Friday, 15 June 2012
Review: Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, a seventeen-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's about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?
Throne of Glass Series:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Novella)
The Assassin and the Desert (Novella)
The Assassin and the Underworld (Novella)
The Assassin and the Empire (Novella)
The Assassin's Blade (Anthology containing all 5 prequel novellas)
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire
Queen of Shadows
Visit Sarah J Maas' website for more information
Celaena Sardothien has only made one mistake in her career as one of the most infamous assassins and that was getting caught. She may only be seventeen but her sentence was life working in the Endovier salt mines, a place so bad that most people don't survive more than a couple of months there. A year into her hellish imprisonment Celaena knows there is no chance of escape and is resigned to dying there. However, a surprise visit from Captain Chaol Westfall gives her a glimmer of hope. If she agrees to be Prince Dorian's representative in a tournament to become the king's assassin she can earn her freedom. But first she must survive a fight to the death against the country's strongest competitors and even if she manages to win she must serve the king for 5 years before she will be allowed to leave.
I have been desperate to get my hands on Sarah J Maas' debut novel for months now so I jumped at a chance of reviewing it early for Bloomsbury. I'm not one of the people who read the book in it's original online format but I've heard so many good things about the series and I absolutely loved the prequel novellas introducing Celaena and her world. Celaena is a fantastically flawed heroine - she is strong, smart, beautiful, brave, kick ass and snarky but she is also vain, proud, over confident and arrogant. I think it is her flaws that make her so easy to like, she isn't perfect but she is always true to herself. You realise as you get to know her that underneath her arrogance there is a vulnerability that she tries hard to hide from the world. She has been raised from a young age to be an assassin and was always taught that it was a weakness to rely on anyone else so you can see how she ended up the way she did. I love the fact that she knows her own beauty and uses it to her advantage and I also love the way she loves shopping and wearing pretty clothes - it just goes to prove that you can be feminine and kick ass at the same time.
I did find myself a little frustrated at the way she was drawn to both of the men in her life but if I'm honest they are both rather attractive in their own ways so I think most girls would be tempted. Personally I'm a bigger fan of Chaol - it was so funny watching him try to deny his attraction to her and the way he looks out for her and tries to help her was really sweet. I loved the fact that he doesn't underestimate her abilities - he is the only one who always remembers what she is capable of but who cares for her and comes to trust her in spite of this. I wasn't as keen on Dorian at first, he comes across as a spoilt and selfish prince who spends his time womanising and doing anything he wants as long as it will bring him pleasure. However, as you get to know him you start to see how trapped he is by his family - his father is a conqueror who wants his son to follow in his footsteps and even his mother is determined to push him into marriage so he can produce an heir to the throne. You'd think that a prince would be free to make his own choices but that is far from the case and I ended up feeling quite sorry for him as I got to know him better. I still think I want Celaena to end up with Chaol because I feel they are more like equals in terms of abilities but I won't be too disappointed if Dorian wins her heart.
Sarah J Maar has a beautifully descriptive writing style that pulls you into the world she has created and makes you want to stay there. I found it very hard to put the book down but I also found myself trying to read as slowly as possible so I could savour the journey. I was disappointed to reach the end of the last page because I wanted to spend more time with the characters. The majority of the story is told from Celaena's point of view but I really liked the way we got occasional chapters from different perspectives as it allowed us to get inside the heads of some of the secondary characters.
Throne of Glass is a captivating debut that will appeal to any high fantasy fan but I would highly recommend giving it a try even if you don't usually read that genre. If you like your heroines realistic and a story full of intense action, political intrigue and beautiful world building then you'll love this book. I can't wait to read more from this author!
Source: Received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review
Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.
Paperback / Kindle