I enjoyed reading about the kingdom's most deadly assassin, who loves frilly dresses and puppies. Celaena feels like a real person with a layered personality, who has spent almost her entire life just struggling to stay alive. I like that she is snarky and tough, but vulnerable too. She has fears and doubts and faults. Very three dimensional. And I enjoyed the love triangle. It was handled well and it took me awhile to decide who I wanted her to end up with.
The main plot, I think, was the murder mystery, but there were plenty of subplots to keep the story interesting. It did drag a bit in places and was perhaps not as action focused as I might have liked. Not a lot of 'assassin' type stuff, though I suspect there may be more of that in subsequent books. I definitely intend to read on to find out.