Individual Rating: 4.5/5
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
I was very skeptical, initially, about this book. I’d heard about it, but it was one of those ones where the covers made it seem like it would be… not great. I know, “don’t judge a book by its cover, Haley!” but I do. I really do. I’m always happy to be proved wrong, though! I enjoyed this book! So much so, that I just got back from buying all of Maas’ books in this series that the bookstore had!
I really love Celaena. Really, truly enjoyed her character. She’s seem some things – not good things, but she’s not a completely awful person. I enjoy her banter and wit, and I like that she becomes friends with Dorian and Chaol. The premise of the book was very interesting. We are kind of thrown into a world and story that seems like it’s already halfway done: we start with Celaena being pulled out by the Prince of the caves she was sentenced to die in. What?! I’m gonna need some back story for that…
Dorian was charmingly funny, but a bit of a womanizer. I wanted to shake him by the shoulders sometimes. Chaol is also very nice. There is a bit of a love triangle *sigh* that pops up. You know I HATE love triangles. I’m hoping this one will be subtle enough that I can enjoy the story rather than the romance. At first, I was confused because it seemed like a very straightforward story with plot A and subplot B and C that get resolved at the end, but it’s so much more than that. This series will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. I’m really looking forward to it.
Maas does a wonderful job creating the world we’re reading about. There’s some very dynamic characters, lots of magic references (that’s gonna pop up soon I hope) and good villains! I was interested in the direction this book was taking about 25% of the way through, and I was pleasantly surprised and excited to read more at the end!
I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys The Hunger Games or Poison Study or pretty much any YA fantasy with an evil King and cute Prince. (It’s not as cliche as it sounds I promise). Good book! Can’t wait for more!
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Author: Sarah J. Maas