Throne of Glass | Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published: May.13, 2013 | Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: Ebook (Epub)
Get It Here | 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 exhilarating. 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.
In a recent review for The Kiss of Deception, I stated how I found myself avoiding some titles in the fantasy genre. The Throne of Glass series would be one of them. Giving into the hype and finally diving in, I must say that I am absolutely disappointed in myself for judging a book by it's cover. (You have to admit that the cover before the change was pretty damn ugly.)
First and foremost, the characters, oh how I loved them!
Celaena was incredibly witty which made her dialogue with the other characters a joy to read. With her fierce mind and that sharp-tongue of hers, it wasn't hard to find her annoying in some situations, but that didn't bother me as much as it did others. Sarah definitely excelled at creating another side to Celaena. As an assassin, I expected her to be cold and distant, but was surprised when I was introduced to just a regular girl. A feminine girl who used her charm to flirt with boys. A girl with actual feelings who would cry in some moments, and laugh in others. Thank goodness she wasn't a robot.
Next up we have Dorian, the pompous, womanizing, overbearing prince. My goodness did Dorian irritate my soul. he reminded me of one of the boys from high school that would have a crush on you but the feeling wouldn't be mutual. But that is what I enjoyed about him. Like Celaena, Dorian wasn't what he appeared to be on the surface. In most moments he was compassionate, which I believe is what helped aid his interest in the assassin.
Moving on to the oh so serious captain of the royal guard Chaol. Whew, Chaol was a complete ass majority of the story. With that imaginary stick embedded in his butt, he was strict and often harsh when it came to Celaena and also the "friendship" she formed with the crown prince. But was it genuine concern for the prince's safety, or was it jealousy? You'll have to read for yourself to find out. Just don't allow the above description of Chaol throw you off. He often came across as too overprotective, but for good reason. Chaol definitely redeems himself as the story progresses deeming him my favorite character. Who doesn't love a man that's hard on the outside, but sweet as sugar on the interior?
Finally we have Nehemia. The princess of Eyllwe, sent to the castle for mysterious reasons. (Well not really, I just don't want to spoil you.) She quickly befriends Celaena proving that she is quite similar to the assassin, banter included. The princess strolled into the story with what seemed like an hidden agenda, I just can't wait to see if my assumptions are true.
After reading some reviews from other bloggers, I've come to the realization that alot of readers had a big problem with the "love triangle" between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol. Many argue that they didn't appreciate Celaena "leading" the boys on. I don't know what story they were reading, but I didn't gather the same opinion. I definitely beg to differ. Let's start out by saying that you technically can't classify their situation as a love triangle, atleast not yet. While it was clear that Dorian and Celaena had formed a more intimate relationship, her relationship with Chaol played out as nothing more than just a friendship. Even though his feelings could be easily detected, she remained completely oblivious, mainly because Chaol was in denial himself. If he reacted upon his feelings, then I would better understand and maybe agree with the above statement.
So with all the good things I had to say about this book, you're probably wondering, "Why not give it a 5 star rating then Tika?" Well, it didn't exactly live up to it's hype. Not entirely atleast. When I first announced that I would be reading this series this month, so many people told me just how much I would love it, how much I would be blown away from start to finish. The thing is, I WASN'T blown away. When I think about being blown away or mind fucked as I like to call it, I think of my reading experience with The Night Film by Marisha Pessl and Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, my all time favorite books. Since this is a high fantasy novel, I expected some high fantasy action. But we didn't really get that did we? No. For Celaena to be labeled as "Adarlan's Assassin," I wanted to see why she was deemed that title. She spends half of the story concealing her skills, (not by choice) and when she is finally able to show them off, they were watered down by the mediocre tests given. I guess I was looking for some epic fighting scenes and was a bit disappointed when I didn't receive any until the last 30+ pages of the book. However, that duel had me gripping my chest in agony. Oh how hard it was to handle such intensity. I found myself on the brink of tears for Celaena, screaming, cursing, the whole nine yards. This fighting scene alone deserved its own 5 star rating.
Another aspect of the story I found a bit lacking was the world building. When reading the chapter where she first entered the castle I was pumped! "What! A glass castle?" I just knew that as the story progressed, I would be captivated by the castle and its surroundings, sadly the setting fell a bit flat for me.
All in all, I must say that I'm truly pleased with Throne of Glass. It was such a fast paced book. A bit lacking in action and world building but still enjoyable nevertheless. This story left so many unanswered questions, and I can't wait for everything to unfold in Crown of Midnight.