State of Sorrow mood board

A POST ON A SATURDAY? WHAT IS THIS? 

It’s another State of Sorrow post, obviously. I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s review! I HOPE YOU BOUGHT IT, or are considering it! 

The last mood board I made was for one of Mel’s other books (The Scarecrow Queen, see that mood board here: BLOG TOUR: The Scarecrow Queen) and I had such fun that I decided I would do another one here for State of Sorrow. Don’t worry, this is going to be as spoiler free as possible! 

Sorrow moodboard

This bunch of pictures for me depicts the characters, plot and emotions for me so well. There’s a mix of Sorrow, her family, her enemies in this collection of pictures. The castle, the bridge, the water: they speak of the setting. Setting the tone and building the world were so well done in State of Sorrow (obviously, this is Mel) that you definitely feel like you’re there. A world of perpetual sadness. Dull, dark, distraught. I used a lot of eyes in this mood board: unintentionally. The brown eye speaks of Sorrow’s brother, the eyes of the old man are Sorrow’s dad – a lost man; lost in his own darkness. The green eye spoke to me of Sorrow – the sky her hopes, the trees her growing, the birds her desire to be free of the mourning, the tears her being dragged into the repetitive past. The eyes of the rugged man bottom right (who I think I recognise, let me know if you can tell me who this is!) shouted the villain of the story – haunting, horrid, hateful. He’s a mean man. Sorrow, the story, tells of a complex family, a mourning nation, a glimpse of hope doused in tears. There’s secrets, lies and a magical feel in the book. Sorrow is an incredible character. I have hopes that she will in fact rise and roar in the second book. 

S xx

 

BOOKBLOG: Melinda Salisbury

HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY TO THE ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT ‘STATE OF SORROW’.

You really thought you could get away from me? You really think I wouldn’t celebrate this majestic day with some kind of State of Sorrow appreciation post? 

Today, I will share my review with you. There will be more State of Sorrow themed posts coming in the next few days. I am not sorry at all. 

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State of Sorrow: delicious, deceptive, daring

A people cowed by grief and darkness.
A cut-throat race for power and victory.
A girl with everything and nothing to lose…

Sorrow all but rules the Court of Tears, in a land gripped by perpetual grief, forever mourning her brother who died just days before Sorrow was born. By day she governs in place of her father, by night she seeks secret solace in the arms of the boy she’s loved since childhood. But when her brother is seemingly found alive, and intent on taking control, Sorrow has to choose whether to step aside for a stranger who might not be who he claims to be, or embark on a power struggle for a position she never really wanted.”

Hello. My name is Steph and Melinda Salisbury is my absolute queen.
(I feel like I open all of my Melinda Salisbury blog posts like that, but it’s true.)

So, I went into reading State of Sorrow ignoring the blurb. I won’t lie. I am a bit of a blurb ignorer. I’d read the sampler for State of Sorrow, which I got at YALC, a few months ago and I knew I was in for another absolute barrage of emotions, badass brilliant characters, an evil villain and a whole load of incredible world building. AND I WAS ALL ABOUT IT. There’s a MASSIVE surprise with her brother, which I did not see coming. I DID NOT KNOW IT WOULD HAPPEN, I HAD IGNORED THIS (it’s on the blurb/synopsis apparently). Therefore when I read I WAS THE MOST SURPRISED. It was like BAM KABLAM. SLAP IN THE FACE BRILLIANT. Like, I wasn’t expecting it. But my gosh was it brilliant.

So, Sorrow. She’s a brilliant young woman. She’s unwillingly doing a job her father should be – ruling a land that are in constant mourning for a brother lost years before. She’s living in the shadow of his sadness. She’s in love with a young man she can’t really be seen with. She’s fighting losing battles against people she can’t influence. Her father is pretty useless, with a venomous man whispering in his ear. Sorrow just wants it to be time when she’s finally in control, so she can get rid of the venomous letch. Speaking of our friend, the venomous letch. He’s POISON. He’s the thing Mel does so well. She does wily, deceptive, sly characters brilliantly. They’re just there weaving their wily little plans. They’re plotting and scheming all the way through. He made me uncomfortable, but in that very excellent way that good baddies do. He’s like a sly fox.Doing dirty deeds all over, poisoning minds. 

OK, so there are more characters than this in State of Sorrow. There’s a brilliant character who all the way through I was like “YES I LOVE YOU, TEAM YOU” and then they do something bad and my reaction to this was nothing short of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING NO WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU”. There may be some redemption though. I’m not saying for definite. Sorrow has some brilliant friends too. Irris is pretty special. I really quite liked her. 

Mel writes incredible characters. 
Mel writes incredible plots.
Mel writes incredible emotions. 
Mel writes incredible worlds.

