Read Along: Throne of Glass – Part Four

Throne of Glass (3)

| Part Four |

Chapters 40 – end

Welcome to the read along of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, organised by Rinn Reads.

As one of the few people to have not read Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, I couldn’t resist the opportunity of a read along, despite having heard very mixed opinions – ranging from extreme love to extreme hate! From the 8th – 18th… ahem, 19th January… I will be reading Throne of Glass and posting my thoughts for discussion. Here’s what the schedule would look like if I could actually manage to keep to it:

8th January

Discussion of chapters 1 – 13

11th January

Discussion of chapters 14 – 27

14th January

Discussion of chapters 28 – 39

18th January

Discussion of chapters 40 – end

 There will be spoilers!

| Part Three Rating |four star

| The Story So Far |

Dark forces continue to infiltrate the castle and, as Celaena discovers more about the Wyrdmarks and their magic, she must face the darkness head on whilst simultaneously fighting for victory as the King’s champion. As both events come to a head, and her chance of victory balances on a knife’s edge, Celaena must put her trust in both her friends and her abilities – she must fight, or die.

| The Discussion |

Well this turned out to be an unexpectedly enjoyable read. There may well have been more murderers, assassins and thieves than you can shake a stick at but, at its heart, Throne of Glass remains a fun and enchanting novel which manages to retain a sense of humour throughout.  After reaching a satisfying conclusion which tied up most loose ends, I am definitely excited to move onto its sequel. I only hope that it lives up to the expectation that this novel has inspired!

| The Highlights |

The friendship between Nehemia and Celaena is one of the most wonderful parts of this novel. Female friendships often get a rough time of it in fiction and rarely come across as true to life (and that’s being kind!) but with Throne of Glass Maas has definitely scored a winner. Celaena may have had her momentary doubts about Nehemia’s character but it wasn’t without great regret… and a lot of second guessing! 

Kaltain getting her comeuppance was a rather fun moment! I highly doubt she was a particularly nice character even before Perrington had his claws into her so it all worked out rather well in the end! I’m certain she’ll return with a vengeance in the books to come… only with less of the inane drivel, I hope.

Oh so many an intriguing teaser about Celaena’s past! The hints regarding her heritage, with possible links to the fae, were a definite highlight throughout the narrative and are one of the driving forces in making me want to pick up the next book. I am in no doubt that all will be revealed in good time!

The romance didn’t irritate me! A definite win. This  book played it with a light touch and didn’t overstep the boundary into making the whole novel revolve around the love triangle (cough.. even if I was a little pro-Chaol). And the fact that Celaena chose freedom above all else at the end definitely won her my vote! 

The whole story wrapped up neatly, had a rather exciting ending and was enjoyable throughout but…

What was your favourite moment in Throne of Glass? Were you satisfied with the conclusion?

| The Low Points |

…It was just a little bit obvious. There seemed to be something a little predictable in Cain, Perrington and the King being the bad guys and Kaltain, although subjected to some man-ring-hoodoo, was intensely dislikeable anyway so I was neither surprised when she joined team supervillain, nor did I care when they let her take the fall (although I was amused!). I would have loved to be surprised at some point towards the end of the novel but it all panned out as expected (though in an exciting fashion of course)… oh well! Can’t have it all.

The fact that Celaena is considered the world’s most famous assassin still doesn’t quite hit the mark. Perhaps in the next novel we will see more of her employment skills and these credentials will be made more apparent… but for now it just feels like something she likes to tell herself. The hard edges to her character definitely didn’t remain at the end which probably contributes to her lack of assassin vibes. But never mind! I still like her!

What were the low points, if any, for you?

Stay tuned for the review!

Read Along: Throne of Glass – Part Three

Throne of Glass (3)

| Part Three |

Chapters 28 – 39

Welcome to the read along of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, organised by Rinn Reads.

