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Briar Rose is a romantic growing up in a very unromantic slice of small town America. She has always relied on fairy-tales to spice up her life and harbours a secret desire to ride off into the sunset with prince charming. Unfortunately for Briar, the closest she gets to epic romance is her lying X, the arrogant new footballer and the boy her parents (for some reason) forbid her to stand within forty feet of.
However, when Briar’s over protective mother reveals the very real curse that is going to strike her dead on her 16th birthday, Briar begins to realise that magic isn’t the safe, book bound wonder she always thought. With the intervention of her friends, Briar escapes death, only to be trapped in a twisted, cold version of her favourite Fairy-tale ripped straight from the darkest corners of her imagination. She must escape not only the curse but the terrifying regent and her flesh eating living metal in order to wake up a sleeping princess and hopefully, if all goes to plan, herself too.
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
In the medieval and fantastic realm of Tortall, Keladry of Mindelan is the first girl to take advantage of the decree that permits females to train for knighthood. Up against the traditional hazing of pages and a grueling schedule, Kel faces only one real roadblock: Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He is absolutely against girls becoming knights. So while he is forced to train her, Wyldon puts her on probation for one year. It is a trial period that no male page has ever had to endure and one that separates the good natured Kel even more from her fellow trainees during the tough first year. But Kel Is not a girl to underestimate, as everyone is about to find out...
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