I know I am late to the party on this one, but I just had to give my review of this novel. I’m a sucker for historical romance as it as, so through in some fantasy and mysterious characters and I’m all in! In all, it probably took me about 8 reading hours to finish this novel. Every time I opened it, I was immediately sucked into the story and easily followed along the journey, which is hard to do with how many times I have to open and close any book between work and family demands.
Time to dig a little deeper!
Goodreads: 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.
Warnings: may contain spoilers! You have been warned!
Now the romance aspect was very light in the novel, which, as you well know, is typically my favorite part. However, it fit well for the anti-hero Celaena to have very light romantic interests. After all, she is in a duel for her life and freedom. I really didn’t see it at all at first, especially when Chaol and Dorian first started teasing each other over their feelings for the assassin, but it grew slowly, then quite faster for Dorian as Chaol was still coming around. It shall be interesting to see this love triangle play out in the next novel.
Now, I believe I have said that I love an author on WattPad called Ava Larksen. She has a wonderful series going right now called Little Bird, and honestly, it was the first I have ever heard of wyrms, wraiths, and other various w-words symbolizing fantasy creatures. So, when Maas introduced me to wyrdmarks, I was slightly taken aback. There are so many elements on fantasy that I never knew, and this exploration and discovery has been fascinating! A new type of magic for me, and I’m beyond thrilled to read more about it, especially after the last duel scene. I won’t spoil that one as it is probably the biggest build up of the whole story.
One thing I wanted a bit more of was Celaen’s assassin abilities. I know her strength and stamina was a work in progress throughout her journey to possibly becoming the King’s Champion, but I so wanted to see her be the bad-ass her reputation held her to be. Hopefully there is more to come throughout the series. I’m talking like James Bond style stuff where she disguises herself, hides weapons in her corset, and kicks some ass!
All in all a great read! I’m excited to read the rest of the series!