As one of the few people to have not read Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, I couldn’t resist the opportunity of a read along, despite having heard very mixed opinions – ranging from extreme love to extreme hate! From the 8th – 18th January I will be reading Throne of Glass and posting my thoughts for discussion. Here’s what the schedule would look like if I could actually manage to keep to it:

8th January

Discussion of chapters 1 – 13

11th January

Discussion of chapters 14 – 27

14th January

Discussion of chapters 28 – 39

18th January

Discussion of chapters 40 – end

Feel free to join in with the read along at any point and all discussion points are welcome (but no spoilers!!)… which reminds me:

 There will be spoilers for chapters 28-39!

| Part Three Rating |four star

| The Story So Far |

As the threat against the castle continues to grow and the life of yet another contestant is prematurely snuffed out, and suspicion is cast on both reputable and disreputable characters alike, Celaena must remain on her guard whilst competing for victory in the ongoing trial. But all is not dark in the castle of Rifthold; as her friendships continue to grow, and with two men vying for her favour, Celaena is intent upon enjoying the Yulemas festivities – whilst remaining vigilant in case of threat, of course – and this time no one is going to stop her.

| The Discussion |

Throne of Glass continues to entertain and surprise with its intriguing storyline and compelling characters. This is definitely a book where, if you can accept it for what it is and don’t question the narrative too much, you’ll likely be swept away by a storyline laced with magic and the dance of blades. Celaena continues to grow on me as a character and adds some quite endearing moments to her repertoire in this section of the novel. However there is a growing disparity between Celaena the intelligent and feisty young woman and Celaena the cold assassin. Whether we will see the two sides of her personality truly merge remains to be seen… but overall, a very enjoyable third part to this tale!

| The Highlights |

Events surrounding the mysterious threat within the castle continue to progress and, with the murder of another contestant and the trail of enigmatic Wyrdmarks and with the very real prospect that Nehemia could be involved, this novel has the potential of becoming very exciting. Somehow I can’t quite believe that Nehemia is responsible for the attacks. Her concerns obviously lie elsewhere and, whilst her behaviour might seem suspicious, whatever threat she poses will likely be concentrated on the hateful King of Adarlan and not on a contest of soldiers, prisoners and assassins.This section of the novel contains quite a number of humorous and endearing moments which can’t help but make you warm to Celaena. Her tantrum whilst playing billiards was particularly amusing and, as she continues to befriend the other characters, she continues to engage the reader with her sense of humour as the new side to her personality becomes ever more apparent.

Chaol’s reaction to Celaena’s time of the month was likewise a very humorous moment. It has such an element of truth about it, and is used so well as a light-hearted diversion, that it can’t help but make you laugh. Like Celaena, Chaol continues to reveal more dimensions to his personality, has a very honest and stark voice and is remains one of my favourite characters.

When Celaena is confronted with a whole bag of sweets, she proceeds to devour the majority before breakfast, staining her teeth red in the process. This is an entertaining and sweet (sorry) moment which yet again highlights the duality in her personality. In fact, despite her obvious skill when competing in the tests, we’re seeing something less of the assassin, and almost nothing of the cutthroat killer. Which moves us on to the low points…

Did you have any favourite moments or highlights during this stage in the novel??

| The Low Points |

I like Celaena the assassin. I don’t want her to lose that cold side that has made her what she is today. I don’t want her to lose that foundation of suspicion and distrust which must have permeated every moment in her life before her release from Endovier. The funny and endearing moments are enjoyable but there needs to be a little more cohesion in her two quite disparate sides.

Poor, poor Chaol. He just has to watch from the sidelines as Dorian sweeps Celaena off her feet. Dorian, whilst essentially likeable, seems to be missing something which would truly make me like him – or perhaps trust him. Perhaps he comes across as a little fickle, or flighty, or something… or maybe I just prefer Chaol. 

During this section, the contest plays second fiddle to Celaena’s personal life. Though enjoyable in their own right, I would definitely prefer the contest, along with the murders and levels of suspicion between contestants to take centre stage.

“Celaena realized with a jolt that perhaps the Champions’ killer and Elena’s mysterious evil force might be one and the same.”  

Really? Only just? This is possibly the moment that irritated me most throughout the entirety of the novel so far. Maas has consistently portrayed Celaena as highly intelligent and quick off the mark, yet this somewhat ridiculous moment of dawning realisation came entirely too late. I’m almost certain most readers would have assumed this from the moment Elena popped out of the ether. Perhaps Celaena is too familiar with death and destruction to put the two together…

At this stage in the novel, what were the low points of the story for you?

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 18th January 

Read Along: Throne of Glass – Part Two

Throne of Glass (3)

| Part Two |

Chapters 14 – 27

Welcome to the read along of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, organised by Rinn Reads.

