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.I just couldn't put it down. I snagged it as an ebook while it was on sale for a mere ninety-nine cents and my finger just kept flicking pages. And then before I was even halfway through I had the entire series, or at least what is currently released, in my cart on Amazon because I just wanted to marathon as much as I could and keep at my current momentum. It's that kind of series. [Ultimately I respected my mini book buying ban and had them all put on hold at my library. Aren't you guys proud of me?!]
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 loved Celaena as a character. She possessed a few of my favorite character traits, such as being a smartass and a bit too clever for her own good...you know, things I can relate to all too well. And still at the heart of it, despite being an assassin, she was still just a teenage girl; I enjoyed seeing those two warring sides of her personality, because they did in fact seemed to conflict with each other a great deal. And in edition to Celaena there is a wonderful cast of secondary characters; characters that I really can't wait to see more of in the upcoming books in the series. [Just don't ask me about my ship in this series...I can't quite decide...well...maybe...GAH.]
My only fault with the book is that I really wish there had been more about the tests...and that she had tried a little bit harder to figure out the mysteries herself. I felt that she spent a lot of time in the library researching but there were certain resources that she had available to her in the book [don't want to give them away because of spoilers] that she could have taken better advantage of. In a lot of ways the novel is more character driven than plot driven; at least that is how it seemed to me. Which I enjoyed, don't get me wrong, because I really enjoyed watching Celaena develop as a character and getting deeper inside her head. Though let me tell you, I WANT TO KNOW THIS GIRL'S BACKSTORY LIKE NOTHING ELSE. I MUST GET A HOLD OF THOSE NOVELLAS!
Overall, in case you couldn't already tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel...flew through it in no time at all, and definitely recommend it to readers in search of some addicting young adult fantasy.