There’s this remarkable sense of BEING in the book. The world is built so incredibly well around you that you’re immersed entirely in this world of a mournful world: the castles, the lands, the sorrow, the monotony. You can’t NOT be there. The lands have history, they have meaning, they make sense. There’s always something magical and slightly mysterious going on. From incredible expanses of land, the small cottages, to freezing cold rivers…it all fits in this magical land where sorrow rules. 

WHILE YOU’RE STILL HERE… canwe just talk about emotions?If you’re reading a Melinda Salisbury book I can guarantee that your emotions will not be in tact by the end of your stay. Your heart will be stood on, repaired and then stood on again. There’s sheer disbelief; there’s contempt; there’s love and lust; there’s belief and disbelief and there’s this incredible sense of belonging. We’re all going through these emotions together. We are all shocked. There’s a lot of YES SORROW going on. You can’t NOT root for her. You can’t NOT want her to succeed. You can’t NOT be appalled at the behaviour of some of the characters. You can’t NOT be sad. There’s this incredible balance of being looked after, being secure and them BAM NOTHING IS THE SAME. I’m a massive fan of this. If you’ve read The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy you’ll know what I mean.

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Look at my happy little face. This was me reading State of Sorrow in Starbucks. Thanks @kellysrambles for the picture!

Are you still here?Excellent, I have more to tell you. I hope you’re enjoying this review. It may be my longest review to date. I don’t apologise for this. State of Sorrow is totally worth it. 

So what have I told you about so far? Sorrow, some other characters, worldbuilding, emotions. What else? SO MUCH. Oh yes… plot.

As I’ve said, I was OBLIVIOUS to one of the plot twists (which the blurb gives away, I was just oblivious to this), however State of Sorrow does not just have ONE plot twist there are SO SO MANY that it’s exceptional. The pace of this book is brilliant. You get comfy in one little plot line and BAM there’s a change. Some of the twists are just little, a bump in the road and then there’s others that just hit you hard on the head and spin your world upside down. The way this story is woven together is exceptional. (I don’t have enough superlatives for this book). Everything fits. It’s tantalisingly good. The ending will make you go NO DON’T END THERE. PLEASE DON’T END THERE. 

I can’t believe we’re being made to wait for more. I can’t wait for more. 

My goodreads review reads:

If it was possible to give a book more than 5 stars I would. This book is delicious, deceptive and daring. I absolutely love Sorrow and everything she stands for. There are more twists and turns in this book than I can count. I can’t explain how brilliant this plot, this world, these characters (you’ll love some, hate others), this story weaving is. Just incredible. I can’t WAIT for the next one. The ending of this is TANTALISING. I NEED MORE NOW.

If you want a story that will take you to an incredible new land with sibling rivalry, brilliant characters and an exceptional plot then PLEASE check out State of Sorrow. I was very lucky to be sent a copy and I am so grateful. Thanks, Mel!

Thank you for getting to the end of my review. If you made it this far I owe you a sticker. Please let me know in the comments if you got this far. 

S x

#FeminismFriday – Queen Mel

Hello there! 

Welcome to February’s feature! #FeminismFriday. For #FeminismFriday I will be featuring an amazing woman/women on my blog and tell you 5 reasons/things I love about them. 

It was only fair that I start #FeminismFriday with one of my favourite author women – Melinda Salisbury! (This will not come as a surprise to any of you, I’m pretty sure!) 

5 reasons I love Melinda Salisbury

  1. She writes the most amazing female protagonists
    If you’ve read The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy you’ll know that Twylla and Errin are two of the most badass and incredible female characters out there. They’re “strong female protagonists” but they’re also complex and real. I think it’s fair to say Twylla was the first female MC that I was like YES I LOVE YOU OK. Her arc from The Sin Eater’s Daughter to The Scarecrow Queen is one of the most incredible. 
  2. She’s witty, generous and brilliant
    If you follow her on twitter, or have ever met her, she is HILARIOUS. She’s clever and brilliant. When I told the world about buying books for my kids, she sent me a copy of her newest book “because kindness deserves to be rewarded”. (Yes, I did have a little cry)
  3. Her passion for Jeff Goldblum can not be topped
    I needn’t even explain this one. Any time I see something Jeff Goldblum, I think of Mel.
  4. Her ability to build the most incredible worlds
    Now, I’m very lucky to have read State of Sorrow already and let me tell you it is exceptional. The worldbuilding in both State of Sorrow and The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy is just exceptional. You most definitely are transported to these incredible worlds and then coming back into the real world is pretty disappointing!
  5. Her sheer joy at our crushed souls
    You can’t read a Melinda Salisbury book without having your soul crushed to death and then slowly rebuilt, possibly for it to be stood on again. Sharing this with Mel gives her such joy. She’s wicked and evil, but in the very best way. 

I could go on with these reasons… but 5 was what I agreed to! 

I’d love to know reasons you love your favourite females! Share them with me in the comments or on twitter, using the hashtag #FeminismFriday. If you, like me, love Mel then tell me your reasons why… 

S x