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.
I have just jumped on the Sarah J. Maas bandwagon and it’s an exciting and action-packed ride thus far. I kept seeing Throne of Glass appear on Instagram feeds and in my Amazon recommendations and after much consideration, I finally made the plunge and purchased it. I found the story to be compelling and ended up completing the book in a single day! The first chapter pulled me in immediately, and the story continued to be fast-paced with plenty of action and a murder mystery to boot. The characters were fantastic- including a few secondary characters that I wished had more of their history revealed, though I suspect it wouldn’t contribute to the overarching story of Adarlan’s Assassin.
Both skilled assassin and fashionista, Celaena Sardothien was a delightful character to read about. I would say that her tragic past, combined with what I consider to be a troubled upbringing (assassin school) and a stint in the death camp Salt Mines of Endovier, gave Celaena a tough exterior with a broken and mended soul. She seems to have strong feelings about the social injustices committed by the Havilliard House against the conquered peoples of Erilea. This makes her position as a contestant for the position of Royal Assassin somewhat more complicated, as it also does with her relationship with Prince Dorian. Celaena is revealed to be both clever and compassionate, which I liked. I was also greatly amused by her love of fine clothing and palace events, which stands in sharp contrast to her career choice.
The world of Erilea is has a magical history, though largely bereft of magic in the present setting of Throne of Glass. I am quite certain, due to some unavoidable spoilers, that the magic will be returning and will play a major role in the series. Though the locations we the readers get to visit in ToG are limited to Endovier, the Oakenwald Forest, and the capitol- Rifthold, many other exotic locales are mentioned that I hope are described in later books. The brief explanations of certain historical objects and locations really added to the depth of the story and I found them to be very enjoyable, educational diversions.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I will be reading Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire in due course. Without a doubt, Sarah J. Maas is a fantastically talented writer with enormous potential and an ever-growing fan base. Throne of Glass has been compared to the Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, and while I see some small similarities in themes or events, it is largely different from these. In particular, Game of Thrones is focused on politics and explores the moral ambiguity of humanity, while throwing in a load of bloodshed and scandal. Throne of Glass has elements of each of these characteristics but on the lower end of the scale and is not nearly as complex as Game of Thrones (yet). I also don’t believe Throne of Glass would appear on HBO- it’s more of PG-13 movie.
Overall, the story was extremely enjoyable as well as entertaining. The dynamic between Chaol, Celaena, and Dorian was just darling and set my heart all a-flutter and it was only sort of a love triangle. One day I hope to find a YA book that doesn’t have a love triangle at all and I will be supremely satisfied. If you like strong female protagonists, intrigue, and swords, knives, and other cutlery you will probably enjoy this book.