Summary from Audible:
She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But does she have the heart of a killer?
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade – while pretending to do the king’s bidding – will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn’t the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she’s made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple…
Oh what can I say? Celaena, Celaena, Celaena. Le sigh. Can I love this woman anymore? She’s smart and snarky and such a bad-ass. And as awesome as she is, she is still flawed and that’s what makes me love her even more. It’s the way Maas humanized her that really won me over. Yes, she’s beautiful and smart and very skilled with a knife, but she isn’t always right and she makes a lot of mistakes. She is quickly becoming my favorite YA heroine ever.
I’m still on the fence between Dorian and Chaol. In this installment, we are definitely swayed more towards Chaol’s side of things. I like him and I do think that is who she’ll ultimately end up with, but I honestly think I’m still Team Dorian. I think it’s Dorian’s sweetness that really wins me over. I see Chaol’s appeal and I honestly won’t be upset if she ends up with him, but I’d be slightly happier with Dorian. Either way, we get a good bit more out of both of them in this installment. Dorian has come into some rather unexpected power and Chaol is strong as ever in his Head Guard position.
I won’t say much about other characters because I’m liable to give spoilers. What happens colors my opinion and I can’t keep that from my descriptions. What I can say is that I was very saddened by the major death that occurred. So be prepared for that. I have read a few reviews complaining about Celaena’s reaction to it, but I thought it was rather fitting. Grief is a crazy thing and I Celaena spends a good deal of her time with her emotions bottled up, so it’s understandable that this would cause her to go overboard.
Maas really knows how to write well developed characters and plot. Everything is so intricate and connected. Little things are connected to bigger things and it should be easy to get lost in all the twists and turns, but Maas makes it easy to follow. She has obviously put a lot of thought into this crazy world and planned exactly where this is going to go. I was spoiled to the major plot twist by Maas herself at a book event earlier this year, so I knew it was coming. I can’t comment on whether or not it was obvious or not. But it was entertaining nonetheless.
Both novels have been very intense. Life, death, love, loss. It’s difficult to put down in all forms.
Elizabeth Evans does another stellar job of bringing Celaena’s world to life. I did notice this time around that her voices for Dorian and Chaol are extremely similar, but that’s not a huge complaint. It made it a tad confusing if I lost concentration for a moment or two, but no biggie. This is a novel you need to pay attention to. You can’t just zone out on it without missing something. I had to use that 30 second rewind button more than once to see what exactly I missed when I got lost in my head for a moment or two. It goes by quickly. But Evans makes it an enjoyable ride either way!
****Thank you to Esther Bochner at Audible for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****