★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Totally filled with spoilers. So move along if you like surprises.
Let me just start this review by saying: Celaena Sardothien is not a name I would want to write over and over. Or in fact just more than once. Gone are the days of Bilbo Baggins, Atticus Finch, and Harry Potter. I fully expect ‘Heir of Fire’, (I think it came out yesterday?) to introduce more fun characters like Xyloxis and Aerealo, who become prominent page appearances.
Celaena, AKA Caealeaeanae, is not the only flaw that disrupted my usually fast reading process. More like the unusual strength and agility that Celaena possess. Of all the slight eighteen year old girls I have met, even been one myself, have all been lethal in our own ways, none of us have ever been stronger than a magical bear man. So either this a flaw in physics that I shan’t be able to get past or a serious foreshadow of Cel’s magical Fae-like physical abilities. Skinny, shortish girls could run, or avoid , or do black flippy shit – but punch someone out with their salt-mine-malnourished arms strength?. Nope! I’m out!
Reading my own review again, it sounds as though I didn’t like the book at all. Which I did. Three stars you know. However, I really didn’t care for the protagonist. She is flawed – and I don’t even care about her vanity or obsession with shopping and dresses. I care that she appears to be unbound by the laws of physics, unnaturally pretty, and she just eats and eats and stays skinny. It’s like she is trying to make an enemy of me. I think Miss Maas went a little overboard trying to create her own little piece of heaven. Flaws are no fun to read about when one is just vain, and playing with two best friends who are in love with her. What I would really like, is little Lady Lillian to snap, break, and go on a killing spree again. She is really only interesting when she is an assassin. If I wanted a vain little shopaholic I would venture to the Mall on the school holidays. The only reason I believe she is as crafty and as bad ass as she is – is simply due to Miss Maas telling me it is so. In saying that, I have read a few reviews saying how awfully full of herself she is. not a bad thing for a character to be.
“And how old are you?”
“Eighteen.” But he said nothing. “I know,” she continued. “It is impressive I accomplished so much at such an early age.”
“Crime isn’t an accomplishment, Sardothien.”
One thing I really value in a book is an author doing her research. Maybe it was all used up in the other books. But so far, I’ve discovered that this assassin is adding nothing to my vast assassin knowledge. In fact, she frequently gets caught, poisoned, and the like. I can’t imagine how bad the other assassins must be for her to be the best. Very questionable.
If this book had remained – quite simply, a retelling of Cinderella, I would have much more impressed. On its own however… It falls a little short. AND MY GOD it is just like Graceling! Anyone? Anyone? Luckily the plot and action are very strong points in the novel – and never mind the not excellent characters, because you can get swept up just the same. But seriously if I have to hear one more description of and oh so gorgeous dress, I may go on a dress strike for the rest of my life. Hopefully we see some actual assassinations in Crown of Midnight.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