Published August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Not recommended to: people who are looking for a fast-paced, thrilling fantasy
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 know a lot of people like this book so I’m really sorry but this will be a rant.
I’m in a love-hate relationship with this book.
This was recommended to me by two of my trusted friends, who felt so strongly about this one. It breaks my heart how this book could’ve been something more, how it had so much potential that was unfortunately, never realized.
Celaena. Before I read this book, I expected her to be this really awesome and amazing girl. But instead, she was at times, whiny and confused about her feelings. One minute she says she likes Dorian and the next she’s feeling something for Chaol. But she even had the guts to say,
“I hate women like that. They’re so desperate for the attention of men that they’d willingly betray and harm members of their own sex.”
Dorian. Although I don’t hate Dorian, I don’t like him either. I feel like he’s only there to kiss and flirt with Celaena. And he uses too many flowery words, if you ask me.
“She haunted his thoughts, made him wish to do grand and wonderful things in her name.”
I tried hard to fight an eye roll over that one.
Chaol. If not for him, I wouldn’t have kept going. I really don’t know why I adore this guy. He doesn’t show much of his emotions but deep inside, he’s a really great guy who cares for Celaena.
When I read the premise, this book felt so promising. I imagined jam-packed action at every turn of the page, heart-pounding plot twists, and unexpected surprises. But boy was I so wrong.
When I first started the book, I wasn’t hooked. This should have been my first sign. But it had great reviews so I wasn’t about to give up that early. I was also curious so I continued on and about halfway through the book, it finally got a little more interesting. Now, there is some magic and otherworldly creatures involved, an unknown evil lurking beneath the walls of the castle. I admit that this part of the book is a good one. I loved the mystery of the unknown markings from an ancient, long-forgotten religion, the existence of creatures from another world, and the possibility of Celaena being someone other than who people thought she were.
But the source of my disappointment was that the Competition was not focused on enough. I expected each Test (there are tests each week to narrow down the contestants for the Final Duel) to be exciting and full of heart-stopping moments. However, this part of the plot was not properly carried out and only had one or two major happenings.
The Final Duel, however, is another story. It had my heart pounding from the beginning until the end. If the author was capable of making up those scenes, why didn’t we have this from the start? The plot was like walking around the major part of the book and suddenly breaking into a full-on sprint towards the end.
I am still curious so I’m definitely reading the second one. I do hope it’s better and more worthy of my time. 😊
Did you like this book or were you also disappointed like me? Tell me your thoughts below. 😄