Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Villains

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Villains (favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc.) I’m going to go with a combination of all the options. This list will include some of my favorite villains, who are the best and the worst at the same time, but also loveable. Some will be the evilesttop t t and maybe a little creepy too. Villains are some of my favorite and a great Spooktober topic!

 

1. The Darkling, Grisha Verse by Leigh Bardugo – Anyone that knows me knows that I miiiight be a little obsessed with this series and the Darkling. He’s such an excellent villain. Attractive and mysterious, he lures you in before pulling you into the dark side. A backstory that gives him a human side. He’s excellently developed and I just love him.
2. Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Creepy, downright evil, this guy is just the worst in all the best ways. He’s a character that I love to hate.
3. Maven Calore, Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – A loveable villain in the first book. Before we’re blindsided by the fact that he’s actually the villain for this series. I loved him in Red Queen and HATED him the rest of the series. Aveyard made him loveable and personable and I still love him a little even though he’s pure evil.
4. Tea, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – Tea is made out to be the villain in this story but as we read we find out that she’s doing what she really believes in, despite the fact that she knows it will upset pretty much everyone. The minute she finds out she’s a bone witch she’s already given a stigma of being bad.
5. BeiTech, The Illuminae Files by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – I think this interesting twist of making a corporation the villain of the story is really cool. Though there’s more to this villain I won’t spoil anything. I think this was a well thought out and well-executed villain.
6. Empress Celestine, The Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima – There’s still much to learn about this particular villain, but so far she’s very intriguing. She’s the worst, but I find myself liking her more as we get deeper into the series.
7. Nova/Insomnia, Renegades by Marissa Meyer – The main character who is a villain, but seems to start to have conflicting feelings about being a villain once she finds herself surrounded by heroes.
8. Martin Chatwin, The Magicians by Lev Grossman – Martin is just the worst. He’s basically psychotic on top of being pure evil.
9. Adelina Amouteru, The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Adelina was one of the first characters that made me realize I might like villains more than I thought.
10. King of Hybern, ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas – This guy sucked. He was actually the worst and I hated everything about him. Greedy and selfish, not satisfied with what he already has so he has to stir up all kinds of drama.

Who are your favorite, best, worst, most evil villains?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

ABC Book Challenge |F|

Hi, Bookworms!

This week we will be talking about books with the letter F. For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This weeks letter is – F.

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima (reviewed here) – I can not say enough good things about this book or this author. I’m obsessed with everything she’s written. If you haven’t read these books stop what you’re doing and go read them asap. You can thank me later.

(The) Fault in our Stars by John Green (reviewed here) – No surprise here with this one. Green is my favorite author and though I haven’t read this book in quite a while I still remember it so well.

Antonia

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine – This was the first book I read of hers and it still remains my favorite. I just always loved the unique fairy tale elements and the fact that the heroine isn’t pretty but is extremely kind. It’s one of the major themes throughout the book.

Fire by Kristin Cashore – I loved everything about this book but especially Fire herself.

 

Books Still on Our TBR List

Amanda

(The) Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser – This is one I picked up because I have another book by the same author (that I also haven’t read). But the cover is beautiful and the book description sounds super interesting.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino – I picked this up on my last Target adventure. I haven’t actually heard anything from anyone about these books, but I’ve seen them at a few different bookstores and the covers always catch my eye. I’m excited to get to this one because I love fairytale retellings and I love villains and this has both.

Antonia

(Of) Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – Amanda review this recently (read it here) and it sounded amazing so I’ll definitely have to read it.

Fate Undone by Linsey Hall – I’ve loved her Dragon’s Gift series so I was really excited to see she has an adult romance series as well. The Greek mythology is just an added bonus for me.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to let us know what books you would use for the letter F in the comments or leave us a link to your post!

Book Tag – Reader’s Problems

We’ve become obsessed with book tags and we’re not sorry about it. We found the Reader’s Problems Book Tag posted by Linda at Linda’s Little Library! She has some great posts over there, so go check out her page. We saw this tag and thought it looked like fun.

