Summary (Via 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 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.
My Thoughts: I was recommended this book from a friend, who described it as Game of Thrones meets Hunger Games, and I could say that I really enjoyed the book. As a fan of high fantasy the world really grabbed my attention, and while the first few chapters takes a while to set things up it is a given for any high fantasy book.
Now let me discuss the characters. First is Celaena, who was an assassin who has to compete in a tournament in order to receive her freedom. I would describe her as Katniss if she went bad. She also has a bit of snark to her. Next is Chaol, who is captain of the guard and is tasked to train Celaena for the tournament who is basically Four from Divergent and I like Celaena and Chaols back and forth. Another is prince Dorian who is another suitor for Celaena who shares her love of reading. While I am not against love triangles and romances I feel that it was a distraction from the main plot.
I really liked the plot, the tournament felt like a sick twisted Triwizard tournament with very dangerous tasks such as picking a poison, climbing challenges and hard duels, but I felt some of the other competitors could of had some development. I also liked the murder mystery plot, even though without giving too much away it felt a little anti-climatic.
In the end I felt this was a great first book of a series and despite some problems I really enjoyed the book and was excited to see what came next.