Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would.

A lot of the time I read books I have been recommended by other bloggers, so I tend to love them as much as I expect or a little bit more. A lot of the time when I say I enjoy books more than I thought I already knew I was going to love them I just ended up enjoying them that little bit more. The books I picked for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme are books I was genuinely surprised by; five in a good way and five in a bad way.


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Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

In terms of the series the first book is the weakest one, however before picking up Throne of Glass I’d heard a lot of negative things about it. In the end I think my opinions were so low the only place they could really go was up. Throne of Glass had its problems don’t get me wrong, but it was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting.


Gilded Cage by Vic James

For a while I’ve been in a dystopian slump. It just didn’t seem like there was anything the genre was offering that I hadn’t already seen before ten times over. Before reading Gilded Cage I loved the sound of it but wasn’t sure whether it would be more the same or something unique. Turns out I loved everything about it, the concept, the characters, the world, and now I’m very eagerly anticipating the release of book two.


A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

This is a strange one to have on my list this week because I loved The Star-Touched Queen so much, and I was thrilled when it was announced there would be a second book being released. However when it was announced it was focusing on Gauri I was a little worried. One of the things I loved so much about The Star-Touched Queen was the magic and the world it was set in, I wasn’t sure where Gauri’s story would be set but when I started reading this book I was thrilled to see the same magic and wonder present in her story.


Half Bad by Sally Green

I wasn’t sure what this book was about before I picked it up so I didn’t really have any expectations going into it. Then when the first few chapters were formatted differently than what I was used to, second person POV, I was sure this wasn’t going to be a book I enjoyed. I was proved wrong though, and by the time I finished the third book this had become a favourite series of mine.


Frostblood by Elly Blake

Again this was a book I didn’t really have any expectations about going into it. However it had been described as ‘perfect for fans of Red Queen’ which made me a little nervous considering I was not a fan of Red Queen. Still I had a copy and eventually got around to it and pretty much fell in love from the first chapter. Maybe there are some similarities to Red Queen but I enjoyed this book so much more.


Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Maybe my expectations were too high after reading A.G. Howard’s Splintered series, maybe I should have read The Phantom of the Opera before jumping into RoseBlood. Whatever the reason I was left disappointed by this book. I couldn’t connect with the characters and the story itself wasn’t enough to keep my engaged in the book.


The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

This book was described as ‘perfect for fans of The Night Circus’, and based on the blurb I had some pretty high expectations for what I would discover when I got around to The Crown’s Game. However this book turned out to be a major disappointment. I expected a battle to the death between two powerful magicians and instead what I got was a competition to re-decorate Russia, add to that the insta-love and love triangle between the main characters and I just wasn’t impressed.


Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

There aren’t that many fairytale retellings that use Rapunzel as inspiration so I was thrilled to discover Reign of Shadows. However after reading it there is not one thing I can pick out and say ‘well, at least I enjoyed that aspect of this book’. The characters were flat and it seemed like their development actually reversed the further I got into the story, the plot didn’t seem to go anywhere and the world building was full of holes. This is one series I won’t be picking up again.


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The first time I read this book I really enjoyed it, I think I ended up rating it four stars, however re-reading it in preparation for the release of Glass Sword I just couldn’t understand what it was I loved so much about it the first time around. There were too many questions left unanswered in terms of the world and I just couldn’t connect with Mare’s character. Two issues that only got worse in Glass Sword.


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I had high expectations for this book, especially when you consider it’s the first YA book I think I’ve ever seen that features goblins, and while the world building was amazing this was a story that really focused on the character development of Liesl. Liesl was a character I just couldn’t connect with, which unfortunately ended up spoiling the book a little for me.


So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so let me know what some of the books you loved more or less than you thought you would are.

