by Sarah J. Maas
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She brought her mouth close to his ear. “My name is Celaena Sardothien,” she whispered. “But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”
I have a very strong suspicion….that my feelings for book two are going to leak onto this review-unintentionally, I might add. Book one, as many said, was not as it claimed to be, but I found that I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t my favorite book, but it wasn’t a dud either. I think my disappointment comes from the description at the beginning of the book. Sure, there were certain perilous elements that made me giddy with excitement, but for the most part, I was lead to believe (through strongly worded explanations of the competition when Celaena gets to the castle) that there would be several fight to the death situations in which many would suffer and die-you know, a la Hunger Games style (In my mind I thought that-it never said that). But, to my dismay, it seemed that there was far more telling than showing on most of the competitions and far less action than I’d have liked-BUT the final competition was so badass and exactly as I would have hoped that I couldn’t help but to add that last half star-plus the romance was adorable.
“Mock me again,” she spat at Verin, “and I’ll do that with my sword the next time.” She turned from him, and found Brullo’s face slack. “Here’s a lesson for you, Weapons Master,” she said, stalking past him. “Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I’ll bother trying.”
The Prince has chosen to seek out one of the most famous assassins of all time to represent him for the King’s right hand man and protector-what no one knows is that this elusive assassin is none other than an 18 year old girl. The Prince knows she can/will win the competition, but to do so, she will have to compete in a series of duels and trials ultimately leading up to a final duel among the strongest and last standing candidates in the competition. In exchange for competing and representing the Prince, she will ultimately win her freedom after having to serve a year in a slave camp residing in mines-after four years of serving the King, that is. There is more to the story, but I think the above states enough to satisfy without giving too much away.
Libraries were full of ideas-perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.
I adored the final duel-it was fierce. It was not easy. It was gripping. It was what the whole book should have aspired to be. I don’t think I could have been happier for the final trial. I just wish that we could have seen even a glimpse of that during the rest of the book. There were many gruesome occurrences to tide me over, sure, but not enough of what I had come to expect.
Something evil dwells in this castle…Destroy it…
And now for the romance…this is the part where bitter feelings may seep in for book two even though I will try my best not to let this happen. As many people know about me, once I pick a guy to invest my time into, I go ALL IN. I get giddy, breathless, excited-I gush like there’s no tomorrow. As that sentence about turned into a rant, I will cut it in half and do what I said I always do-I will talk about the guy that stole the show for me. Apparently I have a fetish for Prince characters…this is new to me lol.
Dorian turned from the balcony and strode off into the darkness of the hall beyond. Chaol watched the prince disappear, his red cape billowing behind him, and sighed. He knew jealousy when he saw it, and while Dorian was clever, he was just as bad as Celaena at hiding his emotions. Perhaps bringing the Prince along had done the opposite of what he’d intended.
His feet heavy, Chaol followed after the prince, hoping Dorian wasn’t about to drag them all into serious trouble.
Prince Dorian-dark haired, blue eyed, (my FAVORITE ATTRIBUTES IN MY BOOK BOYS) and living in a world where he feels he doesn’t belong. Where his father is harsh, manipulative, and cruel, Dorian is kind, caring, and wants to make the world they live in a better place. He is the complete opposite of his father when it comes to their kingdom. While Dorian is somewhat of a ladies man, when he fetches Celaena and starts to banter with her and get to know her, he begins to feel something deep inside that he has never felt before. All he knows is that he can’t stay away from her or keep his eyes from wandering wherever she is-he tires of the mindless girls he had once found amusing and falls head over heels for this charismatic girl who has opened his eyes to everything a woman should be. But how could a Prince and an assassin ever work? Can it?
His sapphire eyes flashed. “You marry the person you love-and none other,” he said, and she laughed. “You’re mocking me! You’re laughing in my face!”
“You deserve to be laughed at for such foolish thoughts! I spoke from my soul; you speak only from selfishness.”
“You’re remarkably judgmental.”
“What’s the point in having a mind if you don’t use it to make judgments?”
“What’s the point in having a heart if you don’t use it to spare others from the harsh judgments of your mind?”
“Oh, well said, Your Highness!” He stared at her sullenly. “Come now. I didn’t wound you that severely.”
And then there’s Chaol. He is the guard who is essentially with her every minute of every day-he makes sure she stays in line and doesn’t threaten the crown or even the Prince…who seems to have affections and interest in the deadly assassin. Chaol is also responsible for getting her back into shape and helping her to become what she once was-its his job to return her to her former glory. There was a scene that was absolutely perfect during her final duel and it showed that there is much more to come for these two (sigh), for the connection they share is both heartfelt and tragic in it’s own right. The looks shared and banter exchanged was definitely the beginning of something deep-rooted and more than sibling rivalry-there are some hidden feelings that haven’t quite come to the surface…..and it turns out that he’s quite jealous and protective of this annoying girl who seems to hold the (also jealous) Prince’s heart.
He narrowed his eyes, taking the bait. “I won’t apologize for speaking the truth.”
“The truth? You treated me like a crazed criminal!”
“And you said that you hated me more than anyone alive.”
“I meant every word of it.” However, a smile began to tug at her lips -and she soon found it reflected on his face. He tossed a piece of bread at her, which she caught in one hand and threw back at him. He caught it with ease. “Idiot,” she said, grinning now.
“Crazed criminal,” he returned, grinning, too.
“I really do hate you.” -Celeana and Chaol.
If I’m being honest, I must say that what the boys felt for Celaena was more than justified. She is a strong, funny, loyal, overly empathetic, and brave/daring girl. It was refreshing to see someone so strong who didn’t need other’s help for every little thing. But the best part is, and probably what stood out the most, was that even though she is beyond strong, she still needed a little help in the end-things didn’t just pan out perfectly for her, especially with the petty jealousies of a scorned, young woman, the King, a competitor, and a certain Duke out to get her. No, with everyone, it seemed, but the Guard and Prince out to get her, it was an action packed final duel, indeed.
“We each survive in our own way.”
So, that about wraps it up. While I did thoroughly enjoy book one, book two seems to have the action. I can’t say I didn’t mix a few of my feelings in above ^^^ but what I can say is that overall book one was pretty exceptional and quite the page turner. I think it has a little something for everyone and most people will find they enjoy it. So, seeing as I’m at 65% in book two, I will trudge forward and finish it now-for better or worse.