The first time I tried to read this, I stopped very early on because I couldn’t get into it. I felt the same way listening to it for quite some time, but I kept going because in general I have a longer attention span for audiobooks… yet I still gave it 3.5 stars because the end I felt redeemed the whole book.
Selena (no idea how they spell this in the written version) is an assassin — but we only know this from her backstory really. We never see her killing, and in fact everything we do see belies that fact. She’s 18, she’s slight and pretty, she likes dresses and parties, she rescues puppies. She has a crush on the crown prince and also (possibly) on the captain of the guard. She was chosen for a competition to be the “king’s champion,” which means his personal assassin — and the whole book is comprised of training, the actual competition episodes, and the periods in between. Someone is also killing off the competitors one by one, and she’s trying to unravel the mystery of who and why. In her search, she befriends a visiting warrior princess and is visited by the ghost of a long-dead queen, and given magical assistance in her quest. For the most part, the story felt very episodic to me, and I therefore didn’t feel any special pull to race through it and find out what happened next until the climax. The last fight scene really was awesome, though, and the preview of the next story was compelling enough that I might keep listening.
My rating: *** 1/2
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