As one of the few people to have not read Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, I couldn’t resist the opportunity of a read along, despite having heard very mixed opinions – ranging from extreme love to extreme hate! From the 8th – 18th January I will be reading Throne of Glass and posting my thoughts for discussion. Here’s what the schedule looks like:

8th January

Discussion of chapters 1 – 13

11th January

Discussion of chapters 14 – 27

14th January

Discussion of chapters 28 – 39

18th January

Discussion of chapters 40 – end

Feel free to join in with the read along at any point and all discussion points are welcome (but no spoilers!!)… which reminds me:

 There will be spoilers for chapters 14-27!

| Part Two Rating |four star

| The Story So Far |

Celaena continues her training as she and the other contestants embark upon the First Test of the Champions. Whilst frustrated at her inability to show her true talents and subjected to the taunts and ridicule of the other contestants, there are far more sinister events taking place in the castle of Rifthold. In a series of grizzly murders, the champions are seemingly being picked off one by one. Celaena, in her curiosity to discover more of the castle, finds far more than she bargained for as she flees terrors in the night, converses with Fae Queens and realises that the Kingdom of Adarlan is not so devoid of magic as it might first appear.

| The Discussion |

During my Part One discussion I took a broad spectrum of the story and characters we encounter. In this post, I will be looking at how both these aspects have developed over the second part of the read along, and look at some of the highlights and low points so far. It has to be said though, I really am enjoying this book! So much so that I think I’m going to find it more difficult creating a list of low points. Perhaps that section should just be called ‘nit-picking’…

During the second part of the novel, the storyline developed in a much more intriguing and mysterious way than I at first expected. The introduction of magical elements to the narrative bring a sense of weight and history to the world along with a sinister undercurrent which is likely to play a key role in the rest of the novel to come. Celaena’s ‘dream’ encounter with the Fae Queen at the mysterious carved tomb on Samhuinn also added another magical element to the storyline, leading us to believe Celaena was brought to the castle by, perhaps, divine design to solve the gruesome and possibly magically linked murders. The ante has most definitely been upped in this section, and a captivating framework has been created for the second half to come.

| The Highlights |

As a lover of crime and detective fiction I couldn’t help but have a giddy moment when poor ol’ eyeballs got his comeuppance. This is an excellent twist to the tale and, though I was expecting some (quite literal) backstabbing between contestants, I wasn’t expecting ghastly supernatural murders at all! Definitely an exciting turn of events. Which leads me onto my next point…

I absolutely love a good dose of the supernatural and the fact that we’re now feeling the presence of the magic one thought destroyed in the storyline. I love fantasy fiction whether its heavily laden with magic systems or not, but this mysterious magic – the Wyrdmarks smeared in blood on the walls and carved into the stones of the castle – have most definitely piqued my interest! I’m looking forward to how this side of the narrative unravels and, more importantly, whether or how it connects to Celaena’s past. And talking of Celaena’s past…

Celaena’s heartfelt number on the piano and her subsequent conversation with Dorian was a very interesting moment, especially when glimmers of Celaena’s past shine through. I love that we experienced a more emotional side to her character but, most importantly, one in which she didn’t change entirely. If I’m given a mean and snarky character to love; I sure as hell don’t want them to change so completely over the course of a novel that they’re unrecognisable by the end of it. Fingers crossed for this feisty lady.

And what’s a feisty lady to do when confined to a castle? Why! Explore it of course! When I say I love worldbuilding I mean it, right down to the last crumbling stone. So discovering more about the castle of Rifthold and exploring its secret passages was a definite highlight, one which was almost reminiscent of The Secret Garden – a book which inspired a lifelong love of hidden architecture! Celaena’s decision not to escape also felt right. At this stage she has nothing to go back to, someone who obviously betrayed her in the outside world, and the potential for legitimate freedom within her grasp. Good choice!

But then her two fancy men both come to visit her chambers late at night… and encounter one another instead! Clearly these two are both falling for Celaena and, whilst I don’t dislike Dorian by any means, Chaol is a much more intriguing character. So far I’m not hating the ‘romance’ level of this novel… it slots in quite comfortably for now so I’m willing to call it a highlight!

The tests! The daring rescue! Nox! Ol’ Grey eyes! Finally Celaena has a friend and one stupid bastard with a knife decides to try and kill him. Rude! However, Celaena not only gets to show off what one can do with a rope, a gargoyle and some sticky-backed plastic but she also manages to rescue a blossoming friendship in the process! A win, win I’d say… except for the losing part of course.

