I finally know what I was missing, having not read this book when it came out. I read all the rave reviews and now totally understand them.
Calaena is one helluva character! She not only kicks butt, but she takes names too. I really liked her a lot, and though she sorta hooked up with one guy, I really wanted her with another. Still do actually. That guy that I want her with, became my favorite character about half way through the book, Though he is gruff, I could tell deep down he was a softy too.
I do wish the fighter scenes were longer, or maybe just more of them. A couple of times the pace really slowed down for me during the more dramatic moments, and all I wanted was aggression. Maybe that is just me though, but when you have an assassin in a tournament of champions, I expect a non-stop bloodbath. At least more than the dramatics.
Still, I loved it.
My thing is such a small thing, it's almost insignificant.
Can't wait to read book 2! I hope for more kick-butt action!