Friday, January 31, 2014

Way of Kings RAL Week 5

Well, I'm a few days late but I'm here and ready to jump into our 5th week of our read along of Brandon Sanderson's Way of Kings.  We got to experience the return to action of both Jasnah and Shallan, which was awesome!  Things have certainly taken a turn when it comes to  Dalinar and Kaladin on for more:

*Week 5 - Chapters 28 - 32
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

1.Dalinar made a very dramatic decision at the beginning of this section.  Do you think it was the right one? What do you think will happen to him, Adolin and (and the not-united Alethi) if he follows through?

Personally, I don't think that Dalinar made the right decision, although I can certainly understand why he came to make the choice he did. Maybe if I were in his shoes, I would have chosen the same.  He can't help but doubt himself now and regardless, he feels his son is better suited to lead his men.  I do think that Adolin would likely make a fine leader but I also feel like if Dalinar does step down, Adolin could call on him again - especially if a Desolation looms on the horizon.  So I'm still holding out hope that Dalinar will get his chance to 'unite them' may just take drastic events to bring that change on.

2.We’ve gotten to see a little more of Shinovar with Rysn the apprentice merchant.  In terms of plants and animals, it seems to be pretty much like our world.  How do you think it happened that there’s such an ‘ordinary’ place, or what do you think might have happened to turn the rest of the world so unusual?  Given this and the chapter on Szeth, do you have any more ideas on what the meaning of his "Truthless" title might be?

I was also struck by how Shinovar was so like our own world.  I wonder if that's a bad thing in Sanderson's world - like maybe the way the Shin live caused the magic to leak out of their surroundings or something o_O  but I might be way off...  I'm still not entirely sure what my take on Szeth's ''Truthless'' title but I will say that Szeth himself seems like he could be an incredibly dangerous man in the wrong hands - and he seems to have fallen into the worst possible hands ever.*shudders*

3.  Shallan and Jasnah’s story has returned!  Based on Jasnah’s words to Dalinar, and the clues Shallan is picking up, what do you think Jasnah’s project is about?  What do you think she hopes to accomplish? 

YAY! It was about time our two main ladies returned, I was really missing both of them!  I think Jasnah is definitely researching something that ties into both her Father's death and the ancient past. I think she has begun to uncover some warning signs and that her thirst for knowledge might offer these people a chance at surviving when things start hitting the fan.  I wonder if Jasnah isn't working off of things her father might have said near the end of his reign...

4. Concerning Shallan, it’s starting to seem that her drawing ability is a supernatural gift. Do you have any theories on the bizarre figures Shallan accidentally drew behind the king? 

That was sooo weird, I'm super curious to learn more about the figures Shallan added behind the king.  Was is something only she could see or did she have a vision of creatures from the past, that shouldn't exist in the present world?!  She clearly has an amazing gift so I hope it will keep developing further.  On an aside, I'm growing even more worried about Shallan's motives, especially her family's joint motives.  Her brother Nan Balat is clearly cruel and disturbed so I'm not sure how trustworthy his words are.  Shallan herself hinted that their family's past hides something tragic - I just hope she ends up using her abilities for good.

5. Back to the bridge crews, now that we’ve seen a bit more into Gaz’s perspective, does he seem any more sympathetic?  Why do you think he owes Lamaril money?

Well, Gaz's perspective did make me feel for him.  It's clear he is battling his own demons and he seems to hide a complicated past.  It did help to see him struggle a bit with almost doing the right thing, but then he went ahead and made the wrong choice anyway! Gah!  I hope he turns it around again but at this point I'm not too sure...what with the way our current section ended. *blinks* Oh and  I was under the impression that hid debt to Lamaril was of the gambling nature but I could be wrong.

6. Kaladin has won over his bridge crew, and enacted a brilliant plan to protect them—which utterly ruined the military strategy. Do you think his plan was a good one, or should he have seen the chaos coming? What do you think will happen to him next?  Also, what do you think he’ll do if he figures out the real reason why bridgemen aren’t allowed shields?

