Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Throne of Glass- Sarah J Mass

404 pages

Published August 7th 2012
Bloomsbury USA Children's

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.


Wow...even though the synopsis seemed so promising, I had no idea that the book would be this staggeringly good. Maybe it's my preference for badass female protagonists or the epic like feel the story had, but Throne of Glass was brimming with awesomeness. The writing style, the world building, the characters, the fast paced plot, the romantic aspect of it, the love triangle....all of it presented a mind blowing combo of paranormal fantasy and romance.

The story starts with Adarlan's ruthless assassin Celaena Sardothien being brought to the Crown Prince Dorian by the Captain of Guard Chaol from the dreary salt mines of Endovier, where she had been working as a slave after being captured a year ago. Dorian tells her about the competition his father- the King- is hosting to select a Champion for the Kingdom. 24 participants from all over the Empire are to participate in the dangerous tournament full of gruelling tests and life threatening situations to earn the prestigious title. Though there are no warm and fuzzy feelings in Celaena's heart for the evil King who was responsible for the murder of her late lover and parents along with her agonising imprisonment, she agrees to take part in the competition as Dorian's champion in exchange for her freedom after four years of service. Not that the alternative was anything worth considering, what with Endovier being a death camp. I was a little nauseated at the amount of pain and suffering Celaena had to endure in the mines and as a part of her training to be an assassin. The whipping, near starvation.....breaking hands to learn swordplay???!!

The three depart for Rifthold where the competition is to be held in a ginormous glass castle and Celaena is introduced to her adversaries- who range from seasoned soldiers thrown out from the army for questionable behaviour and notorious thieves to psychopathic murderers and ferocious assassins. But as the competition progresses Champions start getting killed in the most gruesome ways and weird symbols are always found at the murder sites. Stuck in a perilous situation and surrounded by enemies, Celaena has to battle her way through all obstacles to save her life and those of her friends. But with power, position and freedom at stake, it's impossible to trust anybody....

I loved Celaena's character. She was everything I love in a female protagonist- cunning, brave, decisive...a bit cocky and arrogant (but I guess she's allowed that liberty by virtue of being THE most feared and revered assassin of the Kingdom). She is definitely not a damsel in distress and and can kick butt of men four times her size. Yes....definitely likeable! I liked that she was clear about her priorities and wasn't afraid to take a stand for what she thought was right. Her impulsiveness and straight forward behaviour were also appreciable.

“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.”

I was completely torn between Chaol and Dorian though. Where Dorian was the charming prince trying to stand up to his manipulative and iniquitous bastard of a father, Chaol was the cool, supportive and level headed instructor and friend. I loved how Chaol was always calm in every situation, believed in Celaena's abilities and was so understanding. The banter between Celaena and Chaol was amusing and engaging and although I loved Dorian and his smartass comments I found myself secretly rooting for Chaol.

“As my friend, you should either bring me along, or keep me company."
"Friend?" he asked.
She blushed. "Well, 'scowling escort' is a better description. Or 'reluctant acquaintance', if you prefer.” 

“How long was I asleep?" she whispered. He didn't respond. 
"How long was I asleep?" she asked again, and noticed a hint of red in his cheeks. 
"You were asleep, too?" 
"Until you began drooling on my shoulder.” 

Aaaghh....Looks like I've found a new book-boyfriend to obsess over....

The plot was a complete winner and kept me hooked on until the end. I liked the ending and Celaena's choice...but damn if it didn't make me wish AND whine for MORE! This defintely made my best books read in 2013 list....WAAANNNTTT MOOORREEE...

Rating: 5/5 stars!

After this I NEED Crown of Midnight NOW.....August seems AEONS away!!!


Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

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