Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Heroes/Heroine: Celaena Sardothien, Chaol Westfall, & Prince Dorian (Sorta)
Genre: M/F YA Fantasy
Length: 404 pages
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Available at: Bloomsbury, Amazon & Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: 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.
You know when you’ve just finished a great book and you sit there thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to review this?” Yeah, well, that’s exactly how I felt once I finished Throne of Glass.
To say I adored the story would be a gross understatement. I devoured this book within hours (as a slow reader that’s an amazing thing) and even bought the print editions of not just the first but the second book, Crown of Midnight, and the collection of short stories, The Assassin’s Blade, right after I finished it.
Throne of Glass is about Celaena Sardothien, who earned the title of Adarlan’s Assassin, before she was caught and sentenced to slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier. Now a year after her sentencing, an unexpected offer comes her way in the form of Adarlan’s Crown Prince, who gives her the option of her freedom… for a price. All she has to do is defeat twenty-three other candidates for the role of King’s Champion. If she wins, three years of service is all that separates her from complete freedom.
The story is centered around Celaena’s fight for that freedom, the numerous tests she has to compete in to advance to the next round but most of all, Celaena’s just been thrust into a new and unfamiliar world where evil magic is being used to kill off her competitors. On top of that, she has the Captain of the Guard who hates her and doesn’t trust her and the Crown Prince who’s getting a little too close for everybody’s comfort. Will she claim the title of King’s Champion or will all her efforts be for nothing?
Honestly, there’s so much that happens I don’t want to spoiler any of it. Some people won’t like this book because of the simple fact it’s not strictly a romance. While I’m also hesitant to call it Young Adult (things get very gruesome at times), I will admit that there’s ‘hints’ of a romance brewing. Actually, there’s hints that a love triangle is already starting and while I normally don’t like love triangles, it worked very well in this story because the possible love interests are so different. One of them I believe suits Celaena better than the other but that’s just my opinion (and I’m also biased because I just adored Chaol ^_^). Also, readers should be aware that these characters are very young; Celaena is only eighteen, Dorian is nineteen and Chaol is twenty-two.
One thing I loved about this book, though, was the characters. While Celaena is the main voice, POV shifts to multiple people that are significant to the story. Some of them I liked more than others (a personal preference because I hated Kaltain) but all were what made the story the way it is. As characters, Celaena, Chaol and Dorian are all very well in-depth. Celaena, while an assassin, is a little rusty in her skills but she’s also emotionally damaged in more ways than one. She’s surly and flippant but makes it her goal to get a rise out of Chaol or Dorian if she can. She has a lot of layers that still haven’t been uncovered but I loved being able to see some of them being peeled back by Chaol and Dorian. Most of all, Celaena is a fragile, vulnerable young woman who needs protecting in some ways and Chaol and Dorian unintentionally give her that. Dorian is the classic charming prince although he’s one that is disgusted with his father, the King. He’s not quite a man but Celaena makes him want to become one. Chaol is an intriguing mix between a sad, lost man and a severe, all business captain. All three characters are very young and, honestly, still have a lot of maturing to do even though they’ve been forced to live through some harsh realities.
As a huge fan of fantasy, one of the things I look forward to the most is the new world I get to discover. With Throne of Glass, while we don’t get a full detailed description of this new place as a whole, I have no doubt we’ll get more of it as the series progresses and Celaena journeys to different countries. What there is of the world, is phenomenal. I loved that it was a mix of a historical setting and a fantasy one with a flair of magic but the brutality that has consumed the world since the King has been decimating countries was interesting to read about and also quite sad.
In the end, this was an amazing story. I loved experiencing the growth in all the characters, as well as, seeing the tests that Celaena has to go through, not to mention the secondary characters made things more interesting. The mystery surrounding the evil inside the castle was a blast to uncover and while I have questions about some of the things that happened during the book, I think I’ll get my answers as we learn more about Celaena and why she’s so important to everything.
I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fantasy lover, who doesn’t mind the romance developing over several books because while there’s only a hint of it in Throne of Glass, I have a feeling it’s going to be an epic one by the time the series finishes!
Overall Impression: It was amazing!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*