In this awaited sequel to Throne of Glass, Celaena Sardothien has begun working for the King of Adarlan as Adarlan’s Assassin. She’s playing a dangerous game as she has been faking the deaths of her contracts, and if the king finds out, it’ll be her head that rolls. When the king reveals there is a rebel group looking to depose him and orders Celaena to make a hit on one of the rebels, it launches our deadly assassin into a series of events that changes her friendships, exposes her past, and forces her to choose what path she will tread. Will she be a coward or will she stand against the impossible and unravel the mystery behind the king’s absolute power? Captain Chaol Westfall and Crown Prince Dorian are not left out of the adventure. Chaol must make hard choices whether to follow his king, country, family, or Celaena, and Dorian learns he cannot be a man and hide from his father forever. Dorian must stand up for his own opinions, discovering a powerful secret in the process, one that undoubtedly makes him his father’s greatest enemy. Secrets are revealed, death is certain, and the fate of Erilea hangs in the balance.
Note: This book includes sexuality, violence, and some strong language.
You might remember that I was not impressed with Throne of Glass. Okay, so once again I’m forced to say some things that readers may not like me for. I don’t care; I’m sticking to it. This series just ISN’T what is promised. I’ve been reading high fantasy for twelve years, so I know what I’m referencing here. I have basically the same complaints from book one, the glaringly obvious lack of enough characterization and world building to truly support the high fantasy genre. However, so as to not sound like a complainer, I won’t re-hash that for you. There are other reasons that this book still falls flat to me. First of all, she doesn’t go much of anywhere in these books. The entire book takes place in that stupid castle and its grounds (barring about four scenes). The majority of scenes take place in her bedroom (something that also happened in the previous book), and the plot moves slowly until a major event in the middle of the book. From there, it picked up, but then made me kind of tired of the hastily constructed details about worldbuilding (because finally more things are revealed about magic, the Wyrd, and the king’s power as well as the people of other nations, but really, don’t get your hopes up. It’s only a taste). We also finally get some answers about Celaena, but while she has attitude, she cannot keep hiding everything from the reader, like the details from her past, identity, and the powers that she actually knows about. Another irksome problem is that we are told everything through the characters’ thoughts than having things revealed through dialogue and action. This makes for poor writing, and is tiresome for the reader. Though there are more things I could point out, I’m just going to stop there because I’m still so disappointed. I will say that I thought this second book was actually better than the first, maybe by a small fraction.
I found it gratifying to read other reviews on Amazon where people shared my views on this series, mostly because I was so appalled at how many keep giving it 5 stars. One of them mentioned how apparently the author had written this series during her teenage years and had posted it online. Juvenile writing will out; it’s a reason why I hated Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and why I haven’t published my own novel. Writing takes practice, and I believe the author should give the best to the reader; otherwise, the reader won’t be shy about pointing out your mistakes. Something we all would do well to remember.