The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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5stars

In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it. It will do everything it can to seep inside you.

Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Author: Samantha Shannon
Number of pages: 827 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: There are dragons and magic and a prophecy. What’s not to love?
Bad things about this book: It is quite long but I didn’t see that as a bad thing, only it did took me long to finish it.
Do I recommend it? Of course, DRAGONS!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

No woman should be made to fear that she was not enough.

What a book. What a journey. I didn’t want it to end.

Let me just say this things first: DRAGONS! I love dragons, always have and always will. They are majestic creatures. I love dragons in all the forms I’ve read them. So of course I needed to read this book with dragons in them. And, surprise!! It had two distinct types of dragons, at war with each other, and one called the Nameless One! What majestic name it is!

Moving on, this was a pretty great book. I liked the story, the characters, the revelations, the little twists it had. I was afraid, with a book this big, that I was going to submerse in plot twists. Not really a spoiler, really, there are many things happening in the story, a lot, but I was pleasantly surprised my crazy theories didn’t come true.

I loved the growth of the different characters and how we got to see different points of view of the story, because there isn’t really the good and the bad sides. Each side has beliefs, very strong ones, and if they only tried they’ll see they aren’t really that different. Things aren’t always only black or white, even more when there is a common enemy to defeat.

It took a me lot to finish this book and it wasn’t even that long. If you think about it, this was two standard books long, three if they’re the small ones. I should’ve finished it sooner that I did. And I was loving everything I was reading. There were so many great parts. Maybe I just didn’t want it to end? We will never know. What we know is that I finished it and that I loved it. It has everything I love about a fantasy book: great characters, dragons, magic, a not over the top love story, and DRAGONS. I love dragons.

Did I say DRAGONS too many times? Well, I’m speaking from my hoarder heart. Read this book (since I didn’t really explain anything about it) if you like them as much as I do!

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A Wish Upon the Stars by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

We turn to you, the boy we lost, your body now littered with scars. We know what your bravery cost, and for you we wish upon these stars.

Title: A Wish Upon the Stars
Author: T.J. Klune
Series: Tales From Verania #4
Number of pages: 450 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Everything. I’m telling you, EVERYTHING.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. It was hard to say goodbye but it also feels good.
Do I recommend it? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

BEWARE! This review will contain spoilers of the previous books and spoilers of this book because I must say things and the things I must say are spoilery.

This book deserves more than 5 stars and this series deserves at least a million stars. AT LEAST! I’ll say maybe 2 billion stars, maybe more. I have loved everything about it, everything: frustration and all. I have not loved a series as much as I’ve loved this one. Sure, you know how easily I give 5 stars to books but maybe it is because I read books I know I will like so the probability of a full star review is pretty high. I seem to know how to avoid books that make me mad but, alas, I have read a few that I wish I could forget completely but still haunt my everyday life. You know who you are, books, you know it and you should be ashamed of yourselves!

“How are you still alive?” Dimitri asked me.
“Sheer force of will,” I said cheerfully.

A Wish Upon the Stars is the fourth and last book of the Tales from Verania saga. I have read four magnificent books about a boy who happens to be a wizard apprentice and who, apparently, doesn’t know when to shut up. The things Sam says are things of beauty and perversion. Maybe more of perversion if I’m being honest and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sam is a magical boy with feelings and so much love to give. Sam is also a very sexual being and he will make sure you don’t have any doubts about it. I have read things that had made me gasp, laugh, cringe and also made me horny. Sam and I, we are alike. The only difference is that he has a hunk of a boyfriend while me, well, I’m single and the world has decided I will remain that way until the day I die.

The third book ended on a very sad note; Morgan was murdered and Ryan was badly hurt. Our Sam made the only decision he thought was right so he ran away to the Dark Woods to join the Great White and the other dragons to train. Eleven, I repeat, eleven months later he resurfaces from his “training camp”, disheveled and with bushy eyebrows, more powerful than ever, now a wizard, and more scared of facing the ones he left behind that the super villain who wants to consume him and kill them all.

“I promise you, when I was in the woods, looking up at the stars, there is nothing I wished for more than you.”

