I wanted to like this book because it seemed to have a premise with a lot of potential, but it was very disappointing. So, I'll just give you books that it reminded me of, but were better. The premise? Promised high YA fantasy with a heroine assassin and a forbidden love interest who is helping to train her/sponsoring her): better in [b:Grave Mercy|9565548|Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)|R.L. LaFevers|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337042881s/9565548.jpg|14452295]. The heroine? Celaena was completely inconsistent. Is she a badass assassin? Because she killed literally no one. There was never even a suspenseful hint that she MIGHT kill someone. I don't consider that a spoiler because she never really threatens it either. As a reader, I never once thought she was genuinely capable of assassinating a single person. She is simpering instead. Vacillating at best. Her best attributes, according to the two men who fall for her, are how she manages to look good when she's supposed to be so awesome. And oh, she likes books and looking at stars. I admit the scars on her back and her history gave her some depth, but there were too many unanswered questions to feel like any of that did ANYTHING but to serve as insta-love fairy dust for the boys. Better heroine to be found in [b:Graceling|3236307|Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)|Kristin Cashore|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331548394s/3236307.jpg|3270810]. The plot? I can concede that it was interesting to a point. I wanted to know what happened, but I felt like I knew exactly what that was 150 pages in. And I was right. There was little to no suspense or tension. Lots of descriptions of dresses and how much she wanted to touch Dorian (for some reason, but even that wasn't clear), but no tension. Even her training sessions with Chaol and the Tests were just ... boring. Better plot in [b:Poison Study|60510|Poison Study (Study, #1)|Maria V. Snyder|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1170542921s/60510.jpg|1180409]. The prose? It's simply juvenile. The characters concede to emotions with no provocation. Most of the time I found myself feeling like I missed a page or certainly an important emotional marker because what Celaena or Chaol or Dorian had said made no sense. The story faltered in its world building almost completely. The only interesting fantasy elements were ones that served the plot directly, and none of those were fully fleshed out. My thought mid-book was that it must have been written for the lower end of the YA scale, maybe even middle grade. But then there were sexual references that threw that theory out. Better (fantasy) writing in [b:The False Prince|12432220|The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)|Jennifer A. Nielsen|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333227435s/12432220.jpg|16221764] (which actually IS middle grade, and I didn't know it when I read it). The love triangle? Is most obviously thrown in to entice readers, but left me not only without a "team" to root for, but without a reason to care. Both men were hastily drawn YA stereotypes, and Celaena has no reason, other than their looks and a few kind gestures, to care about either of them. I certainly didn't. Better love triangle in [b:Shadows|13414835|Shadows (The Rephaim, #1)|Paula Weston|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337426703s/13414835.jpg|18714326]. There were things that I liked: I loved Nehemia and her plight. Although her part in the climax of the book turned into another plot device instead of the complex character she had been. I also liked Nox because his motivations, actions and dialogue were the only ones in the whole book that made sense 100% of the time.And that cover is the worst thing I've ever seen. Although, it fits the tone of the book perfectly. That arm knife SAYS it's gonna be all fights and furious, feisty heroine but really her best quality is her pretty face.