By: Sarah J. Maas
Published: August 7, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Personal Kindle Library
(Goodreads / Amazon)
After serving out a year of hard labor 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.MY REVIEW:
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 three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
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.
This series has caught my eye on numerous occasions and I've owned a Kindle copy of book one for more than a year. It wasn't until book 4 was released that the series seemed to be really drawing in a lot of positive reviews in the avenues I follow books, that I finally decided to read book one.
The book was constant action, which I always appreciate in a well told YA fantasy. And there's a bit of a love triangle developing. What I hope to see more of as I continue in the series is more of a romantic connection between the main characters. As of yet, I'm unsure which leading man I am more a fan of. They both seem to be on pretty even ground for me, even at the end of book one.
Celaena is the most well known assassin of their kingdom. Having trained since she was 8 years old by an assassin king, she has learned her craft well...until she's betrayed and caught and sent to the salt mines as punishment. After a year there she's thin, weak and nearly broken in spirit but not quite. The Crown Prince offers her a deal - compete for him in a competition as his champion and if she wins she will work as the King's Champion for four years and then she will have earned her freedom. If she loses she will go back to the salt mines, which means a death sentence because she knows she won't survive another winter there.
While living at the castle training for this competition, she becomes close to the Crown Prince, and close to the Captain of the Guard who is also her trainer. She learns of an evil that is present at the castle, in a place where magic and magic users were banished or killed long ago, and she seeks to discover the secrets that lie in the unforgotten places.
This is young adult and mostly clean. There is a bit of romance, a bit of magic, a lot of fighting, there's royal balls, even a masquerade, and fancy dresses, there's friendship, and there's definitely hope for more great things to come in the series!
Libraries were full of ideas - perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.
"We all bear scars, Dorian. Mine just happen to be more visible than most."
"My name is Celaena Sardothien," she whispered. "But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or @*?!#, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me."
"You could rattle the stars," she whispered. "You could do anything, if you only dared."
Language Rating: 1 (light)
Mature Content Rating: 1 (light)
Final Rating: 4 stars