"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... 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." -Goodreads
I read this book back in October (or November?) but I didn't have a blog at the time, so I'm posting it now.
When I first read the summary of this book, I was so enthusiastic and had very high hopes for it. If the main character is an assassin, who wouldn't want to read it?
So, I started reading it, and I was interested from start to finish. I loved the part about the Wyrdmarks. Personally, for me Nehemia was the best character in this novel. The secondary characters - Chaol, Dorian- were very likable. It was obvious that a love triangle was forming between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol, which I am not that excited about.
A downside of this book was Celaena's character. She's supposed to be an assassin, right? Well, she certainly didn't act like one.
I get that the author tried to make her easier to relate to, and make her seem "ordinary", but I think that she tried way too hard. At times, I actually FORGOT that Celaena was an actual assassin. She felt like a normal teenage girl who just happened to end up in a castle. It's not that she wasn't tough or strong, but for a girl that was taught to be an assassin for most of her life, you'd expect a badass warrior who defied the king every chance she got. I would expect her to be more like Nehemia, not a girl who gets giddy over candy, or can't handle period cramps (okay, maybe I'm going too hard on her). Nonetheless, I admired Celaena for her determination, and she was a pretty good female heroine.
My disappointment with Celaena's character didn't greatly affect how I viewed the rest of the book. Overall, this book kept me turning the pages and was a very enjoyable read. The characters were well-developed and I understood them perfectly. The writing did get a bit too descriptive and repetitive at times, but it wasn't overly annoying. This series has great potential, and I look forward to reading more of Sarah J. Maas's books in the future.
Publication date: August 7th, 2012
Page Count: 404 pages
My Rating: 4/5 stars