Rating: 4 out of 5
In general, I liked this. The book went some way towards solving some of the outstanding queries from the previous book, primarily related to Celaena’s new employment and how this was working out for everyone. Yet, the author also chose to use these options to complicate the plot a bit more, such that by the end of this book numerous side-plots are acting out next to the main line.
Some of the items that disturbed me in the first book continued to grate here. The worst of these, the fault that I cannot escape mentioning, is Chaol. How is someone who has no experience doing anything the Captain of the Guard?.. This is, of course, a crown amongst the thorns that this book presents. For readers of this volume, the king is also a boring, one-sided, evil creature who wants to hurt everyone for no good reason. I was satisfied with the reasons he is so evil, but it takes far too long for the explanation to take place.
Also enjoyable in this volume was the author’s portrayal of the best intentions. As in many real situations, these turn out to be the workings of a really bad idea, though of course no one knows that at the time. This made for some really good final scenes where the reader gets a certain amount of closure—to some things, at least.
I carried on, and it’s worth doing so!