“Maas is an excellent writer. Her writing is eloquent and polished and I found it very easy to read and follow.” ~ Under the Covers

I was in a big reading slump so I was looking for a series that I could glom, something that would be utterly riveting and brilliant. I’ve heard about this series and seen it’s great reviews and I thought perfect! This is just the thing I am looking for. As YA Fantasy, it provided a big enough difference than the other books I was reading, primarily Romance and Urban Fantasy so I was excited to jump into this world.

Right off the bat you can tell that Maas is an excellent writer. Her writing is eloquent and polished and I found it very easy to read and follow. In fact, I read this entire book in one night so I can see why so many people enjoy this series.

The problem for me was that I felt like for half the book nothing really happened. Maas takes a long time to really set up the plot. Celaena is the most dangerous assassin and in order to gain her freedom, she needs to prove to everyone that she is the best. So she is forced to compete against other dangerous characters for the title of king’s assassin. Nearly half the book passed already I never really felt like she got a real look at Celaena personality. It shows eventually in small increments as she lets out a smile here and there, but it’s a slow process.

As is the case with the romance. Now I know this is only the first book in the series but a smile here or a little bit of teasing there isn’t really going to hold my interest for long. I don’t mind see a softer side to the heroine, just like I have no problems seeing the badass side to her either. But I just don’t think it was shown in its greatest capacity in the first half of the book. You really have to be patient with this to enjoy it.

Since the heroine is an assassin and this is a Fantasy world we are reading about, I was also expecting a lot of violence and maybe some magical creatures. There is mention of it but it doesn’t really go into much depth and development. In fact, the violence almost happens behind the scenes as the competitors are killed one by one.

So all in all while I did eventually enjoy the book, I do still have some small problems with it. I think you have to be patient to really enjoy this series in the long run.




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[about-author author=”Sarah J. Maas”]


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  1. I’ve read reviews for the other books in this series and it seems the story picks up …so now i just have to develop some patience to get through book 1 😉

  2. This is definitely the weakest book in the series – Crown of Midnight (book #2) REALLY amps things up. But overall, the series isn’t particularly romance-heavy – have you tried the author’s other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses? The romance aspect is very much front and centre there.

    1. Thanks for the info, Hannah. Since it’s YA I knew it would take awhile for the romance to really build. I am intrigued enough to know what happens with the characters. I’m excited to try CROWN OF MIDNIGHT next!

  3. The next two books definitely ramp things up but it’s also worth reading the 5 prequel novellas – especially to understand why romance isn’t the highest priority for Celaena at this point!

  4. I haven’t read the novella’s, though I definitely need to. As far as the romance goes, for the reader it is very much a slow-burn, but its a big deal for the characters but not so much for the reader, if that makes sense. I can tell you that the magic aspects will become more prominent in the last part of book two and definitely throughout book three. I think the problem that a lot of people have with this series is each book is completely different and each focused on completely different things, which I enjoyed. I hope you continue the series, and do so quickly, because I absolutely adored them!

    1. Hi, Kat!

      Thanks so much for the insight. I understand what you mean about the romance so I’ll definitely keep up with the series and see how it pans out. I enjoy both characters so if there’s a HEA at the end, I’ll be happy no matter how long it takes to get there.

      Maas is a very strong writer so I think when she incorporates more of the magic elements, that’s when the pace will pick up some more! I can’t wait to jump back into this world!

  5. Thanks for the review, I’m not a fan of slow starting books it’s rare I enjoy them or continue if it’s a series.