Saturday, August 11, 2012

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

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

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
(August 7, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1599906953
ISBN-13: 978-1599906959
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.

Adarlan's Assassin was never supposed to be more than that. The Crown Prince saw her as an escape from the routine life of royalty, the Captain of the Guard saw her as nothing more than a killer for hire, and the King has nothing but a means to an end. Nobody expected her to be their savior, but that's exactly what she was.

After suffering through Endovier's torture of a jail, after being betrayed by someone she thought was the most loyal, Celaena Sardothien has to agree to win the fight to be the King of Adarlan's Champion. She knows she has what it takes to put up with four years of following the King's orders to get her freedom, but the challenges soon become nothing to worry about when Champion candidates start turning up mauled to death.

I liked the fact that Throne of Glass was told through third-person perspective as well as from multiple points of view because it gave this mythical yet medieval world more depth. The love triangle could be spotted a mile away in this book, but I do have to give it points for originality. However, with all the little hints made that Celaena came from Terrasen's royal family, I got the vibe that the Crown Prince and Celaena would do better as siblings than love interests. I was probably far off in that assumption but I can't really say that they go well together, romantically speaking. I guess this puts me in a more Team Captain Chaol than Team Prince Dorian. Chaol was more of a repressed character in this book and I would like to see him subtly get closer to Celaena, as well as both of them getting to know each other better.

As far as the writing goes, I had no problem with the flow of the novel, and have to say that the descriptive portions with the creatures and otherworldly power was honestly spot on and thrilling. I know this has to do more with the plot than with the writing, but I liked that Ms. Maas was able to incoporate the gruesome scenes and Celaena's fighting scenes so flawlessly into the story line. The true problem that I had with the plot was that there were so many hints and clues that there was more going on with the kingdom, the castle, and its King, but there were very little answers. I understand that there's going to be more installments but I would have appreciated a more concrete standing in this world that these amazingly dynamic characters live in.

Overall I think it was a decent start to a series with a haunted assassin with too many demons and only freedom in mind. Though there were too many questions about her past that were not addressed in this installment and perhaps a bit too many secret plots, there's hope for Celaena and her mismatched crew that consists of a besotted Crown Prince, a no-nonsense foreign Princess, and the hardy Captain of the King's Guard.

Also, for those who really liked this book I would highly recommend reading Maria V. Snyder's works, especially Poison Study, the first in the Study series.


Source: Publisher via Netgalley