Series: Throne of Glass,
Published by A&C Black on August 2nd 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Action & Adventure, General, Fantasy & Magic, Royalty
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land.
Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?
Celaena Sardothien is everything! I’ve been wanting to read Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass since it first came out, but it’s kind of hard to read all the books. Instead, the book has lingered on my TBR list through its release, and the release of three sequels and a collection of novellas. The longer I waited, the more I feared I’d be disappointed by all the hype and anticipation aimed towards this series. I was wrong. Throne of Glass really is a YA series for fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.
“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”
― Sarah J. Maas,
Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is a wold-renowned trained assassin who we first meet in the dark salt mines of Endovier, where she’s being imprisoned for her crimes. When she is visited by Captain Westfall who offers her freedom in exchange for representing the prince in a death-match tournament against the greatest thieves and assassins in the land. If she can beat them, she’ll win the title of being the “King’s Champion,” and her freedom after a certain number of years of servitude. What Celaena doesn’t count on is being attracted to the Captain and Crown Prince, or getting sucked into a magical mystery that has the power to destroy the known world.
Celaena is one tough cookie. She’s been hardened by her circumstances, yet still hasn’t lost the emotions of a girl her age. In the beginning of the story, we first encounter a vain, arrogant young woman who’s bent on vengeance against the king who destroyed her family. Throughout the book we see her transform into a woman who realizes she is even more powerful than she first believed, and that the very people she fought against may not be what they appear. Celaena makes some friends along the way, and even lets her heart get captured by two of the unlikeliest men.
“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”
― Sarah J. Maas,
Many heroines have been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Buffy Summers, but I think Celaena Sardothien comes incredibly close. Petite, blonde, and seemingly fragile, Celaena makes the perfect assassin for how unassuming she appears. Her character could easily have been written as a caricature, but Maas imbues her with a fragility that makes her seem all too human, instead of a Terminatrix hellbent on revenge. She’s not the only character that’s well-developed.
Dorian, the Crown Prince, is not just the pampered noble he first appears. Inside of him lies a man who wants the best for his empire and people. He’s very well read, and educated, and recognizes the injustices his father bestows on his subjects. It will be interesting to see how he evolves over the course of the series.
Captain Westfall is also very interesting. A noble himself, Chaol gave up his title to become the head of the King’s Guard. At first he’s distrustful of Celaena, but the more time they spend together he realizes that there’s more to her than he first realized. Despite his growing feelings, Chaol’s sense of honor and decorum keeps him from expressing his true feelings to Celaena. Instead, Chaol watches from the sidelines as the woman he’s beginning to love falls under Dorian’s spell. I’m so tired of love triangles, but this one is very well-written. Both men are worthy of Celaena’s heart, and vice-versa. Unlike many YA love triangles, the object of the guys’ affection isn’t some undeserving Mary Sue, but a fully realized female character. I can’t wait to see how this develops, and based on how this book ends, I have a feeling Maas will keep me guessing.
Nehemia is another kick-ass female character, and becomes Celaena’s best friend. A foreign princess, Nehemia is treated with disdain and suspicion by most of the characters in the book. However, like everyone else, she’s more than she first appears. I really enjoyed the idea of a foreign royal determined to save her people from the same fate that has befallen other nations that conquered by the King. Nehemia is very smart, and I believe she’ll make a great sidekick for Celaena down the line. I’m also curious to see if Nehemia winds up married to Dorian in some sofrt of political alliance down the road, as it’s already been foreshadowed in the book.
Do I Recommend?
Most definitely! Throne of Glass is a riveting fantasy novel filled with political intrigue, romance, and mystery. The world building is amazing, and the charfacters are very well-developed. I really loved how there wasn’t a Mary Sue in sight, and I hope it stays that way. With the plot of the story being what it is, it would have been easy for many of the villains, and even Celaena herself, be cookie-cutter characters, yet the depth of them makes this world feel real and alive. I would recommend this story for fans of Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.