Did you have any favourite moments or highlights during this stage in the novel??

| The Low Points |

First things first: Not inviting Celaena to the party! Rude! Sure she might discreetly drown you in the punch, or poison your canapés but if you’re going to invite a bunch of murders and rapists anyway… !

Last things last: Kaltain Rompier. Firm dislike.

At this stage in the novel, what were the low points of the story for you?

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 14th January 

Read Along: Throne of Glass – Part One

Throne of Glass (3)

| Part One |

Chapters 1 – 13

Welcome to the first discussion post for the read along of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, organised by Rinn Reads.

As one of the few people to have not read Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, I couldn’t resist the opportunity of a read along, despite having heard very mixed opinions – ranging from extreme love to extreme hate! From the 8th – 18th January I will be reading Throne of Glass and posting my thoughts for discussion. The schedule has moved a day as alas! I couldn’t find the time to post yesterday! Here’s what the schedule looks like:

8th January

Discussion of chapters 1 – 13

11th January

Discussion of chapters 14 – 27

14th January

Discussion of chapters 28 – 39

18th January

Discussion of chapters 40 – end

Feel free to join in with the read along at any point and all discussion points are welcome (but no spoilers!!)… which reminds me:

 There will be spoilers for chapters 1-13!

| Part One Rating |four star

| The Story So Far |

Celaena Sardothien, otherwise known as Adarlan’s Assassin, has been toiling for over a year in the Endovier Salt Mines after being taken prisoner by the King of Adarlan. When the Crown Prince and the Captain of the Guard unexpectedly arrive at the mines with a strange proposition, Celaena is whisked off to fight for her freedom in a competition of Champions. Win the competition and she will be granted her freedom. Lose and it could mean death.

Celaena is taken to the castle at Rifthold where, under an assumed name and identity, she meets the infuriating Kaltain Rompier and the engimatic Princess Nehemia of Eyllwe. After a brief introduction to the other Champions, she begins both her training for the contest and her navigation through courtly politics (where unfortunately murder is frowned upon). Will she become Champion of Champions? Will she kill Kaltain Rompier with a plant pot? We’ll just have to wait to find out!

| The Discussion |

Every time I embark on a new young adult novel or series I always have an immediate feeling of dread – Am I wasting my time? Will the characters be vapid and irritating? Will there be more romance than I can handle?! For the most part, this feeling is completely irrational as this could occur in any novel and I don’t actually read a lot of young adult fiction. However, just the barest suspicion can be enough to put me off completely… one can’t count on irrationality!

I’ll admit that when I first saw the Throne of Glass series I didn’t think it would be one for me. The varied opinions of fellow bloggers were often contradictory which, for the most part, seemed to be down to Celaena’s personality but, as ever, I wasn’t happy to stay out of the loop, so when I saw that Rinn was organising a read along I thought – why the hell not!

And so far, so good! Let’s take a look and see why.

| The Cast |

Celaena Sardothien

Oh Celaena, I’ve heard some bad things about you – your overwhelming arrogance in particular – but I actually really like you! Yes, this is a woman with more than a little bit of an ego but she also comes across as funny, observant and charming. And I love a character who can worry about whether someone thinks she’s pretty whilst thinking about slitting their throat. I’ve already warmed to her so much more than I did Feyre in A Court of Thorns and Roses – clearly blood thirsty assassins are more my bag. However, I am only a short way into the novel so whether Celaena will irritate me in later chapters remains to be seen!

Dorian Havilliard

Enter Dorian. A charming and be-caped prince who is both devilishly handsome and sharp of mind… not to mention all the ladies he has overheating in their corsets. Whilst Dorian appears to have some wit and a good dollop of charm, I have a tendency to severely dislike literary males whose mere presence is enough to see all rational and intelligent females lose their heads. Some steaming under the bonnet is however acceptable. Play on – judgement not yet passed.

Chaol Westfall

Gruff and a bit rough around the edges, Chaol is a man who isn’t afraid to drag Adarlan’s Assassin around by her hair if necessary. We’ve had the barest hints of his inner workings at this stage but he’s already a character I’m disposed to like. It looks likely that he will become an integral part of Celaena’s storyline. Oh, and he’s pretty nifty with a sword too.

Kaltain Rompier

This woman is an excellently irritating sort of character who may seem a teensy bit one dimensional at this stage. However, her encounters with Celaena are amusing and she may (and probably will) have more of a role still to play in the storyline. And you never know – the plant pot might not miss next time!


