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? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. - Summary from Goodreads
The prickly and deadly Celeana is given a reprieve from her sentence of manual labor. She's lucky to have even survived the salt mines, therefore a test of her skill shouldn't be so difficult. Or is it? This fantasy novel was one of my most anticipated book releases of the year, yet I'm posting this a very long time after finishing it. Regardless of my serious slothfulness towards my blog, I really think this book has done it. It's a gem, guys.
I had no issues with the pacing or the plot itself. It had me glued to its pages. In between her elimination trials and physical training, Celaena found herself in court life befriending the prince and devouring books and I not once found myself bored. I think that's because of the fantastic mystery of the dead criminals. Her adversary would-be champions keep ending up dead and Celaena has to figure out who is killing them. If she attracts too much attention, she could end up the next target. The mystery is creepy, gruesome, and all around an amazing plot.
In addition to the plot, the characters themselves bring life to this story. Chaol is by far my favorite. He's the young Captain Westfall, best friend to the prince and often the serious one in the room. In contrast, Prince Dorian is vastly misunderstood and hilarious. He's also completely enamoured of Celeana, who undertakes a serious personality transformation. Other reviewers have said that Celaena has some issues. I totally agree. But it is not without purpose. Over the course of the book, Celaena goes from having practically no soul to becoming a puppy-loving, dress wearing softie who knew how to survive. I think the girl was there all along, she just was icey to protect herself. Don't get me wrong, though. By the end of the book she was just as frustrating as ever, I'm just a sucker for main characters who are flawed.
As a fantasy book, there will obviously be some amount of world building. Throne of Glass has the perfect amount of myth, legend, and mystery in its fantasy world. It doesn't confuse the reader or overwhelm the plot one bit. In fact, I'm intrigued. I want to know more about the group of assassins Celaena was a part of and the history in the queen long since dead.
Throne of Glass has got it going on in all the right places for a fantasy reader. Assassins, criminals, princes, hot guards, magic, pretty dresses, and even a friggin puppy. I honestly dare you to dislike this book! I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one.
Find Throne of Glass:
Find Sarah J. Maas: