by Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 416 (not enough!)
Rating: Absolutely AMAZING!! Fantastic! I need more NOW!
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 kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. 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.
....Holy...I don't even know what to say! That was utterly fantastic!
Characters = amazing.
Plot = amazing.
Whole freaking book = amazing.
You know those books where you don't want it to end? You just want it to continue on forever and ever and be blissfully unaware of everything in this world except for this book? Yeah, that's definitely this book.
What I loved:
This, this is a strong female character. She kicks ass, she's strong, independent and sassy. She's got a sharp-tongue and sharper mind. She doesn't take crap from anyone and isn't afraid to speak her mind, no matter the consequences. But what makes her even more awesome? She's so unexpectedly girly. I love it that she can be physically tough, but still loves all things sparkly. She loves to dress up, wear make-up and flirt. She's the perfect mash-up of femininity and strength.
I must say, I was rather surprised I fell in love with Dorian as I did. He's a total playboy, confident flirt with a sarcastic sense of humor that I loved. But underneath that is a guy who you know will grow up to be a good leader one day. He's defiant, strong and smart. While I'm not sure I liked his and Celaena's relationship, I did adore him as a character.
While I actually ended up loving Dorian more than I thought, I'd be a big fat liar if I said I didn't fall head over heels for the ever stoic Captain of the Guard. He doesn't quite trust Celaena, but he's on her side. He's broody, stoic, honorable and incredibly loyal but you get those little glimpses of his dry humor and softer side. I can't wait to see more of him in the upcoming books!
Another tough female character. That's right. There's not one but two tough female characters. Ha! And both are fantastic! She's intelligent, snarky and just all-around awesome! She's got an air of mystery that kept me guessing on what she had up her sleeve.
By far what made me love this book were the interactions between the characters. Honestly, I don't think I've ever fallen in love with a set of characters as much as I have these. I was constantly laughing at the witty banter and relishing in the tension filled goodness between the characters. Simply perfect.
I absolutely loved it! It was interesting and creative and I loved the competition. And the ending just blew up! The mystery was a bit slow at first, but then during the last half the mystery really comes into play and everything just happens and it's a crazy fast whirlwind of absolute awesomeness! Sword-fighting, princes, assassins, soldiers, knives, mystery, fighting princesses, crazy tyrants and complex worlds. What more could you want?!?! I love that there are little snippets here and there of more awesomeness to come! More fae and magic and more information about Celeana's past. I must say I was really surprised with the addition of the fae, but it keeps me hooked for book two. This book really only covered the surface of what this world is capable of and I really look forward to the expansion of the plot!
While most of the book is from Celeana's point of view, you get random views from Chaol and Dorian and while they are sporadic, I must say I really enjoyed it. It allows you a glimpse into their lives and views of Celeana.
Oh, fantasy. How I love thee. I could easily imagine this complex world and can't wait to explore even more of it! Though I do wish there was a map (however, I have an ARC so one may be included in the final copies). I really can't wait to learn more about Adarlan's tyrannical rule and all the interactions between the nations and their pasts.
1 minor problem:
Minor Spoiler Ahead:
It took too long to get to the mystery. But my main problem was that I felt that everyone (except Celaena) were kind of idiots when it came to solving it. I feel as if the author needed Celeana to be the one to solve it, so she purposefully made the other characters stupid when it came to the mystery. But the other characters were smart enough to have started to figure it out themselves ya know? I'm not saying solve it because obviously the MC is Celeana and she needs to be a big part of it, but the other characters didn't need to be quite that slow.
To be honest, I could go on and on about all the fantasticness of this book. I didn't want to put it down. I literally ignored everything else in my life in order to finish this book and when it was done, I didn't want it to end! The characters by far made this book for me. Their interactions were fantastic! This is another great book to add to your favorite fantasies! Goodness, my review doesn't do this book justice in the least. I've tried re-writing this too many times to count and can't get all my love for this in words. 2 months later and my mind is still reeling from all that is this book. Please, I beg you to go read it and fall in love with it as I did.
All the best ♥