Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publish Date: August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Source: Began when received from publisher via NetGalley; Completed reading finished galley received at BEA
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.
Lord knows, I loved Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas to PIECES. So, WARNING: GUSHING AHEAD.
Where do I even BEGIN this ode of a review?
Let’s try starting with the obvious choice: Celaena Sardothien. Our main character and assassin extraordinaire. I could write poems about how much I adored Celaena. I love how friggin’ dangerous she is. You guys, everyone is so afraid of her and she revels in it, letting everyone know that if she chose to move against them, they’d be dead in seconds. Homegirl is a bad-ass.
But there’s more to her than just that. I love how Celaena, despite said badassery, can be emotionally vulnerable… and hey, sometimes an ordinary girl. Her year in Endovier has scarred her, both physically and emotionally. It grates on her that she is serving a Havilliard (Prince Dorian), when she considers the line of Havilliard royalty to be on a level that is just below scum. She can be vain, indulging herself in pretty dresses, and confident in her looks to win men over. She likes reading, is decent with music, and has a bit of a sweet tooth.
And now she’s in for the fight of her life as she fights to become a hated king’s Champion. Despite her initial confidence, the challenges are not exactly a piece of cake. She’s got to keep her identity a secret amongst forbidable competitors. If that’s not enough, the universe keeps piling more and more on top of her, but Celaena rolls with the punches. And one punch she didn’t see coming? A love triangle.
Sarah J. Maas, you win ALL the awards for pulling a love triangle off. Plot-wise it is usually a total turn-off for me, BUT that’s because in most novels it’s so contrived. NOT SO in Throne of Glass. There is no clear choice, no obvious indicator that Celaena prefers one man to the other.
…And I can’t make up my mind either because GUYS. I would happily take EITHER one of them off her hands.
Dorian is funny and witty. He’s a bit of a womanizer, but NO WONDER with those looks. He likes to read and is pretty damn in touch with his feelings. But his feelings make him stronger and his character progresses until by the end he stands up for what he believes in.
And then there is Chaol. Who is also– Um– yeah. Well he’s gorgeous, strong, and committed to his position. He’s a warrior. But unlike Dorian, he doesn’t trust his feelings. He believes they’ll make him vulnerable.
If I’d known these things when I met her in a line at BEA, I would have begged Sarah J. Maas to tell me who I should root for because LORD I cannot decide and it is driving me nuts. I went actively seeking spoilers from her time on Fictionpress because I need a Throne of Glass OTP!
Aside from the boys, Celaena builds relationships with other people for one of the first times in her life. Nehemia, a princess from a foreign land and Nox, one of the other competitors. Are either of these friendships in her best interests? Probably not, but isn’t that the point? She’s finally building relationships without ulterior motives! Big character growth step.
The world that Sarah J. Maas built is very well-constructed, pulling you right into its flaws and past. Making you visualize the gaudy palace and drawing you into the web of power plots at play. And lordy, are there plots and sub-plots galore, but they all serve a purpose and are resolved at least enough to complete the novel, but leave room for expansion in the rest of the series.
Overall rating: 5/5. Slap a label on me and call me a fangirl because Throne of Glass is one of my new favorite books EVER.