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When Celaena Sardothien is brought before the King of Adarlan, she expects to be executed. After all, she is an assassin. She’s been in Endovier, a slave camp, waiting for what she thought was her punishment.

However, the King informs her of a little competition he’s going to hold. He’s looking for a Champion, and each of his officials are sponsoring a candidate for this competition.
Dorian, the Crown Prince himself, has chosen to sponsor Celaena, and he offers her this: if she wins the competition, she must serve his father as Champion for 4 years, and then he will set her free.

Spurred on by thoughts of freedom, the assassin readily agrees to the arrangement. However, competitors are being found dead throughout the castle, and Celaena finds that there is more to fear besides the King and her fellow competitors.

Gore Gauge: rated “People Die”

There was a surprising amount of gruesomely described dead bodies. Someone with a weak stomach may not appreciate this.

From the outside looking in, this book looks like it’s about an assassin and a competition for her to gain her freedom back. However, about halfway through the book, there were definitely some stronger magical aspects. There were visits from the spirit world and demonic creatures and monsters. To read more about magic from a Christian perspective, read my blog post titled “Magic, Sorcery, and Wizardry”.

Tongue Scale: rated “Wash That Mouth Out”

The profanities were relatively mild but frequent: 13 uses of d*mn, 5 uses of *ss, 2 uses of b*tch, and 1 use of b*st*rd.

Firecracker Scale: rated “Spark” *

There are also a few crude sexual comments made by different competitors. There are references to Prince Dorian’s womanizing ways.

*For the references and the implications, even if there were no actual “kisses on lips”.

Other Negative Content:

There were also some brief and occasional mentions and references to the worship of other gods, and the people in this culture worship a god that is nothing like ours.

Let’s not forget to mention that Celaena Sardothien is an assassin. She was orphaned at a young age, and there are ways that the author tries to justify Celaena’s actions. However, that doesn’t erase the things that she’s done or the fact that sometimes, she has admitted to enjoying the kill.

I really did like this. It was exciting and funny and so so interesting. It quenched my desire for an excellent fantasy. I suppose it’s just a matter of deciding whether it’s worth it to sift through all the negative elements. And let’s not forget: just because it’s pleasing to the eye does not necessarily make it good.

Love, Harper