First Lines: Gods, it was boiling in this useless excuse for a kingdom.
Hey! Apparently I’m on a Sarah J. Maas kick this summer because even though I’m not intentionally doing it, I keep reading her books. I’d been trying to get my hands on this one for a while and I couldn’t pass it up when I saw it.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
Life has not been kind to Celaena Sardothien. In a misguided attempt to protect her, Captain Westfall has her sent to the one place more dangerous for her than Adarlan: Wendlyn. Now she’ll have to face truths about her past that she’d rather leave buried. Meanwhile, monstrous forces are approaching, intent on destroying the world Celaena knows. To defeat them, she’s going to have to pull out everything she has inside her. Her destiny is growing brighter with every challenge, but can that light be extinguished?
Alright, I’ll be one of the first to admit that Maas knows how to weave a good fantasy tale. I actually kind of adore this world she’s created, this weird mix of magic and danger and evil. It’s fascinating, and you never truly know where someone’s loyalties lie.
Celaena’s story line this time was just amazing. I loved basically every moment I read of hers. This was just perfect. So much character development. She delves into the darkness inside of her and we get to see how she deals with that.
Actually, the character who won me over was the mysterious and reserved Rowan. He’s the perfect complement to her. He evens out her edges and makes her a better person. It was actually really beautiful (and for those of you trying to read between the lines here, it’s truly not what you think).
Also who I liked? Aedion. But I can’t get into that without border-crossing into Spoilerlandia.
But…this was also a hard novel to get into. First of all, the pacing at the beginning is incredibly slow. I mean Celaena’s basically throwing herself a pity party for a good portion of the beginning and that does get old.
On top of that, the narration drove me crazy. Look, I totally understand that we need to bounce between multiple narrators. Celaena’s way over in Wendlyn and without those jumps, we’d never know what was going on in Adarlan. So I understand. But this book introduced us to a new narrator, Manon, who just pushed my buttons. Nearly every time I saw it was her turn to lead a chapter, I rolled my eyes and counted how many pages that chapter was. It was nearly painful. Not that I don’t understand why we need her perspective, but that didn’t make it any easier to stick with.
And I am just so over the King right now and all his evil, vindictive qualities. He’s like Voldemort with a crown. No, wait. Umbridge. He’s Umbridge with a crown. Ugh. I want to punch his face in.
Ahem. So even though I vastly enjoyed everything about Celaena in this book, I struggled when the book turned to the other characters.