Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Reading level: Ages 12 and up (though I would recommend older teen)
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release date: August 7, 2012
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Reviewed by: Tynga
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.
Endover, is a salt mine where criminals are sent to work, where all of them die within a month. All, except Celaena Sardothien, that is. She was sent to the mines a year ago, after a crime that wasn’t disclosed, with instructions from the King himself to not kill her. He wants her to suffer – no easy way out for her. Celaena sees a shimmer of light at the end of the tunnel though when Crown Prince Dorian offers her freedom, with one tiny condition. She must fight for him, as his champion, against 23 other fighters, to become the King’s assassin for 6 years. Ironic how she is asked to work for the very man who put her through Hell.
Throne of Glass is exactly the kind of fantasy books I love. Right along the lines of Poison Study by Maria V Snyder and Graceling by Kristin Cashore, this book engrossed me from the first page and kept me captivated ‘til the very end. I love those books set in castles, with politics, treasons and magic and let me tell you, I got what I was looking for! Sarah J Mass might be a debut author, but this book was written like an experienced writer would write.
There are four novellas available and they are prequels to this book. I read the first three and have yet to read the fourth one, and even though they are not mandatory to read Throne of Glass I strongly suggest you do because they are awesome, but also because Maas refers to those events in the book and I loved that I knew exactly what she was talking about. I really need to read the fourth story because I’m sure it says how Celaena ended up in Endover and I want to know what happened to Sam, a character from the novellas that isn’t present in Throne of Glass.
Sarah J Maas created awesome characters. I love Celaena and her morals, yes an assassin with moral! She is strong, determined and isn’t one for an easy way out. Her journey is hard but she’s hanging on and I can’t wait to see what awaits her in the next book. We were also blessed with a plethora of amazing secondary characters. Prince Dorian was interesting but I have to say Captain Westfall was my favourite on the two. Color me team Chaol Westfall. I also liked Nehemia the Ellwyn Princess and her relationship with Celaena.
The plot was highly engrossing. Celaena competes with the other contenders on a weekly basis, trying not to be the next victim of a ritualistic killer hunting the competitors. She also try to piece together a magic related puzzle, all the while pretending to be a lady. Let’s just say she has enough to keep busy – very busy. Maas really surprised me with the different stunt she pulled on Celaena.
The conclusion was exciting and I loved how all the events unfolded. I’m really thrilled for the next book and while the action is appealing, the romance is really what I’m most looking forward to. There was a pseudo love triangle between the Assassin, the Prince and the Captain and I’m really anxious to see what awaits the three of them.
Throne of Glass is engrossing, exciting and addictive. One of my favourite book this year!