Dream Book Conference Panel | Author Edition

There aren’t many book conferences that take place where I live, however if I were to create my own book conference I would use Eventbrite!  Eventbrite is the largest self-service ticketing platform in the world that helps people find and plan events. Eventbrite are currently working on a project right now, and have encouraged me to share my dream panel for a book conference!
I thought the project sounded really interesting so here is my post!

My Dream Author Panel

J. K. Rowling

Sarah J. Maas

Marie Rutkoski

I would love to get these three authors together to talk about fantasy in Young Adult fiction. I think it would be super interesting to get their takes on world building and character description/development in the fantasy genre, because let’s face it, they’re all pretty incredible at it. I’d also love to get them talking about kickass female characters, the likes of Hermione, Aelin, Kestrel, Molly Weasley and Professor McGonagall, whether they’re the main heroine or play a minor role in the narrative. 
They’re the three authors I’d love to get together to talk fantasy, I’d love to know who you would pick! I really enjoyed writing this post, so if you’d like me to do a character based post then I would be more than happy to do so!

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Books For My Holiday | 2016

I’ve been storing up my Kindle books for my holiday. While I love reading physical books, they’re not the most practical when packing for a flight. Of course I’ll be taking some with me, but I’ve stocked up my Kindle to ensure lots of reading material and a bag that meets the 20kg baggage allowance!

The Kindle Books:

           

        

These are some of the books on my Kindle that I’m really looking forward to reading!

As for real books I’ve kept it relatively light with these four books:

        

These are all books that I’ve heard good things about so I’me excited to read them!
If you have any recommendations, especially for New Adult books, that you think I should read while I’m away then please let me know!

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas | Review

     Title: Heir of Fire
     (Throne of Glass #3)

      Author: Sarah J. Maas

      Release Date: September 11th,
      2014

Description from Goodreads:
Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…


The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the King – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

I thought that the ending of Crown of Midnight finished with a cruel cliffhanger (read my review here), but oh no, Sarah J. Maas upped the ante with Heir of Fire. It left me blown away and more than a little stunned with a whole load of questions.
I am definitely of the opinion that the books in the Throne of Glass series just keep getting better (and longer). I pretty much read Heir of Fire over one weekend, I found that I just did not want to put it down, and it had me reading long into the night!
In Heir of Fire Celaena is no longer in Adarlan in the King’s palace. I really liked that we got to see a new country, a whole new setting that just shows how great Sarah J. Maas is at world building. The introduction and exploration we as readers were able to experience of Wendlyn in my opinion added greater depth to the world that the Throne of Glass books are set in. Wendlyn has a key element that Adarlan does not posses, and that is magic. There has been talk of magic throughout the first two books, but after magic was banned and disappeared completely there was no real sight of it in the previous books. Heir of Fire saw the use of magic and Fae forms and I loved learning about it all!
Heir of Fire introduces new characters and new POVs. We get a whole new set of characters in the form of witches, in particular Manon. Manon is the heir to the Blackbeak clan and follows form as another strong female character crafted by Sarah J. Maas. I really enjoyed reading Manon’s chapters, they definitely served to create a greater understanding of what the hell is going on with the King and they wyrdstones. 
In addition to Manon, we also meet Aeidon and Rowan, both Fae males. The dynamic between Aelin and Rowan was enjoyable to read, I could sense the chemistry between the two and I’m looking forward to seeing their relationship develop further in Queen of Shadows. I liked Aeidon. I liked him more than Dorian and more than Chaol. I want more Aeidon, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! 
I am really looking forward to reading Queen of Shadows very soon! What do you think of the series so far? Let me know in the comments!
‘Heir of Fire’ by Sarah J. Maas
5 Stars

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski | Review

        Title: The Winner’s Kiss

       Author: Marie Rutkoski

      Release Date: March 24th, 2016


I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.
Description from Goodreads:
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people – and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her. 

But no one gets what they want just by wishing. 

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

I feel like I’ve been on a long and extreme emotional journey at the hands of Marie Rutkoski. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Winner’s Trilogy is one of my favourite series of all time. I fell in love with Arin and Kestrel in The Winner’s Curse, my love continued to grow in The Winner’s Crime (which you can read about in my review) and it grew some more in the final instalment of the fantastic series, The Winner’s Kiss.

