I liked Maas’ writing. I thought it was engaging and true to her audience. Neither too young, nor too lofty. I honestly was expecting fanfiction writing, which can often been good, but is not often AWESOME. This was much better than I expected, which is probably why it was pulled off fanfiction to be published!
Celaena! She was smart mouthed, and flirty. Two things I love in a heroine. Of course she does have character flaws, like thinking she is all that and a bag of cookies, when she really isn’t, but character flaws are okay. But I wanted her to be more…assassin like. But I’ll save that for the Bad section.
I read the back cover and groaned at the first line, “Two men love her.” Well daisies and buttercups, I freaking love triangle. If you have read some of my other reviews, you’ll know how much I hate unnecessary, bad love triangles. This one, actually I did not mind. I loved her relationship with Chaol. I thought it was well developed, unlike the relationship between Dorian and Celaena. And…I found Chaol to be a much more interesting character. Dorian was all aloof, cool, and arrogant prince-like and then became a puppy when sparks started flying. Ugh. Not a fan. And as that is more of a bad…we shall move on!
The not so wonderful:
A friend commented that Celaena is a Mary Sue character, and while I don’t totally agree, there were obvious signs. Celaena gawks at how hot she is all the time in the mirror and goes on and on how gorgeous she is and how men look at her appreciatively. No one cares! You are an assassin, so kill someone!
I also don’t buy that she is a famous assassin. She is supposedly this famous, feared assassin by 17…only I can’t see how. She is much too soft. She lets her emotions rule the way she fights. And she sleeps far too well. Come on! How has she not been bested before this? She would make a terrible real assassin. Well trained girl with anger management problems? Yes. Assassin? No.
The villains were far too obvious, much to my chagrin. How did Celaena ever think Nehemia was bad? Come on…the whole matching black evil rings that the King and Duke have? And the fact that Cain kept getting bigger and stronger. Pah. Unless he is using some magical roids…that dude is up to no good.
I also didn’t enjoy the magic in this story. *GASP* I know…the fantasy dork didn’t like the magic…crazy. But honestly, I thought Maas had a really solid plot with the slightly fantasy feel of the kingdom and the assassin contest. I think the magic, fae, and Wyrd just muddied it up and deviated from the plot I was interested in.
Last, but not least, I HATE the cover. Nothing about her soft face and pretty eyes says, “I’ll carve off your flesh without a knife.” Not even that dinky little knife strapped to her arm. This edition though?
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