Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Paperback: 404 pages
Published: August 2nd 2012
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): “Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin.”
When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.
Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.
And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.
But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.
I figured I might as well hop on this bandwagon, since I’ve read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. My sister (and Pinterest) has been pestering me to read this one for well over a year now, and I’ve finally gotten round to it.
Guys, I think I may have found a new obsession.
Now, I can’t give this book five stars; it’s good, but the plot is nothing I haven’t read before. There’s a very Hunger Games ish vibe to it, and hey, I can’t complain. I love, love, love books with a competition theme to them – that being said, there were far too many Tests to keep up with. I get that they are all necessary for Celaena and the others to gain the title of Champion, but really?
Contrived plot aside, I found myself really enjoying the novel. I think that the stand out for Maas is her characters – you can’t help but find at least one to relate to.
Celaena, for example, is the epitome of ‘morally grey’. She’s Adarlan’s Assassin, for crying out loud; trained to kill from the age of eight. She’s witty, she’s badass; she’s like every other YA hero before her.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, those heroines were popular for a reason. Every now and then though, she does teeter on the edge of ‘Mary-Sue’ (aka, suffers no consequences for anything and can do no wrong).
One quirk that I really really like is that she enjoys stereotypically feminine things whilst still being terrifying beyond all reason. Wearing pretty dresses and playing piano in her free time? Sign me up! She also braids her hair back and wears, y’know, decent clothing to fight, rather than the ridiculous ‘female’ armor that so many heroines seem to wear these days. *sigh*
There’s a hint of a love triangle in this book too – Dorian and Chaol are the two love interests, and I’ve gotta say, I am firmly on Team Chaol. (At this point, anyhow. I’m sure that’ll change with future books.)
Dorian for me seems…well, a bit of a wet blanket. I can’t really think of anything else to say, besides the fact that he likes reading as much as Celaena does. (For someone training to be an assassin for the past ten years, I’m unsure she would have had much time to read. However, I’ll let it go.) All I really get from his description is that he has bright blue eyes and is trying to avoid being bullied by his father.
Chaol seems overprotective, even if he does know that Celaena can take care of herself. I like him far more though; the Captain of the Guard really does look out for her and I like how their dynamic grows throughout the book. All we really get from Chaol at this point is that he has brown eyes and also has father issues.
I have to applaud how the love triangle is handled; both guys are honest with each other, and there’s not a load of sniping and possessive fights going on. I am so down for people actually being happy for each other, honestly.
We also have *drum-roll*…a female friendship!!! Celaena and Princess Nehemia hit it off, and I enjoyed their scenes together. Yes, it is unlikely that they would have been allowed to spend so much time together, but for a breath of fresh air that doesn’t reek of jealous court ladies or male posturing, I’ll take it.
There are a couple of minor characters that I’ve somehow become fond of, despite one of them being dead before the start of the book and one of them disappearing never to be heard from again. I can live in hope that at least one of them will return at some point, I guess. *shakes head at self* Why do I always fall for the ones that are absent?
World-building is pretty good too, the map at the front of the book helping enormously. It’s not quite as simple as the Courts in ACOTAR, but it’s easy enough to follow and understand after a few chapters. The lore and countries aren’t delved into in much depth, but since there are six more books, I’ll let it slide. The plot line for this book is more important than trying to explain what exactly happened to the fae and Otherworlds.
I’ve already finished reading the sequel, so I’ll try to post a review for that one at some point. Does anyone have thoughts on this series? How do you think it compares to ACOTAR?