Top Ten Tuesday: BEST SEQUELS EVER!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten BEST SEQUELS EVER! 

Oh yes…. capital letters on purpose! I love a good sequel. Here are the top ten that came to mind… But ones I LOVED!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Series: Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas
Sequel: Crown of Midnight [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I loved the first one but the second book was everything I loved from the first book PLUS MORE! More action, more romance, more bloodthirsty Caelana being in assassin mode… HIGHLY recommend it.

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Sequel: Days of Blood and Starlight [my review]
Why I Loved it?: Beautifully written, this second instalment was exciting and amazing. I loved the deeper look at the creatures and Karou’s past.

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)Series: Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Sequel: The Eternity Cure [my review]
Why I Loved it?: The first book, The Immortal Rules, did a great job at laying the groundwork but this book was so EXCITING! I loved Jackal and how Allie has grown throughout the book. Can’t wait for the third book!

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Series: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Sequel: Scarlet [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I fell in love with Cinder and to be honest – I was worried that the second book wouldn’t live up to my expectations. But it exceeded them. We got to see all the stuff that I loved from the first book and got to meet some brilliant new characters. When does the third book, Cress come out? Way too far awaay if you ask me 😛

Scent of Magic  (Healer #2)Series: Healer by Maria V Snyder
Sequel: Scent of Magic [my review]
Why I Loved it?: It may have been a bit of a filler novel to bridge the gap between one of my FAVOURITE first in a series books (Touch of Power) and what promises to be a brilliant third book – however it was great. I love these characters! I don’t think there are many character who are both healers and super kick-arse as Avry is.

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)Series: Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Sequel: Anne of Avonlea
Why I Loved it?: I loved Anne-with-an-E when I was growing up and this was a great series. It’s one that I can mark my childhood against. I can remember where I was the first time I read parts of it and loved growing up with Anne.

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Series: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Sequel: Catching Fire
Why I Loved it?: The first book made such an impression on me but it was the second book that truly made me fall in love. Finnick was the best character in this series! And the events of this book…. fantastic!

Spark (Elementals, #2)Series: Elementals by Brigid Kemmerer
Sequel: Spark [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I love all the books in this series. It’s much like the adult paranormal romance books I read in terms of each book is about another pairing rather than the urban fantasy series that keep following the same main characters. Spark follows the hot-headed Merrick brother, Gabriel. He’s fantastic. I love this series! Can’t wait for Secret which is released in early 2014.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)Series: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Sequel: The Golden Lily [my review]
Why I Loved it?: Sydney gets better with each instalment. And Adrian? Oh my… I know I’m a little Richelle Mead obsessed but I can’t wait for the fourth book, The Fiery Heart which is released November 19, 2013.

The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2)Series: The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
Sequel: The Awakening [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I love Kelley Armstrong. She’s a Canadian author who writes fantastic urban fantasy novels. The Darkest Powers trilogy is set in the same universe as her adult series, Women of the Otherworld, but revolves around young adults instead. Chloe is just coming into her powers in the first book (The Reckoning) but by the time the second book starts – she’s embracing the young woman she’s starting to be. A great set of secondary cast members, this book really comes into its own.

I love sequels. I’d love to see which books you love and are on your lists this week!

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Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: August 2013
Pages: 432
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

My Review:

Not a book for the faint hearted – Celaena presents the king with a severed head in a bag within the first few pages – Crown of Midnight is a fantastic continuation of the story which started in Throne of Glass. Celaena has four years to earn her freedom from the ruthless King of Adarlan. But it’s not going to be an easy task. Ominous shadows, spies,  wyrdmarks and other magical threats haunt the castle. Celaena has to navigate cautiously into the outlawed realm of magic to save other kingdoms from Adarlan’s power-hungry King whilst appearing to do his bidding.

I love the characters in this book. Celaena is every bit the cold-hearted blade for hire when necessary. But she’s also fiercely loyal to those she loves. Romantically, things develop at a great pace and I loved reading the softer side of Celaena in love. Prince Dorian is also a character in turmoil – with his body betraying him and the things that he’s known all his life changing before his eyes. This wasn’t something I was expecting but enjoyed reading it. Chaol, Nehemia and other favourites from Throne of Glass are still around making things interesting along with a host of new characters with their own agendas.

There’s never a boring moment in this novel. Awakening magic, Celaena’s job as an assassin, political threats and other tragedies keep the plot moving at a fast pace, There’s a lot of twist and turns that I wasn’t expecting but fit perfectly. Heart break and misfortune seem to follow these characters however they seem stronger for it.

I loved this series and recommend it to fantasy fans – young and older adults alike. There’s a lot going on and I think Maas’ writing style would appeal to all ages. I’m delighted that this series is going to have five books in total because after reading Crown of Midnight I can’t see myself wanting to leave Celaena and the world Maas has created anytime soon.

Thanks to the Reading Room for providing me with a copy for review. 

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Adventure 
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: August 2012 (I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley)
Pages: 432
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

My Review:

Every now and then I come across a novel that takes me forever to read. Not because I’m not enjoying it but rather the opposite – it’s because I’m having so much fun that I try to draw the story out as long as I possibly can. This book took me two weeks to read… which is an extraordinary time for me to read a book… I’m usually finished in one or two days.

Throne of Glass is the story of Celaena Sardothien – a notorious young assassin who has spent the last year slaving away in the saltmines of Endovier. But a year in a slave labour camp has done nothing to quell Celaena’s somewhat arrogant and cheeky attitude.

Celaena has been trained in the lethal arts since she was a young girl found by the  Assassin King and she’s proud of all she’s accomplished. Not just anyone manages to be the Adarlan’s Assassin – the best in all the land – at seventeen.

When Crown Prince Dorian Havillard comes to the salt mines with a proposition for her, Celaena accepts his offer to represent him in a contest his father is holding – to find a Champion – and earn her wealth and freedom in four years.

But all is not well in Rifthold’s Glass Castle. Fellow competitors are turning up dead and the ladies of the court are nearly as vicious as assassins.

I was surprised by just how much I liked Celaena. She comes across as slightly arrogant but the more I read the more I realized that she had reason to be cocky. She’s achieved more in her years – not even to mention that she’s spent an entire year in a slave labour camp mining salt – than people do in entire lifetimes. And it’s true that whilst her life isn’t exactly ethical – she managed to kill 24 people in an attempt to escape from Endovier – she’s a force to be reckoned with.

I think the most surprising thing was that Celaena wasn’t just the hardened criminal that she seems at first glance. She’s there for her friends and stands up for poor defenceless animals. There’s a lot more to Celaena that I imagined.

This story is exciting. Assassin contest complete with many tasks and a duel to find the winner at the end. Add in a yuletime ball and gorgeous ball gowns… there was enough in this book to keep me interested from the first page to the last.

The love triangle in this novel was fantastic- and I’m not someone who usually likes when there’s more than one love interest. It’s one of those where there’s no clear leader and I like the mystery. Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol Westfall – best friends and romantic rivals are so different and yet best friends. They’re strong characters and I really enjoyed their interactions with Celaena and with each other.

I’ll definitely be reading the next book in this series. There’s a lot that’s left a mystery with so many questions regarding Celaena’s history and so many more about the magical world that still exists within Adarlan. I can’t wait till the next book is released.

Amazon / Book Depository