We’ve only just encountered the Princess of Eyllwe but there already seems to be a lot hiding beneath her serene exterior. Much of the devastating rule of the King of Adarlan is conveyed through her talk with Celaena, and we see the true extent of the destruction his armies wreak in order to rid the world of magic. In doing so, we also get to learn a little more about power extents and boundaries, along with the various cultural differences between lands. Nehemia is definitely an intriguing character who no doubt will play an important role. For good or ill? Who can say! (Not looking at those of you who have read it!)

The Champions

At this point we know very little about the other champions brought along for the contest beyond one of them having an appetite for eyeballs and there being one big bastard who looks set to either be a worthy opponent or the first with a knife in his back. Celaena’s repeated references to the grey eyed fellow perhaps mark him out as something special – or perhaps even terrible. I’m definitely looking forward to the progression of the contest.

The King of Adarlan

Bitter and resentful, the King of Adarlan has sewn the seed of hatred throughout his kingdom and its continually expanding borders. His armies burn books, museums and galleries as they scour the land intent on the destruction of magic. Basically he’s a bit of a bastard. Whether Celaena would ever be granted freedom by him even if she does win remains to be seen – but I very much doubt that he’s a man of his word.

At this stage in the novel, what were your feelings towards the characters? Did you like or dislike anyone in particular?

| The World |

Descriptively, this world is very intriguing. Maas has a lovely writing style which flows easily and engages you with beautiful, succinct descriptions. However it does throw up some questions as to the stage of civilisation that the world is at. But hey! It’s fantasy – you can do whatever the hell you want!

The Mines are an interesting location and the brief part of the novel which takes place here shows a harsh and unforgiving environment – though one can expect no less from a prison, I suppose. Celaena’s thoughts tend to stray back to this environment which helps to build a clearer picture, and I’m intrigued to learn more about its other residents.

Rifthold is a vibrant and rich location. The castle is described in wonderful detail, from the garish glass castle superimposed on the sturdy stone of the old to the disturbing clock tower with its menacing gargoyles leering down on those below. It’s definitely a fantastic stage to set a contest of Champions on!

What do you make of the world so far? Do you get any impressions or does anything conflict with your reading enjoyment?

| The Story |

Ohh, I really am enjoying this novel! If it continues in this vein, I have no doubts that I’ll be very satisfied by the end of it.

Hints of magic and a connection to Celaena’s past occur throughout this part  of the novel and I fully expect them to become integral to the storyline as we read on. From Celaena’s removal from the mines to her instalment at the castle we get to learn a lot about her past, though many facts still remain a mystery. At this stage the novel is definitely concentrating on establishing its characters and conveying a believable world, along with building a good framework for the story to come. I particularly enjoyed the training practice between Celaena and Chaol, and her amusing sinister thoughts were a definite highlight throughout.

Celaena is definitely a complex character who has a wonderfully conflicted personality. The lack of care and emotion she displays when thinking about killing others should make her come across as cold but the hints of a different side to her background – her care for those imprisoned and enslaved in the mines, the destuction of books, knowledge and cultures by Adarlan’s army – definitely brings a bit of colour to her character and show two completely different aspects to her personality.

I can’t wait to find out what happens next – this novel already has me hooked! (And I did find it very hard to not read ahead before writing this post!). Despite my preconceived doubts, I’m so glad I picked up a copy! Thanks to those who recommend it!

What did you think about the story so far? Are you enjoying it? Does it capture your attention and imagination?

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this Read Along on 11th January 

The Monthly Round-Up: September 2015

The Monthly Round-Up - SeptWelcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!

| Books Read |

I’ve managed to complete a few goals this September but oh no! I still haven’t finished The Daylight War! My excuse is that it’s under a dust sheet whilst decorating… and I think I’ll stick with it! But hurrah I did manage to tick off my goal of reading at least two books featured in my Top Ten… Complete Series I Still Haven’t Finished and in doing so tick two books off my Top Ten… Books on my Fall TBR. It definitely feels good to complete some goals! I didn’t write as many reviews as I should have liked but I’ll definitely be making up for it this October. In some semblance of order, here are the nine books I’ve completed this September:

| 1. |

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

| 2. |

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

| 3. |

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

| 4. |

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

| 5. |

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

| 6. |

Raffles by E. W. Hornung

| 7. |

Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

| 8. |

The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan

| 9. |

The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

Book of the Month

The Way of Shadows

by Brent Weeks

| September Goals |

To read at least two books featured in my Top Ten… Complete Series I Still Haven’t Finished with at least one book finishing the series

