Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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 kings 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 Give This ...
I as thrilled to be able to read this book. It sounded like it might be similar to those written by Maria V. Snyder (and she's one of my favorite authors). I was hoping it would live up to the hype. I think it did a pretty good job.
Celaena is an interesting character. It was really hard for me to picture her as the deadly assassin that she is. She seems like someone who has been betrayed and beaten down. But, then we meet her after she has been captured and forced to hard labor in a place were no one survives as long as she has. That alone is testament to her will to survive no matter what the cost. We get little stories her and there of what she has done and what she is capable of. It's no wonder that few people take her seriously because it's so hard to connect them to her. She's smart though, and we can definitely see that in every little thing that she does.
Since most of this story takes place in the Glass Castle and surrounding court, I couldn't get a good feel at what this fantasy world might be like. We have Celaena's view (but she's been imprisoned for a year) and the view of those in the court. I get the impression that the ruler is anything but just and doesn't care how he gains is dominance. I did find it odd that he disappeared for half the story and no one knew how, when, or why. I'm hoping that is something addressed in future books.
I greatly enjoyed Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall. The two characters seemed so vastly different but yet showed extreme interest in Celaena. The prince seemed to bring out the carefree side of her which is something is really needed. I found that Captain Westfall was a better fit for her romantically. I think he his damaged is ways similar to her. I wonder how it will all play out because it was really hard to tell by the end of this book.