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 exhilirating. 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 have to say, this book had a lot of twists and turns that I was NOT expecting. Most of them I can't tell you, because I don't like giving away spoilers.
Anyway, Celaena Sardothien is freaking awesome. She's an assassin yes, but she isn't heartless. She has been through a whole lot of crap and if she hadn't learned how to fight then she would be dead ten times over. Celaena does what she has to do in order to survive.
I also love her wit. She's funny and clever and all around a cool person.
This is really hard to write. Not because it's a bad book, in fact, it's freaking awesome! But it took me forever to finish it because I only have time for like ten minutes in the morning before classes to read. Still, reading this book was a great part of the day. It was adventurous, and filled with intrigue.
I loved Dorian and Chaol. They were strong and determined. I loved their friendship. Dorian is in a hard position, but I am happy that he likes books. I don't know why, but when other people like books talking with them is super easy, because WE CAN TALK ABOUT BOOKS. And I love talking about books, as did he and Celaena. I thought that was fun.
Chaol sort of reminded me of Shang from Mulan at times--mostly when he was being awkward. It cracked me up.
I thought it was great on how it was a bit hard to determine who the bad guy was. I like how we didn't figure it out until later in the book. It was mysterious and creepy!
I apologize... usually I'm better at writing reviews. What I want to say is that this book is totally worth reading! It's amazing and I loved it.
Also, I think you should invest in the prequel books before reading this series. There are references there that aren't mentioned much in this book, but still... THEY ARE GREAT. And it will help you understand Celaena a bit more.
I give it a 5 out of 5!