Celaena Sardothien used to be the world's best assassin - until someone betrayed her. She's spent the last year working in the salt mines. She assumes she'll be there a long time - until someone makes her an offer she can't refuse.
The King needs a new assassin. He's holding a tournament to fill his new position. Prince Dorian makes her a deal - win the tournament and serve the King for three years. After that, she'll have her freedom.
Celaena leaves behind her old life and settles into the palace under a false identity. She's not allowed to socialize with the other ladies of court and they assume she's closely connected with Prince. To fill her days, she reads and starts getting her body back into shape.
She's going against 24 men - all of whom underestimate her and her skills. The captain of the guard, Westfall, oversees her training sessions. At first he tells her to stay in the middle of the pack - never let them see her true abilities. That doesn't work out exactly. Still, she holds her own against the men during the various tests to weed out the weaker contestants. The tests aren't the only thing killng off these men, there's something prowling around in the castle, something dark, magical, and deadly. Will Calaena survive to the final test?
My Thoughts: I DEVOURED this book. It's my new favorite book and I'm telling EVERYONE to read it. Especially if you liked Grave Mercy, or Graceling or Poison Study.
I adored this book. I liked reading about the training regiments, figuring out the court intrigue, and the dreams Calaena dreamt. The training sessions and the tests were brutal, but I loved how everyone underestimated her skills. She reminded me a little of Katniss with her knives. Calaena was opinionated, determined, strong, and best of all, snarky. She wasn't afraid to share her thoughts and she didn't sugar coat them.
I loved her banter with both Prince Dorian and Westfall. The romance triangle works well, although of course I have my favorite all picked out.
While it didn't end on a cliff hanger, more questions were raised than answered. I can't wait for more in this series!
Cover Thoughts: I like the castle in the background and Calaena in front with a knife strapped to her arm. She looks young and vulnerable, but the knife makes her stand out.
Source: Netgalley/BEA (I got the ARC signed at BEA and read it while waiting in lines)
Keep your eyes peeled for this book, which comes out August 7th. You don't want to miss this amazing debut!!