I feel like there's no way Kaladin could have anticipated how far reaching his actions would lead...I certainly didn't but I might have been blinded by just outright rooting for him so freaking hard! >.<  Poor guy!  I'm quite worried about him at the moment and eager to learn his fate.  I hope word reaches the right people *cough* Dalinar & co. *cough* so that help might come to Kaladin and the brdige 4 crew.

*Extra Bits*

It might be just me that was slow to clue in, but Szeth having the ability to infuse himself with Stormlight just like Kaladin seems to strikes me as both exciting and ominous.  Was I the only one to miss that link?!    I feel like the more we learn about these characters and their abilities/gifts just raises all the more questions! 

That scene with Kaladin and his inebriated father was pretty intense! I was terrified things would take a turn for the worse - I keep dreading tragedy in those flashbacks - same with Dalinar's vision scenes. Yikes!

Harry Potter MotW #27

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.

  Deathly Hallows: Wand, Cloak or Stone?

This one is a no-brainer for me.  After all the ways Harry made use of it, it proved it's worth a million times over:
The Invisibility Cloak
A Cloak of Invisibility which endures eternally, giving constant and impenetrable concealment, no matter what spells are cast at it. - Xenophelius Lovegood

I have to admit that I adore the idea of the Deathly Hallows combined and how Harry managed to wield all 3 items but to me the wand and the stone are both a bit more scary then they're worth.  And I'm not going to lie, being able to sneak around Hogwarts undetected and explore all it's secret rooms and passages sounds seems to me like a mandatory way to attend a magical school!!

Here's more about the information about the cloak...
The Cloak of Invisibility is a magical artifact used to render the wearer invisible. It is also the third and final of the three Deathly Hallows, and in The Tale of the Three Brothers, was the only Hallow that Death did not manufacture upon his encounter with the Peverells, it having been already in his possession at that time; he had to give it up to fulfill Ignotus' request to evade death until the end of his mortal days.  It was the only known invisibility cloak that would not fade with age and would provide everlasting protection to the wearer, something no normal invisibility cloak could provide. As such, it was the only Hallow known to have been successfully passed down from generation to generation since Ignotus' time. In 1991 it passed to the possession of Harry Potter who used it to great success in the Second Wizarding War and resolved to pass it down to his own children. - Harry Potter Wikia

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Harry Potter MotW # 26

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.

  Best Weasley's Wizard Wheezes Product

Ohh this is a fun topic!!  I mean let's face it, the Weasley twins were absolutely geniuses when it comes to this stuff.  I was totally floored by the wide range of their products and I could probably talk about each and every one of them for ages!  Some like the Extendable Ears would be dead useful - so long as Crookshanks doesn't happen to stroll by.  And I can see their Patented Daydream Charm being something I would run out to get...but I'm not a fan of their side-effects, which include drooling and a dazed expression.  School is no place to start drooling unless you're looking to get teased >.<  So I guess my pick this week is:

I have a feeling that this think could be incredibly handy to have - especially in a place like Hogwarts! It would totally make me feel like Batman too (I am the night) being able to conjure up absolute darkness like that.  First though, I'd need to see if Draco would lend me his Hand of Glory hehe

Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder is a magical item imported by Fred and George Weasley and sold by Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. This darkness powder creates darkness when used, allowing the user to escape. As its name indicates, it was originally invented by the wizarding community in Peru, which is the place from which the Weasley twins import the powder. The darkness produced was resistant to many light-casting spells, but the Hand of Glory is the one known way to find the way through it.- Harry Potter Wikia

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday *65*

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:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments #6
Expected Publication: May 27th 2014


I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!
I know. I know. Sigh....  Some of you may know about some of the issues I've had with this series but I can't help it: after 5 books, you kind of have to know how the series is going to end!  I'm hoping Miss C.C. will pull out all the stops and impress me but I guess we'll have to wait and see.  Honestly I am curious about how Magnus will fare, but that is it.  Ok, ok, I guess I'm wondering about Simon, Alec and Isabella too.  And I always have had a soft spot for Jace... *groan*  Anyways I hope it's good and I'll leave it at that, for now.  Hey who knows; maybe once I finish this series I'll actually move on to The Infernal Devices. Finally. >.<

