Monday, May 30, 2016

Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2012 (Hardcover)
Length: 404 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: May 17, 2016
Finished: May 30 2016

From the inside cover:

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King's Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she'd have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle - and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival - and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.

This has been recommended to me so many times (including by other teacher coworkers) so I finally got around to reading this. It isn't as impressive as I anticipated, and I think I'm more of a fan of the author's newest work, A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Celaena Sardothien, known as Adarlan's Assassin, is serving a prison sentence in the mines of Endovier when the Crown Prince comes to visit her with news that she has the choice to compete in a series of tests to determine the King's Champion, his own personal assassin, and that if she serves a number of years in this role, she will obtain her freedom. Celaena accepts and travels with the prince, Damian, and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, to Rifthold, where Damian's father rules Adarlan.

Once the twenty-four contestants have all gathered in Rifthold, the competition begins; however, competitors soon turn up dead, mutilated in the most horrible ways. Celaena realizes that something sinister is at work, and since she is a competitor and also a target, she decides to investigate.

The premise is interesting, and Celaena is a pretty kick-ass heroine, but there were a couple of things that irked me. Celaena is described as being this amazing assassin, but I felt she was too flightly: obsessed with her appearance and lets her guard down easily. Plus, I felt the romance between Celaena and Damian was a little too into insta-love territory, it wasn't really believable, at least in my opinion. Granted, I do like the fact that Celaena is a massive bookworm and spends all her time in the castle's library, so that redeemed her quite a bit, and I do really like Chaol's character.

I like the author's new series better, but this one is still worth the read.

Thoughts on the cover:
I loathe this cover, it makes Celaena look like a beauty queen rather than an assassin. Granted, this is an old cover, and the new cover looks more appropriate (see below).

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