This book was action-packed and absolutely incredible. After reading the last book, I had no clue what to expect from this, but it surprised me in such a good way. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, needed more of this world and each character.
This book begins with Celaena traveling to Wendlyn on the King of Adarlan’s orders to assassinate the Wendlyn royal family, however, Celaena’s goals are much different. Celaena realizes why she is sent to Wendlyn and what she must do to find out more information about the Wyrdkeys, Wyrdstones, and the Wyrdgates.
Celaena travels to a demi-fae fortress where she must earn the favor of Rowan Whitethorn in order to enter Doranelle, the city of Fae in Wendlyn. Celaena is ordered to undergo training by her Aunt Maeve, whom we discover is actually not a very nice family member! Along the way, Celaena rebuilds herself as a person and learns more about her heritage and how it has impacted her as a person. She learns how to control her magic and power, while also learning what it is to be apart of a family.
While Celaena is away in Wendlyn, Dorian is left wondering why Chaol thought it would be a good idea to send her out of the castle. That is until he discovers who Celaena really is. Dorian learns to accept the magical side of himself and Celaena. Along with this, he finds comfort in a healer, who keeps him company and helps him through his struggles of learning how to control his magic and the temper that goes along with it.
Chaol realizes who he must be in Celaena’s story and decides to help the rebels. After Archer was killed, the rebels had to pick up the pieces, making Aedion, Celaena’s beloved cousin one of their leaders. Aedion learns from the captain that Aelin Galathynius is alive and has been sent to Wendlyn which gives him hope and something to fight for. The rebels are finally gathering strength to fight back against the King of Adarlan who has ruined the world for ten years.
Along with our favorite characters, we also meet a new one. I found her story very interesting but kind of difficult to get through. Manon Blackbeak is the leader of the Thirteen, a coven of witches. She is a strong female which I really like, but so far, I don’t really know what relevance she adds to the story. I think she will play a really huge part, but she hasn’t met any of the original characters yet, so I’m hoping that in the next book, she becomes a part of their family and someone who plays a huge role in the defeat of the King of Adarlan. So far though, her story has been pretty simple. She is a witch who is basically fighting to be the best, with a grandmother who is pushing her to beat the other witch covens.
Celaena grows into a completely different person in this book. She is still grieving from the death of Nehemia, and her sadness at times becomes the one thing grounding her, however, she does become a part of a family. She meets Emrys and Luca, two men who work in the kitchens while she is at the fortress, and they somehow become two people who treat her as one of their own. I think this is exactly the kind of support that she needed to get through her excessive training with Rowan, and she realizes that the people she loves aren’t just things holding her back, but things pushing her to do the best she can.
Celaena also becomes who she was meant to be when she was little. She realizes that she was meant to be Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, heir to the throne of Terrasen, and she finally takes up that role. Aelin becomes a woman who can fight for herself using her magic and weapons, and she becomes a powerful female that can hold her ground.
Rowan is a new character in this book, but I already really like him. I think the hostility he shows towards Aelin is really funny at times because he could so easily just make things easy for her, but he knows that if he did, she would think that he was pitying her. Rowan is a strong magical character that I think could completely change the events when it comes to the battles in Adarlan. I think that he really finds out who he wants to be and who he wants to be that person for, in this book and I’m excited to see where Rowan and Aelin’s relationship goes, whether it’s friendship or something more.
Chaol is a character that I don’t really know if I like anymore. He really struggled with accepting the fact that Celaena isn’t Celaena anymore. She is Aelin Galathynius and she is stronger than Celaena. I think that he took to long to finally accept the fact that Dorian has magic and Celaena is Aelin and that kind of made me question him as a character. I mean he says that he will stand by Dorian through whatever, but it seems like he needed a little push in the right direction. He did make up for it because of the ending with Dorian, and choosing the right side, but I think that he could’ve made his mind up a lot quicker and it would have saved a lot of time.
Dorian is really interesting in this book. Not only does he meet Sorscha who turns out to be part of the rebel side of Adarlan, but he also learns how to control and use his magic. He finally turns into more than just a prince who is waiting to be crowned king. I think that his story is going to continue to be really interesting to read about and I’m excited to see what happens to him in the next book.
Manon is a character that I found I really liked. Witches aren’t supposed to have hearts, but Manon showed that she isn’t a cold person, and I think that just because she is strong, she still shows empathy and it’s really nice to see a warrior do that for an enemy. It did take me a while to enjoy her story, but I really got into it once the Wyverns were being trained and she became a much more likable character.
Aedion is a character I really hope I see more of. He became a big part of the rebel story and I think that his connections to Aelin are so cool. I’m really excited to read about the reunion of the two of them (if there is one) because I think it’ll be one of the best parts of the series.
“She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius and she would not be afraid.”
For Celaena’s side of the story, most of it took place in Wendlyn in a fortress named Mistward. I actually think that the fortress must be a really cool place to see one day. It seemed really interesting and the fact that there is a magic barrier around the entire place was really intriguing. There was also the setting of Doranelle, but that was only for a few chapters of the book. Doranelle kind of seemed like a dark place to me, even if it was described beautifully. I think that if the ruler of the city was different then it may feel like a different place too.
Dorian and Chaol were still in the palace in Rifthold, and that hasn’t changed much.
Manon was in the Ferian Gap during this book and I think it was a really interesting but cold place to be. I don’t usually like colder places, so I wouldn’t be that interested in visiting, however, it does seem like an interesting and different place to go.
The writing in this book constantly had me on the edge of my seat. I needed more all the time, and I was reading with any spare second I had. I think that it really added depth to the story of the book.
Sarah J. Maas never disappoints!
I definitely recommend this book to any fantasy lover. It’s full of action, magic, mysterious backstories, and interesting characters. It will constantly have you needing more and wanting to read all the time!