Young Adult Fantasy
Published August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children's
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.
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. 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.
I first picked up this series late last year and originally I rated this book quite low with a noncommittal 3 stars - I thought it was a weak start and I found I couldn't understand some of the character motivations and reactions. Since then I have read up to Queen of Shadows including all the novellas and I have to admit: I am head over heels completely in love with this series and Sarah J. Maas has been cemented as one of my new favourite authors of all time. When I finally finished reading all the material available to me I had the biggest book hangover I have had in a very long time. And now the 5th book in this series is out and I'm on a mission to re-read everything so that I can give Empire of Storms the devotion it deserves.
Having reread this book I've decided to completely revise my rating and my review because actually this book is amazing. Yes, it's still the weakest in the series but when you go back to this book knowing how things develop and what Sarah J. Maas has in mind for the plot you realise that there is just so much meticulous planning and foreshadowing and that this book is incredibly clever.
It is far from perfect but keep in mind that Sarah J. Maas first published this when she was sixteen and after many revisions we have this shining gem that we get to read today.
I love Celaena - she is narcissistic and rash, overconfident and arrogant but she is also resilient, brave, loyal, witty and charming. We aren't spending a good portion of this book with our MC being damaged or pitying her about being captured and forced to work as a slave in
You could rattle the stars," she whispered. "You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.
The fantasy world is well developed and filled with evil, magic, mystery and action and let me promise you - it only gets better and better. There are handsome princes, big bads and exotic princesses and an overall feeling that there is something brewing that is far bigger than any of us may realise (there is!).
This book is fast paced and compelling and just so readable that you won't even realise how quickly you are flying through all 400+ pages.
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)→