You have 20,000 books on your TBR list. How in the world do you decide which book to read next? 

Amanda- This is actually a real life, everyday problem. One that I’m currently facing. I have at least twenty books on my TBR and I almost dread finishing a book because I don’t want to have to think about what I’m going to read next. But when I do finally decide, it’s usually based off whatever mood I’m in. I may want something quick and fun to read or I may be ready to get invested and lose a piece of my soul in some new series.

Antonia- Like Amanda, it mostly depends on my mood. I think more often than not it’s the book I’ve been thinking about longest or the new book I’ve been waiting for. Usually when I can’t decide between a bunch I’ll read the synopsis of each (even if I’ve read it a million times) and that’s how I figure out what I’m in the mood for.

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it, do you quit or are you committed? 

Amanda- I’m committed. I’m not someone that is capable of not finishing a book unless I’m less than fifty pages into the book. This recently happened to me with The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (check out my review here) I finished the entire book and still really just didn’t love it. But the person that I am, I still read the second book, The Heart Forger (review here), and I ended up really enjoying it. I’m excited for the third to come out. So, yeah, I have to finish a book once I’m halfway because I’m pretty invested, even if I finish it and don’t like it, that’s okay.

Antonia- I’m not afraid to DNF but I try not to. Like Amanda, I’ve definitely read books I didn’t like but loved the rest of the series so I always try to keep that in mind when I don’t like something. I really only DNF when I either REALLY hate the main character or dislike the writing style so much that I have to keep rereading sentences because I can’t stay focused.

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, yet still so far away from your reading goal on GoodReads. Do you try to catch up and how? 

Amanda- Wow, I love this book tag. This literally happened to me New Years Eve ’17. I spent half the night reading (even though I was at a friends house with a big group of my friends) because I needed to try to make it to 300 books for the year. I finished a book that night but only made it to 299 books for the year. Better luck next year I guess.

Antonia- It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to reach my yearly goals so I don’t worry about it too much anymore. I usually have so much going on in December that it’s unfortunately not very high on my list.

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope? 

Amanda- Depending on the series I will not care or I will buy more copies of said books to make sure I have a matching set. For example, I own every book in the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich but I’ve bought them slowly over the years from yard sales and library sales and a few new hardcovers here and there – so not one book in this series matches. But my favorite series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas all have to be the same or I will lose my mind. It would bother me so much that I didn’t have a matching series (I do though, so it’s fine.)

Antonia- It’s definitely an unpopular opinion but I really don’t care. Sure it’s nice when they look all pretty stacked together but that frequently means having to buy hardcover copies and that means less money for other books.

Everyone and their mother really loves a book that you really didn’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? 

Amanda- Antonia, duh. Mostly because she doesn’t read half of the books that I do. We both read our own kinds of books, so generally if I’m reading something popular that everyone loves (in certain genres) she hasn’t read it and I can complain to her. But I mean, I can complain to her even if she read it and liked it. So, Antonia is my answer regardless of what book it is.

Antonia- Amanda, duh. For literally the same reasons.

You’re reading a book in public and it’s going to make you cry. How do you deal? 

Amanda- I’m okay with that. I’m one of those crazy bookworms that you may see in public hysterically laughing at whatever is in my book. The same goes for crying. If the book’s going to make me cry, it doesn’t matter where I am.

Antonia- Unlike Amanda I really don’t like crying in public so I’ll usually just take a few deep breaths and hold back the tears or if that’s not possible, I’ll put the book away.

A sequel of a book you love just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you reread the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on GoodReads? Just cry in frustration?!

Amanda- I will reread the book. This is another real-life situation for me. I’m actually doing this now. I’m reading Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima (which I reviewed here when it came out a few years ago.) So even though I read and reviewed it, I know I’ve forgotten important details. So I’m going to reread it along with the second book, Shadowcaster, now that the third has recently been released.

Antonia- Definitely reread. I love rereading books. If it’s been recently enough that I remember a lot of it then I might find a summary and that’ll help me remember the rest.