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74 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would

  1. I’m so glad that some of those books defied your expectations and you ended up liking them more than you thought you would! I definitely liked Throne of Glass a lot less than I thought I would (it was still pretty enjoyable though), but the second book has completely made me fall in love with the series, so far at least. And it’s awesome to see that you liked Gilded Cage, Crown of Wishes, and Frostblood. They’re all on my TBR and so, now I have more books to look forward to. And you know how much I love Half Bad. It warms my heart that you love it (and the rest of the trilogy) just as much as I do! It’s really disappointing to hear you didn’t like Reign of Shadows all that much. I was really interested in reading that one, especially because the concept is cool and the cover is gorgeous. I guess I’ll read it with a few more reservations! Awesome post, as usual, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes it’s always nice when books can do that for you isn’t it? And I’m really glad some of these books did that for me.
      I think the first Throne of Glass book is the worst of the series, having low expectations helped me with that one, and yeah the second book was where I fell in love with the series as well.
      In that case I hope you enjoy Gilded Cage, Crown of Wishes, and Frostblood. I’ll be interested to see what you think of them all.
      Half Bad is just…amazing, there are no other words for it. Completely blew my expectations out of the water.
      I hoped Reign of Shadows would be a lot better, and I’ve seen some positive reviews for it so maybe it’ll be a book you end up enjoying, but yeah I’d still recommend going into it with lowered expectations!
      Thanks Azia. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a slightly disappointed moment when I thought that Gilded Cage was in your section of books you liked less than you thought you would – as I’ve bought it and plan to read it soon – but then I realised it was the opposite! Now I’m even more excited to read it.

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  3. I’ve seen quite a few people this week with Roseblood on their lists as books they enjoyed less than they thought they would! I was also really disappointed with The Crowns Game! I was expecting so much more! I also really love the Throne of Glass series and, whilst I did enjoy the first book, it is definitely the weakest in the series!!

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    1. Yeah it seemed like a lot of people were disappointed with RoseBlood. In the end it just wasn’t what I expected from A.G. Howard, especially after loving her first series.
      The Crown’s Game was probably the book I was the most disappointed with from this list. It was not at all what I thought it would be.
      Throne of Glass is a series which gets better and better, gives me high hopes for book 6! 😀

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  4. Bummer about “Red Queen” and “The Crown’s Game.” Both are novels I’d really like to read. But, yay for Throne of Glass! That’s a series I’ve been meaning to read for an age now. Glad to know it’s better than anticipation. 🙂

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  5. Ohhh the scary world of expectations! I’ve learned to drop it really low just to always finish a book a bit more happier than I would’ve (especially in case it’s a disappointment). But man, there are times when the hype is real and I can’t help myself from being excited to read it because of everyone and everything about the book! 😀 Great list!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I may have to start doing that as well. There are certainly some books out there I know I would have enjoyed more had my expectations not been as high. I just always seem to build things up in my head too much.
      Hype is definitely real and it can be a pain sometimes can’t it, especially when books don’t live up to it!
      Thanks Lashaan. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was actually so disappointed by the first Throne of Glass book. It’s probably because I had so high expectations for it, as all I’ve heard was that the book was amazing. I felt that book just had so many unnecessary scenes and the characters were weak. The second book was a little better, but it still disappointed and really put me off from reading the third book. I will get to it eventually, but probably not in some time.

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    1. Oh that’s a shame the second book was still a bit of a disappointment for you. It was pretty much the opposite, I heard mixed review for Throne of Glass so I went in with low expectations, but everyone told me the series got better so I guess I expected more from Crown of Midnight and it delivered in my opinion. I hope the third book is better for you when you get around to it, maybe this will just be a case of the series improving a little with each book. 🙂

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      1. Yeah, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about the third book and how the story picks up by then, so I’m kinda excited for it. I feel Maas’ firsts books are a little weak, (as I had the same opinion for ACOTAR as well), but the books later on are really good.

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  7. I kind of want to read Half-Bad! I’ve heard there’s not a lot of actual plot to it, but the writing style looks too gorgeous to pass up.

    Red Queen strikes me as the kind of book I would have adored a few years ago, but now my tastes have evolved so that it’s not really my thing anymore.