I was scared, too. San ran away leaving only letters not really explaining where he was going or for how long. Gary and Tiggy were super mad, Sam’s parents grounded him for eternity, Justin was uncharacteristically huggy, and Ryan was furious for very valid reasons. I would also be super mad if the love of my life went away who knows where for who knows how long telling me to wait patiently. How dare he leave me? That’s not okay. Luckily, Sam returned with more magic and Ryan has a kink for magic so things resolved quite quickly and quite steamily. I saw a side of Ryan I liked, a new side of him I like because I already liked him a lot.

“Lady Tina,” I said. “How unfortunate that you didn’t pass beyond the veil overnight. I expected more from you.”

Sam feels a bit left out in this new dynamic, having been almost a year away while the world kept going without him. Two of his arch-nemesis are now all lovey-dovey with his friends. Lady Tina DeSilva is second in command to Ryan and Sam hates it. I would hate it, too. She was the bane of his existence for the last books. Okay, she repented, had a change of heart, etc etc. But she did unnecessary things. I wouldn’t forget and forgive that easily.

“I had a vision you would say that,” Vadoma said, the bangles on her wrists knocking together. “I have many visions about everything you say. None of them are good.”

Then we have Vadoma, the one who put Ruv in our Sam’s way, maybe also contributing to the fall of Morgan. Yeah, she was sort of bewitched by Ruv, but still, she was rude and that’s not okay. You don’t get to be rude to Sam because he’s precious and needs protection.

“There were spiders when Dad showed me the first time,” he mumbled. “I don’t like spiders.”
“Ah,” I said wisely. “It’s a good thing you’ve got us, then, eh? And by us, I mean Ryan, because I also don’t like spiders, so he can go first and scare them all away and make sure we don’t get bitten and die.”

The book has one main mission and two side missions. The one super important mission is to use the dragons to kill Myrin, of course. The two side missions are to retrieve Gary’s horn and to save the King from the Castle’s dungeons where he’s kept captive. They do get the horn after saving the King and they meet Randall again, and guess what, he had the horn and the story of how he tracked is something else. Randall is a phenomenal character and I love him and his old hairy face! The “ceremony” of reattaching Gary’s horn is one I will never forget. I keep picturing Sam bad touching the horn while it leaked rainbow fluid, and then putting it on Gary and Gary sort of evolving, all majestic and posing and with his ego so much bigger than before you didn’t think it could be possible.

“Gary Matthias Pontificus Esmerelda Juanita Lopez Alabaster Kennedy the Fourth!”

Gary’s full name. I’m so glad we know it now!

I haven’t found the kind of comedy T.J. Klune writes with any other author. It’s overwhelming. I think you love it or you hate it, there’s no in-between. I love it with all my heart. He mixes hilarious moments with moments full of sentiment capable of breaking your heart and, trust me, your heart will certainly break. Mine broke so many times since book 1. I’ve lost count. He plays with your feelings but you hang in there because he is so clever, he knows it, and he’ll do the story justice and you won’t be mad at him (so much). He knows he’ll make you hate him a little bit and I know he grins evilly when no one is watching because he knows all will be forgiven by the end of the books. You magnificent manipulator! You have a special place in my heart.

“He reminds me of you,” he told Randall. “Stubborn. Indignant. Mouthy. He speaks before he thinks and is more likely to ignore my orders than to actually follow them.”
I would have objected, but that was pretty much all true.

I’m realizing I didn’t spoil much of the book so now I’m going to list my favourite parts so this will become a real spoilerful review:

1- Sam promising himself that he’ll find a boyfriend for Justin and us maybe getting in the future a book from Justin’s pov with his own romantic adventures
2- Ryan proposing like the cheesy boy he truly is and being all heart-eyes for Sam even when he was angry with him. But of course you can’t stay angry with Sam; have you look at him? He’s adorable.
3- Sam wooing the guards promising slutty things was beautiful and so cringe worthy I’m still thinking about how slutty he truly is. And I’m loving it. I loved every second of that scene. And I loved how jealous Ryan got because his man is loved by many. Too many!
4- Sam using the ability to change his and other people’s appearances to make Lady Tina the ugliest man in existence. It was hilarious! And he made Justin bald. Sam, why are you doing this to me? Tears, I had tears rolling down my face it was almost poetic.
5- Randall asking a little too many times if someone had a reason for Sam and Ryan not to get married got me laughing hard. Randall is precious and his story with Myrin was so sad; he deserved to be loved more, to be chosen over power, not to be left behind. Myrin, you suck.
6- Terry, Gary’s twin brother wanting Ryan to “ride him”, if you know what I mean!!
7- Morgan of Shadows. Morgan of freaking Shadows to complete the happy ending we truly deserved. We suffered so much and that was our reward.