Thoughts?! I know I'm in the minority here so I'm sure all you hardcore TMI fans are suuper psyched about this one, especially with the cover just being released!
Share your thoughts below, and don't forget to link me up to your post :-D

Way of Kings RAL Week 4

This is the 4th week of our Brandon Sanderson's Way of Kings read along and this week I am the host! (Hi!)  It's kind of incredible how this story starts out epic and just continues to suck you in more and more as you go.  The way Sanderson manages to flawlessly weave his world-building into the story, piece by piece the world just expands right before your eyes! Gah! I'm in awe, and I'm gushing so, moving on...  Remember, anyone is welcome to join in at any time here so if you've been meaning to read this one it's not too late to hop on board.

*Week 4 - Chapters 20 - 27
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

1.  We seem to be getting more and more proof that there is some ''luck'' or magic at play when it comes to Kaladin's safety,  survival and his skills - especially during those battle scenes.  Even when performing that Kata in the Chasm, there was something  incredible about his movements according to the rest of the crew. Initially the blade seemed to be the source of his skills (to me at least), what do you think might be fueling his powers?  Do you think they're getting stronger?

He must be connected to the Radiants of old, right??!  But what kind of throws me off is that he lost his Shard be he still has all the epic battle skills?  I wonder if there isn't even more to it than that.  He clearly doesn't need any storms or even to feel true danger to be able to blow people away so I'm kind of dying to find out his secrets...

2. We were introduced to Navani, King Gavilar's widow and the current King Elhokar's mother.  What was your initial impression of her?  There seems to be some complicated history between her and Dalinar,  do you think she might end up being an ally or an eventual hindrance?

I wonder about her, she might have really had feelings for Dalinar - and she may still but I'm still not sure about seems she may have played with Dalinar's heart a bit.  BUT maybe she can offer some help if King Gavilar went through something similar, she's the only one who could offer any kind of perspective to Dalinar.  God know he sure could use an ally at the moment o_O

3. What did you make of Sadeas' maneuver against Dalinar to gain the King's favor by being named the High Prince of Information?  How do you reconcile his actions with the advice Dalinar received ''to trust'' Sadeas?

Ugh, Sadeas is really rubbing me the wrong way.  He seems so conniving but at the same time it almost seems too obvious to suspect him of anything more than being opportunistic.  I'm really beginning to wonder if Dalinar can truly trust him at all - maybe he's just meant to not focus his attention on him because he should focus it elsewhere but I'm not convinced that means he can trust him.

4. Where you surprised when Rock admitted to Kaladin that he was seemingly born being able to see the Spren and therefore could see Syl following Kaladin around? That led to a pivotal point for Kaladin, gaining Rock's favor and then Teft's.  What were your thoughts on that whole scene? Can you speculate as to why some people are able to see the spren when others can not?

I was floored by the revelation that Rack could see Syl - and his people sound fascinating to be able to see what they see and the fact that they sort of worship the Spren too! I think maybe more spiritual cultures might be more connected to the Spren but that is complete speculation at this point. More than anything though, I was relieved that Kaladin finally had someone in his corner.  He's such a honorable man, I can't imagine him not gaining some followers as people get to spend more time with him.  I think Rock and Teft really changed the game and I really want to see where it all will go from here.

5.  We got to see Adolin confront his father Dalinar because of his visions and lay all his cards on the table. Clearly Adolin thinks his father is losing it and his words seemed to shake Dalinar's own convictions as well.  Do you think this will have a lasting effect on Dalinar's belief in his visions? Not to mention his acting on them?  Moreover, do you think Adolin will ever be convinced that there is more to Dalinar's visions any time soon?

That was such a poignant scene, because I can understand why Adolin is worried for his father but at the same time I think Dalinar's visions are real and that he really is getting messages from the Almighty.  The confrontation certainly seemed to shake Dalinar and have him question his convictions but the way he felt repulsed on the battlefield makes me think Dalinar himself is changing at his very core because of these visions and soon he won't be able to pretend anymore, he'll have to follow his purpose.