    Aw, I’m sorry to hear about Wintersong! I have it on hold at the library, so I’ll be interested to see how my thoughts compare to yours when I read it.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. There’s definitely a plot to the series, the first book does start off a little slow but in my opinion it’s well worth picking the series up, especially if you’re already a little interested in it. 🙂
      Unfortunately I can’t say I’d really recommend Red Queen, plenty of people love it it just isn’t for me.
      And yeah it was a shame about Wintersong but I do hope you enjoy it, and I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it once you’ve finished as well. 🙂

      Like

  8. I’m completely with you on Gilded Cage! I was in a huge dystopian slump before I read that one too and wasn’t expecting much but then it completely surprised me. I think mainly because my expectations were a bit low from reading one negative review way before I read the book. It gives me hope that there could be more great dystopia novels out there. And I so can’t wait for the second book! The only others I’ve read on your list are RoseBlood and Red Queen and I’m actually with you on Red Queen too. Except the first two times I read it I loved it but as it’s gotten further in the series my love for it has fizzled out big time. I saw a spoiler for Kings Cage and now don’t even have the motivation to pick it up anytime soon. I really need to get around to read The Star-Touched Queen, Throne of Glass, Half-Bad, and FrostBlood. Especially Throne of Glass since it’s been on my TBR for a while now lol. Great picks for this, Beth!! 😁💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Gilded Cage turned out to be just what we needed to pull us out of our dystopian slump didn’t it? I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed that book and now I can’t wait for the second one. I didn’t actually see any negative reviews before picking it up. I think my expectations were low simply because it was dystopian.
      Oh that’s a shame about the spoiler in King’s Cage, despite not enjoying the book it always sucks when that happens. I’ll be picking up King’s Cage at some point but who knows when, and who knows how much I’ll end up enjoying it as well.
      The Star-Touched Queen, Throne of Glass, Half-Bad, and Frostblood are all books I highly highly recommend, especially if ToG has been on your to-read list for a while now. I hope you enjoy them all.
      Thanks Melissa! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really did! There might just be a resurgent of sorts for that genre that surprises us. I think what had my expectations high before I saw the negative review was the fantasy aspects. Anything with magic in it and I’m automatically excited. 😂
        Definitely a shame. I wish it was required to have giant spoiler warnings when spoiling something. But then again what constitutes as a spoiler for me might not be the same for someone else and all of that.
        I hope so too and you’re welcome Beth!! 😊💕

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      2. I’d actually be interested in a resurgence of the genre, it would be great to see some new books and stories on the shelves you know?
        There’s always that but you’d think anything major would automatically be classed as a spoiler, and anything too far into the book as well.

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      3. Definitely! Especially because a lot of dystopian novels can be really fast-paced and full of action. I wouldn’t mind some new fast-paced books. 😊
        True! Hopefully by the time I actually pick up the book I’ll have forgotten the spoiler. That happens sometimes lol.

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      4. I may actually start picking up some more dystopian books that have maybe been relegated to the bottom of my TBR list, maybe there are some ones as good as Gilded Cage out there I haven’t picked up yet.
        That happens with me too, sometimes I can forget the major plot points of books I’ve actually read! 😀

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  9. I read Throne of Glass around 3 years ago, just when I discovered the online book community. I remember enjoying it then and I ended up giving it 4 stars, though now that I think about it I don’t remember much of what happened. I’ll definitely have to reread it some time this year to see if I still like it and if I want to continue reading the series. I’m glad to hear that you enjoy it though! 🙂
    I’m sooo happy to hear that you loved The Crown of Wishes, it makes me VERY exited to get my hands on the book and read it as well!
    It’s too bad about all the books you enjoyed less than you thought you would. It’s the worst when that happens, especially if you have been anticipating a book for a while.

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    1. I think of all the books in the Throne of Glass series the first is the weakest. I also think I saw a lot of negative reviews before picking it up myself which put me off a little I’ll admit.
      Here’s hoping when you do re-read it it stands the test of time, and if it doesn’t that it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of the rest of the series or something.
      Oh A Crown of Wishes was amazing, and like I said it completely surpassed my expectations as well so I think you’ll love it Anna.
      Yeah that’s always the worst, but I guess on the other hand there are always books you enjoy more than expected aren’t there. 🙂

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      1. I have heard that the first one is the weakest one. I do own (beside the first one) Crown of Midnight and the prequel novel, so I’m definitely going to be reading all three as I do already have them. We shall see what I’ll think of them, though I’m very unsure about the series as a whole because I have heard of quiet a few problems that it has further down the line.