With this list, this long and probably incomprehensible review gets to an end just like this series. I’m sad, of course, but I’m also happy because I don’t have to wonder if they’re okay and happy. I know they are. They will have bad days, they will have to face adversities, probably random kidnappings, but they will be victorious. They have each other, they have love and they are loved. There’s really nothing that puts a bigger smile on my face than seeing all of them, Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, Justin, Morgan, Randall, Sam’s parents, the King, be as happier as they can be in a world that wanted to put a destiny set in stone in their way. But stone crumbles, right? It sure did. Stone crumbled and if it didn’t, I was ready to magically teleport myself inside the book and punch it until it did. I was going to get my happy ending one way or the other.

“I’m in control of my own destiny. My path may have been set in stone, but stone crumbles, and sometimes we have to forge our own way through.”

Farewell Verania. You’ll be missed, and if we’re going to meet again I hope it’s not very far in the future. I can wait, though, because I know it’ll be worth it.

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The Consumption of Magic by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

“Because it’s always been you, Sam. I promise. I promise. I promise, because when I look upon these stars, there is nothing I wish for more than you.”

Title: The Consumption of Magic
Author: T.J. Klune
Series: Tales From Verania #3
Number of pages: 450 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Everything and, let me think….everything.
Bad things about this book: Bad things were bound to happen and they happen.
Do I recommend it? Of course, 500% yes!
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Every single emotion you can think of, I experienced it. Now I just feel empty yet a little bit hopeful. I knew what was coming; it didn’t prepare me for what really went down. I have so many doubts. I’m afraid. I can hardly wait for spring for the last book to be released and if I’m not getting a HEA I’m buying a ticket to wherever TJ lives and I’ll just glare at him from a distance; I’ll just glare, intensely. I cried. Not cool. How am I supposed to wait now with all the theories and paranoia I have inside my crazy brain? I guess I’ll just have to be patient as I always am. I’m too good for this world. That’s a fact.

“What are we going to do?”
“Not die!”
“Gods, I hate it when that’s your plan.”
I grinned rakishly at him. “I’m Sam of Wilds. That’s always my plan.”

If there’s something I can complain about, since this book was perfection, is that I wish TJ hadn’t told we’d hate him after the end of this book. I wish arcs weren’t given; you can’t keep your eyes from seeing the first sentences of people’s reviews and every single one of them were varieties of “how dare you TJ”. I wish we could all have jumped into this adventure blindly, enjoying every moment for the first time together. Knowing something is going to happen, even if you don’t know the details, is worse than having your heart broken out of the blue. How can I enjoy the happiness if I’m tormented by the heavy shadow of what’s to come? I know the events would’ve affected me more if I hadn’t known anything. Nonetheless I loved this book; this series is one of my favorites of all times.

“You being all protective like that with a beard is my new sexuality. Just so you know.”

Sam fought Myrin and is scarred because of it. These scars are more than they appeared. Verania is in peril and he has to go, with his merry friends, to convince the dragons to help him defeat this evil villain who is very bad and we all hate. Right? There’s no sympathizing with this villain. No way. Sam and Ryan (with a sexy beard) are still very much in love and gross about it. Gary and Kevin are trying to be a couple again and they’re being extremely gross about it. Tiggy is still very adorable and deadly. Justin has joined the group pretending to brood and whine but it’s clear how much he likes everybody. Morgan and Randall are almost secret free and we had some revelations about Randall that caught me by surprise. A lot happened in 450 pages.

We were human. We breathed. We lived. We laughed. We broke. And in the end, we loved each other down to our very souls. We moved with a strange grace, the dance of life that pushed us together, and didn’t we just cling to each other? Didn’t we just hold on as tightly as we could in fear that at any possible moment, we’d be torn away?

