Summary from Goodreads:
Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion—yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.
Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie... and whom she will fight for.
This book built on so much of the first book. In the first book I was endlessly complaining in my mind that Celaena had a backstory which was never told and she was all talk and no action, but now I know why she kept it in wraps and never said anything. The things she did in this book were so badass and erased my doubts about her credibility as an assassin. Blood and gore is what I find synonymous with the word 'assassin' and plenty of violence that had me awe-stricken was served in this installment. I frequently had no idea where the book was headed and I liked the surprises. More than just assassinating under the king's orders, Celaena discovers his larger plans for the realm.
Character development was much better here than the ToG. The relationship of Chaol and Celaena progressed and I found myself liking this development and caring more for them. This may have been partly due to Celaena becoming less self-absorbed and more focused on the seriousness of her role as King's Champion and the fact that she now had people close to her she could potentially lose if she stepped out of line. There wasn't a complete change in character though with just enough arrogance to remind me of the person she was in ToG.
I am totally ready for the journey set up towards the end of the book that will be continued in Heir of Fire.