Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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.

Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
Source: Thanks to Bloomsbury USA Children's for making this title available on Netgalley.

My first reaction to this book was, 'OMG, an awesome YA Fantasy!'. I seriously loved the fact that Celeana is this badass, cutthroat chick that is so physically and mentally strong she has survived an entire year in a slave-run death camp. That's where you meet her in the story, when Prince Dorian pulls her out of the camp to compete for the chance to be King's Champion...and basically win her freedom from slavery forever. The main thing keeping this one from a higher rating for me was a large chunk of the middle of the novel that I got bogged down in. I was overall entertained and pleased with the book, but a lot of the mid-book stuff felt repetitive.

My first impressions of Celeana's character were all positive. She'd rather kill her rescuers than thank them. Dorian and Chaol, Captain of the Guard, don't trust her at all, but Dorian needs her help. Celeana was put in the slave camp because she was sold out by someone and was caught. Did I forget to mention she was the world's most infamous and astoundingly brutal assassin. Seriously? Awesome! You've got to love a girl that has all these big tough guys sweating that she's going to slit their throats open :) During the novel you get to see her opening up and showing her more sensitive side. I really loved the juxtaposition of those parts of her personality. My only complaint would be that I wished there had been more instances of her showing what made her such a feared assassin. The parts that were in it were amazing, and I'm pretty sure there will be a ton of that in the second book.

I also liked the romance in this book. It wasn't overdone, but added a nice layer to the story. I like (*ahem* LOVE) the strong, silent type so I am totally Team Chaol. There's still something very magnetic about Dorian and his transparency. I'd call this  a love-triangle-that's-not-really-a-triangle-but-still-kind-of-is-a-love-triangle kind of thing. Does that make sense? It's got the potential for one, but is still interesting without full love triangle status :) I'll shut up now...

An entertaining Fantasy read with enough magic to make things interesting without being overly complicated which will appeal to those that aren't automatically drawn to this genre. The characters are all nice and round, just like they should be :) I was giddy over the beginning of the novel, kind of 'meh' about the middle, then back to being excited towards the end.


Braine Talk Supe said...

I am bingeing on this and her 4 prequels next week! I need to know what the gushing is about!

Jackie M. said...

Yes, I keep hearing about the prequels! I wonder if maybe that helps supplement some of the characteristics of the main character that I felt were a bit lacking in this one. Still liked it overall though :)