Traitorous Kisses, Lots of Dragons, and a Disappointing-But-Still-Good Book

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, but not a ton of blogging. So here are a few quickie overviews of some of the books I’ve picked up over the last few weeks:

The Traitor’s Kiss (DNF)

The Traitor's KissThe Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty
Series: Traitor's Trilogy #1
Published by: Macmillan on May 9, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley
Book Details
Rating: Did Not Finish

An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

I read to 44% and decided to put it down.

I really like the idea of The Traitor’s Kiss but had two major problems:

  1. The execution could have been better. Mostly I think the pacing felt weird and the transitions were jarring.
  2. The formatting of the ARC I received REALLY made it hard for me to enjoy the story. Sometimes there were no breaks between chapters or POV switches and it got extremely confusing. I kept having to back up and re-read parts to figure out which POV we had switched to.

Part of me really wanted to keep going so I could find out what happens, but those two things really killed my enjoyment of the book and I just wasn’t as excited as I wanted to be.

Also, I got majorly lost in the politics and regions. Since I had a hard time figuring that out, I think it was hard for me to stay invested in what was happening. Hopefully the finished copy has a map, that might help!

The Last Namsara (DNF)

The Last NamsaraThe Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Series: Iskari #1
Published by: HarperTeen on October 3, 2017
Genre: Dragons, Fantasy
Pages: 432
Source: Edelweiss
Book Details
Rating: Did Not Finish

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

DNF at 32%.

The book itself wasn’t bad — in fact the premise is quite fantastic. HELLO DRAGONS!

But there was something about the style that I just couldn’t click with. Even though I loved the idea on paper, the book just couldn’t hold me. I wasn’t glued to it and had no motivation to keep going.

I’d still encourage you to give the book a try if you love the synopsis. I think this was very much a “me” issue rather than the book being objectively poor.

The Inheritance Cycle

I re-read the Inheritance cycle! Honestly it was absolutely amazing. Four books (something like 2,800 pages) back-to-back. I LOVE getting so immersed in a world like that. No breaks in between, just totally hooked into the universe for 3 weeks. It was great!

I’d read the whole series once before but there were a lot of details I’d forgotten, so it was a lot of fun to re-visit it. And dammit, I want to be a dragon rider!

A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Wings and RuinA Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 2, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 707
Source: Purchased
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★½

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Before reading A Court of Wings and Ruin I reread the other books in the series. I actually ended up liking A Court of Thorns and Roses a bit less (4.5 stars the first time; 4 stars the second). I think that book is hard to reread after A Court of Mist and Fury because you know what comes next and it makes the first book feel less valuable I guess. But I ended up loving A Court of Mist and Fury just as much the second time around!

As for A Court of Wings and Ruin, I gave it 4.5 stars, but it could actually be only 4. I can’t quite decide. I did really like the book but I honestly didn’t love it quite as much as I hoped I would.

I thought A Court of Mist and Fury was AMAZEBALLS. I have that kind of desperate, obsessed love for that book. I was hoping to have the same feelings for ACOWAR, but it wasn’t quite the case. I can’t even really explain why – it’s just a vague feeling. It’s like some X factor wasn’t quite there, or it wasn’t quite as exciting and dramatic and intense as I wanted… I don’t know.

I did still really like it, but maybe my expectations were too high.

Have you read any of these books? Or what other books have you been reading lately?

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  1. I too love the Inheritance Cycle! I also want to be a dragon rider in that world, lol, or this world. 🙂 I read ACOWAR and felt the same as you. I rated it a 4. It just lacked something that the other two books had, for me it was the emotional feels. This book did not consume me. I felt, dare I say it, a little let down even.

    I still have The Last Namsara to read. I am hoping to love it! 🙂 It sounds amazing and hopefully the writing will click with me. So what am I reading? Well this month I have unofficially declared it (to myself) Indie love month and I have been reading 90% indie authors. I think I am going to make it a “thing” officially maybe twice a year.

    Anyhow, loved the post! Cheers!

    Minx recently posted: Alpha Kaden by Midika Crane
    1. Yes I agree with what you said about ACOWAR! It didn’t consume me like ACOMAF did.

      I hope you love The Last Namsara! It’s certainly an interesting idea. 🙂

  2. I’ve read Eragon, but never really continued the series! I need to give it another try! I loved the first (and am not ashamed to admit I enjoyed the movie also – granted I saw the movie first…) and own the next two. Maybe I’ll bump them up my TBR this year!

    Brianna B recently posted: T5W | Top 5 Summer Reads
    1. Ohh you should definitely continue Eragon! I loved the movie too. I think it could have possibly been better if it was more of a LOTR film vibe, but I still found it enjoyable. I actually rewatched it as I was rereading the first book. 🙂 I’m disappointed they didn’t continue with the rest of the series.

  3. So many dragons! It’s a shame most of them were DNF’s. It’s always a disappointment when you don’t like a book you thought you were going to love. Talon by Julie Kagawa was the same for me. I thought it was going to be about awesome dragons and such, but it was more about teenagers and romance and it was boring.

    I really want to read the Eragon series, I don’t know why I’ve never picked it up. But everyone raves about it. I think I might plan to read it soon actually!

    I’m currently reading ACOWAR now. I’m probably only 10% in but I’m enjoying it so far lol. Also I feel like this is a monster of a book! It took me so long to read to just 10% ha.

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift recently posted: New Design & 2017 so far
    1. I felt the same way about Talon! It was kind of ehh for me.

      Eragon is fantastic! I love love love the world building. It’s so easy to immerse yourself and feel like you understand the whole inner workings of the world. The whole series is extremely well done.

      I’m glad you’re liking ACOWAR so far! It’s definitely a monster book.

  4. I enjoyed ACOWAR, but agree, nothing like the whirlwind of feelings I had with ACOMAF. I’m a sucker for perfect endings, but I felt like ACOWAR’s was just a smidge too perfect. Alas, I was happy with the finale and still enjoyed the read overall (: I gave it 4 stars!

  5. I just wrote a post on my frustrations with authors/publishers/promo companies/agents and why they send out unedited review copies to bloggers. In some ways we are marketing their product. Shouldn’t they provide us with a copy that will make them shine? It just makes no sense to me.

    I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury and agree that it was amazing. I was a little disappointed with A Court of Thorns and Roses tbh. I think with all the hype, my expectations were too high. I’ve been listening to the audio version and I plan to listen to A Court of Wings and Ruin very soon.

    1. I just checked out your post! That definitely sounds extremely frustrating.

      I liked ACOTAR less the second time I read it. I hope you like ACOWAR! 🙂

  6. Yay! For The Inheritance Cycle…one of my all time favs. I don’t reread (Ok – I reread once for the 1st two books in The Passage series before The City of Mirrors came out…but that’s it ever!) but if I did this series would be on the list!

    I hated the movie – I cried walking out of the theater because they just ruined it. I keep hoping for a reboot!!

    1. The movie had kind of a younger vibe, I thought. I’d love a reboot more in the Game of Thrones / LotR style (which feel more serious and intense to me).

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