Updated** 8/17… after rereading – I am STILL floored but I have so much more to say this time around. (Also check out Cait’s review because it says everything I was trying to say and more.)
Wow this was a difficult review to write because this book was 100% emotional for me.
I’m gonna get a little opinionated first, then I *promise* to get more lighthearted 😉 😉 AND I promise to spare you of my SJM speech but you can read it in my other reviews.
One of the biggest complaints that I’ve seen about this book is the fact that Celaena, our resident heroine and badass extraordinaire, is no longer herself. (Literally, I’ve read like 10 reviews today alone complaining about this.)
So here it is… here is why I agree and disagree, and why I love this series so much.
YES. Celaena is BROKEN for a good chunk of this book.
Why is this so unacceptable? Is it supposedly because she is supposed to be all strong and mighty and a perfect heroine? Guess what. You can be strong and still end up broken. And you know what? Maybe you are brought back to a place of power and healing… only to be brought back to a state of shambles… before you become whole again. This is realistic… and it was realistic in my own life. So I’ll say this.. anyone who knows what it is like to be strong, passionate, full of hope, and then has found themselves in a position of pain to where it hurts to get back up again… I think you’ll relate to this story.
“Because she is dead!” She screamed the last word so loudly it burned in her throat. “Because she is dead, and I am left with my worthless life!”
Yes, it is hard to swallow watching a beloved character to be in a state of complete wreckage. I’m so thankful that SJM decided to share this part of Aelin’s journey. I honestly did not connect with her that much until this book. Sure she was fun to read about before- but this book hit it home for me. We get so much insight to her past… why she was running – everything. It is completely and utterly heart breaking.
This is probably the line where I really lost it emotionally.. because she lost it emotionally.
“Fireheart, why do you cry?”
“Because I am lost and I do not know the way.”
But- this is also a story of beautiful hope, and of finding the willpower to get back up. A story of choosing the hope of a future instead of remaining in the guilt and defeat of your past. AAAND not to mention.. how much true friends can help you back on your feet.
“It was a long story, and sometimes she grew quiet and cried – and during those times he leaned over to wipe away her tears.”
So while I totally agree that this is entertainment and not to be taken too seriously- I can’t help but nod to Sarah for showing a realistic character arc in a character we love so deeply. And you know what? Celaena has now moved on from being a broken, hurting, cowardly assassin who ultimately looks out for herself – to Aelin; a woman dedicated to her people – willing to sacrifice everything about herself to give them a home again. Someone willing to fight for something other than herself.
OOOOOK ok ok… now onto some fun….
Oh ladies, we love to hate him, and then love to love him. This guy is a serious piece of work… but I can’t help but adore him. He is every bit as broken as Celaena is, though he shows it in a different way. But how freaking beautiful is it when they connect to each other… understand each other? Bloody brilliant. He was EXACTLY what she needed… and did anyone take notice that he was the first one to call her Aelin (aside from Maeve) and Fireheart?
Also- HOW are people comparing him to Tamlin?? That kinda enrages me because it couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m not going to argue this in this review-but you can read a nice long detailed comparison HERE – I highly recommend it.
Oh, hi… MANON…
So I gotta be honest. I kinda skimmed her parts. I know, I know. Terrible of me. I just got so hooked on Aelin’s story…. so I promise to go back and reread these. So I can’t write an accurate review or even any feelings towards this storyline because I just wasn’t into it. I did end up loving her in the fourth book though! I’m just not into the whole witches thing. Though I gotta say- freaking Abraxos is the best- so much personality.. I LOVE HIM.
CHAOL… Our dearest and most adorbs (albiet ever scowling) Captian of the Guard — who deserves a serious hug…
My heart just breaks for him. I adore Chaol. Sarah has done something that she does best with him too.. she’s ripped him up a bit. He made bad decisions in the past (LIKE WE HUMANS DO…). But if I can give you any bit of hope… his story is not a lost cause. He’s just trying to sort everything out- everything he believed in was shattered.
DORIAN…Puh lease.. Like I could ever forget about you.
Oh sweet Dorian. The poor guy gets the crap end of the stick EVERY TIME but still chooses to be his good and honorable self. That being said, his story isn’t *quite* as interesting in this book… but just you wait and see what SJM is building for him. He’s SO freaking cool in book 4…. you guys… I can’t even.
THE LAST 30% OF THIS BOOK
Oh hell yes. How freaking clever and awesome was that?!? Want a hint at what the 4th book, “Queen of Shadows” is like? It’s 10000% like this. Action packed, clever. Totally badass.
So get excited.