This is the sequel to Throne of Glass, the first in a series of at least four books. Again I find myself having started a series that has not yet ended. I hate that. Anyway.
In Throne of Glass, Celaena Sardothien, a world-renowned assassin, participated in a competition to choose the King’s next Champion. Celaena, being no fan of the king, was only competing to save her own life, but, since she’s basically a killing machine with pretty hair and a fondness for reading, she had little trouble annihilating the competition.
She now does whatever the king asks and is often dispatched to get rid of whoever isn’t in the king’s favor. While she hates it, she has to obey his bidding for two reasons. If she does what he asks, she’ll be free in four years. If she doesn’t do as he asks, he’ll kill two of her friends, Chaol, the man assigned to guard her during the competition, and Nehemia, a princess from a neighboring region who quickly became one of Celaena’s closest friends and allies.
Celaena and Chaol’s relationship is complicated, as he is Captain of the King’s Guard and Celaena is the King’s Champion. Their friendship turns to something more, a surprise to them but obvious to everyone else in the general vicinity. Workplace romances are always messy, though, so they’ll have to deal with that.
Celaena and Nehemia also have some stuff to work through, as the king has been a real dick to Nehemia’s people and she’s (not so) secretly leading a rebellion against him. Celaena just wants to get through her four years of murdery servitude and be free. It’s disappointing to Nehemia that her friend won’t join her in the fight, but it’s hard to blame Celaena for wanting to work toward a somewhat normal life at some point.
Celaena’s only other friend (aside from her dog, Fleetfoot) is Prince Dorian, and things are tense with them, as well. Not only is Dorian the son of the man Celaena hates most in the world, but he’s also not-so-secretly in love with her, which makes her relationship with Chaol even more complicated. Still, he doesn’t Nice Guy all over the place, which is a nice change for these types of books. He seems to genuinely care about Celaena’s well-being and becomes a true friend when she is most in need of one.
This novel continues some of the elements from the first novel, but things seem to burst wide open by the end in a ways I thought were A) a bit much and B) kind of out of nowhere. Also, a super bummer thing happened and, while I was expecting it to happen at some point, I was disappointed that it happened so soon. Still, I’m enjoying this series enough that I’m going to continue. I can’t help it, I have to see how it all shakes out.