Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
I love high fantasy, and especially the kind that isn’t overly complicated, although to say this was easy to understand would be pushing it. It wasn’t.
The characters were engaging and I found I liked Celaena a lot more than I expected to. She’s an assassin but she has a heart and you see that throughout the book. I was expecting all hard edges and and no time to be nice, but with the Prince Dorian continued to beat down her walls, it was hard not to see that she is indeed a human being and she isn’t a complete monster.
Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, is as mysterious as they come and at first I quite liked him. I could see a love triangle coming from a mile away, though. Not that I don’t like them, because I do. But I’d already decided I liked Dorian; charming, witty, sly, sarcastic, sexy…Yes I wanted him. More precisely, I wanted him and Celaena to be one. But that was difficult with the assassin taking part in a challenge to become the Kings Assassin. Several trials would put 20 odd assassins down to four, and she would be expected to defeat them all.
I could see how much Chaol was starting to like Celeana more, however, and this concerned me. I just…didn’t connect with him like that. He was more “friend zone” than “love interest” in my opinion and I kept on hoping for Dorian. At first I saw some light at the end of the rhetorical tunnel, but it was not to last. I won’t say much more, because this is definitely worth the read and I want you all to see for yourself just how well written and captivating the world is.
I found the intricacies within the story, the tunnels and the secrecy with which the Kings Castle kept, and the magic that is contained within. Celeana discovering new things made me feel like I was experiencing the wonder with her, and I didn’t want to stop reading.
This isn’t just a story about letting down defences and finding reasons to love, it’s ultimately a story about a girl who endured a childhood full of heartache and torture, and is finally finding a life for herself, and a way to escape the pain in what ever way possible.