Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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.

Title: Throne of Glass

Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published: August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children's
ISBN: 1599906953 (ISBN13: 9781599906959)

The book starts off with an amazing plot, there is a girl whose parents were murdered while she was a child, so she was forced to live on the streets, and an assassin took her up and trained her. Eventually she was caught and sent to a labor camp at the age of seventeen where most people die within months, but she managed to stay alive. She is then given the choice to become the King's champion for four years in exchange for her freedom. In order to become the champion however, she must compete against other criminals to the death. Seems like an interesting plot, doesn't it? The book didn't really meet my expectations though. I was waiting for more actions while we were given more romance. Normally, I would never complain about such a thing. For me, the romance and relationships are one of my most favorite parts in a story, but in this book it wasn't something that was needed. 

In Throne of Glass one aspect of the book that was so different from other novels is that the main character, Celaena, never feels sorry for herself, nor does she call herself plain and ugly. She was beautiful and smart, and she never doubted her own abilities, which at times came off as slightly arrogant. This fact slightly ruined how the competition would turn out, since it was so painfully obvious who would win.
"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." 
"Here's a lesson for you, Weapons Master," she said, stalking past him. "Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I'll bother trying."
Was that being narcissistic or strength? Personally, I believe it was a little of both.  

When Chaol was training her for the competitions, I felt that his advice was very similar to that in the Hunger Games. Though I do think it was harder for Celaena because she was so used to being the girl who showed off her talents without reservation.
"You're going to keep a low profile throughout the entire competition... You're going to stay solidly in the middle, where no one will look your way, because you're not a threat, because they'll think that you'll be eliminated sooner or later, and they should focus their attention on getting rid of bigger, stronger, faster champions like Cain. 
"But you're going to outlast them,' Chaol continued. "And when they wake up the morning of the final duel and find that you are their opponent, and that you have beaten them, the look on their faces will make all of the insults and lack of attention worthwhile." 
Another one of my favorite characters was Nehemia, she was so interesting yet underestimated simply because of her nationality, but if I were to get on the wrong side of her, I'd definitely be scared out of my wits. I hope to see more of these girls' strengths and endeavors in the coming books. It was overall and interesting read, so I applaud Maas in an interesting debut novel.

"Guard are of no use in a library.' Oh, how wrong he was! Libraries are full of ideas - perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons." -Celaena Sardothien
Book Nerd and Proud,

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