Throne of Glass
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 four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. 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.
There are two different covers to this book. One is here: rather badass, to be honest. The other is the one I used. I think this one is more accurate. Very pretty girl with unnatural eyes that you can only tell is a warrior by a dainty knife strapped to her arm. To me, this is Celaena Sardothien. Why? Because she’s a conceited pain in the ass who only barely resembles an assassin.
- OH MY GOD THE INTRODUCTION. The first five or so chapters were painful to me. They included everything I hate in a fantasy novel: UTTERLY unpronounceable names/names that are simple but are spelled in the most ridiculous/fantastical fashion; a truly stupid and ridiculous male authority figure; a protagonist who can’t stop talking about how great she is; a protagonist who can’t stop talking about how pretty she once was; and an immediate love interest that gains the lustful attention of someone who should have better things on her mind.
- For being the greatest badass that ever lived (supposedly), Celaena is given no opportunity to show off how great she is until the last two or three chapters of the novel. That’s A LOT of listening to how great she is, from both herself and others, without any proof. It gets tiring to listen to that kind of stuff.
- I do like and appreciate the two male/romantic options. She has good and interesting interactions with both. I also appreciate that there’s some rightful conflict in Celaena as to being attracted to the son of her greatest enemy.
- There’s a lot of things mentioned that don’t always pan out. For example, there’s this whole fae focus at one point that hasn’t been developed. I’m 99% sure that it will show up in the rest of the series, but I would have made more subtle mentions.
- I knew every twist before it happened.
- When I finally got through those first few chapters, I enjoyed the story. It’s not fairly well-written, well-paced, and the characters are interesting. Even Celaena I grew to appreciate. She is conceited, but that’s part of her character, not something that the narrative tries to combat.
- There’s a lot going on that I’m interested in. I will be checking out the rest of the series, but in my own time. I’m not particularly eager, just interested.
- The audiobook, I think, saved me. The narrator has great inflection and brings the characters to life, probably better than the book itself does with simple print on paper. The one thing that bothered me however was that sometimes Chaol sounded constipated.