The first was good, although it took me a while to get into it, after some of the reviews I read I wasn't so sure, I started off thinking the series was trying to be The Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones, but Throne of Glass turned out to be pretty damn awesome in its own right. Second in the series was even better than the first. Absolutely phenomenally good. I was at 66% yesterday evening, and about 11 pm just before bedtime, I figured I'd read a few more chapters then go to bed as I needed to be up for work in the morning, I couldn't put it down and stayed up till midnight to finish. The story picks up shortly after the first book left off, Celaena is doing her duty as the King's Assassin, though with more than a few secrets of her own, her training with the Captain of the Guards Chaol continues and I got the impression that her friendship with Prince Dorian had turned a little frosty. There's political intrigue and the hint of forbidden magic continues as well as Celaena's friendship with the awesome Princess Nehemia. The first book was about winning and being the strongest, this one is more about personal relationships and where your loyalties lie as to what you're willing to do to defend your people and your beliefs. There's budding romance between Chaol and Calaena which when it finally happened was so well written my eyes actually misted over.Just when you think everyone's on top of their game, plots are twisting nicely and the budding romance is going smoothly...a gut wrenching tragedy occurs and everything goes quickly to hell. I had a serious WHAT THE...???? moment and was devastated when it happened. As were the other characters, Calaena falls to pieces and sets out to right this horrible wrong. In the mean time there is some fantastic world building and history in this fantasy novel, the forbidden magic, hidden rooms in the library, riddles to solve, murders to avenge, its hard to believe at some points things will ever work out. Nothing will ever be the same between the surviving characters. The characters themselves are well rounded, they have their good points and bad points, they're flawed, no one's perfect. Good guys to route for and bad guys to despise against a wonderful fantasy landscape. This is easily my favourite YA fantasy series. I never thought I'd get approved for the galley of this in a million years and if I hadn't been at work when I got the approval email I would have let out a squee of delight. It wasn't a happily ever after ending, (i believe there are 3 more books in the series) but it was satisfactory and let to the start of a new adventure for Calaena. With a good WTF thrown in for good measure and WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR FOR THE NEXT ONE?! from me.so a huge thanks to Netgalley for approving me for the ARC on this one. Loved it so much I've preordered the paperback.