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      2. It really is, but in my opinion the rest get so much better and I am not definitely 100% hooked on the series. Hopefully Crown of Midnight will have you hooked as well in that case!
        I haven’t actually heard of many problems but then again I may not be the best person to ask. Despite having read all the books myself I tend to miss things like that until someone else points them out for me. 🙂

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      3. I do hope I’ll end up enjoying it! 🙂
        I’m the same actually. I tend to miss those things as well. The only reason that I have that information is because of twitter and someone who has pointed out some negative things about the series in general.

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  10. I just finished reading King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard and I feel the same way you did about Red Queen. I have no idea why it was so long & it just felt like nothing happened, then when something did happen, it wasn’t explained properly, blah. I’ll probably read the next book just because I need to know what will happen, but I probably won’t enjoy it!

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    1. Did you enjoy King’s Cage then or was it more of the same? I’ve heard some good reviews for it but they all seem to be from people who loved the series so I’m not sure how good it will be for people who weren’t so keen on Red Queen.
      Yeah the world building was the major problem I had, but I couldn’t connect with Mare’s character either and after a while it just seemed like I never would. I’ll be finishing this series as well but I can’t say I’ll enjoy it either.

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      1. More or less the same. It was alright & there were chapters I did really enjoy so it wasn’t all bad. I just didn’t like that it was a lot of set up for the next book. (tbh I thought this was the last book, apparently according to Goodreads, there is a 4th book).

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  11. Love your list, Beth 🙂 I agree about Red Queen, my feelings about this book changed with time, and after reading Glass Sword I was annoyed at a lot of things and unable to remember what I loved so much about this series. I’m still on the fence about reading King’s Cage haha.

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    1. Thanks so much Marie. Yeah I think I had high-ish hopes for Red Queen after enjoying it so much but re-reading it, and then reading Glass Sword, was a huge disappointment for me. I guess there are just some books that don’t stand the test of time.
      I’ve heard some good things about King’s Cage and although it’s on my to-read list it’s not near the top or anything. I’ll let you know what I think when I do read it and if it’s worth picking up. 🙂

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  12. Great list, Beth! I still have to read Half Bad and Gilded Cage – both books sound really great from your reviews and I can’t wait to tuck into them eventually. I’m a bit ambivalent about A Crown of Wishes – I liked the first book’s writing but didn’t fall that much for the characters. I’ll wait until your review to make a final decision. 🙂

    And I’m so sorry to hear that Glass Sword disappointed you! Someone else – I think it was Joey – recommended that I read GS and King’s Cage if I wanted to see more of the Maven/Mare pairing, but I’m not sure it’s worth the frustration since I didn’t really like them that much anyway, haha.

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    1. Thanks so much Reg. Both Half Bad and Gilded Cage are amazing books (I enjoyed Half Bad a little more so I’d recommend picking up that series first) so I really hope you enjoy them as well. I think I actually ended up enjoying A Crown of Wishes a little more than The Star-Touched Queen. I’m not sure if you’ll agree if you get around to this one but I preferred Gauri and Vikram to Maya and Amar so maybe you will as well. My review will be posted sometime in March, closer to the release date. 🙂
      Yeah I’m not a fan of the series in general but I will still be picking up King’s Cage at some point. I don’t actually remember there being a lot of Mare/Maven in Glass Sword but I imagine, based on the way that book ended, there’d be more of them in King’s Cage. Honestly I can’t say I’d recommend the series at all. 🙂

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  13. I definitely agree with your choice of Throne of Glass and reason (even though as a series, I have problems with it now), however I heard so much good and bad reviews that I was very skeptical going in to it. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed ToG.

    I had really high expectations for Roseblood as well, maybe because everyone was so hyped up for it but definitely couldn’t finish it. I know we spoke about this already but I’m sorry it was such a disappointment, I know you really looked forward to it.

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    1. I enjoyed the Throne of Glass series a lot more as I went through each of the books, I guess I didn’t spot a lot of the problems you may have picked up, but I guess after all the controversy around the first book I expected it to be a lot worse than it was.
      I thin I must have managed to avoid the hype for RoseBlood, at least avoid the hype which wasn’t my own you know? Yeah it was a shame, but there are other books out there and maybe her next release will be better
      Thanks Gretchen! 😀 ❤

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  14. It’s good to hear that you enjoyed A Crown of Wishes that much, because I almost put The Star-Touched Queen on my loved-less list, but I’m holding out hope that I like the sequel more and it raises my opinion of the first book (similar to how I felt about ACOMAF.) I made a face at your opinion of The Crown’s Game as someone who adores The Night Circus because everything about TCG sounds cringe-worthy at best and an insult to Morgenstern’s pinnacle of awesomeness in TNC.

