TITLE: Throne of Glass
AUTHOR: Sarah J. Maas
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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 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 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.
I had conflicting opinions about Celaena, the main character, in the first part of the novel. At first I was sympathetic given her situation (you know, labor camp…), but then she opened up her mouth and sounded really arrogant. I guess, in a way, she does have a right to boast, but her obnoxiousness kind of annoyed me. However, she proved to be a different person once you got to know her better and learned her true values and beliefs. She wasn’t the only character who occasionally annoyed me, though. There were other moments when I wanted to yell “What the @!#$* are you doing!” to some of the other characters (cough, Dorian…).
Another thing that bothered me about Throne of Glass was the love triangle. The stupid, annoying love triangle. To make it even worse, the two guys involved were best friends and their friendship suffered because of it. The friendships in the novel were one of the things I really liked. I liked the friendship between Dorian and Chaol, the Captain. I liked the interesting friendship that developed between Celaena and Nehemia, the foreign Princess. But I did not like the romance. Celaena’s life is on the line – when does she have the time for romance? Also, while the result of the love triangle was kinda satisfying, I felt like it was the easy way out. View Spoiler »– she decided not to pick either one of them. « Hide Spoiler
And then, after flipping through all those pages, I didn’t really get a sense of who Celaena was. I know who she is now, but what about before? What went down to send her to the labor camp? Parts of her background that I think would be key to understanding her were either missing or lightly scanning over. This is part of what made me devour the book so fast, wanting to know more, but the lack of information disappointed me. I felt some specifics were missing or incomplete, and it wasn’t just Celaena that was missing info, but some other things were too.
The fantasy aspect of the novel didn’t really become evident later in the book. At first I thought it was just a dystopian novel, not a fantasy one. But the mythology was really interesting. It did take some time to really understand it and it was subtly introduced. I felt that the mystery, action and fantasy made up for all its other problems. I was never bored and because of that, I was able to ignore some of the issues with the book and enjoy a good story.
I thought Throne of Glass was a really great read. I really loved the friendships that were developed, as well as the fantasy that became evident later on, the action that occurred and the mystery that surrounded it. Although I thought there were plot holes, a stupid annoying love triangle, and characters who could be annoying at times, I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I would recommend Throne of Glass for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.