“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”
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 four 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 really enjoyed this book, I really did. There was an enormous and mountainous hype for this book series, and I felt overall I felt fulfilled as a reader.
Whoever sees the blurb on the front of this edition claiming that it’s a mix between Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, ignore it. This is by no means Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is a dense book that looks at multiple characters thoughts and backstories, and it also is more heavily political. This book is somewhat political, but it also contains a chunk of romance. The trial games were only a part of the plot too.
I fell in love with the arrogant Celaena, narcissistic Dorian, and grumpy Chaol. They were all displayed very well with a clear-cut personality.There were some discrepancies, mind you. In this book, we didn’t really observe the relationship between Chaol and Dorian. They’ve claimed themselves as friends and admitted to growing up together, but they hardly interacted in the book save for the short story at the end (which shouldn’t count). I liked the idea of Celaena presented as a humane character. I’m all for moral grey area, especially with her profession as an assassin, but I think the book was premature in giving us that information. As the readers, we never side the dark side of her, we only heard stories about. It left me a little wanting.
The writing was quite beautiful. Maas alluded a lot to the stars, and it was at times mesmerizing. I also love a good book that can accurately capture sarcasm.