I wasn’t going to post this review, but a reviewer must be honest, else they stand to lose their quality as a reviewer.
First, please realize that I enjoyed Maas’s other work quite a bit, albeit with some complaints.
Now, diving into this review…I honestly don’t understand the hype this book has.
The writing is so incredibly weak. It tells rather than shows nearly everything, and the character of Celaena is mind-bogglingly flawed and I simply couldn’t stand her.
She is the bestest assassin in all of the lands who loves parties and eating mysterious candy, who doesn’t wake up when people slip into her room unannounced. She’s a frightened little girl when it comes to a demon.
She reads like a clueless teenager, not a skilled assassin who has led a life of trauma and blood. I don’t care that her character is meant to be frivolous. An assassin who dresses to impress is fine – but an assassin who gushes about the most ridiculous things does not read confidently. Her darkness is not as rampant as it should be.
I am impressed with the growth Maas goes through as a writer. Her more recent work, while still imperfect and fraught with repetition, showcases much stronger and mature writing. Her Court books didn’t make me feel like I was attempting to read the work of a frilly 15 year old.
It’s insane to me how bad this book is compared to her other work.
I didn’t care about anything until the climactic fight. Each chapter was a chore to read. I groaned out loud multiple times, and only managed to sink into the story when Celaena was (small spoiler) up against Cain.
That’s the main reason why I’ll get to the other books in this series at some point. I’m assuming her writing in ToG strengthens over time.
Overall, I can’t stand this ‘assassin.’ I gave zero shits about the plot until the end. I’m only giving the rest of the books a chance because I know Maas eventually grows into herself as a writer. She learns how to craft imagery with much more skill, and settles into her niche of describing human emotion and dialogue.
Unfortunately, this book does not show any of the talent she definitely has. But she’s sold many, many copies, so perhaps I’m just blind to something.