The shutters swinging in the storm winds were the only sign of her entry. No one had noticed her scaling the garden wall of the darkened manor house, and with the thunder and the gusting wind off the nearby sea, no one heard her as she shimmied up the drainpipe, swung onto the windowsill, and slithered into the second-floor hallway.
Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in August 15th 2013
Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.
When the book started off a little slow and seemed to spend ages developing the romance between Celaena and Chaol, I was worried. I kept thinking that the book would sink like all the other second books in a series, after catching the highly contagious ‘Second Book Syndrome.’ However out of nowhere, the author completely smashed it and I came away loving this book even more than the first! This is now officially the best second book in a series EVER!
I love Celaena dearly. She is one of the strongest female characters I have ever come across and in this book we actually discover why she is so tough. The book fits neatly into two halves with each showing a contrasting side of Celaena’s personality. In the first half we get to see a lot more of her softer side as her romantic feelings develop. Her relationship with Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, really surprised me. He had always appeared so cold and tough with Celaena, during the first book, that it was really rather refreshing to see a softer side of him appear. In the second half of the book, the nastier, ice cold side of Celaena comes back with a vengeance as she emotionally explodes after some very dramatic events.
What I really love about this author’s book is that she isn’t afraid to completely transform the character’s life. Right from the first novella, we have been through some quite traumatic life changes with Celaena, and with each one you see how it makes her even stronger. At the end of this book, you come away thinking Celaena is about to embark on a whole new situation.
The ending was outstanding. The second half of the book was just so fast and furious, I barely had time to breathe. The information that was revealed in the last chapter took the book to a whole new level! I was so shocked by what we learn at the end. An almighty ending to pull the rug from beneath you.
This is a truly outstanding second novel where we get a better insight into the reasons motivating our favourite heroine. I honestly can’t wait for the next book to find out what happens next.