1 of 2 | The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan

2 of 2 | The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

Status: Completed

To finish The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Status: p. 286 of 808 (35%)

To read at least two classics

1 of 2 | Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

2 of 2 | Raffles by E. W. Hornung

Status: Completed


| Goals for 2015 |

Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge: 91/100 Books Read (91%)

Status: +9% during September

Dragons and Jetpacks 2015 Reading Challenge: 38/50 Books Read (76%)

Status: +4% during September

| Reviews Posted |

4 and a half Stars

The Gathering of the Lost by Helen Lowe

              4 Stars

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

                  3 and a half stars

The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan

| Other Posts From September|

The Monthly Round-Up: August 2015

The Month Ahead: September 2015

Tough Travelling: Labourers – Blacksmiths

Tough Travelling: Magic Systems – The Magic Systems of Brandon Sanderson

Tough Travelling: Portals to Another Land

Tough Travelling: A Lady and her Sword

Bookish Beats: Assassin’s Creed Unity

Bookish Beats: Elysium OST

Bookish Beats: Belle OST

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Characters I Didn’t Click With

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Complete Series I Still Haven’t Finished

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Fictional Cities in Fantasy Literature

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books on my Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Pairings

Teaser Tuesdays: September 01 – Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Teaser Tuesdays: September 08 – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Teaser Tuesdays: September 15 – Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

Teaser Tuesdays: September 22 – The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Teaser Tuesdays: September 29 – Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Bookish Beats: Belle OST

Bookish BeatsMusic, much like literature, has the power to drive your imagination; it can lift the soul and create real emotion.This is Bookish Beats, a feature which will showcase some of the soundtracks which have enriched the worlds I’ve found between the pages. 


Belle (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Composed by Rachel Portman

Listen to with:

An enchanting & romantic tale

Such as:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Belle is a seriously beautiful soundtrack – one thing that Rachel Portman consistently succeeds at. In fact, Belle could arguably be her best. It’s a gentle, softly sweeping soundtrack which heightens the emotions and is incredibly enchanting in its own right. Not to mention a perfect complement to a wonderful film.

This soundtrack also lends itself to being a perfect accompaniment for reading to; whether to a tale of magic and wonder or a classic romance. This soundtrack just works; brimming with emotion and poised on the edge of dramatic tension throughout. If you tend to cry whilst reading, this soundtrack may well push you over the edge!

And though I say it most weeks, Belle is incredibly difficult to single out any particular track for the favourites categories. Every single one is of an incredibly high standard and though they are all unique, they all share a common, incredibly beautiful theme. If you want to enhance an enchanting and romantic tale, look no further than Belle.

Favourite track

01 – Main Titles

Top track for action

21 – Dido Goes To Courts

Top track for tension

20 – Lord Mansfield Watches John

Top track for emotion

03 – Are You Punishing Me?


Purchase Here

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses

by Sarah J. Maas

Young Adult | Fantasy | 415 Pages | Published by Bloomsbury in 2015

| Rating |

four star

Just the thought of a young adult romance is usually enough to have me running for the hills but I couldn’t seem to read two book blogs without coming across one name – Sarah J. Maas. Not willing to invest in a longer series just yet, I picked up a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first in a new series which has generally received very good reviews. I couldn’t quite ignore my scepticism when I first opened this book… but by god! It was actually rather an enjoyable read!  This is a tale of beauty and magic and of love in a strange and dangerous land. And damnit… it even made me cry! But shh. While this book certainly won’t be for everyone, there is a lot to enjoy – so sit back, set aside your misgivings and be swept along by this enchanting tale.

The world of humanity is cold and cruel but the world of fairies is much worse, or so we’re told. Feyre is a huntress; the youngest daughter of a now impoverished family, she lives her life hand to mouth, providing for her family in their hardship. But there are far more dangerous creatures than wolves in the dark hunting grounds of the land and after killing a monstrous wolf, she finds herself entangled in the dangerous world of the fairies. Taken from her home, Feyre is forced into exile in a new world, a world which is slowly succumbing to a dark and terrible power. As new friendships bloom and passions stir, she must decide whether to stand and fight or whether to hide with the rest of humanity as the tide of darkness washes over them.

