I liked this book better than the first one in the series—probably because Celaena acted more like an assassin this time. Not in the first half of the novel, though (which I sighed about quite a few times, as she either avoids killing or kills by accident); but later, she acts more like the dangerous person we were told about. I liked the politics, too, the dangerous games at court; a lot of characters had their secrets, and those are definitely of the kind that could get them dispatched. When a villain's ruthless, s/he is; when the king wants someone dead, you can be sure the poor sod won't last very long.
Nehemia remains among my favourite characters: brave, ready to act for other people as well as her own, aware of the dangers, yet still ready to face them.
On the downside, some things were really predictable.
The love triangle/romance in general wasn't really thrilling; I'm not keen on characters brooding over the person they can't have, and while it's alright when the romance goes in an interesting way, well, it just didn't interest me that much here. Also, Dorian should've gotten more screen time, I mean time that wasn't just moping in the background. However, he still grew as a character; I just wonder if the next book will allow him enough room to keep growing the spine he needs, especially now that his own secret has been uncovered.