Blurb: Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for Greatness.
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 a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince on 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 am a massive high fantasy fan and have heard a lot of good things about this novel but like Fangirl I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype as there are a lot of mixed feelings. It wasn’t the most action packed novel, but I am also aware that this novel was setting up the rest of the series so I forgive it for that.
Before I really get into my review I wanted to talk about the cover art of the book (something I never or rarely do in depth).
Cover A: oooo look at me I am so pretty, I shall flex my muscles and will look bad ass, oh lets add a dagger just in case.
Cover B: I am BAD ASS and will probably murder you in your sleep.
See the difference… I actually only want to point it out as I feel that if you can only get the first cover please do not judge this cover as it is not a good reflection of the novel. I also promise it is not my prejudice for having ‘models’ on the front of books. Even though I strongly believe that should be solely left to Mills and Boons and Harlequin novels
Okay so lets get going … mild spoilers ahead.
Apparently this book was originally posted on FictionPress (like fan fiction but for original novels), I never read it on FictionPress but I have read that apparently Maas added a love triangle.
As I never read ‘the original’ I don’t have anything against it and I love a good love story in my books. I previously mentioned it wasn’t the most action packed novel but that being said I felt that it had a good and constant pace and I didn’t get bored while reading it. It was filled with some really good moments and I enjoyed reading it and finished it pretty quickly.
I think that has a lot to do with Maas’ writing style. There was moment’s such as the candy scene that I felt was a bit unnecessary to the plot, I think it was trying to lighten the mood but I feel that it was a bit juvenile. The final battle scene was nail biting and even though you know she would survive (there was going to be 5 more novels in the series) it was one of the best scenes in the novel.
The main character of the novel is Celaena Sardothien; Ardalan’s most notorious assassin and she is shaping up to be a complete bad ass.
I think that Maas did a brilliant job of making her characters realistic, their motives make them plausible and compelling and Celaena is a brilliant example of that she wants the basic human need for freedom. She is practical, intelligent and witty and sarcastic. You can also see a compassionate side to her character and a inkling that she will have a great capacity for those who she loves.
I think that Celanena is written as a very well rounded character, she isn’t perfect her time in the mines of Endovier have changed her and she isn’t able to run miles straight away which I appreciate. A lot of reviews I read complain that she talks about her appearance a lot, a fact that sort of undermines her as as assassin. I personally don’t feel that it does, she is a girl who has been living in mines for months and is now able to take pride in her apperance again. I don’t think it is a far stretch that she would care about how she looks.
Speaking of female badass’ Nehemia becomes Celaena’s best friend and is another badass’ female. She is also a woman of colour, this is something that I feel is lacking in literature. So she deserves a mention, she is a Princess, a fighter and is intelligent.
Chaol Westfall is the Captain of the Royal Guard and 1/3 of the love triangle. I personally feel that Chaol is a more relatable character out of the two men. He has a genuine quality about him despite being reserved. He has a quite affection for Celaena which could be seen as cold or cruel especially as he didn’t molly coddle Celaena while training her for the tournament but I feel that that is what she needed, he helped her.
Dorian Havilliard is the Price of Aradalan and makes up the final third of the love triangle. He is the obvious romantic choice for Celaena of course the assassin will fall for the Prince. I am gagging on the cliche. He does have some Daddy issues, and feels guilty for is father’s choices and itches for acts of rebellion … enter Celaena. I am interested to see his character development from the typical vain, noble and if he will change his ‘ladies man’ ways.
During the novel romance seemed to bloom between Celaena and Dorain and for a while I did kind of buy into the premise of that relationship. However after the novel ended and upon reflection I feel that Chaol is probably a more suitable for her. TEAM CHAOL!!!
I have heard that the next books are feature more action and I am hoping that they will feature more of Celaena as an assassin. I think that all the characters will grow and develop and I am excited to see where this series will progress
Thrones of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and The Assasin’s Blade are out now and the fourth novel Queen of Shadows will be released in September 2015