After being named the King’s Champion in Throne of Glass (2012), Celaena Sardothien serves as the king of Adarlan’s personal assassin—at least, she pretends to—in a densely plotted sequel.
If the king catches Celaena disobeying his orders, he will execute her closest friends. However, she can’t stomach advancing his agenda, especially if it means murdering innocents in cold blood. When the king uncovers traitors in the city, the first name on his hit list is Archer Finn, a popular courtesan and Celaena’s old friend. Plotting Archer’s escape, Celaena takes the opportunity to make him her personal informant about the rebellion, which Celaena hopes will help her infer the king’s plans—plans she is thoroughly conflicted about challenging, for as much as she hates the king, she thinks opposing him would only get her killed. Secrets damage her nuanced relationships with Chaol and Nehemia. (The complex friendship between these two formidable women is a particular treasure.) Meanwhile, Celaena unravels the mystery of Adarlan’s sudden strength, a magical subplot that intersects with Dorian’s dangerous self-exploration. Vivid Celaena, loving and brutally violent in turn, is a fully realized heroine. The ending comes at the right time—at the close of one storyline and prologue of another—to leave readers impatient for the next installment.
An epic fantasy readers will immerse themselves in and never want to leave. (Fantasy. 14 & up)