For the longest time Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas had been one of those books that kept popping up everywhere but one that I had almost zero intention of reading. Precisely because it was everywhere and because of some reviews that painted it as exactly not my kind of book. You know, the usual case of sorry, book, it’s me, not you. But then I read A Court of Mist and Fury. My curiosity was peaked. And I am so, so glad it was. Because Throne of Glass turned out to be exactly my kind of book.
A story of quite a girl
Throne of Glass is a story of Celaena Sardothien, an infamous assassin who got caught, was forced into slavery, but was then chosen to represent a prince in a deadly battle for the title of Champion. Her prize: freedom. The cost: possibly her life.
Celaena as a heroine is fascinating. She has all the qualities that are often present in antagonists: vanity, arrogance, self-assurance, confidence, brutality, beauty. She is girly, she can be selfish and petty at times, and she most certainly does not want to be a hero and save the world. And I found that to be utterly refreshing and… lovely. Sure, there were plenty of moments when I wanted to groan and ask Celaena what the hell was she doing and to please reconsider. But, in the end, that was precisely why she was so fascinating. And why would anyone want perfect characters anyway?
Except it’s also so much more
But even if Celaena fails to impress… Throne of Glass is a story of so much more than just a girl. It’s not even about a girl and a boy. It’s about an empire that threatens to conquer the world and leave it in ruins, about a prince and a guard, about a princess who hopes, about secrets they all keep from each other, about a castle of glass that hides murder plots that lead to dark catacombs filled with nightmarish monsters, and magic. And in the middle of all that, is Celaena. Like a bomb waiting to go off.
Honestly, I’m just so book hangover now.
Throne of Glass is the kind of YA fantasy that has hints of romance but doesn’t swim in it. The kind of YA that has multiple love interests, but no unnecessary melodrama. The kind of YA that has friendships, male and female, and they are precious. The kind of YA that has a heroine who is unashamed and unapologetic of who she is, unafraid of fighting for what she wants. A heroine who is flawed, but is all the more lovable for it. And it is set in a magical world in such a state that will surely force its characters to go far, far from where they start. Or, the best kind of YA.
(On a very important side note: the audiobooks for the entire series are just fabulous! I strongly recommend.)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 7th 2013
Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
More info on Goodreads, Amazon, BookDepository
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.