There was foreshadowing in the previous books and I knew things were going to be bad for a while before they could be better again. But how bad? When they were bad I was in pain; you should have seen my face, all frowns that are going to give me wrinkles, more wrinkles. Sam is keeping big secrets from his friends, his mentor and his cornerstone/lover; there was no way revealing said secrets was going to end in a party. Sam’s will to protect everyone without asking for help is not healthy and maybe he’ll understand it before it’s too late.

“The gods can say what they wish. They can set me on a path. Carve the course of my life into stone. But stone crumbles. It can fall into dust and swirl like snow in a storm. I make the choices. Sometimes they’re right. Sometimes they’re not. But even when I make mistakes, it’s because I thought I was doing the right thing.”

I don’t know how I feel. I’m both “crazy in love” and “nopenopenope”. So many things can still go wrong and they will, oh I know they will. I waited a couple of days before starting this review and it’s not going like I thought. This book made me happy and, even when it was breaking my heart, I didn’t once hate it. I didn’t want to throw my kindle out of the window. Knowing what was going to happen, not only from the prophecy of David’s Dragon but also from the many posts on social networks, made the bad event seem less than it was. I was sort of relieved; my heart didn’t break. I was in shock, yeah, sad, of course, shed a few tears, but all in all, in my mind it all made sense. Then it hit me, not that day, but the morning after. I was at work minding my own working business and I started having these flashbacks of all the scenes with that character and it happened. My heart was in my throat and I was having a hard time trying to be composed. Apparently after getting over the fake sense of relief, I was 100% heartbroken. It wasn’t the best of mornings.

“I know your heart is breaking,” he whispered to me. “But you have my word that I will help you pick up the pieces and put it back together. It may not fit together as it once did, but it will hold.”

I love TJ. His writing style is perfect because it makes me see everything; I see the whole book taking shape inside my head and it becomes a movie I can revisit whenever I want. Maybe I won’t be revisiting a couple scenes because my heart can break only so many times; I’m not a masochist. Long story short, this was everything I wanted, everything I needed, and it left me wanting more. More of these amazing characters. More of this enchanting story. More of this sense I’m left with every single time I finish reading a Klune’s book and I automatically plan a re-read. I never have enough.
I want more. Just more.

Let me conclude this review with Gary because…GARY!

“Ignore Gary,” I told the guards. “He just got done making love to the ground. You know how it is.” The guards stared at Gary. Gary stared right back at them.
“I ain’t got no shame. I do what I want.”

I LOVE HIM!

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A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

I was Sam of Wilds. And I was going to face my godsdamned destiny.

Title: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania #2)
Author: T.J. Klune
Good things about this book: Sam, the gang and DRAGONS!
Bad things about this book: Not enough Justin. I like the guy.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500%.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*A very quote-y review that may contain spoilers of the first book of the series. *

He did it again. Damned you, Mr. Klune, you don’t seem to be able to stop. You’re giving me feelings I didn’t know I needed. Oh my, if I needed them. Some more than others. Maybe I didn’t really need the excruciating fear of very possible loss and heartbreak but I decided to trust you; don’t you dare disappoint an innocent and bright soul like mine, it brings back very bad karma. You’ve been warned.

“You gotta trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
He frowned. “I trust you, Sam. But you never know what you’re doing.”

The more I think about this book, and its predecessor for that matter, the more I love its detailed descriptions, its funny and real characters, and its originality. There are not books like these ones. This series has everything I look for in books: magic, a main character you can’t hate even when he’s clearly being dumb, love in every shape, side characters that bring laughter and sunshine and rainbows, villains that made you fear for everyone’s life or that you simply want to slap real hard, very vague prophecies, and dragons. It has dragons. I love dragons.

“Holy shit,” Ryan said, sounding breathless. “You have a Destiny of Dragons!”

Sam has a destiny of dragons and it’s going to be a pain in the butt. I already know I’m going to suffer, that I’m going to have hope that’s going to be crushed by the cruelty of Mr. Klune if he decides to be mean and do something he is not supposed to do. I love my babies, I don’t want harm to come to them. I will do everything in my power, send positive vibes and everything, maybe light some candles, to avoid being heartbroken by the following books of this series.

“Sam is pretty good sometimes at what he does occasionally!”

^^Me, too!

