Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Published: 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Literary Awards: Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2015)
Source: My TBR pile
Pages: 404

My Rating: 5 Stars


In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world. 

My Thoughts:

Celaena Sardothian, a notorious assassin, is slaving away in the salt mines of Endovier when the Crown Prince gives her an ultimatum; become his father's champion and personal assassin for four years to win her freedom or rot away in the mines. Four years of doing what she does best sounds a lot better than continuing in the death camp so she agrees, but the king isn't going to make it easy for her. Pitted against 23 other assassin's, thieves, and thugs, she must win the right to be champion. But when the other competitors start dying in gruesome ways, she must find out what is happening before she ends up dead too. 

I put this off for years because everyone was raving about it and I didn't want it to be like every other series I started where I have to wait so long for the sequel that I can no longer remember everything and have little interest in continuing. I wanted to be able to read the sequel soon afterward. Then it got to a point in my mind where I thought if I didn't start it soon, I probably wouldn't ever start it. I could have waited a little longer since there are still two books left in the series but I think I was in the perfect position to start. With four books and some novellas to read I am less likely to forget what is going on when the 5th book releases later this year. 

I'm glad I finally started it because this book is sooo good! I immediately gave it 5 stars upon finishing it. 'Throne of Glass' was refreshing, it kept me entertained throughout, it kept me wondering and guessing, and it gave me a 'love triangle' that I could really root for. 

Lets talk about the 'love triangle'. Can we really call it that since it doesn't shape the plot of the story? I'm not experienced with love triangles because I've been avoiding them since the Twilight series. If I had heard that this had a love triangle I probably wouldn't have been so excited to read it. But I honestly feel like whatever triangle there was wasn't strong enough to push me or others away. There are two male love interests but one really doesn't seem that way at all until the end. And no one ends up with anybody in this book! Sorry if that is considered a 'spoiler' but for me it makes this totally on another planet from Twilight's love triangle. Especially since our heroine is a bad ass assassin. 

So now that I've totally butchered this review (and probably your wish to read this if you haven't already) we can move on. 

Celaena Sardothien is one of the most interesting characters I've read lately. But here's where I'm faltering with my rating. She is a bad ass assassin who spent a year in a death camp after being captured. Everyone in this whole world of Erilea has heard of her. She could kill you with a hair pin. But most of that is just hearsay and what she herself claims. No actual killing is committed by her. Sure, she kicks one guys ass in a few quick movements but that is really all we get until the end of the book. I guess I just wanted more action and 'assassinations'.

I tend to avoid the fantasy reads where the 'heroine' is placed into the political agenda, is a courtier, attends the ball, etc. Those books seem to focus more on the dresses and romance. For a few short moments I worried that this was going to be one of those books. Celaena loves her dresses, she enjoys the luxury of living in a castle, but she also eats. A lot. And reads. She's not vapid and love struck which is a huge step up from a lot of books like this that I have read in the past few years. She's brave, she's caring, she's flawed. The other characters were just as interesting. Celaena, Chaol, and Nehemia are my favorites so far and I'm eager to read more! 

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