Publisher/ Year: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2012 (new cover in 2013).
How I Read It: Hardback (Library)
Why I Read It: I needed something different from contemporary, and people have recommended me this, and all my friends have rated this book either 4 or 5 stars on goodreads.
Rating: 5+++ stars out of 5
This is the first book in its series and I'm excited to know that there's 3 other books out there plus novellas for me to read after this one. HOLY GEEBUS THIS WAS GOOD.
Summary from Goodreads:First of all, I would like to give a standing ovation to Sarah J. Maas for not only writing such a well thought through book with high fantasy and action and romance, but for also writing a book that I have a strong feeling will be one of my favorite series. This book had everything and much more. I tried reading this before, back during the school year, but I found myself bored with it, and I was getting worried because AP testing was coming up soon. This summer, I kept seeing this book everywhere and I knew I needed to give it another chance. Frankly, that was one of the best decisions I've ever made. At first, I found this book intimidating because of the size of the page compared to the size of the text but after reading and reading and reading, I was hooked & I actually spent 8 hours nonstop (besides bathroom breaks and eating) reading and finishing this book.
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
Celaena Sardothien has to be one of my favorite characters ever. Not only is she the world's greatest assassin, who if you look bad-a** up in the dictionary, you would see her picture there, but she's also a girl & she never loses sight of who she truly is. She is literally a strong independent woman who don't need no man. Just the depth of her character and backstory just really make her character alive and in fact humanizes her and made her feel real. Also it helps that she's a huge bookworm. As a feminist, it was refreshing having a female protagonist beat out all these other guys as if it was nothing, but still retain the fact that she is a girl and wants to go to balls and dress up and look nice.
The world building overall was just fantastic. THERE IS A FREAKING MAP OF THE WORLD IN THE BOOK. I didn't even realize until after I'd finished but I'm sure glad I noticed it before I returned it to the library. It really just made what I was picturing in my head much more alive. Just reading about Terrasen, Endovier, Adarlan, the White Fang Mountains, and Eyllwe, you know what the heck is so important about these places and its significance throughout the book. The way they were described and the way the characters talked about them, whether they lived in these places or not, you got the gist of what it was like, and it put a better picture in my head. Kudos to Sarah on this one. This is one of the few series I've read where the world building is just so on point. LOVE IT.
Now the plot was amazing and didn't drag like I thought it would. It was well paced and the plot itself with all the action and fantasy made this story A++. The idea of the competition to be the King's Champion and the different tests Celaena went through was really entertaining to read. I loved the villain and the mystery with Elena and the mystery with Nehemia. These characters were well done and were a great addition to the story, cause you didn't know who was killing the Champions or what was going on with all the magic (even when it's pretty much taboo in this world).
When it comes to the romance in the book, it wasn't overdone and never overshadowed the action aspects of the book. Dorian and Chaol are interesting characters and they couldn't be anymore different, yet they're in love with Celaena. One is more bold and the other more reserved, but both compliment her and I'm really excited to see how the romance plays out in the next books in the series. These characters have their depths too and it always made me smile when they had their own breakthroughs, and even showed a sign that they were happy or feeling something, especially with Chaol. UGH I LOVE CHAOL. Anyway, both their roles in the book are extremely significant (and not just because Dorian is the Prince of Adarlan or Chaol the Captain of the Guard). I feel like their roles in the book are tested so much and that's really what makes a great book.
I could just ramble on more, but I just love this book so much that my thoughts are all jumbled. I'm so glad I read this book, and I hope you do too!