In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
Who She Is: Celaena Sardothien is an 18-year-old imprisoned assassin who’s given the chance to “win” her freedom in a single-elimination tournament at the king’s court. If she succeeds — besting the strongest and sneakiest other champions (or thugs) in the land, she gets the honor of spending four years as the King’s personal assassin and then she’s free. Of course, she pretty much hates the King, but gorgeous Crown Prince Dorian and his best friend, intense Captain of the Guard Chaol almost make up for the King’s awfulness.
Why She’s Awesome: By the time she was 17 (when she was captured and sent to the mines), Celaena was already the most famous assassin in her kingdom. But despite her hardcore reputation for being a precise killing machine, she’s also funny and incredibly sure of herself and not above waxing poetic about her love of books, fashion, food, and certain weapons. And when it comes to dealing with men, Celaena may pretend like she’s all-knowing, but she’s still nursing a broken heart from the death of her first love Sam and (at least to the point I’ve read) unable to act on her feelings for someone who obviously loves her too.
Who She Loves: In Sarah J. Maas’ first book, there’s a well-written love triangle between Celaena and the closer-than-brothers Dorian and Chaol. She kisses Dorian (more than once) but realizes their relationship isn’t the best idea for several reasons, one of them being her growing feelings for Chaol, her training partner and friend. So far in the second book, “Crown of Midnight,” it’s clear Chaol is the true object of Celaena’s affection, although I’m sure they’ll have to overcome countless obstacles to reach an eventual happiness.
“Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons”
“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”
“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”
“No matter what happens,” she said quietly, “I want to thank you.”
Chaol tilted his head to the side. “For what?”
Her eyes stung but she blamed it on the fierce wind and blinked away the dampness. “For making my freedom mean something.”