I was really looking forward to reading this book with all the rave reviews. What a disappointment it was. After the first 100 pages, I had to put it down for a while. I finally picked it up after a week, determined to see what all the fuss was about. I still don't get it.
The heroine, Celaena, was inconsistent at best. This is a highly trained assassin who has been at this "profession" for several years. Her parents were brutally murdered when she was just a child, and her training to be an assassin was brutal itself. However, she apparently also loves to get dressed up in frilly dresses and attend balls. She also is very self-conscious about her appearance. For someone who gets paid to kill others, I would think she is constantly on alert to defend herself, but obviously wearing big fancy dresses that would impede her movements and making sure she looks good is just as important. Granted she is only eighteen, but given her life to this point, one would think she would be wise beyond her years.
Then there is the Captain of the King's army. He also is not new to this position. When he kills someone to defend Caelena from being stabbed in the back, he cannot get over his first kill. Really? How does one become captain of the king's army without having killed anyone? This is the same army that has conquered the surrounding countries by force.
The characters in this book are unfortunately weak. To create a character who is outwardly rough while trying to show that her humanity is still intact despite her life experiences is difficult to maintain. However, these characters seem to have an almost split persona. It was nearly impossible to care what happens to them.