Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 404
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: August 7, 2012

Dani's rating: 5 stars
Steph's rating: 5 stars
Overall rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

Dani's Review:
Throne of Glass is one of those rare novels that leaves you thinking about it long after you finished reading it. My thoughts were jumbled as I pondered what I had just read. I was led on the exuberant thrill ride of an 18-year-old girl's fight to gain her freedom. Romance, humor, and suspense were incorporated into the complex plot along with great imagery to create the full package. But overall, I think the character development is what makes Throne of Glass great.

Celaena Sardothien is an assassin. You're probably imagining a ruthless, ugly killer equivalent in morale to a rat. However, Celaena is the exact opposite. She had no choice in becoming an assassin, (not that she dislikes her job), she is drop dead gorgeous, and she has a high sense of honor.  She is the best and most infamous criminal in the land of Adarlan--hence her alias "Adarlan's Assassin. Unfortunately, even the best get caught. She was captured and sent to a death camp, until the handsome Captain of the Guards, Chaol, brings her to the Crown Prince Dorian. The prince offers her a deal that will change her life forever if she accepts.

I loved the way Sarah J. Maas delved deep into each character's feelings, especially Celaena's. She drops subtle hints about her past throughout the novel until the reader longs to know more about Celaena. How did she become an assassin? What happened to her family?

At the same time, Celaena faces awkward moments, tension, and romance with Chaol, her trainer in the competiton and the Captain of the Guards, and Dorian, the "stuffed shirt" prince. The parts with Celaena and these two are hilarious! I loved their banter and arguments....and of course their budding romance. I can't wait to read the sequel "Crown of Midnight" to find out what happens to this love triangle.

There is also a subplot. Remember what I said about the complex plot? Celaena is given orders by the spirit of the dead warrior queen Elena to do her bidding. Strange symbols keep popping up wherever she goes. A foreign princess arrives who may not be as innocent as she seems.

Throne of Glass is a high fantasy novel that I think almost everyone, even non-fantasy readers, will enjoy. It's not confusing at all and the fantasy concepts aren't over the top weird. It's simply the story of a girl growing up and trying to obtain what everyone at the heart wants: freedom.

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