You do not want anyone, ANYONE, borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people no when they ask? 

Amanda- This is actually really easy when you don’t have any friends (HAH, it’s true though.) And the friends I do have live hundreds of miles away from me. Also any friends that live close don’t read or aren’t comfortable asking to borrow my books (because I’m smart enough to not offer for them to borrow, which is something I used to stupidly do all the time.)

Antonia- I also don’t have friends so there’s no one to ask me. The few people I’m close to who read (like Amanda, husband, mom, sister) I know are trustworthy with books and will give them back. Anyone else I usually just make up some excuse not to.

Reading ADD, you’ve picked up and put down five books in the last month. How do you get out of your reading slump? 

Amanda- When this happens to me I tend to pick one of my go-to authors that write easy, fun, lighthearted books. This happened to me a few weeks ago and I got out of the slump by reading Come Sundown by Nora Roberts (reviewed here) and it was a quick read that got me out of my slump. Janet Evanovich, Linsay Sands, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips are other authors that I can read their books any time, but especially when I find myself in a slump.

Antonia- Again, my answer is very similar to Amanda’s. (Are we the same person?) Nora Roberts is always my go to when I can’t get into any books because I’ve literally never had that problem with any of her books (and I’ve read at least a hundred of them).

There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Amanda- All of them. What kind of question is this?

Antonia- I wish I could say all of them. Unfortunately money’s often an issue for me. I’ll buy the 2 or 3 that I can’t live without then either wait for the others or try to find them at the library.

After you’ve bought all of the new books that you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you read them? 

Amanda- Um…About this. A long time. But only because I have to reread some books before I can get to the new ones. And because more new books keep coming out and I have to get to those too and read some of them first.

Antonia- I’ve gotten better about this since I don’t often buy a ton at one time but occasionally one still waits for too long.

 

Okay, so we had a ton of fun with this Reader’s Problems Book Tag, mostly because many of these are real struggles we face as bookworms. So if you’re reading this and think it sounds fun, consider yourself tagged!

Tome Topple Challenge – Update

Hi, bookworms!I thought an update would be great now that we’ve made it through week one of the Tome Topple Readathon Challenge! Just here for a check in to let you guys know where we’re at with our goals and TBR lists and ask how everyone else is doing so far in this readathon challenge. Without further ado!

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Amanda- So far I’ve completed one full book for this challenge. It’s one that I’ve been putting off because it’s part of a series but the last book hasn’t been released yet and I don’t want to wait a whole year to know what happens next! Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima is the third book in the Shattered Realms series. Here are links for my reviews of the first book, Flamecasterthe second book, Shadowcasterand the review I just posted today for the third book, StormcasterNext, I’ve started Triangles by Ellen Hopkins and I will hopefully be done with it by the end of this weekend. But I might not be because I’m visiting some family this week and I’m not sure if I will have as much time as I want to read. This book fulfills the ‘adult novel’ challenge for this readathon. I’ll be sure to post the review once I’ve finished it.I’ve also been listening to some audiobooks (I’m not sure what the ruling is on audiobooks for Tome Topple) that are over 500 pages in their paper copies. So I’m going to count it. American Gods by Neil Gaiman so far is bizarre and weird but I just can’t stop listening. So far, I’m doing better than I thought I was going to with everything else I have going on this week. I’m hoping to keep that progress where it’s at and keep moving forward page by page!

Antonia- I just finished Inkheart by Cornelia Funke which fulfills the ‘part of a series’ category. You can read my review of it here. I’ve already started the second book in the series, Inkspell, though I, unfortunately, don’t have the third book yet. I’m working the next eight days straight so my reading will probably be pretty slow for a bit. I’m hoping to at least finish Inkspell though.

This is where we are both at so far for the Tome Topple Challenge. Who else is participating in this readathon? Where are you at with the TBR list you had planned?

Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary:
A pirate on the run.
Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move wind, waves, and weather, but his magical abilities can’t protect him forever from the brutal Empress Celestine. As Celestine’s relentless bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom that an invasion is imminent. If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall and his last sanctuary will be destroyed. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.
A warrior princess.
Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship, sailing east. Lyss may be the last hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled stronghold.
The storm of war.
Intricately interwoven storylines converge in this gripping novel as the warring Seven Realms struggle to unite against a horrific tyrant.
Review:
Oh my god the way this book ended. I almost don’t even know how to write this review right now with that freaking ending. The fourth book, Deathcaster, isn’t scheduled to be published until March of next year and I might just die waiting.
Okay, you guys obviously know that I love this series and this author from previous reviews that I’ve written. Sadly I think Stormcaster is going to be my least favorite out of the Shattered Realms series unless the fourth book is terrible and I hate the ending, but I don’t predict that happening. There is really only one reason why it was my least favorite and it’s not even a very good one. These books are written in the perspective of multiple characters that we spent the first two books meeting and getting the history for most of them. This third book follows Evan Strangward, our next mage marked character, while we learn his history and how it intertwines with a few characters that we’ve met in the previous two books. The book was almost hard to read because there was so much going on. At this point, we’ve met six or more characters that are all playing their own crucial part to the story. So we need to check in with each of them and see where they’re at and what they’re doing toward their part in the story. While some of them are together and that combines the story, we still hear from all of the characters and see their point of view. It was honestly just a little too much for me. I’m one that usually loves the multi-perspective stories and I did love this story, but it was a little much. I wanted more from each character. I wanted to see more and know more about what they were doing next. This is really my only complaint though.
I absolutely adored all of the characters, new and old. I’m not going to say too much about each of them or I would go on for days. I loved finally catching up with Ash and seeing where he was. Getting to see him reunite with his mother literally made me cry and it was amazing. I especially loved Evan, our newest main character. We met him in previous books but we really got to know him and where he came from in this story. I without a doubt adore and fully support his relationship with Destin. I really enjoyed getting to know Destin better as well. Seeing this other side of his character was really interesting and I enjoyed seeing this other side of him. I still love Hal but I’m upset that he doesn’t make an effort to go after Lyss. I get that he has his family to worry about and is trying to do the right thing and help everyone instead of just Lyss but I still wanted him to go after her. Lyss is still the absolute best. She’s still a kickass girl who takes nothing from anyone. Even kidnapped she’s still sassy and fierce and I’m obsessed with her. I really enjoyed her and Jenna meeting. I think they are an interesting combination and their story could be really fun together. Jenna is so smart and so determined even though she is inexperienced and this is where I think Lyss will fit the gap beautifully. They can become such a fabulous team and I’m excited to see where they go together in the next book. I wonder though if the other characters in the story will get to see what a personality Cas has like we do. I think if they do it will be portrayed very interestingly.
There were so many unlikely alliances in Stormcaster. Many that I never saw coming. All of them were slightly hilarious and added so much fun to the story, especially with all the different points of view. We really got to see what each character thought of one another and it made for some great comedy. Along with this comedy, there were quite a few little (some not so little) bits of irony. I’m not going to say anything specific, just that it was really well written and I loved that these little things were added to the story. This was just another thing that made the writing that much better. I think this book, like the last, was very well written with all of the characters’ stories intersecting and meeting at different points in their lives and then again in the present. All of the characters working toward the same goal all over the world without knowing that their friends and not always allies are out there doing the same thing.
I was glad to finally get some answers in this book. There is one giant event or secret or something that these books have been leading up to. The magemarked, what’s up with the mark on their neck and their abilities? Where do they come from? Why does no one know where they come from or their purpose? We finally get a few (very minimal) answers. Just enough answers to leave us wanting more and wondering what the rest of the story is. I’m glad to finally have some answers but honestly, everything in this book just made me want the fourth book to be here already so I can know how this story ends. I’m sick of waiting. I want to rescue Lyss and make sure this stupid evil empress leaves the rest of the world alone. I believe the final book is going to be where we get the back story on Empress Celeste. Let me tell you, I’m SUPER excited to learn about her past from the little bits and pieces we learned about her in Stormcaster.
Anyway, I’m going to stop now or I’ll just keep going and going. Overall, the writing was (as usual) amazing and incredible and hilarious (especially their swearing, so creative and funny). It’s another book by Cinda Williams Chima that I enjoyed getting lost in the wonderful world that she’s created with characters that are unforgettable and so so lovable. This series is great for all those readers out there that love excellently built worlds and fantasy and a touch of magic all tied together with characters that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same damn time.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme formerly hosted by Should Be Reading and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

