Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
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I finished this book in two sittings and even though I was supposed to be making flash cards for finals I just could not put this book down and my mind kept wandering back to the story.
Celaena Sardothien is Ardalan’s greatest assassin, a sort of criminal celebrity after being betrayed she is serving a sentence in Endovier the salt mines where the life expectancy of those who goes there is less then a month. Celaena has been there a year when the crown prince makes her an offer, become his champion in a tournament hosted by the king and earn her freedom or return to the mines. She chooses the tournament.
The world building in Throne of Glass was truly impressive. In high fantasy I often have a hard to getting to know the world and locations of things. Usually my rule of thumb is if the book starts out with a map in the front I expect to be confused for the first half of the book. That was not the case with Throne of Glass. The book jumps right into the story but there are no information dumps or elaborate explanations. Events and places are just clear and I feel like that is the mark of a great author, when they can transport me into a completely different world and I am seamless integrated into that society within the first few pages.
Celaena, the assassin, was absolutely amazing, I have read so many books where I expect the heroine to be strong and she ends up being dependent on a man for protection or just being generally whiney. Celaena was not like this at all! She was an absolute badass! Strong, Independent, a great fighter, and despite her situation in life she still smiles and laughs. I could not have asked for a better character then her. It was clear how much time and thought the author had spent on developing Calaena and her back story.
I also felt like all of the supporting characters were really fleshed out and each had their own unique history. I especially liked the Crown Prince, Dorian, who does a lot of growing in this novel. He starts off being portrayed as privileged, with daddy issues but he comes to be so much more then that and I really liked the complexity of his character. I also like Captain Westfall, who gave up his title to live with Dorian at the palace and who is in charge of guarding and training with Celaena. I liked that he takes his job so seriously and that his character while it grew throughout the story did not change his personality or prerogative.
I do have one minor complaint about the book though, and it actually has nothing to do the story itself. The back cover says something about two men loving her, this almost stopped me from reading the story. I am so tried of love triangles that I wanted to roll my eyes and put it back on the shelf. I am so very glad I didn’t because there is no love triangle in this book. There may be two guys interested in Celaena but I would not go so far as to say either of them love her, and there is definitely no love triangle. The romantic relationships in this story are second to the main plot and to Celaena’s total badass-ness!
Overall, I loved this book. The characters and story were so much deeper then I was expecting and the more I read the more pleasantly surprised I was. I highly recommend you pick this up right now!