Number of pages: 404
Average Rating: 4.2/5stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Published: August 7, 2012
Read in January 2016
Summary according to Goodreads
After serving out a year of hard labour 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 four years and then be granted her freedom. Calaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating.
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 am sure everyone is aware of how much hype surrounds this book series, and I cannot believe that I waited so long to read it for myself. I did enjoy this book, but not as much as I was hoping to. Whether it be all of the hype, or that this was one of the first "fantasy" books I've read, it took me quite some time to get fully involved in the story.
The basic premise is a very interesting concept, made stronger by the strong characters including our main three. Celaena Sardothien is a very strong, and independent character who struggles with many internal conflicts. She is not one to rely on others nor open up to anyone about how she is feeling. Throughout the plot she learns to trust more than just her instincts, and develops her relationship with Dorian. The Crown Prince Dorian, is a heartwarming young man, who is determined to lead his country to a better further when he takes the throne. Until then he is doing his best to please his father, and keep everyone happy - even Celaena. Watching their relationship develop was refreshing but not original. My favourite character of the three was Chaol, as he was strong headed, amusing, and cared deeply about everyone in his life. The relationship between him and Celaena was strong, but between the three of them was rare.
I enjoyed the idea of a competition such as the one hosted, and all of the interactions with the other competitors. Getting a closer look into the characters through the different perspectives was an aspect that brought more life into this story.
Overall I was quite impressed with this story, and am looking forward to continuing this series - even though I don't usually do well with long series. I will probably pick up Crown of Midnight while I am home for March Break, so that I can read it with little distractions.