Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire: Heir of Fire (Arrows + Decor)

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Shhh. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I haven’t always, always been a wedding photographer. I technically went to college for Interior Design. Though I’m not working in that industry anymore, I still have a strong pull to good design and my heart sure does pitter patter pretty rapidly when I’m inspired by something. In today’s instance, that’s Heir of Fire, Sarah J. Maas’s latest installment in the Throne of Glass series.

HeirOfFireHC_US

Heir of Fire (#3) by Sarah J. Maas [website | twitter]
Previously Reviewed: Throne of Glass (#1) | Crown of Midnight (#2)
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 565
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: Assassin, Queen, Magic, High Fantasy
Format read: ARC received from the Publisher. (Thank you!)

Summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I’m participating in the Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire: Heir of Fire blog tour and really wanted to do something that would just say more than HEY THIS BOOK IS AWESOME AND YOU SHOULD READ IT. (But I mean, you should. You absolutely should.) I’m going to highlight a few bullet points (spoiler free, of course)about Heir of Fire and then we’re going to talk design and arrows. Two of my most favorite things.

+ Heir of Fire picks right up where Crown of Midnight left off. This is amazing because you won’t feel like, “Blah, blah, blah, backstory, blah.” However, if you’re like me and your schedule is so intense you need a little refresher and can’t pick up the previous to books for a much-needed re-read, you should check out the Recaptains recap for Crown of Midnight and Throne of Glass. (Beware, this will spoil everything if you haven’t read the books yet.)

+ The point of view switches between so many characters — Chaol (!!), Celaena, Dorian, etc. My point is, you constantly know what’s happening with all of the characters and get vague ideas of what’s about to go down if you can fit the puzzle pieces together. But sure enough, there were MULTIPLE times I was left so incredibly shocked. (Come on, the ending? Yeah. Killed me.)

+ It’s one thing to go into a third book already loving the main character, Celaena, like whoa, but another entirely to adore her tenfold after this book. Her transformation! Holy smokes, y’all. Expect lots of growth from her. She struggles and she hurts and things aren’t always easy for her (wait, um, have they ever been?!), but you’ll want to embrace her even more.

+ There’s more layering and character development and the whole world blossoms. Up until this point, I have had a pretty vague idea (but great picture) of the whole world. Maas really zoomed out and introduced even more to really give us the complex details of what’s happening. I was imagining new characters in my head and really felt like my imagination was on fire. (ha, an Heir of Fire book pun).

I’m going to stop here before I ruin anything about this book for you. Just… PLEASE READ IT. ASAP.

I’m well aware that Celaena doesn’t use a lot of arrows personally, but they do have their significance in this story. I have a major obsession with arrows and feel like someone could dedicate an entire room (or, ahem, their whole house) to Heir of Fire inspiration. Let’s take a peek at a few of my favorite things:

heir of fire bedroom decor inspiration and arrows

Anthropologie Arrow Wall: I walked into my local store shortly after meeting my daughter, whose room has many arrow-releated decorations, and just knew I needed to figure out how to make these for our home. I’m actually thinking if I hung one vertically it could be a growth chart in her room over the coming years, but OMG I LOVE THIS.

- Country Living Wallpaper: I found this via Pinterest. It looks like someone just scanned this image in from the magazine, but how badly do you want to track this wallpaper down and plaster it all over your walls? SO PRETTY.

- Handpainted Arrows (from etsy): Good golly, Miss Molly, I adore these. I would like a set of three, and very particularly would like the one with the golden arrow.

DIY Wooden Arrow Display: My mom sent me the link to this on Pinterest after I visited Anthropologie that day. It doesn’t have the same eye-catching affect, but it’s still pretty solid. I love that it seems so simple and easy to accomplish too. (Especially impactful if installed like this.)

A Bundle of Arrows: K, so let’s be honest. I don’t exactly know where to purchase or find arrows, but if I did, I would have one of these (very out of reach for the little lady) somewhere in our home. I love the the little pop of color they provide!

- Mint Stripes and Arrows Duvet: And how much do we love this color combination PLUS the hint of arrows? Goodness. I think this was designed specifically for me. I want!

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Oh, and guess what? You can enter to win a copies of Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, The Assassin’s Blade, a signed print of Crown of Midnight, and a Throne of Glass tote! Open internationally. Good luck!

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Book Cover for Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Magan: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Warning: This review may contain spoilers for Throne of Glass. Proceed with caution.

Book Cover for Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (My review.)
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 432
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: female assassin, magic, young adult fantasy, high fantasy
Format read: ARC received via NetGalley. (Thank you!)

Summary: After being crowned the King’s Champion, Celaena is sent on secret missions to destroy people the King doesn’t find favor with. Meanwhile, she’s falling in love with Chaol and one of her secret missions stirs up more chaos than it should.

Remember when I gushed and fangirled about Throne of Glass last year? Just in case you didn’t read that review, ToG pretty much rocked my world and sent me into a deep book slump because I was so taken with Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol. Waiting a year for Crown of Midnight has felt like such torture!

But let me tell you friends, it’s well, well worth the wait! What an awesome follow-up to Throne of Glass. Let’s begin with our favorite assassin heroine, Celaena. She’s working through her feelings for Chaol. Oh, yes. Chaol. (Hubba, hubba.) Meanwhile, he’s trying to decide if she’s worth losing everything for, especially if the King finds out. Dorian is a lovesick puppy who feels dejected and a little lost because he can clearly see something is happening between these two, but he’s still harboring major feelings for Celaena. What a conundrum! While it may sound like there’s this crazy love triangle happening, it didn’t feel like that as much to me in Crown of Midnight as it did in ToG. The relationship between Chaol and Celaena felt like this beautiful dance, as if they were balancing on this tight rope of survival.

