Goodreads Review: 5/5 stars
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
Celaena Sardothien has satisfied my need for another strong female character in a YA book! I was incredibly happy when I picked this book up to discover that the main character was a kick ass female who was strong enough to survive the horrors of what is essentially a death camp and still come back kicking and screaming. Celaena brought to life the idea that female main characters can represent strength and kick ass while still being beautiful and graceful in their everday life.
I appreciated the fact that while there was romance in the story, the romance was not center stage and instead took a backseat to the plot. I enjoyed the fact that while Chaol and Dorian were basically fawning over Celaena, she just brushed it off more often than not. I did have one minor problem with the romance though. I felt as though both Chaol and Dorian fell into a case of instalove with Celaena, which bothered me a little bit. I mean lets be honest now, when your the Crown Prince (granted he’s a big romantic at heart) and you travel a long distance to find and assassin to win your father’s competition your first point of action probably shouldn’t be to want to kiss her and spend large amounts of time with her. I think the instalove is more apparent with Dorian than Chaol however, because to me Chaol’s relationship with Celaena felt more platonic and like close friends.
The setting to me was something that really helped draw readers into the character’s and their world. The description of the castle, the throne, the area where they were fighting, all of it made the world come alive and take the reader into a world of magic. I loved the map at the front of the book (thank god for fantasy authors who create maps of their worlds *bows down to all the authors*) and thought that it really helped the readers figure out where everything was throughout the span of the book.
Overall I was really pleased with this book and an super excited to pick up the next two books as well as the collection of novellas and continue to dive into the world of Celaena Sardothien!