By Sarah J. Maas
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 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.
This book was an addicting sort of adventure. I couldn’t put it down until I figured out where it was going. It had a fun wit in it, but a huge problem. Our heroine in this story, Celaena, is an assassin. And not just any assassin, but the best of them, feared and respected throughout the land. No matter how I tried to twist the story to fit this fact, it just wasn’t believable. Celaena acted just like an average teenage girl, a bit full of herself, liked beauty and finery, and was immature in many ways. When the fact that she was an assassin came up, she was so flat about the fact that she’d murdered people that I ended up not believing her. There was no evidence that being a murderer had affected her at all. Big problem for me. It felt like being an assassin was just a way for the author to have an interesting plot. I was so irritated at this that the great parts about this book couldn’t save it for me. Also having yet another love triangle just put me over the edge. Especially since Dorian was an idiot. There are a lot of fans of this series, and I can see where it is going to go. I understand the general uproar about it, but I can’t condone the lack of interesting characters and their utter undeveloped nature.
I give it a 3 out of 5 for being a good book, but the details just killed it for me.