Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Source: Personal shelf
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
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I’ve heard great things about Sarah J. Maas‘ YA fantasy debut, Throne of Glass, so I thought it was high time I gave it a shot. And I loved it! I read it in a single sitting, which unfortunately started pretty late last night.
Celaena is an 18-year-old world-famous assassin. She’s spent the past year labouring as a slave in the mines of Endovier after being betrayed and captured. She gets a shot at freedom when the Crown Prince of Adarlan offers her the opportunity to compete to become the King’s Champion. The catch? She hates the king. The catch, part the second? If she loses, she’s back in the mines. The result, a highly motivated, comparatively out-of-shape competitor. It’s not the first time this type of girl-versus-incredible-odds scenario has been used in recent years (ahem, Hunger Games) but Sarah J. Maas has built a fantastic world that stands well on its own.
The tournament is actually sort of secondary in the face of Celaena’s adjustment from slave to potential champion, and her burgeoning relationships with members of the court. And while I enjoyed the character development, I thought the action sequences in Throne of Glass were very well written. The tournament events were all quite interesting and Maas does a great job of writing the scenes in a way that makes it so easy to picture each moment, just like a movie.
There is something of a love triangle in Throne of Glass, with both the Crown Prince and his friend/commander being drawn to Celaena. Celaena is drawn to each of them in turn, for different reasons, and it’s easy to see why. They’re both really interesting guys, with lots going for them despite being only a few years older than her.
There are also some great moments exploring the history and future of the kingdom and the seeds that are placed in Throne of Glass leave me quite excited for future stories. In the meanwhile, I’ve recently purchased the four e-prequel novellas so I’m going to use them to tide me over until the next Throne of Glass book appears on shelves.
And here’s the book trailer:
P.S. There’s a nice pronunciation guide if you’re curious.