varying wand woods and cores to make each wand more unique.  My favorite bit of all though is how 'the wand chooses the wizard' I can only imagine what it must feel like to have your wand choose you.

The wand below didn't choose me as much as I chose it, but an exact replica of Harry's wand was the first HP collectors item I needed to have.  I pretty much lost it when my friend surprised me with one for my birthday a few years back :D


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday *59*

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming book releases that we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week:

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times
by Emma Trevayne
Expected Publication: May 13th 2014

Ten-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London.

Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones.

Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son—a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack.

Jack’s wonder at the magic and steam-powered marvels in Londinium lasts until he learns he is the pawn in a very dangerous game. The consequences are deadly, and his only hope of escape, of returning home, lies with a legendary clockwork bird.

The Gearwing grants wishes. Or it did, before it was broken. Before it was killed.

But some things don’t stay dead forever. 


As soon as I laid eyes on that cover, I knew this book was going on my TBR shelf.  A middle-grade Victorian Steampunk story set in a dark and magical London is something one simply can not ignore!  I am over the moon about this one, it features fairies, dragons and enchanted clockwork devices, what's not to love?!

Anyone else jumping up and down over this one?
Don't forget to link me up to your WoW posts :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Harry Potter MotW #19

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

  Most touching moment

Well, I might just come off like a broken record here, but I have to go with the entire chapter 34 of Deathly Hallows: The Forrest Again.  From the moment Harry exits the Pensive my heart began to break for him .  The amount of character growth he goes through as he realizes what the final step in Dumbledore's plan is almost to much to bear. Then he makes his way out of Hogwarts, seeing all the carnage on the way...well, on the way to the forest. And the stone. And his family. And his death.    Aaand all the feels!! *bawls*

I'm not kidding, I almost always tear up reading that chapter; Harry's courage and selflessness are just so moving.  I can't even. *sniffle*

(*Close runner-up: When Harry completely destroys Dumbledore's office after losing Sirius.  Harry's pain is so raw and to finally get most of the truth from Dumbledore at that point.  Not to mention how they Dumbledore interacts with Harry throughout...his sadness over the burden he is passing on to Harry? So many feels!!*)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday *58*

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming book releases that we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week:

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
The Throne of Glass Novellas
Expected Publication: March 13th 2014

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.
There was no way I wasn't featuring this pretty this week. No way.  Even though I just purchased the 4 existing novellas a few weeks ago, I want to be first in line to get The Assassin's Blade in all it's physical glory! And doesn't it look bloody breathtaking guys?!?  I am fangirling so hard over this series (and Sarah J. Maas for that matter) that anything relating to Throne of Glass instantly takes priority ♥  Added bonus: this comes out 3 days after my birthday and on the very day of mine & my boy's anniversary!  So, I guess I'll hold off on jumping in...till the day after the release ;)

Who else is excited for this gem??
Remember to link me up to your WoW post!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Harry Potter MotW #18

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

  Favorite moment in Book 4

Oh, this is making me wish I'd re-read the books again this year like I meant to, I feel like I'll overlook some scenes and details...especially since Goblet of Fire is such a huge book! I mean, there's a LOT of stuff going on in this one - who could forget Malfoy getting turned into a ferret?!  Or Harry offering up his Triwizard winnings to Fred & George!  So yeah,as expected my answer is once again a bit of a toss up.  I think my absolute favorite moment in GoF is:

When Harry & Ron become friends again after the 1st TriWizard Task


I remember being super bummed out when Ron & Harry had their falling out - Harry had once again found himself hated by almost everyone in Hogwarts; he needed Ron more than ever but poor Ron just wanted to get out of 'The Boy Who Lived's shadow. Sigh.  I remember feeling absolute bliss when they finally got together again ♥

However, I think the most epic & memorable scene in the entire book is when Voldemort comes back to life.  That scene is chilling, horrific and sheer evil yes, but it was also inevitable.  Harry once again faces up with his now living nightmare and he survives. Again. So yeah, it's not really my 'favorite' scene but I just had to mention it anyways because of how significant it is to the series as a whole.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday *57*

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming book releases that we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week:

Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Avalon # 1
Expected Publication: January 21, 2014

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.
Ok, is it just me, or does this premise sound kind of cool? More like...super cool!  The wicked speedy time-travel aspect sounds brilliant on it's own but when you combine it with an empire of crime lords controlling space = Awesome.  And guys, then there's going to be a conspiracy!  YAY :D  I can't wait to discover all the mysteries this story obviously contains...I'm hoping I can crack open my copy soon!

Side note: Avalon is supposed to be perfect for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly. - I haven't watched Firefly but I've heard a million good things so I'm hoping to get into it soon...I just think it sucks that there's only one season!  Any fans of the show out there?  Let me know :)

Link me up to your WoW posts!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Harry Potter MotW #17

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Upcoming topics & how to join here.

  Death Eaters vs. Order of the Phoenix, who would you choose? 

Finally, a question I can tackle with one clear answer - YAY!  *slow clap*  Without a doubt, I would choose:
The Order of the Phoenix

I truly believe it wouldn't have taken long for me to want to follow or join up with Albus Dumbledore (especially his true book-version) so the idea of a secret society, founded by the man himself is a no-brainer for me.  I mean, the name has 'Phoenix' in it! ♥  I almost wouldn't care what they were up to, to be honest, but the fact that it was to join the good fight against the Dark Lord and his minions?  Oh, I am so in.  Gryffindor Pride!  I'm not going to lie though, a big plus to all this: being able to spend some quality time with a young Sirius...Lupin, James & Lily, Mad-Eye and the Longbottoms.  Sigh.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday *56*

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming book releases that we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week:

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Expected Publication Date: January 28th 2014

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

I love, love LOVE the idea of a fairytale retelling where the female lead is a warrior-type!  It's a nice twist on the traditional fairytales where girls were usually the 'damsel-in-distress'-types.  I'm also really liking how the castle is described - especially the bit about the maze since I think stories featuring mazes are awesome.

Happy hump-day everyone & don't forget to link me up to your WoW :)