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Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Young Adult
Pages: 416
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Goodreads | Amazon
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 kings 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.
*Digital galley provided by the publisher for an honest review*

There has been much anticipation over this novel for not just myself but throughout the blogger community. And I can say that Throne of Glass lived up to those expectations and qualified as one of my favorite novels of the year. The back story around Sarah J. Maas and the original production of her story titled Queen of Glass up on and gaining a huge fan base. With the idea of an assassin Cinderella, I mean, it wouldn't take long for me to reach out and pick something like that up. And after repealing her chapters from the website and setting out for traditional publishing, Throne of Glass was born. Now I can tell you that I did not feel like I was reading The Hunger Games, it didn't even come to mind while reading. I just had Assassins' Creed flickering around upstairs, but never The Hunger Games. So anyone fretting about that little tagline and comparison to this novel, there is no need! 

As characters go, Celaena Sardothien was tough as nails, witty beyond words, and pretty badass. An infamous assassin at seventeen and didn't give a shit to anything that threatened her. She knew that she was better than the King's men, and she showed it, and I liked her spunk. She survives a year in the brutal mines and outwits the guards, almost touching the very wall to freedom that they guard like they would the King. But when you throw the guys into the picture she became just a giddy girl falling in love. And that was where Celaena and I started having some issues together. And with the possible love triangle running beneath the words and pages, it just started to bug me more that I wished. And another thing that got to me was that she falls for the handsome Crown Prince Dorian, but she loathes his father, the King. Wouldn't you despise the son of the king, too? But because he's handsome, she starts making remarks about his beauty and I just ended up facepalming and rolling my eyes. I didn't want Celaena becoming like every other YA girl out there, but sometimes what I want is not what I get.

The supporting characters hit the nail on the head. I did enjoy Crown Prince Dorian even though I didn't enjoy Celaena and his relationship. He was a different entity from his father and there was a sweet and down-to-earth nature about him, but there were times that I found him stiff and awkward and too drawn out. Chaol Westfall, the Captain of the Guard, I found to be a much lucid and developed character. His realistic qualities and protective nature really caught my heart on a string and took a giant tug. But in regards to the "love triangle" I don't really know where Maas is going to go in the series but I just hope this doesn't turn into a House of Night novel and we have more guys fawning over the protagonist than there are fingers on my hand. Even Nehemia was a strong character with an air of mystery, she kept me on my seat in-case my over assuming mind took me down dark corners. I enjoyed her company and friendly attitude with Celaena as well.

One thing that really got me while reading was the intake of the fey in this book. I don't know if I'm the only one, but when I started reading and before I even started reading, I did not know there were going to be anything regarding faeries and feylike beings or anything magical and such. It wasn't a drawback as much as it was strange.

Final Summation: World-building, anticipation and action that leaves you wanting more, Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass took me by storm. One of my favorite novels of the summer and the year. I'm hoping that there won't be overpowering love triangles or there will be some deaths by Celaena's hands because I would love to see her assassin killing skills in action in the next installment.

First Line: After a year of slaver in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.
Story: S
Cover: S