Celaena is in a state of depression over Nehemia’s death and the killing of Archer Finn. She is also upset about breaking up with Chaol and the utter enormity of the task to free Eyllwe from the King like she swore over Nehemia’s grave. While she is in Wendlyn on a mission to kill the royal family she is summoned by her aunt Queen Maeve of the Fae who has the answers she desires. However, she must prove her worth by training with the handsome Prince Rowan in order to receive them. This very interesting as it expands on and explores more of Celaena’s magic, Fae heritage and mysterious past. The magic in this book is very unique, if Celaena doesn’t learn to control it, it will not only destroy all those around her but will burn her from the inside out. Finally, we learn about Celaena's past which was definitely worth the wait! Everything links into that night ten years ago when Celaena’s life and that of the kingdoms’ was changed forever.
Chaol joins the rebels in an attempt to gain information that may help Dorian who’s magic is becoming stronger but harder to control. Through this Chaol meets Aedion, Celaena’s lost cousin, who has joined the King’s army and has become one of his most trusted and ruthless generals. As it turns out Aedion has always been loyal to Terrasin and has risen through the ranks in an attempt to gain more information for the rebels. Dorian meets a young healer named Sorscha who he falls in love with while she helps him hide his magic. The development of Chaol and Dorian’s characters is really good to see and helps the reader to better understand both men and what they have to do for the people they care about.
A new main character by the name of Manon Blackbeak was introduced in this book. Manon is an Ironteeth witch and is the heir of the Blackbeak clan. All the Ironteeth witches have been hired by the King to ride is his army, in exchange they each get a wyvern, a dragon-like creature. The Ironteeth witches are brutal, ferocious and enjoy eating the raw flesh of creatures they kill. That pretty much sums them up, they’re not very nice. All three covens must pick and train a mount before they all compete in the War Games to determine which coven will become Wing Leader. It is interesting how you get to learn more about the King’s movements and plans. The bond that develops between Manon and Abraxos is exciting. However, I found that this more felt like it was distracting from the main story lines.
This is a fast paced book with lots of action, suspense and mystery just like the other books in the series. These are fast becoming my favourite books. However, the sudden introduction of a new and seemingly unrelated main character made this book feel a little slow as I just wanted to read about the others.