6.  As if in further indication of Dalinar and Kaladin's collision course towards one another, Dalinar has agreed to train a bridge crew - without putting them directly into assault or harm's way (of course, love these two!!) do you think their joined efforts might be enough to change the way the the other High Princes  go about things during battle?  Especially Sadeas?

I honestly can not wait for these two to cross paths!!  I think that if Dalinar is successful with a bridge crew with minimal risk for the bridgemen, he could completely change the way they all do battle.  Not to mention hsi regard for the bridgemen might convince Kaladin that all lighteyes aren't evil.  Anyways these two NEED to team up and kick some serious butt!

Extra bits: 

As always, the flashbacks to Kaladin's youth are uber-insightful and compelling.  So much of the details we get there are relevant to how Kaladin acts and thinks today...and seeing his childhood with his family and friends just adds a whole other layer to his character.

* I'm curious about the statement that Dalinar doesn't lie - only because it almost sounded like he was incapable of lying, but that might just be the way I took it >.<

* I loved that bit at the King's supper with Wit and how he literally insulted everyone that passed by except Dalinar.  I was already a fan of Wit but that made me love him even more!

Don't forget to check out all the other posts for this week's read-along questions:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: The Assassin and the Underworld

The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #0.3
Published May 1st 2012 by Bloomsbury

A Throne of Glass Novella

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 mission 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.
The Assassin and the Underworld is the third of four Throne of Glass prequel novellas that are out at the moment.  I realize I may have said this for the previous two, but I think this one is my favorite out of the bunch - so far. I absolutely adore how Sarah J. Maas made all these seperate novellas tie into a larger story arc, while still having them stand alone as seperate adventures!  I don't know how she does it, but Celaena seems to get more and more epic with every single installment.

This was the story I'd been eager to get into since I started these novellas because this novella features Celaena in her element.  Before how things are in the begining of Throne of Glass, this would have been her life with the people she was closest too - Arobyn, the king of the Assassins and Celaena's mentor is featured prominently in this story; not to mention Sam.  I'd always been curious as to what Celaena's life was like before her whole world turned over and The Assassin and the Underworld delivered just that.  The plot was very satisfying, not to mention compelling and addictive, just as I've come to expect from a Sarah J. Maas novel.

I'm a big fan of how Celaena continually grows as a character with every new story - I read both Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight before I read these but I'm sure her character evolution is even more apparent when the books are read in chronological order.  As usual, Celana's strong personality is her best feature.  It not only cements her bravery and fierceness; it's also what makes these books so enthralling. She can make you laugh one moment - like that liquor bath scene, and make you want to cry in the next.   Celaena is still as innocent as one can be, having lived her life as an assassin but there are also telltale signs of the woman she becomes as the series proper. It's quite clear that Miss Maas always had a clear plan as to where her storyline and her heroine were going.

As I mentioned, we get to become properly introduced to Arobyn, Celaena's mention thus far.  I knew her would be both formidable and honestly, terrifying and he did not dissapoint.  They certainly don't call him the King of Assassins for nothing!  The standout for me though was getting to know Sam even better.  I ♥ Sam, there's no other way to put it - he's a wonderful character and I adore discovering more about him.  After being introduced to him in the first novella, and him being absent in the second I'd held out hope that we'd  have more time with him and he certainly did not disappoint!

These novellas keep getting better and better in my opinion. I appreciated the allusions to things we've seen in the previous novellas, as well as the foreshadowing of things to come in the Throne of Glass books.   A riveting addition to the series, I give The Assassin and the Underworld five glowing stars and I once again strongly recommend these novellas to any and all of the Throne of Glass fans who haven't picked these up yet!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #25

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.

