This was absolutely stunning, beautiful, and I just want to know how the story continues in book 2. There are twists and turns everywhere, the mystery was delightful, I loved our assassin. The romance fitted in perfectly. The ending was wonderful.
I heard a lot, really A LOT about this book, and after finding it in the library (magically) decided to read it, only then I found out this was an amazing book, so I had to buy it, because I knew I had to have this one on my bookshelves.
Normally I am not a giant fan of Fantasy, I do like it sometimes, but generally I stay away from it. Mostly it is also because of the writers making up impossible names that no one can pronounce, and which jar me out of the story. I have to say that I slightly had that problem with this book as well. Every time that our MC's name (and also a few others) popped up I was fumbling around trying to pronounce it. I know it is not a hard name (nor are the others that bad), not at all, but it is an unusual one, and I was constantly mixing up letters. :D In the end I just called her Cela-chan.
Even though this one takes mostly place in a castle, I could so imagine the world surrounding it. Not only because we started off in the world outside of the castle, but also because the world is described vividly through other characters and what they tell us about their world. Sarah J. Maas certainly did an amazing job on that part. And even the castle, I could just see it, I could just touch it. I could see Cela-chan walk around the corridors, or go through her room, or all the other places. It was so delightful, I love it when authors write a world in which you can just roam around, a world which you can just see in front of you.
Even though we don't really have much assassination or assassinating stuff going on, you could still really tell that this girl was an assassin, she knows her weapons, she knows her ways around stuff, even figuring out ways of entries by just looking at a room. She is also pretty much threatening people all the time (especially annoying characters). I do hope though that in the next book we will see some assassination or her using her skills in real (and not the competition). I would really love that.
Cela-chan was a really fun, albeit a bit grumpy character. Then again, I can imagine, with her past, and also what happened at that death-camp, she didn't have the easiest of lives. Still, unlike a lot of books, I didn't mind her snark, I didn't mind her being grumpy at times. I am not sure how to explain, but for some reason I was just not annoyed with her. I didn't wish for her to change, I already could see that happening, even if the snark stayed.
Because yes, as the book progresses you do see her change. You see her getting more healthy with each passing day, and you also see her opening herself to people. It was such a delight.
I also love a kick-ass character, and that is exactly what Cela-chan is. :D She kicks some serious butt in this whole book.
The competition, but also the whole creepy people-are-dying-left-and-right-mystery was a fun thing to read about, a bit gruesome (OK, a lot of gruesome), but still it was interesting to read about it. I wanted to know who would end up losing, who would go home (or wherever they would go back to). The end battle and what happened there? Wow, just wow. It was amazing.
There is also romance, I do have to say it just fitted perfectly. It was sweet, cute, and I was cheering loudly for our characters. They all deserved a bit of love in this world full of destruction and war.
I was a bit sad at the ending, yes it was wonderful, but there was just one thing that I didn't like. Sure, I can imagine why Cela-chan would take this decision, but I was still shouting at her, shouting that she shouldn't do it! Just go for it, and see how it goes.
Mm, what more? Ah yes, I hated that Katlain (or whatever her name was) girl. By Lord, her POV parts were just horrendous and I really had to force myself to read them. She is truly the only thing that I just didn't like about the book. I just kept hoping that whatever was eating/killing the competition would also like to eat her. Maybe not nice, but really, that girl was just so frustrating. :|
Phew, well I was thinking this would be a short review, but in the end it became quite large. I would highly recommend this book to everyone, and as for me? I bought book 2 (and also that novella collection) and I can't wait for them to come in.
Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/