She’s an assassin serving time in a slave labour camp when she gets the offer of a lifetime. Considering her lifetime probably won’t last much longer, that might not actually say much. She can try her hand at proving herself worthy to bear the title of “Champion” for the ruler of the land or she can continue to toil away until she dies. Perhaps she’ll die during the trials, perhaps not. All she knows is, as much as she hates the King, anything is better than a prison camp with low life expectancy.
What I like about this book is something I greatly loved about Maria V. Snyder’s “Poison Study” book. There’s the tale of a young woman who must fight against her gut feelings to escape certain death to live a life of likely death. What a choice, right?
You follow Celaena through her next few months as she struggles with regaining her strength while attempting to prove her worth. As she gains health, she must struggle with her own pride so as to not give away who she truly is to the other contestants.
I enjoyed several other parallels. Again, like in Snyder’s “Study” books, magic is outlawed, and as we read we see why rebellion leads to dangerous mistakes with dire consequences by those who do not fully comprehend what they are doing. There’s some supernatural help from the long dead, some romance brewing between the crown prince and the captain of the guard with Celaena. There’s even court drama for those that fancy that sort of thing.
Will she survive and become the King’s Champion, bound to carry out his tasks regardless of her own inclinations? That’s spoilers for the end of the book, though one must wonder if this is a series how long she might last as a would-be Champion before poisoning the king.
I definitely recommend this book and will look forward to reading the subsequent novels. Have you read it? Let me know what you thought!
Also, I’ve slightly changed how I formatted this review. Please let me know your thoughts on what you would like to see from my book reviews. I write these for my own journaling and interest in sharing with all of you and little else. I’m interested in what you think of my reviews, both in content and in design!