Before this book came out I bought all four novellas and started reading the first one, but then I got distracted and they got pushed aside. I decided to pick them back up because book two is coming out shortly (I thought I had an e-ARC of it but I was wrong, hopefully I'll get it shortly though), and I was pleasantly surprised. Although you don't HAVE to read the four novellas beforehand I would highly suggest it, because it gives you a nice look into what lead up to the events in this book. High fantasy seems to be making a comeback, what with Game of Thrones in the spotlight, and the fact that it's coming to the YA world makes me happy. I enjoy high fantasy every once and a while, although the story has to be good, as well as the characters, and this book manages to do both. It also does something that made me particularly happy, and that was that it mentioned every day things. Now, I don't mean eating or waking up, I mean going to the bathroom and (men, avert your eyes now) periods. These things happen, and when authors just brush over them, although it doesn't make a book bad, it makes it slightly less realistic in my mind, because these things are REAL. That being said I loved the fact that this book was basically The Hunger Games only instead of dystopian it's a high fantasy novel, well, and the main character is supposedly the world's greatest assassin. Maas writes great action scenes, she has some pretty cute boys thrown into the mix, and she talks about real problems. Okay, well, I don't really have to worry about being killed by someone who has been paid to do so, nor am I ruled by a man who is evil, but she doesn't pull punches when she talks about slavery and death. I'm sure that sometimes authors pull back because they think that if they write things too grisly or too real they will get called on it, and it's true, but just because people have a problem with what's real doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. I think this book would make a super cool tv-show, although I think that about a lot of books, and I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel and beyond. Hopefully more of the mystery will be revealed in book too, although I'm glad that there will be 6 books in this series, because honestly 3 seems just to plain for an epic fantasy series (am I right?). Although should more novellas come in the future I hope she only makes them one between each book, because hers are super long.