Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 8 out of 10
You can read Kristen's review: HERE
Summary (Goodreads rocks): 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 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.
My Thoughts: Let's jump right into it then...
The original cover for this book was awful. I would never have picked it off the shelf. It looked far too much like a middle school aged book. I can hardly read high school aged books anymore without changing plot points in my mind. If Kristen had not forced me to read this series, I probably would never have read it. That thought makes me sad. The new cover is about a million times better. Kristen's review (above) features the old cover if you are dying to see it.
I loved Celaena because she was strong but also weak in her own way. She had to fight so hard to survive that she had to be strong. Her moments of weakness damn near ripped my heart out of my chest. I'm glad that the author kept so much about her a mystery because it means that there will be so many interesting things to learn about her in the rest of the series.
However, love triangle. I hate those things if they aren't done right. I think it's unnecessary that someone always gets hurt. Like for real? Every single girl in the world does not have multiple guys tripping over her. That just isn't how the world works. But I digress... In this case, the love triangle thing we had going wasn't too wretched. I managed to finish the book despite it. We will see what the rest of the series brings.
I like magic. I like assassins. I like mysteries. This novel has all of those things with a bit of love thrown in on the side with a lot of great action.
To wrap this up, I just want to mention the third person perspective. I don't read a lot of novels using this writing style. I liked it. It allowed the readers to get inside the heads of many characters all at the same time. You got so much more that way. Of course, I have read novels like this in the past but it's not very common especially in young adult novels lately. It was a nice change that helped to set this novel apart from the others that I'd been reading lately.
Conclusion: I wasn't expecting too much from this series but they turned out to be super great. I would recommend this to everybody. Okay, maybe not everybody but most people. Who doesn't want a kick-ass character? Read it.