I'm a little empty now, which usually happens when the idea of a year between books presses down on me. I'm a little empty because I miss the shenanigI'm a little empty now, which usually happens when the idea of a year between books presses down on me. I'm a little empty because I miss the shenanigans from the first two books, I miss the scenes of hope that swept me away and the FUN. There was not enough fun. I felt the heaviness and despair in this book--oh I felt it good (well, felt it bad really)-- but I didn't get that spark that made me smile in the last two books.
But OH MY there were some moments... Some squeeze the book, look around so no one sees you cry, curse loudly moments.
This book felt to me like a study in character development. Not too much overarching plot movement happened in this book but it was setting up so much more for the future. And it did that very, very, well. Maas's writing is beautiful, her world building is perfection and her characters are vivid and as deep as ink can seep. Celaena (I'll call her this for the purpose of this review and because she's still C to me) is frustrating and exciting, real and loveable. But there was something that I couldn't wrap my head around. This sense of deep rooted betrayal she felt about Chaol's actions. All she did was keep secrets from him, yet the first secret he holds from her (and I use the term secret loosely because I'm sure death threats are made against royalty daily) makes him a monster? I don't think so. I know she was in the midst of snapping, her whole world turning dark but it felt.... Well, It was a convenient way to break the characters apart.
I think the character of Chaol deserved a lot more than he got in this book and not just romantically. It took him a long time to find himself, yes, but he really got hit with the boring stick this time around. And as the only character in the books who still kicks ass without magic, he should get some mad props for that!
Dorian was blah, I hope he does something in the next book because he's a great character and a sweet presence in this book. And though Sorscha was a distraction, her role felt irrelevant and I didn't attach to her emotionally. Poor love.
Too much time was devoted to Manon. She may be relevant to the story later on but... Holy Book Hell I was bored.
Aedion was interesting but I need more from him before I decide my feelings. It's like there's a piece missing in his puzzle and I can't see him clearly yet. Time shall tell.
And Rowan and the Mistward folk (I'm looking at E, M and L here) were great but.... okay. Here I go. Celaena and Rowan are kind of the same person so they can't be together romantically. And when I say the same person, I don't mean that in a bad way. They are individual and unique, flawed in their own ways but also in the same ways. Rowan was a great addition to this series but I feel he came at the expense of some other characters which was a pity. He fits in so well and I'd love to see him interact with the gang in Rifthold and come into his own some more. And while we're on that... Just because Rowan is a boy and Celaena a girl and they spend time together, doesn't mean they must fall in love. My favourite part of this book was that Maas deliberately made their bond non-romantic. It didn't lessen their connection in my eyes at all. Rowan is the person she needs, the first person in her court and the person standing on one side of her. He's her big bro. But I don't think he's the man who she will end up with romantically. I think she needs someone different to her, a ying to her yang, a person who can shake the chaos from her life and show her the simple pleasures.
So... I hope she reunites with Chaol and they both continue to grow in ways that will bring them together. Bring them ALL together.... Because the seclusion and lack of interaction in this book just.... Made me a little homesick....more