Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

16034235Throne of Glass
(Throne of Glass, #1)
By: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published: Aug. 2, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:
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In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

 

1thoughtsThere has been so much hype surrounding this series and I usually try to stay away from books like that because I always end up disappointed in the end. However, that beautiful cover kept pulling me back in until I finally stopped resisting and borrowed it from my library. I’m happy to say that unlike a lot of hyped books, this one didn’t disappoint me.

Celaena is a well-known assassin. She was the best one out there until she was caught and sent to the mines to serve out her sentence. Now, you may be thinking the that the mines don’t seem like that big of a deal but it’s pretty much a death sentence. People don’t last more than a month in the mines and woman barely see half that time. Unfortunately, woman are brutalized down there by the overseers. Although Celaena was never raped, thanks to the fear she caused in everyone, she was mistreated. She was starved, beaten, and whipped on a regular basis. When the Captain of the Guard (Chaol) comes to escort her out of the mines, her state of health if not overlooked. She’s frail, pale, brittle dull hair, covered in blood, dirt, and grime, and has tattered clothes that are falling off of her body. She has no idea why the Captain of the Guard has shown up. She assumes it’s her execution day. However, it’s actually the start of a new beginning. The King is in need of a Champion. Someone who will get their hands bloody and do his dirty work for him. He has issued a competition where his council can select a champion of their choosing and they will all battle it out until only one remains. That champion will serve their time under his rule and then will be let free. The prince has chosen Celaena as his champion for the competition.

Celaena was an interesting character. I wasn’t sure if I would like her given the fact that she’s a stone cold killer. However, over time I warmed up to her. Just like over time she warmed up to everyone else and vise verse. At first Chaol doesn’t trust Celaena. He is always escorting her by grabbing her elbow or arm and leading her around the castle. He’s gruff with her and even though he is her trainer and spends a great deal of time with her, he never fully lets his guard down around her. It takes him a great deal to start to trust Celaena. However, Prince Dorian seems to trust her almost immediately. He sees something inside of her that speaks to him. Of course he is attracted to her but there’s something human about her. She doesn’t appear to be an assassin at all. Throughout all of this Celaena is opening up to the two of them and making friends with a Princess who is visiting the castle. The fact that everything wasn’t instantaneous but rather slow building really worked for me. After all, from a young age Celaena was trained to kill. Whenever she walks into a room she catalogs the exits and sizes up any enemies. So the fact that it takes her and everyone else to warm up to each other was something that I was grateful for. I’d have really hated it if everyone was a happy bunch right from the beginning.

There is a slight love triangle in here… if you can even call it that. I HATE them. So if you do as well, don’t be afraid because it’s not like that. Due to their slow building friendships, Price Dorian obviously takes a liking to Celaena and she him. He’s friendly with her, makes her laugh, and is always charming her. However, she feels safe with Chaol. He trains her, makes sure she can survive the trials and tests, and when push comes to shove he’s always there to protect her and helps her push through. He pushes her to be better, but at the same time he’s very distant with her. Not in a rude way but he’s Captain of the Guard and he’s in charge of training the infamous assassin of the country. No matter what feelings she brings out in him, he is always aware of her and is ready to stop any attack she may make. Like I said, there really isn’t a love triangle just a shadow of one. You see it simmering but it never actually boils over into one. Celaena doesn’t sit around pining for the two men. In fact if it weren’t for Prince Dorian being the aggressor I don’t think there would even be one. A lot of the story is of her training and adapting to her new surroundings while trying to stay alive and out of trouble.

This was a really enjoyable book to read. It had just what I was looking for in a book at the time. I needed adventure with a hint of romance and I got that. There’s even a little bit or magic/fantasy/paranormal stuff going on as well. I will definitely be picking up the second book to see what is in store for Celaena. She’s an interesting character and I’m curious to see what life has in store for her.

 

1favequote“In the garden, the Captain of the Guard stared up at the young woman’s balcony, watching as she waltzed alone, lost in her dreams. But he knew her thoughts weren’t of him.

She stopped and stared upward. Even from a distance, he could see the blush upon her cheeks. She seemed young—no, new. It made his chest ache.

Still, he watched, watched until she sighed and went inside. She never bothered to look below.”

kRISTIN

7 Thoughts on “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  1. Just like you I’ve heard so many things about this series, and decided to go pick up book one and two, when they were on clearance. I haven’t gotten around to picking them up, but your review makes me want to drop everything and do so.

    I can’t wait to see who Celaena is and what she’s about. Awesome review!

    Lisa
    http://www.turningpages94.blogspot.com

    • Well all I can say is make sure you have time to read them all back to back when you do finally sit down to read them. I am currently reading the 3rd book and I’m dreading the end since I will have to wait for the next book to come out. >.<

  2. Eeeep! It makes me SO HAPPY to see people getting into this series and enjoying it as much as I did 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed Celaena, Chaol and Dorian but obviously I’m the most happy that you hit it off with my favorite assassin. You’re right: she’s SUCH an interesting character, I couldn’t get enough! I HIGHLY recommend the prequel novella bind-up The Assassin’s Blade, it gives tons of background information on Celaena’s life before the Salt Mines and explains a lot of her behavior and attitude in ToG here. And if you enjoyed this one, you are going to LOVE Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire might just kill you with the feels it brings! I can’t wait to read your thoughts on those too^^ Awesome review! 🙂

    • The moment I finished ToG I started reading CoM (got them both at the same time). I finished that one the other day and went straight to the library to pick up HoF, which I’m reading now. Gah, this is such a good series. Definitely one I will be recommending to people who may be interested. I’ll have to pick up Assassin’s Blade when I go back to the library. 🙂

  3. Glad you liked it! I really need to start this series, it seems like everyone loves it. Like you, I tend to stay away from over-hyped books because I fear they will never live up to my expectations, but I think I might just give this one a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • You should. I was really surprised by this and found myself really excited to read it. It kind of reminded me or Maria V. Snyder’s “Study” series.

  4. I’ve read and loved it, and the Assassin’s blade, and Crown of midnight ! I also delayed reading it because of the hype but for once, it was deserved, I agree 😉

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