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 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.
Celaena was a beautifully written character. She was smart, sassy, sensible and everything I look for in a heroine. It was easy to identify with her and forgive all her faults, and the dynamic between her and Dorian and Chaol was very catching. Even with only phantom glimpses into her past, I felt like I knew where she was coming from. Her strengths and weaknesses made sense. Though all the characters were very clearly defined, Chaol was perhaps my favorite, and he displayed a depth that left me thinking.
Characters: 5 Stars
This was not your average assembly line book. No plot twist took the easy way out, and when I thought I had it pegged I couldn't have been more wrong. The action never felt stale and rolled out of the pages like water. There was a nice blend of suspense, action, magic, and intrigue. Though romance was a moderately small aspect of the plot it was very refreshing! Instead of spoon feeding the reader pages and pages of the characters feelings, Sarah Maas let the characters discover it themselves. Consequently when things came to a close it felt very genuine.
Plot: 4.9 Stars
I hadn't read a satisfying book in a long time. It felt good. Sarah Maas' narration never got in the way or distracted from other elements of the story. Her world-building was clear and concise, pushing her creations forward for the reader to explore and enjoy. She created a story without hiccups or stutters. I'll definitely have a hopeful eye out for a sequel!
Style: 5 Stars
Rating: 5 Stars
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