Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury - To Be Release 15th August 2013
E-Arc Courtesy of Netgalley and Bloomsbury
Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.
This is what all YA series should be! An independent but passionate heroine caught between her vows and her secrets – check. Two heroes who accept her for who she is but still care – check. Love triangle that makes sense and isn’t frustrating or overwrought – check. Action – check. Soul searching – check, big revelations – check, an increasingly tense wider arc – check, great secondary characters – check. What more can I say, other than this book ticks all the check boxes and creates a few new ones!
As the King’s Champion Celaena has been ordered to kill those the King deems his enemies or traitors, but she finds herself less than enthused to kill for the man who is responsible for the death of her family and continues to dominate and enslave the whole continent. However, if she doesn’t obey him not only her own life is forfeit but also that of her friends, Chaol, Captain of the guard and Princess Nehemia. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other people in the realm unwilling to oppose the king and soon Celaena has to decide how far she will go for those she loves and what she will fight for.
Celaena for young age has been through a lot and is intent on surviving, but at the same time she is starting to open up for the first time. I love that her character has grown so much and yet she is still making selfish choices at times and mistakes. It makes her feel real and the dilemmas she is struggling with even more difficult. That’s not to say Celaena along makes this book work. Both Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol are more than usual romanic interests and both struggling with dilemmas of their own. The balance between personal and loyalties to the kingdom are strong – at times I just want to shake them both to be more aware of who they are serving as King! There are so many wonderful moments and twists that usually come at the end of a book just sneak up on you in the middle and make you wonder what will happen next. My heart was in my throat on multiply occasions and I never wanted to stop reading.
I am really hoping this is a longer series than just a trilogy as I can see so much possibility and adventures ahead for our assassin and her friends! This is where all other YA books need to look for inspiration.
Recommended for fans of Robin Lafevers and Maria V Synder. 10 out of 10