Sunday, August 19, 2012

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas: review

Goodreads rating: 4.29
ARC, 416 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children's

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.

Throne of Glass is a gorgeously written book with intrigue, romance, and a kick-butt heroine. It took me a little while to get used to Celaena, but as soon as that happened, I couldn't put it down! We find Celaena in a prison where no one has ever made it out alive. But the prince comes to find her and offer her a choice: die in the prison or have a chance at freedom. It was really no choice, even when she realized that the king (who she has a special hate for) would be granting her the freedom. After Celaena got over her original vane attitude (which is pretty much how we're introduced to her), I really grew to love her. She's not afraid to tell people what she's thinking, and she has a fiery passion that drives her. Which is why I think two guys were drawn to her. Oh, and of course, she's a well-trained assassin. I wish I knew how to do have the things she did. But there's also so much mystery. Surprisingly, this book has fae mythology, but it is not a fae book. This is a fantasy where the fae were exterminated, and are actually all thought to be long gone. But Celaena keeps seeing these strange symbols, and no one will tell her what they mean. Even the visiting princess seems to know more than her. And then, of course, the other assassins fighting for their own freedoms, end up being murdered. And Celaena has to figure it out before she's next.

I'm kind of tired of love triangles. But Maas did this one very well. And yes, I have decided which one I like, and that's Westfall. Dorian has obvious charm, being a prince and all, and he obviously cares for Celaena. But Westfall shows how he feels in such subtle ways that at first, she thinks he hates her. But in little gestures,  he cares more about her than he lets on. Even at the end of the book, I was left wanting for Westfall. I think it's because I don't want a love for Celaena that's easy, because she deserves better. She hasn't exactly had the best life, and I just thought that while Westfall protected her, he also knew when she could handle herself, while Dorian didn't do that enough. But Celaena had a lot more to focus on than which guy she should be with (although both guys are basically off-limits). I have to admit that, while love triangles have become something I usually cringe at, Maas did an amazing job with convincing you of both parties. Although, I could have done with a little more of Westfall.

Overall, this met and exceeded my expectations. I've had books before where everyone has hyped it up so much that I go in with unrealistic expectations and so I end up getting let down. But Throne of Glass was no disappointment. I felt like I could really connect with all of the main characters, and I cared about what happened to them. There was mystery and murder, which was fun, and then the excitement of romance and the chance at true freedom. This fantasy is right up there with Girl of Fire and Thorns for me, and I can't wait to see what happens next! The only thing I will say is that I hope that the assassin's tournament has taught  Celaena  lesson in humility. I know girls care a lot about how they look, but while you're being dragged from a prison, looking good for someone else would be the last thing on my mind. I'm excited to see Celaena grow more as a character.

1 comment:

  1. Great review ^_^ I've heard so many amazing things about this book and I can't wait to read it. Next week when I finally get to Barnes and Noble seems to far away.

    Oh, and I was just reading your about me page and it's so awesome to find someone else who likes hockey and books! None of my friends understand my obsession with either.


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