The Winner’s Crime had an oh my gosh cliffhanger, it left me with so many feels that I had to try and sort out! All I wanted from The Winner’s Kiss was some sort of resolution! Obviously I wanted Arin and Kestrel together, but it got to the point where I just wanted Arin to stop hating and denying his love for Kestrel, and Kestrel to get out of the work camp.

Because yes, Kestrel is in a work camp, where she is drugged into a shadow of her former self. And for anyone who’s read the previous books you’ll know that Kestrel is witty and intelligent, while not capable in battle she uses her intelligence and brain to outwit her opponents. This makes her a really interesting character, the political intrigue within all of the books within the trilogy makes them highly enjoyable, and there’s always an element of what the hell is going to happen next.

The Winner’s Kiss is a low fantasy, there isn’t magic or fae like some fantasies that I’ve read, but the relationships and the world building in these books are just something else! Throughout all three of the books Marie Rutkoski has crafted a vivid world, and I’m not sure I’m ready for the series to be over!

Arin and Kestrel are possibly my favourite OTP of all time, and I think it’s safe to say that I ship them!! My love for The Winner’s Trilogy has had me telling everyone left, right and centre to read these books! It’s got to the point I hands down want to play Kestrel in any adaptation (a girl can dream!)

In my opinion The Winner’s Kiss was the perfect end to the trilogy, everything got wrapped up and I was not disappointed by this fantastic conclusion!

Have you read any of the books in the series? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

‘The Winner’s Kiss’ by Marie Rutkoski
5 Stars

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | Review

     Title: Crown of Midnight

     Author: Sarah J. Maas

     Release Date: August 15th, 2013

Description from Goodreads:

Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

I took my time reading Crown of Midnight, and that was definitely not down to lack of enjoyment! I thought that Throne of Glass was fantastic, I couldn’t fathom how Sarah J. Maas could make it any better. But she did, oh boy she did.
I’ll start by saying that I’m Chaolena all the way, I squealed and sighed as their relationship developed, because really how could you not? I love Chaol so much, he’s loyal and caring, and I just love the way he looks out for Celaena. Sure, he kind of messes up a bit and Celaena goes bananas, which I understood, but come on girl! Get over what he did and fall back into Chaol’s loving arms, please! (Because if you don’t I’ll hop on in to your fictional world and happily oblige!)
I now need to say a big thank you to Jumana from Books by Jay and Nicola from Nicola Reads YA for commenting on my review of Throne of Glass and helping with the weird name pronunciation issue. I’ve not yet converted to the proper pronunciation of Chaol, but I’ll get there!
Okay, so I feel that a lot went down in Crown of Midnight, and due to spoilers I won’t go into too much detail of the specifics.
I understand why what happened happened, but I was still saddened because I really liked the character! There were so many twists and turns, some of them I didn’t see coming, and others, Celaena I’m looking at you, I called earlier on in the novel.
Sarah J. Maas is my new favourite relationship writer, and Chaol is my newest book boyfriend love! While I didn’t particularly love Dorian in Throne of Glass I warmed to him so much more in Crown of Midnight, his character has developed so much, and it’s actually lovely to see.
I’m intrigued by Roland’s character, I’ve seen a lot in the bookish sphere of the internet where people have been saying good things, though I didn’t look too closely because I’m not about that spoiler life! I’m guessing he’s going to be playing a bigger role in Heir of Fire or Queen of Shadows, both of which I own and will be reading!
My love for the series, Celaena, Chaol and Sarah J. Maas grew after reading Crown of Midnight, and I’m looking forward to even more feels in Heir of Fire!
Have you read Crown of Midnight? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Crown of Midnight’ by Sarah J. Maas
5 Stars

Waiting On Wednesday | The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

‘Waiting On’ Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: 1st March, 2016

Description from Goodreads:
War has begun. Ari is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognise: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people – and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.


But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?

