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? Quoted from Goodreads
As for the book, I think it pretty much lives and dies by Celaena. She's an interesting character. I adore how strong and confident she is. She knows she's awesome, and she's not afraid to tell anyone. If she weren't so proud, she'd almost be a Mary Sue, but that pride thing definitely keeps her out of that category. At times, I'll admit, I found her kind of annoying because she is so proud. She hates to loose, and it makes her a little stupid at times. Still, her confidence is refreshing.
My one real complaint about her character is that it takes us about half the book before we really ever see her do anything cool. She's constantly bragging that she's the best be we rarely get to see that. I know there are four novellas that delve into her history and awesomeness, but you don't get that for a long time in the book, and they're useless if you haven't read them. You're just constantly told she's amazing in the beginning, never shown. I realize the book's pretty long, but I, as a reader, needed to see how amazing she is from the get go.
Strangely enough, I enjoyed the love triangle between her, Captain Choal, and Prince Dorian. Yes, I have my favorite, but at this point it could go either way and I would be okay with that. I won't give the particulars away, but it served more as another complication instead of an angst fest that so many other triangles inspire. Plus we have six---yes, six---books to explore the relationship, so a straightforward I love you sort of thing would have probably gotten boring.
The world building was good but not great. A lot of things were introduced but not really explained. So, there's a lot of potential to explore, and I'm hoping now the contest is over, that the author will focus a little bit more on it in subsequent books. She definitely set up a good base for future conflict.
All in all, this is a fun adventure. It started off a little bit slower than I wanted, especially with the whole assassin promise, but it ended up being a good adventure. All in all it's a nice 3.5 stars for me. I wanted it to be more, but then I think I had really high expectations going in that sort of cut down on my appreciation of the book. Still, the next one comes out in a few weeks, and I'll have to pick it up.