Wow. Seriously, just wow.
Everything I wanted but didn't get in Throne of Glass was here.
And everything I didn't like was gone. It's like the author took in my personal opinion and used it as a guideline while writing this book.
Celaena was infinitely better. I could not STAND her in Throne of Glass. Here I just instantly loved her. I don't know what the difference was, but reading the prequel, The Assassin's Blade, and learning her past and what she'd been through definitely upped my opinion of her. Man, when she's on full assassin mode, completely driven by her anger and revenge...Whoa. Definitely one of the things missing in the first book.
Prince Dorian was also more likable, but I think that's mostly because of the romantic situation here. SO much more bearable.
Chaol, though. Whew. I like him...a lot. His character development was just wonderful.
Without comparing it to Throne of Glass, this is still a fantastic book. However I don't feel it's made a lasting impact on me. There were plenty of feels, but I don't feel like I really connected with the book. It sure is worthy of 5 stars, but it hasn't quite made it there or me. I now have high hopes for this series, and can't wait to pick up Heir of Fire.