August 9, 2012
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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 three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. 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.
So much hype for this one, and I can truly say that I think it’s deserved. The book actually started out a bit slow for me. It was intriguing, but I wasn’t totally hooked. Then somewhere around 40 pages in I found myself totally invested in the characters and dying to find out where the story was going. From there on the book didn’t let me go, and I found myself flipping through the pages as quickly as I could.
I love how the main character, Celaena, was a bit of everything. She was tough and strong (and cocky about that fact), but she was also very smart and calculating about her situation. She valued her life and would do almost anything to protect it. Yet despite all she went through she wasn’t cold. She forms attachments, most specifically to the captain of the guard who escorts her around the palace and trains her, and also to the dashing prince who sponsored her entry into the tournament.
What I really liked about the book was that it focused equally on the contest/plot-driven aspect of the book, and on Celaena’s internal emotions and relationships with those around her. I was also happily surprised that this book contained a murder mystery aspect that wasn’t completely obvious.
‘Throne of Glass’ features so many awesome aspects: scheming courtesans and lords, tough thieves and murders, a contest, a mystery, and, of course, romance. Unfortunately there is a love triangle, and while I didn’t really think it was necessary, it didn’t completely bother me either. Plus my mind is very clearly made up about who Celaena really cares for and belongs with. Chaol is tough and loyal, the type of character whose smiles have to be won. But beneath his gruffer exterior Chaol is very sweet, and he's also very moral: he’ll always protect those he cares about.
This book easily gets 5 stars because of how wrapped up I was in the characters, the plot, and the whole world building. I’m really excited about how the plot will continue to grow in Book 2, but I’m equally happy that ‘Throne of Glass’ tells a full story with no huge cliffhanger. This is a complete novel, while still being a series book, and I absolutely love that. This is a spectacular debut for Sarah J. Maas, and it’s easy to see why she had such a huge online following for her stories before becoming published.
I do like it, but I don't love it.
Find Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.