Title: Throne of Glass (#1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Synopsis: 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.
Rating: 4 and a half stars
Review: Okay, what the heck did I just read?! I’ve heard so much about this book series before, so I was expecting it to not quite live up to all the hype, since I didn’t absolutely love the very hyped ‘Fangirl’, but this was absolutely AMAZING!
Celaena (I think it’s pronounced like Selena) Sardothien is an assassin – the best of the best – but she got caught, so now she’s serving a life sentence in a salt mine. That is, until she’s offered her freedom in exchange for being the King’s Assassin. Thing is, though, she has to compete in a to-the-death tournament for the place. Throughout her time at the castle, she has her head turned by the handsome Prince Dorian, and gets entangled in events that she doesn’t quite understand.
I’m going to try and make this review as spoiler-free as possible, but I’m still reeling over how good this book is, so forgive me if I become incoherent.
First of all, Celaena herself is a heroine I actually really like. She’s tough, and a bit of a smart-ass, and she’s not suffering from a hero complex or high narcissism so I liked her even more for that. Also, her friendship with Nehemia (the visiting princess) was something I enjoyed reading. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of girlfriends either, I felt like Nehemia was befriending both of us.
Now onto the guys – this was really hard to choose who I liked, because both Chaol and Dorian endeared themselves to me. On one hand, Dorian is charming and he’s a prince, but Chaol trusts her implicitly – at least further on in the book – and he’s just so sweet…AARGH! Who do I choose?! The perils of a YA book lover.
I couldn’t put this book down – except when I was forced to do other things – because it was just so gripping. I haven’t found a really good fantasy book like this in a while, so that was a great refresher. This is officially shelved as one of those books I’ll definitely read again. Now, I just need to get my own copy, because this is a library copy I’ve just read, and because the cover is just so pretty!
It’s not quite a five star book, but I’d definitely recommend it to fans of ‘Graceling’ or the Pellinor series.