Sam’s grandma, the queen of gypsies, makes a surprise visit to the castle to deliver bad news, prophecies made by constellation dragons, a new cornerstone for him, and ugly vibes. Woman, you don’t mess with Sam and Ryan’s relationship and expect to be loved by the crowd. I don’t like Vadoma; I didn’t like when she first appeared and showed weird visions to Sam, and I didn’t like her by the end of the book with her manipulations and refusal to acknowledge that, for Sam, Ryan is not only a cornerstone but also so much more. I hated how she kept saying she has never told Sam a lie, unlike others: well, of course you have not, you’ve been in his life for how long, one month? Easy for her to say that and it infuriated me so much.

“Oh, no. No, no, no. I’m onto you, exotic twink. Don’t think that I’m not.”

Ruv, the cornerstone Vadoma wants to forcefully pair with Sam, is not a bad guy; he’s being raised knowing he was going to be the other half of Sam, he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he sees he cannot be that because of Ryan. Sam’s magic reacts to Ruv’s vicinity but what Sam has with Ryan is not something you can replace easily. I didn’t trust Ruv at the beginning, and maybe I never did in the end, but I understand him and what he’s been through, the obligations he feels he needs to follow, the responsibilities that are put upon his shoulders. I don’t blame Ruv, I don’t hate the guy, but you mess with HaveHeart and you have a new enemy in me.

“You’re the most powerful wizard in an age. I’m your cornerstone. Therefore I’m the most powerful cornerstone in an age. It’s my destiny, after all.”

Looking for the dragons to fulfill his destiny will bring Sam and company to face new enemies and new fears. The journey will be long and tortuous, there may be loss, their bodies will be at risk and their souls will waver. Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy, and Kevin have each other and their bond is strong. They won’t give up easily. They have to fight for themselves and for each other. Sam needs to share the weight of his destiny or else he’ll be lost without a back up plan and with no coming back option. Sam, I beg you, open up to Ryan, to the friends you love, it’s the right thing to do.

I wanted to do what was right. I didn’t know how to do that.

The Lightning-Struck Heart was all fluff, sass, puns, a little heartbreak, and so so much love; A Destiny of Dragons is darker, more serious, and nerve-wracking; it still has all the fluff, love and sass the first one had but you won’t feel save. I didn’t. I felt like anything that could go wrong, would go wrong with nefarious results. I was never 100% sure things were going to be okay. The premises kept me from abandoning myself to the romance and comedy of the story, I felt the darkness lurking in the shadows and I didn’t relax. I couldn’t and I won’t until I read the last word of the last book.

We are better together than we ever will be apart. We are bound to each other. And nothing, nothing, will change that.

I love this book, everything about it. It gave me all the feelings, all of them. I love how cheesy Sam and Ryan are, all their kisses, double-entendre, sexy times, jokes, the softness of their love, the strength of their bond, and the absolute certainty that they won’t allow anything bad happen to one another. I want to protect them; they deserve the happiest of endings.

“And he’s blinking and looks all soft and beautiful and then he sees you and he smiles. Like all it takes for him to be the happiest he’s ever been is to see you there. Next to him. That’s… that’s what’s so great about it. That’s what it feels like.”

(Oh, my heart! I want this, Sam, I want what you and Ryan have)

I love Gary and his sassiness and I love how he is all jokes until someone wants to hurt his friends, and then he transforms into a killing machine all glares and murderous glitter! Tiggy speaks so much more allowing us to understand more about him, about the past he doesn’t want to talk about; Tiggy is all business and cuddles and I love him. A prophecy about a destiny involving dragons couldn’t make Kevin more self-centered than he already is. He is hilarious with his Shakespearian speeches and his perverted ways that make everyone feel uncomfortable. Kevin is not the only dragon around but he certainly is one of a kind.

“Sam got kissy face,” Tiggy whispered to Gary.
“Of course he does, kitten,” Gary said. “That’s what happens when you’re a slut.”

November is the month of my birthday and it’s the month the third book is going to be released. Mr. Klune, damned him, twitted saying to prepare tissues and then the tweet disappeared: does that mean tissues won’t be necessary or that I have to be prepared to lose a part of my soul? I know I won’t be ready (how can I?) but I can’t wait nonetheless.

Recommended to all. How can you not read these books? They’re great and T.J. Klune is an evil genius full of sass. 5+++ out of 5.

“My plan is to wing it.”
Ryan sighed. “Godsdammit.”

^^Perfect summary of the book

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