After reading Sarah J Maas’ ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ I couldn’t wait to start on this series. I was not disappointed!
Calaena Sardothien completely sold this series to me. I completely fell in love with her character – Maas went against the current trope of trying to create a female protagonist who was delicate and had to learn to be strong or had to learn to be the leader that she needed to be. Instead, Maas reverted to the trope of Calaena already being the best at what she does. It could be argued that Calaena was bordering on being a Mary Sue character, but after seeing countless protagonists having to fight to prove their worth it was actually quite refreshing to see an author who didn’t try to dress up her character in frills for the readers to then discover that she was a warrior the whole time. Plus Calaena wasn’t entirely perfect – she was haunted by the horrors of being enslaved in the salt mines of Endovier, and as the plot progressed we saw a more vulnerable side to her character. Some might disagree with me, but I really liked her character and thought she carried most of my interest in the plot. I liked the fact she was deadly and not a delicate little flower.
That being said, I’m not sure I liked the romance aspect that Maas tried to bring to her plot – I get that this was originally a reimagining of Cinderella, but the blatant set up with Dorian as a love interest dampened the strength of Calaena’s character for me. I wanted to watch her succeed on her own, not succumb to what felt like a romance sub plot just for the sake of having a romance sub plot. Plus it was fairly obvious Maas was trying to set up a love triangle-ish story with Chaol as well – which to me was a lesser irritating romance sub plot.
I liked Calaena’s journey to try and become King’s Champion – despite her arrogance in her abilities, I liked the fact her character melted a bit to let others in. I loved the little friendships she made with Dorian, Chaol and Nehemia, as they made her more likeable as a character.
Maas dotted several plot points throughout the narrative to lead to future novels, and I’m intrigued to see what she does with them… Overall I really enjoyed this novel. I loved Calaena being allowed to prove how ruthless she was, and it was really refreshing to see a female character in the type of profession that would be normally set up for a male. I really loved that!
I’m curious to see where Maas will take her series… I really want to know what’s going on with the King of Adarlan, as well as Calaena and her friends.
I was completely gripped when reading this novel – I’d give it a 5/5 and I can’t wait to see what Maas has in store for Calaena.