An easy enough read—it didn't take me long to finish it—, and enjoyable for the most part, though nothing really mind-blowing.
Some interesting ideas, only not fully exploited. I liked the concept of runes operating outside the more widely-known system of magic. However, the world was somewhat bland and generic (king attacking and enslaving other kingdoms around his, court politics not pushed far enough, etc.)
I actually preferred secondary characters to main ones. Nehemia especoally felt like a heroine, someone I could root for.
Celaena, on the other hand, was seriously annoying. I was all for the concept of strong girl assassin, but what I got was a girl who spent more time reading, worrying about her dress and toying with the guys around her—and not a real assassin. While she thinks in ways that are reminiscent of an assassin's, she doesn't actually kill anyone, she doesn't appear too interested in training to win (even though it's obvious she needs to get her strength back after one year in the salt mines), and her priorities don't seem exactly straight. (I don't know, but checking out guys right after being out of the fantasy equivalent of a death camp doesn't strike me as a priority.)
Totally useless. Love triangle takes over plot, and feels kind of forced.
I might borrow the next volume from the library, or not. I haven't decided yet.