Of course things get a little bit complicated though. Crown of Midnight is packed with tons of secrecy. Celaena is being sent on missions as the King’s Champion, but she isn’t quite fulfilling his requests exactly as he hoped. This knowledge could cost her life and put anyone who finds out about it in a very terrible position. She’s set herself up for danger. Nehemiah also has a lot going on — she’s missing from her room when people go searching for her, there’s a threat against her life, and she’s not giving full disclosure to Celaena as they each promised they would. Chaol feels the need to protect Celaena, but his silence may cause more drama than his honesty would. (Isn’t that pretty much always the case?) I do believe Dorian’s secrets shocked me the most though; he seemed to be a secondary character when Celaena and Chaol’s relationship was developing, but out of nowhere comes this huge unveiling that really made me excited.

The beauty of Crown of Midnight is how so many aspects felt like they were clicking into place, but how I constantly felt jolted or surprised by revelations, too. I absolutely loved seeing where the story was headed, even if I feel like my heart suffered a bit as some pretty awful things went down. You know those moments when you want to smack a character upside their head? There were a couple of those times where Chaol and Celaena really needed to bypass their own egos and agendas to resolve issues, but they just couldn’t do it. These were the times I noticed a few lulls in the story as Celaena really had to work through a lot of emotions. While the story may have slowed down in tempo a bit, I feel this was necessary and intentional on behalf of Maas because it really allowed me to see a completely different side of our leading lady. I saw her not just as a person who is incredibly awesome at murdering someone, but as a very emotional woman who tries to distance herself from people because she’s suffered from so much loss.

Speaking of loss, what will I do for the next year while I wait to find out what happens next? Ay yi yi.

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travel tails feature with rather be reading, alexa loves books, and novel sounds

Travel Tales: Setting the Scene

travel tails feature with rather be reading, alexa loves books, and novel sounds

Welcome to our first official post in the TRAVEL TALES event we are hosting with Elena from Novel Sounds and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books! This is where we make each other completely depressed, daydreaming about places we want to visit in books but can’t — whether it’s because of time, that green stuff, or the place doesn’t really exist. Seriously, though, settings are pretty essential to every novel ever written and it’s interesting why and when we connect to the ones we do. Magan and I decided to raid our bookshelves for books that contain illuminating settings for one reason or another! Enjoy!

estelle.

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, The Hidden Staircase by Nancy Drew

1. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby (Goodreads) Ah. This book features so beautiful settings like the beach where Anna and her dad move to in first pages of the book. Anna is a runner and I love that she has the freedom to run on the shoreline. Kirby also injects a mystical element to this book as Anna begins to remember some things about her deceased mom and their shared love of roaming the beach. I’m a sucker for a good beach setting because it’s probably where I love to be the most. Kirby lives near the beach and you can tell she just understands it.

2. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (Goodreads) I used to love this series when I was a kid, and I’ve been dying to read them again. I’m also a huge fan of the Julie Andrews movie, but the book more closely resembles the stage show. Mary isn’t actually all peaches and cream but I do love the adventures she takes her charges on in these pages. Who doesn’t want to jump into a gorgeous and colorful chalk painting? I’m a huge fan of London and I’m dying to go back (maybe for my 30th birthday?) and this is my imaginative portal to that spot.

3. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene (Goodreads) I’ve written about the little Estelle fun fact I’m about to tell you many times during my creative writing classes. When I was young and my parents had a condo at our favorite beach (you may know it… it’s the setting of Jersey Shore… sadface) I used to stay up really late reading. Not a surprise, huh? But I would only take out Nancy Drew books and read them against the lights of the boardwalk. (My sister and I shared a room and she was always sleeping before me.) There used to be a log flume at one of the farther piers that would spell l-o-g-f-l-u-m-e over and over again as I crawled into Nancy’s mysteries and tried to help her solve them. If you are a friend of Nancy you know she always went wherever she was needed, but as for me, I was in a safe place, an ocean breeze wafting through my large window, and content.

magan.

great settings in books - cinder by marisa meyer, second chance summer by morgan matson, throne of glass by sarah j maas

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Goodreads): “Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.” — I absolutely loved escaping in Cinder. Set in the future, the technological enhancements — portscreens (I picture much like iPads), hovers (I imagined to be a floating taxi system), androids (robots!) — left me fascinated. Cinder is a girl with a metal arm and foot. How is that possible?! Meyer definitely made everything seem real and alive for me. I wondered what our future world will be like and if any of Meyer’s imaginative concepts would come to life.

2. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (Goodreads): “A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted- mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.” Moments. That’s what ALL of Second Chance Summer felt like to me. Beautifully described scenes. A town that felt alive and tangible to me. A road I was desperate to speed down carelessly (on a bike – not in car). I could taste the coconut ice cream and smell the sugary sweet scent drifting from Henry’s dad’s bakery. Every single thing about SCS was alive for me. Matson completely set the scene and pulled me into the Edwards family. (By the way — if this town exists, I want to go there for real.)

3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Goodreads): “Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.” Until I read Throne of Glass, I had forgotten how much I enjoy the world of castles and kings. I wanted the opportunity to (freely) explore the glass castle. Despite Celaena spending the majority of her time (according to Chaol and Prince Dorian’s knowledge) barricaded in her room, I had a complete understanding of the intricacies of the castle. I could picture the splattered blood after the murders and my skin prickled when I ventured with Celaena into creepy dark places.

jet off to:

Elena wants to go to Hogwarts. (Who doesn’t?!)
Alexa celebrates a birthday & hosts a giveaway! (What a sweetheart!)
Alexa also features just HOW we can get to our favorite destinations. (Such a creative post!)