Mini-Swarm Reviews: Fanciful Fantasies

Posted 27 January, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 15 Comments

KINSLAYER (The Lotus Wars #2) by Jay Kristoff
YA Fantasy
432 pages, hardcover
Available now (September 2013)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

First off, I think these are some of my favorite covers — they’re gorgeous and evocative of Yukiko’s fierceness. Second, the mighty thunder tiger Buruu is STILL my favorite character in this whole series. That’s not to say I don’t like others but…Buruu. And the dynamic between Yukiko and Buruu is a thing of beauty. They’re both filled with such pain and anger but have such deep love and caring for one another, helping each survive what are some of the very toughest times of their lives (especially Yukiko. Poor girl.). So much pain and heartache permeates every corner of this story and world…bring your kleenex, people.

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CROWN OF MIDNIGHT (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
YA Fantasy
420 pages, hardcover
Available now (August 2013)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

While I enjoyed Throne of Glass, I didn’t love it so I was a little tentative about this second one. However, I liked it even better. Except Dorian. He’s still a snooze, poor boy. Chaol, however, more than makes up for that dullard. Nothing else about the book is boring. It’s filled with action and adventure, intrigue and backstabbing. Celaena’s definitely matured since her times in the salt mines. She’s always been confident but it, in the first book, was the brash, annoying confidence of a teenager who knows everything and not that of one who’s truly learned from her experiences. Now, she’s learned and, with that, become a more well-rounded person who thinks about her actions and their repercussions. I’ll be interested to see what happens next.

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THE BONE SEASON (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon
YA Fantasy
466 pages, hardcover
Available now (August 2013)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

When I first saw this cover, I didn’t think it was a YA. Too…adult and boring, I guess. And, truly, it can be categorized as YA/NA/Adult. Doesn’t matter. It’s an excellent story, no matter how you look at it. The blurb calls Paige a “compelling heroine” and I have to agree — she’s a smart cookie who’s in an untenable, impossible situation. As a clairvoyant and dreamwalker, she’s illegal and yet important to the alien forces controlling England. Scooped up and sent to a prison camp in Oxford, Paige comes under the thumb of Warden, her alien prison guard. There’s something mysterious about him — I want to know more about him and that dratted dying rose. So, yeah, of course I’m in for the next in this debut author’s series.

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15 Responses to “Mini-Swarm Reviews: Fanciful Fantasies”

  1. as much as I liked the first one, I didn’t finish Kinslayer. I was just not in the right mood and lost interest after the first pages. And yes I loved Buruu too, but the writing made it hard for me to get into the story.

    I LOVED however, Crown of Midnight, but I#ve been a fan of the first book already.

    And Jenny made me read The Bone Season. Just like you said I also thought it would be boring and Adult, the cover is really sad as it hides this awesome story. Because it is an amazing story where I loved spending every second with and I’m glad I did despite the plain cover.

  2. These are probably not up my alley but I have to agree with that cover on the last one. That screams adult thriller not YA Fantasy. I would have never pegged that from the cover alone.

  3. “She’s always been confident but it, in the first book, was the brash, annoying confidence of a teenager who knows everything and not that of one who’s truly learned from her experiences.”

    YES! That was the exact problem I had with Celaena in the Throne of Glass Mary! I just couldn’t get on board with her at all, I felt like she was all talk until the very end. You have no idea how happy it makes me that she matures in this second book, that has me wanting to pick it up immediately.

    And YAY BONE SEASON! I loved that book so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. Is it time for book 2 yet?

  4. Kinslayer was a kick in the teeth wasn’t it? I liked it but I didn’t love it like the first probably because it was depressing. The Throne of Glass Series continues to impress and I still need to read my copy of Bone Season and I agree the cover does not scream read me.

  5. I’m so glad you liked The Bone Season! It’s one of my favorites, I’m actually tempted to reread/re-listen. As for Kinslayer, I bought that on audio too, and unfortunately, it just didn’t work, although I liked the first book.

  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Bone Season. It was one of my favorite debuts from last year and I’m salivating at the thought of the sequel releasing this year. I need to read Kinslayer, though, since I enjoyed Stormdancer so much. Crown of Midnight, on the other hand, is one I’m skeptical about picking up. I didn’t really like Throne of Glass and while the general consensus seems to be that this sequel is much stronger, I think I’ll wait to see how the series plays out before delving back into it. Lovely reviews, Mary!

  7. The Lotus Wars I think is a little heavy on the world building for my tastes. Overly descriptive world building instantly makes me yawn, but so many love this series. I’ll wait until more books are released for The Bone Season. Isn’t there something like six books in the series? I hear the story is a bit detailed and complicated so for me it’s best to wait until I can read one right after the other. Great reviews, Mary! 🙂

  8. I’m a huge fan of Buruu and Yukiko! And I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed Crown of Midnight, it was so much better than the first book. I agree that Celaena has matured since we first met her, and Chaol has grown even more swoonworthy. Loved the ending too, can’t wait to see what happens next! 🙂

  9. I’m so glad you also enjoyed THE BONE SEASON. I loved the amazing world-building in it. I still need to read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, and I love the look and sound of KINSLAYER and Yukiko’s fierceness. Thanks for the wonderful mini reviews, Mary. 🙂

  10. I really liked KINSLAYER, too–and while I watch/read a lot of violence, I have to say that the degree/amount of it towards the end started to wear me down. Such a great series, though, I’m really looking forward to the last one.

    I still haven’t read THRONE OF GLASS yet! And I’m glad to see you liked BONE SEASON, the reviews were all over the map for that one so I never got around to it.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  11. Ok so the Throne of Glass series is one I didn’t start because it seemed like one big triangle, but now it sounds like that isn’t what is happening? I’m going to wait until #3 releases before I officially decide whether to star these. But aren’t there like 6 or 7 predicted, which means much more relationship angst could come. I’m glad you enjoyed The Bone Season. I want more of that world too – but it’s another with a LOT of books predicted, which seems like it could peter out momentum.