Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
By Sarah J. Maas
Published: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Hardcover, 416 pageAfter 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. --Goodreads
ReviewToo often, fantasies focus on the magic and setting, instead of the actual plot line. Plot lines propel a novel forward, making it an adventure to read, rather than a monotonous soap opera. Luckily, Throne of Glass does a fabulous job in creating an epic adventure of an assassin striving for freedom.
I was first incredulous when I picked up Throne of Glass. The four novellas released prior to Throne of Glass were all let downs. I was expecting this adventure of Celaena's to be another downward pit, but instead, I discovered a true assassin who was full of life, even after all she suffered in the past year.
Celaena seems to be an entirely different person from her past adventures in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, Desert, Underworld and Empire. She has wit, showcases her fighting ability and is a very emotional character. Before, she was an arrogant, foolish assassin who believed too much in her ability and made many mistakes. Throne of Glass reveals a new Celaena who has changed after her year in Endovier, which I found intriguing to see and read about.
Love triangles are often overdone or pointless, as I have mentioned before. There are so many instances in which the love triangles are obvious from the beginning, e.g. Twilight saga, The Mortal Instruments series and Nightshade trilogy. Each of the examples present a love triangle with one relationship of obvious attraction, and one that is a lost cause. The love triangle in Throne of Glass is not the main focus of the book, which is pleasant. Rather, it's a plot device used to show the characters' hidden pain and emotions that otherwise would not be present. It is refreshing to see three characters who are all emotionally scarred in his or her own way bonding together because of their emotional pain. Romance is a subtle element of this book, but has a strong presence lingering through the pages.
I really enjoyed Throne of Glass to my surprise. I usually love all fantasies, but Throne of Glass has received some mixed reviews, so I was a little worried. There are those who complained about the mystery being too obvious and Celaena being bratty or ridiculous. The mystery was a bit odd, I admit, considering the magical aspects of Throne of Glass were briefly skimmed over in the beginning. Celaena did start out irritating in the novellas, but Throne of Glass has a heroine who will do anything to achieve her goals of freedom, making her a relatable character. Sarah J. Maas does a wonderful job in tying up some knots in Throne of Glass' conclusion, but still leaving many questions unanswered. In fact there are still many questions running about in my head, just waiting to be answered in Throne of Glass' sequel that I am dying to read.