My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One word. Wow.
This was incredible. I loved the first book in the series but this one just took it to a whole new level.
The action kicks in from the very first page with Celaena on a mission to kill someone for the king. She has signed her contract as kings champion which means she has no choice but to do or kill whatever the king commands. Failure would mean forfeiting the lives of those she cares about and losing her chance for freedom but can she really go against her conscience and kill for a man she hates.
The one perk of her job is that she gets to spend more time with the Captain of the Guard Chaol and her friend, the rebel Princess Nehemia. While she hates her work and is forced to keep secrets, Celaena finds love and starts to think she could have some chance at happiness and freedom. However, as she becomes caught between the evil king and the rebel movement the secrets everyone seems to be keeping cause everything to fall apart and we finally start getting to the truth.
I loved this book so much it is definitely moving to my favourites list. There is so much action and so many twists and turns it’s like an emotional rollercoaster. I wanted to laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. Around the halfway point I was actually scared to read any further as I just had such an awful feeling as to what was coming. I wanted to read it but wasn’t sure I was ready for what I just knew would happen.
While this is fantasy, the story and characters just feel so real and believable. We finally got to see Celaena as the incredible assassin that she is. I definitely wouldn’t mess with her when she’s in one of those moods. The author said she was inspired by the bride in Kill Bill and there were sections where you could definitely see that (think of the epic sword fight and you get the idea). We also got to see more of her softer side and found out a lot more of her background.
The relationship between her and Chaol shifted and changed throughout the story but always felt right and natural. There wasn’t the usual teenage angst or melodrama and while there is a bit of a love triangle it’s much more grown up and real and it’s not the focus of the story.
Overall, exciting, sweet, violent, sad, magical and horrific…wow.