Author: Sarah J. Maas
Info: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, copyright 2014, 565 pages
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
Celaena has been sent to Wendlyn to assassinate the royal family, but she's really there to find answers. The King of Adarlan is wielding a terrible force that needs to be stopped before he destroys the world. Dorian's pulsing with a forbidden magic and Chaol is torn between duty and responsibility. Our characters are in flux. There's also these iron-teethed witches that are preparing for an assault. The world is falling apart.
Maas is building to something big. I can feel it. She's maneuvering the troops, preparing the soldiers, and readying all of the players for the ultimate battle. The stakes are high. And the book is LONG. So long. I'm not sure it needed to be quite so long. I was hoping for a bit more action, especially coming off of the thrill fest that was Crown of Midnight, but instead we get a lot of posturing and waiting...and a quite of bit of angst. It's all well-deserved and understandable, but there's just a lot.
There are some pretty wicked elements though. There's Celaena's kick butt power. She's got a lot of baggage to sort through, but it makes for some pretty amazing magical moments. Then there's Rowan, her drill sergeant of a trainer who is both dashing and mysterious. The perfect combination. Chaol is getting in pretty deep in intrigue and conspiracy. There's not quite as much Chaol as I would have liked in the books, but fingers crossed, we'll get a nice reunion in book four. And the king is breading some very nasty, terrifying creatures that are going to really cause some havoc.
This felt like what most second books feel like, the bridge to the big show. But I trust Maas, and I'm getting pretty excited for the final standoff. Keep reading people! It will be worth it!