Cassia: Know My Name by Juliet Pierce

Cassia Know My Name by Juliet Pierce

Title: Cassia: Know My Name
Author: Juliet Pierce
Series: The Cassia Trilogy, #1
**I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

Cassia Auticus has spent her entire life in the dungeons of the Balkan castle. Her people, once flourishing in the city of Regenesis, have become little more than prisoners of the ruthless kingdom. Fearing a fate worse than death, Cassia’s mother has disguised her daughter as a boy, hoping to save her. But when Cassia, along with the other boys her age, is called to the front lines, she must go or be forced to reveal her true identity. As Cassia is led into the mysterious concrete city of Regenesis, she’ll discover that her people are no ordinary prisoners and she is no ordinary girl.

“I manage a small scream before a rough hand is clamped over my mouth. I try to kick, but the man holding me is too strong. He starts backing me into the woods when I see Gildon crashing through the trees.

I dropped to the ground as Gildon rushes to the man with his sword drawn.”

Cassia: Know My Name has potential. The story is interesting and Cassia, the protagonist, is a blank-slate waiting to be made into something great. But the book needs some work. The sentence structure can be a little awkward at times and there were places where I felt as a reader, I was being told how someone felt rather being shown it.

I would like to know more about Jericho and Fina as both characters undergo shifts in temperament. Jericho starts off as someone sympathetic to Cassia’s plight, but as the story unfolds these generous feelings give way to anxiousness. Cassia, though quiet and unassuming, draws others to her, including Gildon, the Prince of Balka, and Jericho will do anything to sever this connection. Fina has a complicated history with Cassia’s family, but the motivation behind her resolve is unknown. I would have liked to have read more about her past.

Gildon is young and that youth is never more apparent than when he makes a decision that cost people’s lives. He is wholly unprepared for the consequences and one of the marks of a great leader is accepting that not every decision will end well for everyone. I for one am more intrigued by the character Dolph. He seems so determined to serve the mysterious Regents, but I want to know if this loyalty is based solely on his relationship with their leader. Does he too feel the sting of the current king’s reign or is he simply following orders? There were times when I felt Cassia was too passive and while I understand her upbringing to have something to do with this, I wanted to see more growth in her character. For example, I hoped that by the end of the book Cassia would be driven more by her need to help the people of Regenesis than the desire to be free.

Rating: 2/5

★★

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah Maas

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #2

It’s been months since Celaena Sardothien won the competition that would make her the King’s Champion, his personal assassin tasked with dispatching those who would challenge his authority. With a rebellion brewing in Eyllwe and rumors of one in his own city, the King of Adarlan will do anything to hold on to power. Celaena plays a dangerous game, secretly undermining the orders of the King and lying to her friends in the process. And there is something else amiss in the castle and the further Celaena digs, the more she discovers that she isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Everyone has something to hide and everyone’s loyalty will be tested, and no one will be able to outrun their destiny.

“She didn’t know how she made it, or how long it took but suddenly she was on the ground and sprinting toward the open front gate.

The guards or footmen or servants started shouting. She was running–running as fast as she could, losing control of her body with each heartbeat that pumped the gloriella through her.”

Caleana would like nothing more than the chance to fight for her freedom and the first book is a prime example of the lengths she will go to to achieve this dream. Another side of Celaena emerges in this book, one fearful of what others expect from her and one who doesn’t believe happiness is a possibility because of these expectations. There is a greater cause calling her and her own happiness might have to be sacrificed. Everything that Celaena cares about can be used as a weapon against her and only time will tell if she will crumble entirely or embrace her fate.

Prince Dorian and Chaol Westfall both continue to play a prominent role in Celaena’s life, but each have their own struggles they must face. Dorian feels like a less frivolous character this time around, who is just discovering his own influence. Chaol has worked hard to become Captain of the Guard and given up his inheritance. The loyalty he shows to the King correlates with this sacrifice and his own oath. In the end, Chaol will have to decide what is right rather than who he has sworn his allegiance to.

The King of Adarlan reveals himself to be an even more wicked character than I gave him credit for in the first book. Him, along with the enigmatic Baba Yellowlegs, are both creatures bred out of nightmares who I will not soon forget. The second book in Sarah J Maas’s Throne of Glass series, Crown of Midnight, is even more exciting and thrilling than its predecessor, with higher stakes not just for Celaena but potentially for the whole world. I freely admit that I held this book to my chest, both smiling and agonizing over it, feeling an overwhelming delight over the release of the next installment this September.

Rating: 5/5

★★★★★