This novel is written in a beautiful style which was very easy to get carried along with; no sooner had I opened it than I found myself a good chunk of the way through. The storyline, whilst somewhat predictable (and bordering on the cliché during the ‘destiny moment’), unfolds in a rather delicate and satisfying way and I soon forgot my reservations to become thoroughly entranced by the world of Prythian. And though the tale takes place in a relatively small portion of the map, the stage has been set for more works to come and I can only hope we get to explore it further.

During our sojourn in Prythian we meet a host of intriguing creatures and characters which inhabit the world of the fairies. Lucien and Rhysand are highly entertaining side characters with a wealth of interesting back story and humour who I hope will given greater precedence in the books to come. Our main man-candy, Tamlin – muscular, golden, beautiful – was actually a bit of a bore in comparison; a veritable Mary Sue. Though I didn’t dislike him, he didn’t capture my interest quite as much as the other characters did (and I still can’t figure out the point at which Feyre went from hating to loving him!).

And this is where it gets complicated. I found Feyre to be a somewhat two dimensional, predictable and ever so slightly annoying protagonist. She is also our narrator.  However the world, from her point of view, is beautiful, dark and dangerous and whilst her own character may have been lacking, her perspective of the world around her certainly isn’t. And though this may have annoyed me at times, my overall enjoyment of the novel was unimpeded. This is, after all, a book full of beautiful description, fascinating characters with plenty of intrigue from the fae courts to boot.

Despite having a few issues with the storyline, this novel was actually very entertaining and I ploughed my way through it in no time at all. Fans of young adult fantasy (with a good dollop of romance) should find this a very enjoyable read. A Court of Thorns and Roses is absorbing, magical and left me with the disturbing notion that maybe I don’t dislike tales of romance so much after all…

Bookish Beats Suggestion

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Teaser Tuesdays: September 08

Teaser TuesdaysWelcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Expect a new teaser every week!

| Teaser Tuesdays: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas |


“I opened my eyes. He still smiled – smiled like an animal.”

~ p. 196, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Month Ahead: August 2015

The Month Ahead - AugWelcome to the first post in my The Month Ahead feature. Here I will be discussing the books I am currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! I will also be sharing any news about features or posts on Books by Proxy, and anything in the book world that has me all excited!

| Currently Reading |


Oh so much to read, so little time! Only recently I was ploughing through books, one after the next. Open – read – done! Since returning from vacation (where my luggage allowance wouldn’t even let me slip in a flimsy paperback), I have slowed down considerably and now have a backlog of started books to finish. I usually like to intersperse my biggies – those heart wrenching, lip biting, palm sweating tomes of awesomeness – with a classic or two. It just so happens that I’ve now acquired four of those classics on my currently reading list. I just can’t seem to resist starting another from the top of my to-read pile. So this month I intend to finish all the books that I’ve started before I pick up any more – I do hate to leave even a bad book unfinished (N.B. I am enjoying all my currently neglected classics).

The Big Ones

Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan – I recently received Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan as part of the Goodreads First Reads scheme and couldn’t wait to get started. So far, so SO good! I will be reviewing it as soon as I’m finished, and it really is promising to be a very exciting read.

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett – The other big cheese is The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett. I started this book a while ago and, despite enjoying it, somehow let it slip beneath my notice. But worry not! Despite its huge size, it will not find its way to the bottom of that unfinished classics pile.

And on that classics pile we have…

Crime Classics

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie

Comedy Classics

Pigs Have Wings by P.G. Wodehouse

Plays and Classic Classics

Agamemnon by Aeschylus

And Just Plain Old Classics

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

| August Acquisitions |


I received Armada by Ernest Cline through Blogging for Books, which looks brilliant and I’m very excited to read. A friend also lent me Wodehouse: A Life by Robert McCrum, a biography of one of my favourite humourists P.G. Wodehouse. I recently bought Half a War by Joe Abercrombie (yay!) and Chocolate Covered Katie by Katie Higgins, which will no doubt be in constant use in my kitchen. And I’ve just discovered that I can use my supermarket loyalty points on books! Hurrah! So arriving very shortly will be: Fatherland by Robert Harris, Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett, The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen and The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.

| New Features |

Well the blog is in its early stages so brand spanking new features will be cropping up all over the place. So expect more to come! This month’s new features (so far) are:

Blast from the Past – A weekly feature where I will discuss the most memorable books from my past.

The Month Ahead – A monthly feature (which you are currently reading) where I will discuss what’s coming up on the blog this month.


 Follow my blog with Bloglovin