Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.38
T.B.Published: August 7th, 2012.
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.
"She stalked towards him, keeping her sword sheathed at her side. Verin's grin widened as he lifted his blade.
He swung, but Celaena struck, ramming her fist into his arm, sending the blade soaring through the air. In the same breath, her pam hit his left arm, knocking it aide too. As he staggered back, her leg came up, and Verin's eyes bulged as her foot slammed into his chest. The kick sent him flying, and his body crunched as it hit the floor and slid out of the ring, instantly eliminating him. The hall was utterly silent.
"Mock me again," she spat at Verin, "and I'll do that with my sword the next time." She turned from him, and found Brullo's face slack. "Here's a lesson for you, Weapons Master," she said, stalking past him. "Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I'll bother trying."I thought this story was thoroughly original overall with the plot and world setting. But It took it's sweet ass time at the beginning. It only got really interesting for me around page 200, but after page 200? Oh it got good. I believe the first slow half of it was totally worth the complete product. Throne of Glass has inside it's pages a world full of assassins, politic shenanigans, heart throb "romance", and magic.
Basically the king of Adarlan thinks exactly like the Fire Lord in Avatar the Last Airbender series. Their kingdoms are the best and so they absolutely have to take over the whole world and rule it as absolute rulers. Maybe they are cousins. Anyways, The king of Adarlan wakes up one morning and decides that he needs a "champion" to take care of his special brand of dirty work and so he sends out a challenge for people to look for the strongest/fastest/awesome-nest they can find in order for them to compete for the title. 24 go in, only one can come out as the victor. And this is where our favourite assassin makes an appearance.
"But she—at seventeen—had gone to a death camp. And survived. She'd survived Endovier, and yet could still laugh."Celaena Sardothien. Adarlan's assassin. And a pain in the ass at that. At the beginning of the novel the one word I would have used to describe Celaena was arrogant. DAMN was she full of herself, and not even one event in sight to prove how "good" she was. It was hard to connect with her. But as the novel progressed I found myself liking Celaena more and more. From her willingness to save others at the expense of her pride, to her obsession with dresses and dances. Yes, this is an assassin with a girly side. Imagine that! By the end of the novel I kept thinking how she is a very well rounded character, and one that feels real to the reader because she has faults as well as strengths and she embraces both sides of herself. She is definitely still arrogant and vain, but she is also brave, cunning, beautiful, and kick ass.
Now for the "romantic" interests of the novel. There is Dorian, the prince. He is both wicked and charming...
"Are you my present, or is there something in that basket at your feet?" She asked.
"If you'd like to unwrap me," he said, lifting the large wicker basket onto the table, "we still have an hour until the temple service."Dorian at the beginning is just like Celaena, arrogant and kind of a jerk. I couldn't stand him at the beginning, but again there is something about this book. The characters that I started off disliking are the ones I liked most by the end. Let's just say Dorian proved himself to be a little more than charming. He was cute and put himself out there and tried. He still has a lot of growth left in him, but I couldn't help but love him.
...and Chaol, the guardian.
"There was still something soft in her face. It gave him hope—hope that he had not lost his soul in the act of killing, hope that humanity could still be found, and honor could be regained..."Chaol, on the other hand was boring for me. Too shy for his own good really. He was bland; most of the time I pictured him being played by an old man, imagine that!
There are some extra characters that also leave a mark on you like Nox, another assassin who I really liked, Nehemia, the rebellious princes (who might kick more ass than Celaena herself), and even Kaltain, annoying as she was you still felt sorry for her.
The tests that the contestants had to go through on the other hand were more than a little unoriginal. I expected something more creative and exciting, but oh well.
The ending though was exciting. Though I don't like how things were left off in the romance department I still expect a good fight between our heart contestants. Who knows who will win, could be either really, but I am rooting for Dorian. There's just something about Dorian. I also am really interested in what will happen with the magic part of the story, the war, and our complex assassin and her background.
This is one worth buying. Can't wait for the second one!
PS; Read an ARC copy provided at BEA in exchange for an honest review. Quotes subject to change in the final product.