Author: Sarah J. Maas
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Cheers Factor: 4/5
Pairing: The Assassin
This is a really fun little drink with a fun little color that is dark and spooky. I also love using skull ice cubes especially for this because it’s so fitting for a teenage assassin.
“We each survive in our own way.”
1.5 oz of plain vodka (can use vanilla vodka if desired)
½ oz heavy cream
A dash of vanilla syrup (if vanilla vodka is used this isn’t needed)
3 dashes of black food coloring
Skull ice cubes (molds from amazon)
Combine vodka, kahlua and heavy cream into a glass and stir
Add in vanilla syrup and food coloring and stir again
Add ice on top
Take a Shot: Celaena Sardothien is the greatest assassin in all of Adarlan. That is until she was caught and sentenced to life in a grueling salt mine used as a slave encampment for slave labor. However, one day the Captain of the Royal Guard and the Crown Prince arrive and make her an offer to compete to be the King’s champion and the offer is too good she can’t refuse. However, what happens when she no longer thinks about escaping and starts to care about the potential evil that could be lurking in the castle walls.
“Sometimes the absence of him hit her so hard that she forgot how to breathe.”
It can sometimes be very difficult to write a fantasy setting. It can be hard to give enough detail without feeling vague or give too much and lose the reader. That is thankfully not the case with this title. I think a solid foundation is laid for the setting of where our characters are that we know the realm and the country while also leaving infinite possibilities for more to be added in future books.
Plots and Themes
I love a good fantasy romance series, but this one turns that trope on its head. All the characters are set up to where you feel satisfied at the end of the first novel with no real cliffhangers, but with your interest piqued enough to want to read more of the novels that come after. I also really respect the assassin plot line. It’s unique enough that you are interested, but more importantly it explains how Celeana is able to do all the fantastic things she does. I appreciate that a lot, that it’s not hard to believe the characters to be capable of what they are in the story of the novel.
I LOVE OLDER CHARACTERS. I say older, but what I mean is characters closer to my own age. It’s hard to read a book where all the characters are 16 and basically kids. I also love the age differences. I like that Celaena is 18 and Chaol and Dorian are a couple of years older. It feels authentic and real in that most people are not solely surrounded by people their same age after grade school. I also love the depth that each character is given. They are truly much deeper than meets the eye.
I really love this book. It has great pacing, good storytelling and really good characters. I also really liked that it motivates you to read the next one and find out what happens next to our band of characters. I also really want to applaud the world building. Fantasy is hard and it’s easy to lose someone, but this title does a good job of keeping you right with it.
“We all bear scars, Dorian. Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”
Reasons to Raise a Glass: map in the front of the book (we love maps), STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS, believably broken and human characters with amazing depth, FORESHADOWING!
Too Strong: I can’t think of anything, but I can’t give it a 5/5 because I just don’t think I want to give it a 5 when there’s 6 other books.
Warning spoilers ahead if you click read more. Proceed at your own risk.
“You’re not about to inform me that you wish to marry for love, are you? Love does not guarantee a successful marriage.”
There’s two parts to this spoiler section. This top part will be for those of you who have read just this book in the series. The second portion will be some tidbits for those who have read the whole series! I’ll make the warning prominent so you know where to stop :)
I love a good retelling so obviously I love this book. Now granted I don’t particularly feel like it’s a Cinderella retelling off the bat, but when you think about it you get there. The faeries in the woods are like the birds and mice (the creatures that left her flowers on her way back to Adarlan), the prince falls for her amongst other things. I do like that it’s not too rigid in that original tale because that could be a bit dull in my opinion.
I did mean it when I said I loved the depth of the characters. There is a raw flawed nature to them all that makes them feel like they are keeping secrets from you. I think that’s the beauty of the third person narrative. We don’t get to actually know what the characters are feeling because we aren’t in their head. We don’t hear their justifications from their perspective, just the way that the narrator interprets their actions. It’s a truly wonderful change from the way a lot of this genre is written and I love that.
Okay folks if you haven’t read the whole series I bid you adieu. SPOILERS FOR THE SERIES AHEAD.
I missed SO freaking much the first go around reading this. Like it point blank alludes to her being fae and having VERY strong powers on page 31. I don’t know about you but my first go around that went right over my head and I had no idea where this was going. Also SJM really does love the stars and uses that concept in her novels. “Still the image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back.” Like come on. That’s some ACOTAR ish and we both know it. I mean I guess technically ACOTAR borrowed from ToG, but technically SJM wrote ACOTAR first? The timeline confuses me, but you get the point it’s all very similar. I also was shook at all the references that pull in from The Assassin’s Blade. Naturally, they would see that this book was written first so Maas had the luxury to write around those ideas, but I didn’t read TAB until long after I finished the whole series (big mistake I know EoS would have been far different for me had I read it before that). However, I think there’s so much that is alluded to that leads you to thinking down the line about the characters.
“There was something great and deadly concealed within her and he didn’t like it. He’d be ready - when the time came, he'd be waiting. He just wondered which of them would survive.”
Chaol says that and I think it’s such a loaded quote. Because it alludes to their relationship and whether they both survive it. Which spoiler alert (seriously if you haven’t read the whole series leave, it’s about to go down), neither of them really do. They both end up as really broken people after the death of Nehemia really tears them both apart and it makes them both look deep inside themselves and question their whole lives, their morals and their beliefs. It also separates them from people they love and trust and at such a young age it’s isolating to them and then add in the war and the powers and it’s brutal. Another aspect this quote touches on is that Chaol knew deep down something was inside Celaena (Aelin, I don’t like the name Celaena and am so happy when they stop using it). He knew before he KNEW. It makes their history that much more heartbreaking because he realized, but pursued her anyway and then they both found out they weren’t good for each other and, in a way, broke the other. I think that the most moving part of this novel is the set up of Chaol loving Celaena and the set up of Dorian and Celaena loving one another. Neither of their love ends up being romantic at the end of the series, but Aelin’s love for Dorian is fiercely strong as though he is the brother she never had. And her love for Chaol is that of a first love and they both recognize by the end that they truly weren’t meant for each other and that’s okay.
“She’s never meant to escape.”
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!