wwwwwwww

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading Triangles by Ellen Hopkins. It’s the second book on my Tome Topple list and fulfills the ‘adult novel’ challenge for this readathon. I love anything Ellen Hopkins.

Antonia- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I’ve been wanted to read this series for pretty much forever and I’m so happy I finally have. It’s perfect because it’s long enough to count for the Tome Topple reading challenge.

What did you recently finish reading? 

Amanda- I recently finished reading Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima. Keep an eye out for my review soon. This was my first pick for Tome Topple and I’ve been putting off reading it because the fourth book in the series hasn’t been released yet. This book fulfills the ‘part of a series’ tome challenge for the readathon.

Antonia- I just finished Institute of Magic by Linsey Hall. It’s the first book in Ana’s series which I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now. Check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I think I’m going to start The Diviners by Libba Bray. It’s the first in a series that I got from the library. All three books in this series qualify for the Tome Topple Readathon and they will be a nice addition to our master review list (we don’t have any reviews listed under the letter B).

Antonia- I’m thinking Inkspell by Cornelia Funke since it also works for Tome Topple.

That’s all for our W’s this week. What are yours?

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary:
A lifelong war.
Alyssa ana’Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.
A life in peril.
Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lytling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.
The shadow of defeat.
Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, this is a thrilling story of unfathomable costs of war, the allure of dark magic, and two principled and conflicted characters drawn together despite everything they stand to lose.
Review:
This is the second book in Cinda Williams Chima’s Shattered Realms series. I reviewed the first book, Flamecaster here. In this book, we follow another member of the royal family of the Fellisian queendom, the heir to the throne, Lyss. I really enjoyed following Lyss in this story. She’s a character that I really enjoyed watching develop. At the beginning of the story she’s a young girl who’s just lost her sister and with that has become the new heir to the throne. We get to see into her relationship with her brother, Ash – who is the sibling that we follow in Flamecaster. She’s confiding in him about how she’s not ready to be queen and she doesn’t think that she’s the right person for this responsibility. He promises her that he will always be there for her and that she’s not alone with this new responsibility. And then he abandons her because of his own issues. Lyss is a girl that has been dealt the worst hand, over and over again. It only makes her stronger. Lyss takes all of her struggles and turns it into strength, into determination, into motivation to be the best she can for her people. It’s clear that she cares deeply about her friends and fellow soldiers – she’s a captain of her own special ‘Grey Wolf Squad’ that we learn is more like a little family. The members of the Grey Wolves care about each other and do what they need to in order to look out for one another. It’s clear that Alyssa is going to be a great leader regardless of all of the doubts she has about herself. We get to see these doubts and insecurities come out when Lyss is around her cousin Julianna. Julianna is the girl that I think Lyss sees that Julianna is excelling at all of the political and diplomatic things that Lyss is most insecure about.
There are so many things I like about this story. One of them is the timeline. This second book is happening partially at the same time as the first. So we get to see more details into events that we heard happening in the first book, but we get to read about how these important events happened. I thought it was cool that we got to see both siblings on both sides of the world both playing huge roles in their quickly changing world. Getting to see the two stories meet up and the characters come together was a nice touch. I liked how Chima did this, it was really well written. Everything just fits together nicely. The pace of the story (and series) was great. There was an ample amount of suspense but done the right way. It’s not too much or too little. We’re left wanting more, but not overwhelmed with questions. All of the characters necessary to the story are introduced slowly which I like because we really get to know them. They may be secondary characters, but they’re real and they’re fully developed because we’re not overwhelmed with characters and Chima took the time to really get into each one. I’m anxious to see the characters all meet and to see who else we will meet in the third book and beyond.