  Favourite Sweet Treat in the Books

I do believe I will be cheating profusely this week - there are just too many tasty treats I'd *need* to sink my teeth into before I could say for sure: Pumpkin Pasties sound truly magical and wonderful!  And who could resist Cauldron Cakes!  Now there's a witchy treat I could totally see stuffing my face with!  Anyways, when all is said and done, I think the sweet treat I am the most curious about would be:


I've always liked buttery treats like butterscotch and caramel so I can totally see getting completely addicted to this drink!  The fact that it seems to bring complete bliss to those who drinks it only makes me more curious to have a taste!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Way of Kings RAL Week 3

Can you guys believe it's the third week of our read-along already?!  Pretty awesome right?  Things certainly have been developing nicely plot wise - the more I read, the more I feel I *need* to know what's going to happen next for all these characters!  This week is hosted by Lynn over at Lynn's Book Blog so head on over there to link up and/or check out the other posts :)

*Week 3 - Chapter 13 - 19*
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

1. After the Chasmfiend attack there were a number of altercations.  Two of these that particularly drew my interest were: the little scene where Wit ridiculed Sadeas - which seems to be a dangerous thing to do given that this could result in a duel or assassination - any ideas about why Wit seems to enjoy provoking Sadeas so much and: during the discussion with the King, Dalinar and Adolin - it seemed that the King became fleetingly suspicious - and later in the story the same look of suspicion crossed his features again during conversation with Dalinar.  What do you think is going on in the King’s head in relation to Dalinar?

I actually quite enjoyed the scene with Wit and Sadeas!  As much as Sadeas seems to be honorable at the core, something about him rubs me the wrong way and I was pleased to see him put in his place; especially in such a public fashion.  Not to mention right after Sadeas had tried to publicly humiliate Dalinar.  The scene with the King, Dalinar and Adolin was particularily charged and I wonder if the King is simply becoming more and more paranoid as the time passes.  He seems a bit unsure in his leadership still and having Dalinar remind the King of his father (who he seems to feel was a better king than he is) may only be adding to those feelings.

2. We seemed to get a little more insight about why the bridgemen are not given shields of protection - what did you think of the reasoning behind this and what do you make of Sadeas - is he trustworthy or not?

I think not giving the bridgemen shields is still pretty horrible - even with the new understanding we gained on the whole thing.  I think Sadeas is trustworthy were the King is conserned - and possibly even where Dalinar is concerned but I don't perticularily like his character.  He seems to like to stir up trouble and his disregard for the bridgemen irks me.

3.  Elhokar has suspicions about attempts on his life - is he paranoid or not and, if not, who do you suspect might be responsible?

Honestly I'm still of two minds about the whole thing -  Elhokar certainly is paranoid, but he also might have reason to be. It might have been an accident but at the same time the situation seems oddly suspicious. If it was an assassination attempt, I haven't the faintest idea who might be behind the wasn't an especially cunning attempt, but that doesn't really narrow it down enough for me just yet.

4. Kaladin is a very intriguing character, what did you make of the latest bridge scene where he put himself at the front of the bridge and then his actions following that?  Did you think it revealed anything more about him?

I'm loving Kaladin more and more as we move forward in the story!  He's truly admirable and heroic and I think the way he acted in the latest bridge scene will change the way the rest of the crew see him.  He might be putting himself at risk but it seems to be paying off and I'm really liking how the transformation is giving him focus and making him feel closer to his father.  He's fulfilling his roles as a soldier and a healer all at once!

5. During Elhokar and Dalinar’s later discussion the king said that Dalinar was becoming more like Gavilar near to his end ‘When he began to act … erratically”  It seems like Dalinar is becoming more like his brother.  Do you think this is significant??

I think it is very significant, because Gavilar seemed like quite the admirable King and his mission to unite the people is a noble one.  I feel like Dalinar's gift/burden might turn out to be a higher calling that the Elhokar's as King....if only Dalinar can convince everyone he isn't losing his mind that is.

6. We finally witness one of Dalinar’s visions.  Do you think there is any significance about the visions always taking place during a storm and what were your feelings about this particular vision?