    My TTT!

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    1. I really enjoyed A Crown of Wishes, I think even more than The Star-Touched Queen, so I hope you do as well. Maybe if you enjoy it enough it will improve your opinions of the first book. 🙂
      Yeah if you’re a fan of The Night Circus and looking for something similar I would not recommend The Crown’s Game. It’s a shame because it had a really interesting concept, and it could have been an amazing book, but it just wasn’t and I was so disappointed. Then again I don’t think anything can come close to matching the awesomeness that is The Night Circus! 😀
      Thanks for the link, I’ll definitely check out your TTT.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, now I am definitely more than pumped to read ACOW. I’ll bump it up a few spots on my TBR just for you, Beth! ❤
        Sometimes I hesitate to compare books to unique favorites, because there really is never going to be a book like them, and it just puts the comparison book on a pedestal that it didn't earn. The Night Circus owns that pedestal and isn't giving it up for anything! (It's so good…so, so good…)
        Thanks for checking out mine as well ❤ you're the best!

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      2. Yay that’s great to hear Diana, I really hope you enjoy it in that case! 😀 ❤
        Oh I completely get what you mean. Most times I have been burned by book comparisons so I don't put much stock in them when I see them on blurbs or in reviews. Especially when it's The Night Circus because yeah it's impossible to beat that one.
        That's all right. 🙂 ❤

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  15. Great post Beth – a really like the fact that you chose five positives and five negatives. It makes me so happy to hear that other people loved books as much as I did, so I’m buoyed to hear you liked Throne of Glass, Gilded Cage and A Crown of Wishes more than you were expecting! (I haven’t actually read A Crown of Wishes yet, but it’s high up on my TBR!) It’s a shame you were disappointed by The Crown’s Game and Red Queen (these are two I’m hoping to get to in the next few months) but I’ve heard quite a few people saying a similar thing. But, we’re all diverse readers so, of course, we’re not all going to like the same books – and that’s totally OK! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kate. Yeah this was more because I couldn’t think of ten for either one or the other so decided to do a mixture, because I had at least five of each! 😀
      Throne of Glass was an interesting one because I can’t say it was a favourite book of mine but it was better than what I was expecting. Gilded Cage and A Crown of Wishes are favourite though. 🙂
      I am definitely in the minority when it comes to Red Queen so maybe you’ll enjoy that one more than me, but yeah I can’t say I enjoyed The Crown’s Game at all. It’s a shame because it had an amazing concept, and a lot of potential as well.
      You’re right we do all enjoy different books, so I do hope you end up enjoying both of those when you get around to them! 😀

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  16. I can’t wait to read Gilded Cage and Frost Blood. A lot of people were disappointed after reading RoseBlood because it didn’t reach their expectations and I’m on the fence about whether I actually want to read it or not. The negative reviews have, unfortunately, affected me. Something that rarely happens. Thanks for sharing your TTT! You can check out mine here: http://bookladysreviews.blogspot.gr/2017/02/top-ten-books-i-thought-i-would-like.html

    Elena @ Book Lady’s Reviews

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    1. Both Gilded Cage and Frostblood are amazing reads in my opinion so I hope you enjoy them. In regards to RoseBlood I think you may enjoy it if you enjoyed the original Phantom of the Opera tale, if not I can’t say I’d recommend it.
      Ahh negative reviews always seem to affect me, it’s why I tend to avoid them sometimes.
      Thanks for the link, I’ll definitely check out your TTT. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Haha, you know what’s funny about this? I hated Frostblood but loved Red Queen. 😂 I also loved Throne of Glass more than I thought I would because I saw so many bad reviews, but I read the sample and fell in love. ❤

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    1. Ha that is kind of funny. So I guess you were disappointed when you saw ‘perfect for fans of Red Queen’ on Frostblood and that turned out not to be the case.
      And yeah I guess with Throne of Glass our expectations were so low the only place they could really go was up! 😀

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