Honestly, I finally read this because I saw the paperback cover and I was like, what? That's the same book? That looks awesome! I'd say the book falls between expectations from the two covers.
I'd heard that this was a Cinderella re-telling, but other than the ball where Celaena dances with the prince all night, I didn't see it at all.
I read this book straight through, mostly waiting for Celaena and Choal to kiss. Spoiler Alert they don't. I rolled my eyes through pretty much every interaction with lame-o Prince Dorian. What a deeb. I was really really worried about this love triangle, to be honest. We don't quite get a resolution in this book, but it's going where I'd like it, so that's enough.
The court intrigue and danger in the castle and guarded quarters reminded me of Fire in a lot of ways, but Celaena is not mature like Fire is, and the book is not as good.