That vision was something else wasn't it?!  It solidified my impression that Dalinar is connected to the Knights Radiant of the past.  His calling is becoming a bit more clear with all the detail that vision provided.  His visions seem to be saying that history is on the verge of repeating itself and that the lost Radiants...not to mention a Desolation might be on the horizon!!  It seemed like the vision showed us the arrival of the Knights Radiant of old and they litterally invited Dalinar to fight with them!  I hope we get to learn more about the Radiants of old; not to mention who other possible new Radiants might be :D

Extra bits:

-The battle with the Chasmfiend was seriously made of awesome.  The way it started with Dalinar counting his heartbeats as the battle raged on added to the intensity and just the whole thing really amazing to read!

-Anyone else think it's odd that Dalinar has completely forgotten his wife??  And later on he seemed to allude that he had had something done to actually forget about her...I'm going to need more information on all that hehe.

-Dalinar & Kaladin seem to be on a destined collision course with one they have some joined sort of a mission or purpose but I feel like they'll be runing into one another soon enough and I honestly can not wait for it to happen! 

Waiting on Wednesday *64*

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:

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani
The School for Good & Evil #2
Expected Publication : April 15th 2014

When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within.
I'm very curious to see what Chainani has in store for us in the sequel to A School for Good & Evil.  The ending had quite a bit of suspense as to where the story might go from here and a lot of questions were left unanswered so I'm definitely feeling like I need some resolution here.  I feel like this story has a lot of potential to grow from here - the world certainly was imaginative and brimming with possibilities so I'm quite eager to find out what direction the story will take next!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #24

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.

  Favourite moment in Book 5

This is a daunting question, if only because OotP is such a massive read.  There are a lot of moments to chose from to be sure but looking back, I think my favorite moment is:

Harry & Dumbledore's end-of-the-year chat

These chats happen at the end of virtually every book but this one was especially poignant.  I was glad that Harry was finally able to voice (and express) some of the anger he was feeling over the sudden loss of Sirius - not to mention feeling completely shut-out and isolated for the duration of the book.  I appreciated Dumbledore allowing Harry to completely trash his office and his belongings but I was especially happy that Harry finally got some straight answers and much of the truth (but not all of it, of course!) about his destiny where Voldemort is concerned.  I think it was the perfect time for all of this to go down though, cause Harry was finally ready to hear it all.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Way of Kings RAL Week 2

This is our second week for the read-along and for some reason, I kept thinking the post had to go up Tuesday (Yesterday) so I was actually ready in advance :O  I just wish I'd actually had time to read ahead some. D'oh!  Anyways, this week, our host is Lisa of Over the Effing Rainbow 

*Week 2 - Chapter 7 - 12*
Caution: Major Spoilers Ahead!

1. Shallan's determination pays off, but Jasnah Kholin seems to change her mind a bit suddenly, and when Shallan isn't expecting her to. She mentions knowing of Shallan's family... Do you think perhaps she knows more than she admits? Or is she really just a bit more soft-hearted than she lets on?

I think Jasnah was genuinely expecting Shallan to show up again.  To me it just seemed like another test on Jasnah's part to gauge Shallan's perseverance.  She must have decided that if Shallan did show up again, she'd reconsider.  I definitely wouldn't rule out that Jashan may know more about Shallan's situation than she's letting on, but I don't think she knows the entire truth.

2. Yalb comes to the bargaining rescue as Shallan tries to buy books... Do you think there's going to be a bigger part in events for him to play?

So far I'm really enjoying Yalb's character; there even seems to be some slight romantic tension between him and Shallan. I did find it almost a bit too convenient that he showed up to help her right when he did but so far he's been nothing but helpful and endearing so I'm holding out hope that he doesn't have ulterior motives.  I mean, he could have been keeping an eye on Shallan without her knowing it!
3. Part One ends with a ray of hope for Kaladin, as he rediscovers a sense of purpose... What did you think of the scene in the Honour Chasm, and then with Gaz afterward?

That was quite the charged and poignant scene wasn't it?? I was especially struck by the part Syl played in changing Kaladin's mind.  I'm glad she encouraged him not to give up and to fight again but I was especially surprised that she remembered things about Kaladin's past. Whaaa?!. That was cool!  I thought that that bit with Gaz at the end was kind of brilliant and I can't wait to find out how Kaladin will make out now that he's started to hope again.
4. We catch up with Szeth for an interlude, and things are very different for him... What do you make of his choice to enslave himself - if it is in fact a choice...?

