Wow, I am so glad that I finally read this book. It took me quite awhile to jump on this bandwagon, but I am finally here. I honestly don’t know how it took me so long to finally get my hands on this book and read it. I have to say that I had super high hopes for it, and Maas’ work easily met them. This read was an amazing one, and I am so excited to read the rest of the books in the series.
This book centers around Celaena Sardothien, Aderlan’s deadliest assassin. Little do people know that she is only 18. Prince Dorian has pulled Celaena from a death camp where she was sent after being captured. She has spent the last year chipping away at coal underground in mines. Dorian and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, escort her to Adarlan to participate in a competition to become the King’s champion and do his bidding as his personal assassin. If she wins this tournament, she also wins her freedom in 4 years time. But, strange happenings have started to creep up in the castle, and when a champion is found dead, the competition for Celaena becomes one that could turn fatal.
So, where to start? Where to start? No seriously, I’m fangirling so bad (still!) and have no clue how to put my scattered thoughts into a cohesive review. I guess I’ll start with the writing. Maas’ writing was phenomenal. This girl deserves all the praise she has been given. Her story flows so well, and there are very few minuscule grammatical or structuring errors. I fell in love with her prose so easily. It sucked me in from page 1. Her words flow across the white space so easily, almost magically.
Next up, the story as a whole – putting another piece of the puzzle of this review together. Maas weaves together such a fantastic story. There’s a bounteous amount of tension to keep you turning page after page. She makes it so easy to get sucked in and binge read. I also think that the amount of fantasy was superb, like, hit the nail right on the head. The world she creates was easy to follow and fall into, but her characters were also relatable all around. She did a marvelous job of writing everything together and creating not just a sequence of events, but a thought-provoking story.
Speaking of the characters, I’ll touch on those next. Celaena is an amazing female lead. She is multidimensional, strong, and flawed. She is a believable human and a just simply fantastic. I seriously love her. Her closest friend, Nehemia, is also a wonderful female character. I adore both these women. I can’t wait to find out what the next book has in store for them. Dorian is very likable, but I just don’t know about this guy yet. Chaol likes him, so that’s probably a good sign, but I just have this funny feeling about Dorian. I don’t know dude. There’s something a bit fishy there. The last character I’m going to touch on is Chaol. I was hit square in the chest with a fondness for this guy right off the bat. I don’t know what it is about him, but he has pulled my heartstrings a bit, and I don’t want anything bad to happen to him, ever. Maas does an amazing job of writing diverse, strong, and realistically flawed characters. I love them all in their own way.
Maas employs an omniscient narrator, and it actually works out really well for the story. We spend most of our time in Celaena’s head, but I did enjoy the little peeks into others, mainly Chaol and Dorian. Normally I’m skeptical about omniscient narration, because it can be really tricky to pull off, but Maas does a beautiful job and had me growing even more attached to the characters as I read.
Now, from characters to the little love triangle she’s got going on between them. It’s between Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian. I really like how Celaena felt about and addressed this love triangle at the end of the book and would love to see things pan out for her in the way the first book ends. But, if I had to choose between these two lovely men, I would have to side with Chaol. I honestly don’t know what it is. They just feel right. I’m shipping it so hard. But, regardless of what happens, this story does not rely on the love triangle and that makes me exceptionally happy. Celaena is the same person with or without these guys and they, ultimately, have little effect on her. So, given that, I honestly don’t mind this love triangle and don’t feel like it takes away from the story at all.
Okay, I think I have said all that I needed to say about this charming book. I highly, highly recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy and/or YA lit. Also to anyone who is simply looking to get drawn into a good story. So, if you haven’t already, jumped on this bandwagon, go do it. I will 100% be reading the next books in this series. I would have the second copy already, but I’m debating if I want to get the soft cover from Barnes & Noble for like $10, even though I own the first one in hardback, or splurging (though I shouldn’t and am on a book-buying ban) on the hardcover from Book Depository. The struggle is real, and it is palpable.