Tag Archives: Sarah J. Maas

Quests of the Kings by Robert Evert is not what you expect 

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Quests of the Kings by Robert Evert is not what you expect 

The blurb for Quests of the Kings had the magic words: “. . .  for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kristin Cashore.”   That turned out to be pretty misleading.  Since my expectations where high, I was pretty disappointed.  The biggest difference is tone, and if you understand and embrace that before you begin reading, I think you have a better chance of enjoying the book than I did.


Goodreads Summary

From the author of the Riddle in Stone books comes a thrilling new series for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kristin Cashore.

Across the realms, the kings’ quests captivate the imaginations of nobles and commoners alike. These dangerous competitions pit the most daring adventurers against each other as they compete for riches and glory for their kingdoms. 

Plain and ordinary Natalie, a sixteen-year-old peasant girl, loves listening to stories about famous adventurers, but the thrilling action of the kings’ quests seems far removed from her everyday life of mucking out stables and working every odd job she can find to support her siblings and disabled mother. However, after a violent run-in with Brago, a ruthless adventurer who believes Natalie is a threat to his mission, she is dragged unwillingly into the latest contest. 

On the run from Brago, Natalie seeks refuge with a rival adventurer, the legendary Sir Edris, and his squire, Reg. As they toil together to find the object all of the kings desire–an ancient golden harp–Natalie starts to feel safe with the fatherly knight. Yet, despite Edris’s protection, Brago is never far behind. When one of Brago’s cruel plots separates Natalie from her protectors, she must become as strong and cunning as the adventurers of old to save her friends and stay alive. 

My Thoughts

So, you think this sounds and looks like a serious book, right?  You would be wrong.  This reminded me more of the T.H. White take on Arthurian legend.  It is lighthearted, even at the most dire of times, and the quest is complicated and strung along as characters bumble and fumble around.  Entire pages are dedicated to conversations and bickering about unimportant things for the sake of humor, and the really terrible things are treated with fleeting gravity.  It is very Monty Python at times.  If that is what you enjoy, this book does play the comedic element to the hilt.  The main character’s appearance is made fun of in a variety of ways, her feminist stance takes the form of tirades that everyone ignores, and her ideas always go really wrong.  The men who get stuck with the thankless job of protecting and rescuing her frequently end up really regretting it.  I don’t particularly enjoy the style, so this became a chore rather than a pleasure to finish.  The language and sexual references are intended to be comedic and are pretty harmlessly bawdy and immature, but I’m not sure they are appropriate for the crowd most likely to appreciate the style – middle school readers.  I would say this is probably grade 7+ interest level but more appropriate for grades 9+. 

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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A Court of Mist and Fury – the second in Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series

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A Court of Mist and Fury – the second in Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series

I have loved Sarah J. Maas since I first read Throne of Glass a few years ago.  I was rather stunned when the books in that series took a sharp turn to Faerie in the third book.  I just wanted a girl assassin. I hate fae stories.  But, I can’t resist, so I blithely followed Ms. Maas into fairy land in A Court of Thorns and Roses, and again in this book, A Court of Mist and Fury.  I have to say this book deserves the five stars I gave it – it’s possibly the best sequel I’ve ever read in a series.  Bonus?  It is reasonably priced at under $9, so I didn’t feel as guilty for buying a book instead of just reading the ones I’m lucky enough to be given.

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Goodreads Summary

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My Thoughts

It didn’t take long to recognize that this is the book Maas has been wanting to write for a long time – now I see how the faries invaded her other series.  It is a fantastic follow up to a book I just felt lukewarm about.  The characters are vivid and surprising, and their feelings are palpable and believable.  The relationships are given time to develop and leave room for questions right up until the end.  I have to say the series went epic for me in this book, and I definitely want to see what is next.  The ending is exactly what this book needed to help me forget all the things I was going to complain about.  Seriously – I remember two.

Mild SPOILERS:  There are a few moves I’m beginning to recognize as quintessentially Maas – the biggest one is that she just can’t seem to leave her happily-in-love characters alone.  It doesn’t take long to see that the relationship set up in the first book is not going smoothly.  I think most readers will be satisfied by the end result, but there will be some tears shed in the process.  Another surprise readers will encounter is that Maas makes it clear this isn’t a YA offering.  A Court of Thorns and Roses had more sensuality than any other Maas book I’d read, but this one goes all out with a real deal sex scene early on. It isn’t awful or a reason to forbid your children to read the book, but it is on par with a corset ripper romance novel.  It is discreetly graphic. I want to share these books with my students, but some moms would not approve (but they, themselves, would enjoy it immensely).

Overall, I highly recommend this book.  It is absolutely an escape read, and the characters are complex enough to be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.  Sensuality makes it most appropriate for grades 10+.