Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Date Published: May 7th 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Description: 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.
Now this is the type of fantasy book I can get behind. A fantasy book with a female main character. One who isn’t there just to decorate the page and hang off the arm of a male main character.
Throne of Glass is about Celaena Sardothien, an assassin for hire who’s been betrayed and sentenced to life in a brutal labor salt mine. She has survived a year in the mine, months longer than anyone expected. She even survived an attempt at escape from the mine. In her attempt to escape, she killed the overseer and 23 guards. (And no one escapes from the mine.) Crown Prince Dorian and Captain of the Royal Guard Choal Westfall have come to the mine to offer Celaena a deal. Fight for the Crown Prince as his Champion in the competition the king has arranged. If she can win the competition, she can win her freedom.
Her personal motto is “I will not be afraid”. Calaena is smart, angry, sassy, dangerous, and beautiful, and most importantly, a reader. She was trained by a master assassin beginning at the age of 8. I really enjoyed Calaena. If I were a character in a book, I’d want to be like Calaena. Outside of the reading skills, I really need to work on my assassin, kicking ass skills.
Let’s discuss the men in Calaena’s life. I would like to preface this, though, by saying that the romance portions of the book could have better. Sure, Calaena does lots of flirting, and some kissing, but that’s about it. Prince Dorian is the typical handsome prince. He’s been sheltered from danger, but also from fun. Part of his reasoning behind picking Calaena as his champion is that it completely irritates his father. Dorian tries to rebel in little ways, but doesn’t do much to stand up to his brutal father. Choal is the typical silent warrior type. He gave up his title to serve as Captain of the guard to protect his friend. He is training Calaena for the competition and teaching her the ways of court. The two men are both vying for Calaena’s interests in their own separate ways. Dorian with his smooth flirting; Choal drives her to be a better person and warrior. I think Ms. Maas intended the romantic triangle between the three main characters, but I felt that this aspect of the story was lacking. Sure, you want to believe that the assassin can end of with the prince, but is that realistic?
The A story line in Throne of Glass is the training for, and the participating in the competition. It was the B story line, however, that I was more interested. The king has made banned all magic. Yet, something is in the castle, killing the different champions. I thought the mystery was well-developed. I was questioning who the “bad guy” was throughout the entire book. The world-building between the current story line and this historical time line were on-point. And I love this quote:
Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. And I’m excited to read the next books in the series. I’d recommend Throne of Glass to readers interested in fantasy and strong female characters. And for everyone who recommended I read Throne of Glass, thanks! 👍👍