More lady assassins!!
Author : Sarah J. Maas
Stand alone or Series : #1 in Throne of Glass series (there are also four prequel novellas)
Three Words : YA, fantasy, assassin intrigue
Red Flags : violence, some sexual situations
Summary : Celaena Sardothien has spent a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier…this is just as hard as it sounds. In fact, most don’t survive a month let alone a year. Calaena has been sentenced for her super bad-assery in the assassin department. She is so good as to be a legend already.
She is suddenly taken and put before the Crown Prince Dorian. He is offering her freedom but on one condition: she must be his champion in the competition that his father is holding to find a new royal assassin. The prince and other peers of the realm are pitting their chosen champions in this competition – a motley crew of thieves, assassins, soldiers, etc… These “champions” will be put through a series of tests; fail and you will be eliminated. Celaena would only have to serve the king for three years and then she would really be free.
She is taken to court where she is trained by the captain of the guard, Captain Westfall. He is gruff and tough, not to mention hard on her but he seems to understand her better than anyone. Meanwhile, she starts to notice that Prince Dorian is more than he seems and things get all complicated. As the competition begins, there is added problems when contestants start being found murdered….in an extremely gruesome manner. Celaena decides to investigate before she becomes the next victim. Will she find the killer? Will she win the competition or does she even want to? Does she have feelings for the prince or for the captain or for either,hmmmm?
My Take : If you look at the Goodreads reviews, there were definitely strong feelings about this one. Some loved it, other really hated it. I fell into the category of loved it! I am really digging on the whole I am woman, hear me roar thing going on in books right now. It’s nice to see female characters, kicking ass, taking numbers, not relying on men to save them but also having the ability to mess up, asking for help when needed and realizing their own fallibility. Something I feel used to be relegated to male characters only. Also, it is about time a character acknowledged that she is pretty and likes getting dressed up. I can’t tell you how tired I am of the whole – I’m plain Jane tomboy girl that somehow attracts a bunch of men to me. I wish there was a little more of Celaena doing some actual killing or some such but I wasn’t hugely bothered by this. Others also really hated the love triangle aspect of it. This was probably not my favorite part of it but I appreciate that she made neither man an obvious “why is she even interested in him?” character – you know when they are too nice or too mean or too something.
I enjoyed the action of this book. The plot was nicely paced and kept me interested in going back to the book again and again. I read this one fairly quickly . I am really interested in reading the prequel novellas which show how Celaena became legendary assassin because who doesn’t love a good back story? To wrap it up, there are some things that could’ve been done better with this book but overall I really liked it and would recommend picking it up. I give it eight shoes : flat boots that I have been craving so I can go ahead and tuck all my pants in already!