Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Release Date: 2nd August 2012
Read in: August 2012
Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.Sometimes a true test of how much I love a book is if I drop everything to read it. After seeing all the five star reviews I was expecting to be blown away but other things came first. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to continue the series.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted
‘”I demand to know,” she began, but the Captain of the Guard pulled her back from the prince with spine-snapping force. “I wasn’t going to kill him, you buffoon.”
“Watch your mouth before I throw you back into the mines,” the brown eyed captain said.
“Oh I don’t think you’d do that,”
“And why is that?” Chaol replied.
“Because there’s something you want from me, something you want badly enough to come here yourselves. “
Warning, this is not a good book to read while tucked up in bed, in the dark with a reading light. Things go bump in the night and menace creeps up behind you in the shadows. There is plenty of that in this book. It is a lot weirder than I originally thought it was going to be, and creepier. I loved the magic woven into this book and I cannot wait to discover more in the next books.
Most of the action and mystery started to occur around half way. Before she was getting to know people and preparing for the tests. I thought this book was going to be all about getting through the tournament but there was also another layer. I love it when a book surprises me. In some of the scenes the suspense was almost torture.
However, one of the main things mentioned in the synopsis is Celaena taking part in a tournament to become the King’s Champion. Unfortunately that felt a bit like a side line compared to the other mysterious things that were going on; the deeper layer. I think it should have become more prominent. Most of the tests were only briefly described and they felt like filler between unusual events. Celaena’s main focus seemed to be on the tests, why not ours?
The ending, however … wow. That’s all I can say. This was the first time I was grabbed by the throat and wasn’t let go until the end. Action, suspense and feelings wrapped up into a brilliant final few chapters.
A number of times when a book is written in third person, it is a struggle to understand the characters. However here I picked up the individual personalities very quickly. Actions can show the thoughts we would get in a first person dialogue.
Celaena was kick ass. She reminds me of Katniss from The Hunger Games. I love her. She knew what she wanted and went for it. But even though she is an assassin she still had her morals and a caring side. She was still human. She is one tough cookie to come out a strong person after everything that has happened.
The tension between Celaena and Dorian was entertaining. It is definitely not a sappy romance. It was obvious they were physically attracted to each other, it was the tension emotionally that they needed to overcome.
I have huge respect for Chao. I get the feeling he is not perfectly content with his position and I was willing for more to happen for him. I will be keeping a closer eye on him.
If the tests were more prominent and the action picked up earlier this book would have been amazing. But, overall, I did enjoy it and I am looking forward to seeing how this series continues.