Jenna is one of the characters that we met in the first book. We only get to see bits and pieces of what she’s up to in this book, but I loved what we did get to see. We get more into her relationship with Cas which had me laughing the whole time. I absolutely adore Cas and everything about him. He has his own personality and it just cracks me up. I love the relationship between these two and I’m excited to see more of it in the next book. Jenna is a girl I really love. She always tries to do the right thing, even if it’s something that’s a risk to her own well being. She’s got great instincts and seems to know just the right time to get out of any given situation. She’s the first we meet with the magemark. The next is Breon. A very interesting guy. A character I’m not totally sure how to feel about. He’s one giant mystery. We learn just enough about him to know that he’s a good guy deep down inside, even though he mostly hangs around the wrong kind of people. Bree is surrounded by mystery and I really can’t wait to read more about him in the next book. There are so many unanswered questions with him. Why can’t he remember anything before he was ten? Where did his ability to sing someone’s song come from? What does this have to do with the magemarks? Also, an interesting aspect of the story is Bree’s addiction. He smokes a plant that they refer to as ‘leaf’. I liked this aspect because it made Bree flawed. It was really refreshing to have a character so flawed. He’s a character that has issues that he needs to work on. I’m anxious to see where these magemarked characters will take us in the rest of the series.
My favorite character in this book was Halston Matelon. Hal is the mirror of Lyss, minus the royalty part. He’s a part of Arden’s army and just trying to do his best for a country that he knows isn’t the best. He’s a man with honor. He wants to do the right thing, but he’s conflicted because the right thing and his orders aren’t always in line. There’s a great dynamic between him and Lyss. They’re both leaders, just on opposite sides of the war. Hal knowledge is full of misconceptions; misconceptions about the royal women of the Fells, misconceptions about Lyss and who he thinks she’s involved with, and misconceptions about northerners in general. Because of these, we got to see his thought process change once he was faced with the truth. It was fascinating to follow the character development for Hal. I also got a kick out of Hal’s internal conversation. He’s always talking to himself internally. It’s sometimes hilarious, especially when he’s thinking about Lyss. He compares her to a wolf for most of the book not knowing that she is the heir to the grey wolf throne. He also is forever talking about how he’s never met a woman like Lyss and it really just emphasizes the cultural differences between Arden and the Fells, specifically their women. I could go on and on about Hal, but I’ll stop here.
There were a few little things that I didn’t like about this book. One of them is that we didn’t see Ash, not even once, so we’re left wondering what’s happening with him the whole time. Another thing, at the beginning of the book Lyss is about eleven years old talking to her brother and then suddenly we’re four years into the future. Then a chapter or two later we do another time jump of a few months, it’s just off and a little bit confusing but it only happened in the beginning and not again after these two times. There were way more things that I liked about Shadowcaster than disliked. Chima is an incredible world builder. I love this book because we get to see even more of the Seven Realms, from Delphi to the heart of Arden, we get to travel all over in this series and it’s incredible to see more of this place. I’m excited to read the third book and the others when they are published so that we can explore the realms further. I have a feeling we’re going to get to explore the southern islands and I’m very intrigued to see them. Chima also creates amazing characters. They’re real and relatable to the reader, but also to one another. They’re a generation of kids that were all forced to grow up too soon because of this ridiculous war.
Overall, I loved this book (can you tell?) and I can’t wait to read the third one, Stormcaster. This book is great for anyone that likes fantasy, especially those who like a strong female lead.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme formerly hosted by Should Be Reading and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

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What are you currently reading? 

Amanda – I’m currently reading Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. This is the first book in the Shattered Realms Series, you can see my review here. I’m rereading this book because the third book in this series came out recently and I haven’t read these books in a while. So I want to make sure I’m not forgetting anything important. Also, I read the second book while we were being bad bloggers, so I want to post a review for the second book.

