I’m really glad I read The Assassin’s Blade before this one because there were definitely allusions to the novellas. I don’t know how people read these first few books without knowing the backstories, because I’m pretty sure it was released after the second or third book.
Skilled assassin Celeana Sardothean was sent to the Salt Mines of Endovier for and has been there serving her sentence for a year. Which it sounds like is a long time to survive in the salt mines. Then the captain of the guard of Adarlan comes to take her back to the castle with him for a competition to see who will be the king’s champion.
Then, some of the competitors in this competition start turning up dead. And not just like they were poisoned, they were attacked and mutilated and Celeana knew something was not quite right. So she’s trying to win this competition to win her freedom back while also investigating what the heck is going on and also catching the attention of Dorian, the crowned prince.
The cover said it was for fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, and I got the Hunger Games vibes because of the competition, but not a whole lot of Game of Thrones. Maybe it was the setting or clothing. I don’t know. I also read it was inspired by Cinderella and I would not have picked that out had it not been pointed out, and even that was like 1% of the story line.
This book has amazing reviews online so I thought I would give it a shot. Maybe it was all the hype or coming off A Court of Mist and Fury (which, I’m sorry, but it is way better), but I felt kind of meh about it. It wasn’t that it was bad or boring, I just wasn’t incredibly impressed.
The romance felt predictable and forced and it was weird to me that she was showing interest in who she was when it seemed like she should have been with someone else. Also, her character is strong and a badass, but she also acts kind of spoiled.
I get that she was living a lavish life in the Assassin’s Keep, but she was just a slave for a year. She was barely fed and clothed and she was whipped and treated so poorly, yet she hardly seems grateful for all the things she’s receiving. She acts like she expects it and that bothered me.
Like I said, it wasn’t bad, but I just had higher expectations I guess. I gave it 3/5 stars. I’ll probably continue on with the series, though, because I’m really curious as to where this goes.
Should you read it?
If you haven’t already, you could give it a shot and see. A lot of people like it. I feel like part of the minority, so if you do and you like it, talk me through it so we can figure out what I missed.