Author: Sarah J. Maas
Blurb: (from goodreads) 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 three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. 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.
Me: It's been so long since I've read a fantasy book that captivated me so much.
The Ups: This book was strangely addictive and hooking. I read the blurb and didn't think much of it, but had decided to read it because I had heard such nice things about it from other bloggers. I can't tell what it is that makes this book so fascinating. I read it for 2 hours straight and couldn't stop.
I think that the book had very strong characters, and more than anything else, that was what kept me reading. First of all, I loved Celaena. She was crazy and fierce but also got nervous and doubted her self and I felt like she was a perfect protagonist. I wanted to be her best friend. Even though she was a horrifying assassin, it felt like she was just another person.
Nehemia was my favorite character in the whole thing though. Her loyalty to her loved ones yet her strength and smartness kind of reminded me of one of my favorite book characters ever-Hermione, but in princess form.
The love triangle, I guess you could call it, was phenomenal. It was very subtle. Normally I hate love triangles but this one felt legitimate and actually touched my heart because one of the guys didn't even really realize it. And I was rooting for one guy from page 30 (Choal!) so I guess if you've read the book before I got a bit excited at the end.
Other than that though, I don't know what made this book so good. It just has a weird captivation to it, and it was filled with just the right amounts of action, emotion, friendship, love to make a perfect blend.
The Downs: The only down I might say is that I got a bit confused with the magic being incorporated and didn't really understand fully how the wyndmarks (is that how you spell it?) worked. I also felt like there wasn't much action going on in the tests before the final duel, and I would have loved to see more of that.
Overall: An awesome fantasy with a great mix of all sorts of concepts and a great heroine.. Crown of Midnight, here I come!
Rating: 5 kisses!