Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Published: May 7th 2013
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In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
I’m not really sure what I can say about this book that hasn’t already be said. I’m admittedly late to the party on this series and almost missed it entirely. You see, I’m not a huge fantasy reader so I skimmed by this one. That was until I was told over and over again how good it is and even non-fantasy readers have loved it. I decided to take the plunge and the book was just fantastic. The story, the characters, the writing; it was all there.
Throne of Glass is about Celaena, an 18-year-old assassin that has been a prisoner in the salt mines. One day the Crown Prince, Dorian, and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, make her an offer. If she fights to become the King’s Champion and wins Dorian will give her her freedom after 4 years. If she loses she will return to the mines where her death will likely be met. With little choice, Celaena agrees and heads to the castle. With only thoughts of freedom, Celaena does what she has to to survive the competition. But that isn’t her only problem in the castle. When the champions start dying violently and a mystery is brought forth Celaena needs to figure out what is going on and fast before she is next. Add that to the fact that Princess Nehemia has befriended her and she has unexplained feelings for both Chaol and Dorian, freedom isn’t the only thing Celaena finds herself focused on.
The hard part of reviewing this book is getting out what I really loved about it. The story reminded me of The Hunger Games meets The Selection meets Divergent meets Dawson’s Creek. And I’m sure you are now looking at me like I’m crazy. Let me explain. Throne of Glass had elements of all of these books/show. It had the strong female lead like both Divergent and The Hunger Games, had the competition of Divergent and The Selection, and had the best friend with one girl feel from Dawson’s Creek (more in that). Basically, it took my favorite elements and put them all into one book making awesomeness. See, I make sense.
What I truly liked about the book most was the characters. Celaena was awesome. She had an edge to her but she was still a teenager with past demons. She was strong and did what she had to but she still felt things deeply no matter what people thought about her based on the fact that she was an assassin. I also really liked how easy her friendship with Nehemia was. Two girls from totally different backgrounds and standings just fit together like a lot of good friendships do. And Celaena’s interactions with both Dorian and Chaol were AMAZING. She had major chemistry with both, that’s for sure. Where it will go I don’t know, but I thank Maas for making it not really matter because both boys are awesome in their own right (not so secretly I’m a Chaol fan for life!).
Oh, those two boys. What to say about Dorian and Chaol. I’ll start with my Dawson’s Creek reference. Chaol is Pacey Witter to Dorian’s Dawson Leery. There was one scene that I read and I saw almost all of Dawson’s Creek playing in my head. These two guys were best friends, had been for years. Only Chaol would never live up to Dorian in his mind no matter what he tried. Dorian was a Prince and just not something Chaol could compete with. You could feel the disappointment in himself that fell off of Chaol in waves feeling like he was never enough. It was actually one of my favorite themes I found when reading. It wasn’t like Dorian was an awful tyrant that you hate. So not the case. It was more like I like a good underdog and that what Chaol is (and Pacey too for that matter). Either way, though I really liked their friendship and how they respected each other.
Like I said I’m not a huge fantasy reader. I’ve been trying to read more and more to broaden my reading and some have worked and some not so much. Throne of Glass…it worked and then some. It has gotten a lot of hype and Sarah J. Maas has gotten a lot of love and I can now say I get it. I 100% understand as this book should get that and more. Can’t wait to read the rest of the journey these characters embark on.