I thought that was especially sad - because the sentence is self-imposed, isn't it.  He may be following orders from the Parshendi but he still seems to think he deserves his faith.  At the very least, he clearly feels an awful lot of remorse about his actions at the start of the book and to me he genuinely seems to be trying to make amends the only way he can.  I wonder if someone will eventually intervene for him though and possibly give him another "mission".

5. We also meet Dalinar Kholin, Jasnah's father, and get something of a hint that he's important where the Radiants are concerned... What do you think Dalinar's 'fits' might mean?

Now this HAS to work into the mythology of this story!!  Dalinar really does seem to be getting messages of some divine source.  And I think he must be tied into what went down in the Prelude in some way. As far as the plot goes though, I think he really is a game changer - whatever he decides to do (act on his 'visions' or not) will directly affect the outcome of this story.  He's quite the intriguing counterpart to his daughter Jasnah in any case and I hope we get to learn more about him...and his two sons.

Thoughts?!  As usual, I'd love to read them and chat some more!
I can not wait to see what's going to happen next, for all the characters involved -
I think my next few days off will be spent with this bad boy ;)

Waiting on Wedesday *63*

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!

Hi everyone and happy 2014!  I took a brief hiatus with my WoW posts during the holidays for some 2013 recaps posts, but I'm back this week & here's my pick:

Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
Expected Publication: February 27th 2014 by Razorbill

Natalya knows a secret.

A magical Faberge egg glows within the walls of Russia's Winter Palace.

It holds a power rooted in the land and stolen from the mystics.

A power that promises a life of love for her and Alexei Romanov.

Power, that, in the right hands, can save her way of life.

But it's not in the right hands.
The major selling point that this story has for me is the fact that it's a historical fantasy set in Russia.  I can't remember ever reading a book that was set in Russia!  The mystery and fantasy elements only sweeten the deal here - I love the sound of a magical Faberge Egg (how's that for originality?!)  that has great power and promise in the right hands...but it also happens to be in the wrong hands.  I can't wait to see how all of this unfolds!

Don't forget to link me up to you WoW posts everyone ♥
Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stacking the Shelves *31*

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

I hope everyone's having a wonderful weekend! I only have one thing to say: Weeeee, my holiday haul books arrived in the mail already!!  Well, everything but the pre-orders ;-)  I also have a book I won in a Holiday giveaway that arrived in the mail - and I have a review book to show you so here we go:

*Click the covers for link to Goodreads*

I was going comment a bit on each book but it got too long >.< you know,since I was gushing. So instead I just took a pretty picture of my stack to share with you guys (excluding Night of Cake & Puppets and A Breath of Frost which are e-books)

Do you guys have any feedback or thoughts on any of these?  And don't forget to link me up to you StS post!

** A HUGE thanks to Rally the Readers & Bloomsbury Publishing....and my mom for the Amazon giftcards. Hi mom!**

Friday, January 3, 2014

Most Anticipated Releases of 2014

This is the last part in my '13-'14 post-blitzIf you missed the other two, check out my 2013 wrap-up
I hope the New Year is off to a rocking start for all you lovely people out there!  And I certainly hope that wherever you are you aren't stuck in the deep freeze that we seem to be in.  Oh the joys of Canadian Winters >.<  Anyhoo, today I thought I'd share my most anticipated releases for 2014 with all of you:

**Books without covers and/or titles that are included in this list: Throne of Glass #3 & Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) & Fairyland #4**

These are pretty much the big ones for me this far. There are a lot of series' I plan on getting into in 2014 have sequels coming out so I'm sure in a few months this list will have doubled...not to mention the new books I'll discover through bloggy friends ;-)

Are you waiting on any of these 2014 releases??
Feel free to share what you're waiting on in the comments below! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Way of Kings Read Along

Happy 2014 everyone!  A new year means new things right?  That's why I'm participating in my very first read-along :D  When the lovely Anya over at On Starships & Dragonwings asked me to join in for a The Way of Kings Read Along, I had to think about it...for about half a second!  As two serious Sanderson fangirls, we talked about how this was a perfect chance to finally conquer this beast - especially with book # 2 Words of Radiance coming out March of this year!  So a HUGE thank you goes out to both our co-hosts Anya & Susan of Dab of Darkness for putting all of this together & inviting me along!

