Author: Sarah J. Maas
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Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
fter 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 was very excited to read this book. I have been hearing about it all summer and it was just getting amazing reviews. I was really looking forward to diving into Celaena's world and finding out the mystery and hoping for an epic time. I have been sorely lacking in reading some high fantasy novels, so this would have been a nice change.
Well, turns out that I was excited for nothing. This book was such a disappointment that I actually gave it away, and apparently not even my friend wants it. I think my biggest problem is that the story was very obvious, the reader knew who the killer was not even half-way through the story. I mean, let's not be too settle or anything but let's not be too confusing either so we'll just point a finger to a group of people, who the reader knows right away there's a problem with one of them.
And my second biggest problem was Celaena. Talk about a Mary Sue, there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, except that there was something wrong with her. I mean, can she not be good at something, please? And at such a young age, I just found it so unrealistic. I get, we're in a fictional setting, but reader's expect real characters, and she was not real. She was self-centered, and for an assassin she was a little too obsessed with clothing and looking pretty. I understand if the author wanted to give us full visuals, but we did not need paragraphs describing clothes, and I do mean it by the plural form.
Then there were the two guys. Fine, I get love-triangles are really in, but can we get these guys to have flaws, please? It doesn't help that the way they look at Celaena with this awe-she's-amazing sense that she looks at them. And I don't know how much of a love-triangle this was. Again, it was obvious who she would end up with, because from the beginning the reader understand that one sees her like a person, I guess, while the other sees her for a temporary moment as exciting.
I almost didn't finish. I didn't want to. I only did because I was on the Amtrak and I foolishly packed all my books in my luggage and all I was this book to read.
I would not recommend this books. All the characters are flat, there's no personality. They are all greedy and selfish, despite the fact that Celaena doesn't want to see herself in such a light. And it was a little obvious who would win. Nothing in this book shocked me. I was really annoyed with the focus on the clothes, and I felt like the mythology was poorly constructed. The author kept throwing in country names and I had to keep referring to the map, but in the end decided to just give up. I didn't understand anything.
And to drive home a deeper point, are any of these characters polite? I did not see Celaena utter one thank you. And granted, she's in a tough spot fighting for her freedom, but when someone does something nice you don't question the motives, you say thank you and then question the motives. I was so mad at her. Not to mention she was so demanding. She didn't even live in the palace and already she was giving orders. I just wanted to tell her, "It's your dog, take care of it yourself." And that makes no sense unless you read the book, but I just couldn't take her.
The whole thing was poorly constructed and I could have gone the rest of my life without reading this novel. I do not suggest it for anything.