Antonia – I’m currently reading The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. This is the first book in his Heroes of Olympus series which I’m technically rereading. I read the first three books years ago but somehow during my move across the country lost the fourth book and only just replaced it.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda – I stayed up way too late last night to finish Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. This is a book my Aunt let me (forced me to) borrow because she really enjoyed reading it. I’m glad she pushed it on me, it was a super great book that made me feel a variety of emotions. Check out my review for this book here.

Antonia – I just finished reading The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. I really enjoyed going a little outside my normal genres for this one. You can check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next? 

Amanda – I sort of already answered this with the first question, but oh well. Next, I will be reading Shadowcaster by Cinda  Williams Chima. I’m currently reading the first, so barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will read the second book and then the third. Keep an eye out for my reviews!

Antonia – Next I plan to continue the Heroes of Olympus series though when I was organizing my shelves the other day, I found tons of books I want to read so I may get distracted.

These are our W’s this week, what are yours? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Best Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish (feel free to put your own spin on it). This week is “Best Character Names (make this as narrow/broad as you’d like)”. Since this weekly post is something that is completely up to me and my opinion, I’m going to choose names that I liked or really stuck with me for one reason or another. This is also in no particular order.

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Alaska – The main character of my favorite book Looking for Alaska by John Green. This name has always stuck with me, maybe because it’s my favorite book. But I think it’s more the story behind the name. Alaksa’s parents let her change her name once she reached a certain age and she chose Alaska because it means “that which the sea breaks against” and that’s just beautiful to me.

The A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – Every name in this series by Sarah J. Maas is one that I really liked. Again, this may be because this is one of my favorite series, but as you read through the books the names just keep getting more interesting. Our main character Feyre, her sisters (Nesta and Elaine), her two love interests, Tamlin and Rhysand. Theres not a single character in this book that doesn’t have an interesting name that’s stuck with me.

Celaena Sardothien – This is the main character from Sarah J. Maas’s other series, Throne of Glass. She’s a kick butt assassin who we later find out is someone who goes by another name (that I’m not going to say because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it) that is just as cool as the name we first know her by. There are other characters in this series with cool names, but Celaena’s is one that’s stuck with me.

Adrian sul’Han – From The Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. So I love all the names of the royal family in this series and the one before it, but I didn’t want to be a copy cat and steal one of the ones Antonia chose, so I’m doing the kids. I really like the way that royalty is named in this series, using the names of those that came before them.

Cass, Del and Nix – They’re from the first three series in the Dragon’s Gift Universe by Linsey Hall. Their full names are Cassiopeia, Delphine, and Pheonix. They named themselves after the stars and I just love that. They named themselves in their past when they escaped something horrible together with no memories of before, so they chose constellations. But we find out that they all chose the right names for themselves when the girls learn more about their pasts later in their lives.

Zeroes Series – By Scott Westerfeld. I had to have at least one “superhero” book on this list. I just really love the whole super hero trend going on. And this one is great because they’re a bunch of kids that try to do good and usually just mess things up. But they’ve got some cool and funny names.

Rhoma Grace – The main character of the Zodiac series by Romina Russell. I think she makes the list just because I really liked her as a character. Also this series is mostly in outer space and traveling among a few different planets and there are lots of cool and interesting space names throughout the whole series.

Lexi JardineShadows of the Immortals series by Marina Finnlayson. This series really stuck with me. And interestingly enough for our main character, we have another situation where her name isn’t actually what she thinks her name is. Again, I won’t say what her name really is because I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s a plot twist for sure. I liked this character and all the others in this series some have basic names, but their characters are so much more than their names. Also, there’s a ton of different gods and goddesses from different cultures and I love stuff like that.

Mae WaylanderThe White Hart Series by Sarah Dalton. Our main character, Mae Waylander, a peasant girl who has the name of a hero, I just hear her name and it gives me hero feels.

Aza – She’s our main character in Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I just like this name. It’s interesting to me, just like who she is as a character.

These are my top ten “best” character names. Mostly they’re just names I liked enough to remember while I was making this list. What’s your top ten on this fine Tuesday evening?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.