*Week 1 - Prelude to Chapter 6*
Caution: Spoilers Ahead!

1) Is this your first Brandon Sanderson experience? Any expectations going into this read along?

This will be my fourth Sanderson book - I've already read Mistborn #1 & #2 as well as Steelheart.  I've been wanting to read The Way of Kings since I first heard about Sanderson though, and I've owned a copy of it for almost a year now!  My expectations are pretty high for this one since I'm already familiar with how epic Sanderson's adult high-fantasy is.  I'm expecting brilliant and seamless world-building, complex and memorable characters and intense plot lines!

2) In the Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see that Talenel (Taln) died and his sword is unaccounted for. Jerzien and company have decided it is best for 1 to suffer instead of 10. What do you make of this scene?  

I thought it was quite haunting and chilling, I shudder to think what Talanel suffered because of that decision...and what repercussions it will have in the current day of the story.  I loved how that chapter had truly mythical proportions to it and I can imagine that chapter holding particular weight as our current day story progresses. 

3) What did you think of Szeth's fighting abilities and the fight scenes? Any thoughts on the crystalline sphere and King Gavilar Kholin's last words?

Sanderson's fight scenes are legendary for me and Szeth's certainly didn't disappoint.  The abilities were a bit reminiscent of the Mistborn abilities, while still being wholly unique!  I loved how he could mess with gravity; it really blew my mind!  I'm especially curious about the crystalline sphere - I wonder if it might be used somewhat similarly to  Stormlight.  King Gavilar Kholin's last words are a mystery to me.  I hope his brother will get the message and I already want to know what the word will be!

4) Each chapter proper starts with a few words from a dying person, their station, and status in life. Any thoughts on what these portend?

I feel like each person's station and status must have some significance or pattern to it that isn't clear yet.  Their last words seem to relate to what they are seeing or feeling as they are dying and some seem to be alluding to seeing something else reminiscent to an after-life as they pass.  I'm curious to see if we'll learn more in that respect.

5) Kaladin went from warrior to slave in a matter of the first 2 chapters. Care to speculate on the details of how his life changed so drastically? 

That bit actually surprised me quite a bit!  Kaladin instantly came off as some sort of legendary hero that would have lead many wars into victory so I wasn't expecting his glory to be so short lived.  It sounds like it all went down after him killing the light eyes soldier and for whatever reason that lead to him being sold off as a slave.  He must have been betrayed by someone he thought he could trust...his revenge seems to be the only thing keeping him going now. 

6) Sylphrena (Syl) the Windspren seems attached to Kaladin. Are you enjoying her character? Do you like the Spren in general in the worldbuilding so far? 

The Windspren are truly fascinating to me (and the all the other kinds of  'spren' for that matter), I can't wait to learn more about Sylphrena and others like her.  I like how she seems to want to help Kaladin.  At the very least, she's keeping him company!  I do think there are a lot more to them than the people seem to have been lead to believe.  They certainly give the story a truly other-worldly quality and I think they add a whole other dimension to the world building.  Stuff likes that really gets the imagination stirring. And I love it :D

7) Shallan Davar has finally caught up to Brightness Jasnah Kholin and her soulcaster. Jasnah and the jeweled fabril can change stone to smoke; what else do you think it can do? 

All of those jewels and stormlights and whatnot are freaking brilliant so far.  I can't imagine how I'll love them when I understand them even better as the series progresses.  I wonder if Jasnah's jeweled fabril is one of those who can change ANY substance into ANY other one...the possibilities are truly endless when you think about it!  I'm pretty sure Sanderson has some brilliant uses for it in store for us.

Feel free to leave any comments, thoughts or feedback guys, I'd love to read them and discuss this story further!