The Winner’s Curse quickly became one of my favourite books when I read it in May last year, and The Winner’s Crime followed when I read it at the beginning of this year (read my review). I can’t express how much I loved these books, I’d have to say that they’re probably my favourite series! It’s safe to say that The Winner’s Crime finished with a rather large cliffhanger, and I’ve been waiting patiently since February to find out what the hell is going to happen!
Kestrel and Arin are my favourite OTP, so I really want to read the final instalment in the trilogy. And let me just say that I’m really hoping that things start going right for them in this book! And by right I mean, they end up happily ever after, because I love them together.
This synopsis sound so good! In my review of The Winner’s Crime I point blank stated that Arin needs to get his sh*t together, and after reading the synopsis of The Winner’s Kiss again, I’m reminded all too well of those feelings! 
I honestly don’t think that a book series has caused so many emotions as what I’ve read of The Winner’s Trilogy has.
March can’t come soon enough!
What book are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass | Review

     Title: Throne of Glass

     Author: Sarah J. Maas

      Release Date: August 7th, 2012

Description from Goodreads:
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offered her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

I never really thought of myself as a fantasy girl, contemporary, yes, dystopian yes, but fantasy? I wasn’t convinced. But since joining the bookstagram community, and watching booktubers (new obsession) I noticed that everyone was talking about Throne of Glass. I wasn’t going to miss out on the latest big hyped series, so I went ahead and ordered the first two books. I read Throne of Glass with some trepidation, not sure if the high fantasy would be up my alley. I can tell you now that it is, oh boy it is! So I took a look at some of the books that have made their way onto my favourites list, and what do you know there’s a serious fantasy presence!
There was a whole load of factors that made me love Throne of Glass, one of which being the kick-ass character Celaena Sardothien. The book starts off with Celaena being taken from prison to the prince, and although she’s in a vulnerable state, noticeably thin and malnourished, she still manages to sass the guard and the prince. You have to be a strong person to go through what Celaena went through and come out (mentally) fighting fit. Her internal commentary on the whole situation was really amusing, all in all it added up to me loving her immediately.
Celaena was not the only character that I really liked, Chaol Westfall caught my eye almost instantly. He takes his job of guarding Celaena really seriously, he doesn’t trust her at all. One of the things I really loved about Throne of Glass was that as the story developed so did Celaena and Chaol’s relationship, as did Chaol’s trust in Celaena. I liked Chaol so much!! He was my favourite male character, I found Dorian far too interested in himself, and what he was getting from his dealings with Celaena. In my humble opinion, Chaol has more to him than Dorian, there was so much left to discover in Chaol’s character, I’m not saying that Dorian is a boring one dimensional character, but Sarah J. Maas left me wanting to read the next book in anticipation of the development of Celaena and Chaol’s relationship.
If you hadn’t guessed, there’s sort of a love triangle in Throne of Glass. I do not like love triangles, I think they’re pointless and infuriating. Yet, I did not feel that way while reading Throne of Glass, in fact I may have actually liked the love triangle! That’s right, I finally understand why people on booktube have said that the Throne of Glass series contains their favourite love triangle! At first I scoffed when they said it, never thinking that I’d enjoy a love triangle, but I was wrong. I have an OTP, it may be clear from what I’ve already said that I was very pro Chaol. Honestly, I didn’t see the attraction to Dorian, other than the small detail of him being a prince. I really hope that in Crown of Midnight they’ll be more Celaena/Chaol action!
After finishing Throne of Glass I can only say that Sarah J. Maas is a master of dialogue. I could have read a book full of nothing but conversation, not something I say about every book I read. I basically loved everything about Throne of Glass, the world building was fantastic and meant that the book was easy to follow, I’m not ashamed to admit that some fantasy books can loose me in vivid descriptions of multiple mystical creatures.
The only thing I can honestly critique about Throne of Glass is that the names are extremely difficult to pronounce. It took me watching a YouTube to video to realise how to pronounce Celaena’s name, and to do this day I don’t know if I’m mentally saying Chaol right!
I absolutely adored Throne of Glass, as soon as I’ve finished my current read I’m jumping into Crown of Midnight!
Have you read Throne of Glass? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
‘Throne of Glass’ by Sarah J. Maas
5 Stars