Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #1)

Expected publication: August 7th, 2012 by Bloomsbury
Source: ARC from the publishers at BEA 2012
Format: Paperback ARC
Grade rate: A+

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.

My Review

What an awesome book!  Throne of Glass is an amazing debut but author Sarah J. Maas, and one you should put at the top of your TBR list.

Celaena is an incredible kiss-ass heroine.   She is snarky, sarcastic, realistic, loyal, smart, beautiful, and all together awesome.  I really enjoyed getting to know her, although I suspect there is a lot more to learn about her and her past.  Celaena is a survivor that was forced to be an assassin, and just not any assassin, but the best there is.  She is surprisingly girly and well-read and educated (I’m sure we can all sympathize with a fellow book-lover), and hard to impress.  

Prince Dorian and Chaol are also outstanding characters.  They are both in awe with Celeana for their own reasons.  Dorian because she is straightforward and doesn’t act like the simpering ladies in court, and Chaol because he is impressed with her skill, her femininity, and her resilience.  This, my friends, is the beginning of a beautiful friendship and a possible love triangle.  However, at this point, I’m not sure who to team up with, although I have a soft spot for Chaol.

"He saw her face each time he closed his eyes. She haunted his thoughts, made him wish to do grand and wonderful things in her name, made him want to be a man who deserved to wear a crown." - Dorian

"There was still something soft in her face. It gave him hope - hope that he had not lost his soul in the act of killing, hope that humanity could still be found, and honor could be regained... She had come out of Envovier and could still laugh" - Chaol

The characterization is altogether remarkable.  I find Nehemia mysterious and delightful, Phillipa is a quiet accomplice, the king is odious, and even Fleetfoot has a strong personality.  Overall, the characters are part of what makes this an amazing story.

Celaena reminds me a bit of Katsa from Graceling, but just on their knack for survival and all around kiss-assery.   The plot is so well crafted, full of twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes.  The story is told in the third person point of view, which allows is an insight into many 'minds' at once.  A lot happens within these pages and the true triumph is that could have happy kept on reading.  The setting is another splendid aspect of Throne of Glass, as it is very well developed. From the mines, to the forest, to the glass or stone castle; visiting Adarlan was a true adventure.  The writing is surprisingly insightful, straightforward and easy to understand (this is a plus when reading fantasy!)  Throne of Glass made me laugh-out-loud, scream ‘Get up!’ and bite my nails – it is a truly amazing book! 

I cannot wait to read the sequel or the four pre-novellas that were just published (see them here).  Thorne of Glass is a must read (really, pre-order it now!).

About the cover:  It is a beautiful cover, we can see the glass castle on the background and Celeana with a dagger (although I think she’s showing too much skin for the setting ;).

Have you read Throne of Glass yet?  Do you like to read fantasy?  Do you like this type of heroine?

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1 comment:

  1. I really want to read this book! It is on my list. Your review was great and made me even more excited to read it. Loved the quotes! Thanks for pointing out the details in the cover. :)


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