Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas Series: Throne of Glass #1 Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Published on:
August 7 2012 Genres: Fantasy Pages:
432 Format: eBook Source: Purchased
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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.
The first time I saw my sister after I finished reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, she was in the middle of reading the latest book from one of her favorite series. I did not care. I pestered, cajoled, and harassed her until she downloaded the Throne of Glass sample chapters and read them.
She stopped reading her book and read mine until the wee morning hours when she finished it.
*lap of victory*
A few months later, my Mom drove down from Charlotte when her nursing schedule gave her a few days off in a row. Her first night here, she asked me for something to read. I gave her Throne of Glass. She delayed her leave time in order to finish it. My MOM. (True friggin’ story).
And they aren’t the only ones I’ve pushed/thrown/shoved Throne of Glass at. Why? Because it’s STUPENDOUS, that’s why. I feel like I’ve said “My Top 5 YA Series” a LOT since I started this gig, so in the interest of proving that there are, in fact, ONLY five series on my list, they are as follows:
1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
2. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
4. For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
5. was recently vacated when Rae Carson finished her Fire and Thorns Trilogy. I’ll get back to you.
Anyway, Throne is Glass is currently in first place.
Celaena Sardothien is an assassin trained by the King of the Assassins. Caught (after potentially being betrayed—you can read all about it in the four prequel novellas, which I HIGHLY recommend), she is sentenced to hard labor in a salt mine for an indefinite period of time (but most likely until she dies). After a year, she is offered a way out—all she has to do is beat out twenty-three other candidates in a competition to be the King’s Champion.
That’s all. Just beat a multitude of bigger, stronger men after spending a year as a slave in a work camp. No big.
And it is no big for Celaena b/c Celaena is just that good.
SIDENOTE—I’ve read a lot of reviews for Throne of Glass, and the most common complaint is that Celaena is too girly-girl to be a believable assassin. I say N-O-N-S-E-N-S-E. No one bats an eye when Gin Blanco (Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep) starts baking. What’s the huge difference between a love of cooking and a love of pretty things? I’m not seeing it. In fact, a love of clothes and a preoccupation with appearance is the more believable of the two IMO—a love of cooking seems like more of an individual quirk whereas a desire to look pretty is characteristic of the narcissistic personality type that would be required to kill indiscriminately (unless of course it’s a child or a Terrasen)<—–Celaena’s hard limits.
Whatever. I like Celaena. She’s alternatingly badass and hysterically funny. I don’t know which version I prefer—the one that takes on her chauvinistic opponent in a sword duel without bothering to unsheathe her sword, or the one that shrieks at billiard balls for refusing to go where she wants them to go.
But Celaena isn’t the only thing Throne of Glass has going for it, not by a long shot. Both of the potential love interests are seriously swoonworthy, and the big bad(s)—sometimes it/they seem to operate in a committee-like fashion—are a well-crafted target for your contempt. There are exotic foreign princesses and magically summoned monsters, and there are just enough hints-of-things-to-come to keep your nails chewed to nubs while you wait for your next fix, I mean the next book.
If you’re a lover-of-Fantasy, Throne of Glass should definitely be at the top of your to-read list. The only problem is that right now it’s a six book series, so we won’t know how it ends until 2017. Here’s to delayed gratification. *wink*