Read: 19 June, 2018
A friend is a huge fan of this series and has been singing its praises for long enough that my curiosity was piqued.
When I began reading, I complained about the main character. She struck me as a fairly weak character – petty, arbitrary, made choices that didn’t make a whole lot of sense in context. My friend agreed that she’s a tough character to like, “but she grows on you.” More than that, however, she explained that Celaena’s big flaw is her ego – she can’t make the “right” choice in a given situation because she has to be seen to be the best. Once it was phrased that way, Celaena started to make sense; she wasn’t being arbitrary, she was being flawed. And, honestly, I liked her a lot better once I had a better grasp of who she was.
My friend and I both agreed that Chaol is an unfortunate name. The pronunciation guide says it should be said “Kay-all”. Which is better than the “Chay-ole” I had going, but is still rather unattractive. Here’s Celaena swooning off this gorgeous guy and his name is Kale? Hm. My friend proposed pronouncing it as “Cole”, which suited much better.
The book is fluff – the characters do spend rather more time on romance and gowns than a life-or-death struggle strictly warrants, and the worldbuilding could do with some more work. There’s also not a whole lot going on thematically. And while this may not be strictly fair, I really struggled with a fantasy setting that has a billiards table.
That said, it’s compelling fluff. The book is a page-turner and, however frustrating they could be, I really did care about the main characters by the big climax.
I might not have given this a chance without my friend’s passion to prod me, but I enjoyed it, and I definitely will be seeking out the sequels.