Blogmas Book Review: Lightbringer by Claire Legrand

fullsizeoutput_3401GoodReads Summary:
In this epic finale to the Empirium Trilogy from New York Timesbestselling author Claire Legrand, two queens, separated by a thousand years must face their ultimate destinies.
Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be.
In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay—and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter.
But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation—or the destruction their world has been dreading.
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)Review:
Lightbringer was everything I wanted as a finale for this series and more. It’s been a few weeks since I read it and I still don’t know that I can properly explain how much I loved this book. The story starts not too long after the ending of Kingsbane. This means that things are pretty exciting right from the start. We get to see Rielle start to sort of drown in her own power. I thought it was really interesting to see Rielle’s journey and figure out what was actually going on with her. From the start of the series we’re made to believe that we know exactly how Rielle’s story ends, so the anticipation of what happens up until that moment was so well done.
At the same time, we’re following Eliana’s point of view which was pretty much completely heartbreaking. Eliana was betrayed by someone she loved in the previous book and when Lightbringer starts, she’s being brought to Corien. Eliana’s story was honestly hard to read at times. Corien is trying to get what he wants from her and it’s not pleasant at all. Along with that, she sees the face of her betrayer most days. I loved Eliana so much in this book, even more than I did in the previous ones, because she didn’t falter. Even when she was past her breaking point, she would not give Corien what he wanted.
I guess I’m going to keep this short because I just honestly don’t know how to explain how lost in this world I got. I was so quickly invested in Rielle and Eliana’s characters. So, to reach the finale that was filled with so much development (for Rielle) and so much action (for both) it was such a joy even if the characters I love didn’t have an easy time at all. Legrand’s ability to bring this world, these characters, to life and so completely suck me into the story is incredible. I also have to say that I’m so pleased that I was pretty satisfied with the ending. I was really nervous that I would be devastated and everyone I loved would die (but like I was very lightly devastated for the whole book) but the ending truly picked up the pieces that were previously shattered. There’s more that I want to say, but I don’t want to spoil anything as this is the third and final book in the series. So, quick final thoughts: I loved this book. I love this world and the characters in it. I highly recommend this series to all fantasy lovers.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Girls With Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young

GoodReads Review:
It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.
The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.
And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.
Girls with Razor Hearts (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #2)Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for approving my request for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This second book made me just as angry as the first. But this one was less with the girls than with the rest of the world. The things that the girls face in this world hit a bit close to home. They were things that women in the real world deal with every day and it honestly just hurt my heart.
I think my favorite part of this book is Young’s writing. She tells the story in a way that I just can’t put it down. The story was fast-paced, even though not much really happened.
Sadly, as I said above, not all that much happened in this story. They had a mission and successfully completed it along with a bit of a side mission. But other than that, they didn’t learn much more about themselves and I wanted them to take more of an initiative to make the word different. They helped the school they attended, but they didn’t really have any ideas or plans for the bigger picture.
I still enjoyed this book and flew through it. It was a wild ride. But I didn’t love it. I think maybe this series is just not for me because I didn’t love the first one either. But I will probably eventually read the third just to see what’s going to happen next.

Quotes:

“All the attention society pays to the behavior of girls, and never once have they realized how they’re neglecting their boys. The absence of rules is turning them into feral animals.”

“Deeply felt emotions are our power. Our ability to feel is just as important as our ability to think.”

“Words have immeasurable power, Philomena. They affect what we believe, how we see the world.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

GoodReads Summary:
The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.
As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.
Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1)Review:
Girls with Sharp Sticks straight up pissed me off. It was to the point where I almost DNF’d it, but after talking to a friend, she told me the things that I hated got better. So, I continued on. I’m glad I did because this book was a wild ride.
The thing I hated about this book was the views that the girls are trained to believe. Girls are meant to be obedient and serve men is what it essentially boils down to and boy did that make me mad. But things get so good when Mena starts to realize that something isn’t right at the academy. She starts to realize that something more was going on than the girls knew. This was when things got really interesting.
I wanted to know more about the rest of the world. It seemed like this story is supposed to take place in a near-future where the rest of the world is going on how it is now, but some are taking things to extremes with these girls.
Overall, I don’t want to say too much because most of the things I liked are spoilers. So, I’m going to keep this review on the shorter side. This book made me really mad, but by the end of the story, all of the things that angered me were challenged. There were twists and turns, and mysteries that I never could have expected. I have an ARC of the second book and I’m dying to get into it right away.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.