Celaena Sardothien, the lethal assassin with a mysterious past, is handling her status as the King’s Champion quite deftly, when another threat emerges and threatens everyone she loves. Celaena must scheme and plan meticulously in order to learn more about this evil that’s been brewing and to figure out a way to stop it, before all hell breaks loose.
What I loved:
- Celaena continues being a badass and we get to learn more about her past and her personality throughout the story. I loved that this book was full of revelations about many characters, not just the main protagonist. In many book series, authors make the mistake of telling the readers everything they can possibly tell about their mains, but Maas did a wonderful job of spreading out the development of her characters. At the end of both books I’ve read so far, I want to read the next one and the one after that, because I want to know more about these characters and what happens to them.
- The relationships between Celaena and the people around her develop so much in this book. It was great to see that none of these relationships or friendships end up how one would expect. I’m always happy to encounter a relationship between major characters that defies the normal outcome, in the sense that, something happens and that bond is either broken, dented, or completely severed. It’s refreshing, because it doesn’t mesh into the usual “Oh, and they all lived happily ever after” bullshit that many writers stick to for fear that they might incite a riot of emotionally abused readers. I love that Maas is not afraid to break your heart and then punch it in the face.
What I disliked:
- This book was a lot slower than the first one, granted. I did put it down a few times and considered skipping a few pages (but I would never skip a page in a book, unless it was a textbook, ha). There wasn’t enough action throughout the book to keep it exciting; and in some parts, a conversation or an awkward interaction was the only action we saw.
- I wish there were more description or explanation with regards to the lore behind the story, but I guess that will be in the next book. It would have been nice to have some sort of background into the history of these kingdoms spread throughout the book. This book felt like a long introduction to the next book at times, like one big research assignment. Did Celaena really need an entire book to figure out one conclusion?
All in all, I give this book 4 ★s, because while I loved some aspects of it, some of it just didn’t live up to the first book. It was still riveting to read and Celaena develops into a much deeper and complex character, as do many other characters, but the story was mainly about realizations and revelations, rather than having a structured story like the first book. Obviously, the story is divided into several books and I won’t shit on this book’s parade because it’s one part in a series, and a book series develops much slower than a standalone, duh. I can’t wait until they turn these books into movies, though, because Celaena is definitely a unique character in unique circumstances.