Throne of Glass
Summary: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 exhilarating. 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?
This is one of the most hyped-about fantasies in the young adult genre, and, in a sense, it’s not hard to see why. Sarah J. Maas has created a story that is action-packed and appealing. And, despite the flaws, I found myself engrossed in Celaena’s story.
Celaena is an assassin who was betrayed and sentenced to hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier. But one day the Prince and Captain of the Guard come to her with a proposition: come to the palace and fight in a competition against other assassins from across the empire, and if she wins, she’ll be set free. With no choice but to accept the offer, Celaena is sent to the palace. But when contestant after contestant are mysteriously found dead, Celaena realizes that she must find the killer before she herself becomes a victim.
One of the flaws in the book is simply the mystery itself. Who is killing these contestants? Unfortunately, it’s not exactly hard to figure out. Maas’ “red herrings” are not very well placed and are easy to see past, and the entire story the culprit basically finds himself wearing a sign that says, in big bold letters: “I DID IT!”
I’m always hesitant to read fantasy in the first place because I always have trouble visualizing the worlds. I’m never quite sure how to picture them – as alternate realities? Dream-like worlds? Something else altogether? – and I’m usually left trying to focus on that the entire course of the story. Not surprisingly, that is no different than how I felt about Maas’ world. I simply couldn’t see the world in my head, despite the description provided.
Celaena is a protagonist that was a bit of a hit-or-miss with me. She is independent and is capable of taking care of herself, but she has an arrogance that didn’t suit well with me. I can’t count how many times she denotes herself as “the best assassin in the land,” yet, throughout the story, she never assassinates anyone. Rather, she focuses on whether she looks good or not.
The love triangle is one of the book’s other hit-or-miss aspects. The chemistry between Celaena and Dorian / Chaol, the two romantic interests, never felt truly genuine. I never felt the true spark on any of their parts, and I didn’t feel Celaena’s attraction to either guy. Unfortunately, the love triangle is one of the main points of the book, something I felt indifferent about.
Despite the flaws, Throne of Glass truly is action-packed from page one onwards. I can definitely see the appeal, and am interested, if a little wary, on reading the sequel.