After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men — thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
I’ve had this book forever. Or, at least, it seems like forever. I got it for Christmas in 2016 and then moved shortly after. The book was unceremoniously shoved into a box where I didn’t really think about it until I decided to bring my TBR challenge back. I’m not going to lie. It has a slow start. If I didn’t know that every book blogger I’ve ever seen has hyped this series, I don’t know if I would’ve kept going. Certainly, for the first hundred pages or so, I would’ve put money on forgoing the next book.
Then, all of a sudden, it got interesting. I loved the training montages with Celaena and Chaol. I loved the little conversations and flirtations between Celaena and Dorian. I liked the brief glimpses into the lives of the other characters, even the ones I disliked, like Kaltain. The story took a little while to find its footing, but once it did, I was hooked.
I need to know what happens next with Celaena and Chaol. With Celaena and the king. With Celaena and Nehemia. With Celaena and Dorian… I guess. I don’t own any of the other books in this series, so I guess I’m off to the library.
Final rating: ★★★★☆
#killingthetbr: one year, four months on shelf