****Official release date August 7th. Review copy provided by Bloomsbury Children's Books through Netgalley****
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, Book 1) 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 kings 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 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.(
First off, I have a confession. Going into Throne of Glass I had no idea about the following or the history behind it. Honestly I just assumed the book was getting tons of attention because of the many quotes I saw that stated that the Throne of Glass series was “the Young Adult version of A Game of Thrones.” In my mind that’s pretty big praise. Then once I started reading the book I realized that the author had been writing this series for quite a while and that it was now getting “officially published” and that fans where biting at the bit for it.
Thankfully I was unaware of all the crazed fans and how “utterly amazing and flawless” this series/author is. Boy, would I have been bitterly let down. Like many books before it, it falls prey to the formulistic predictableness that dominates the fantasy sub-genre of YA; making it predictable, slowly plotted, lacking a certain amount of realism, and overall average. If this is the YA version of Game of Thrones, and I had no idea what Game of Thrones was, let’s just say GoT just got knocked off my TPR pile. That said, this wasn’t a bad read. I found myself utterly addicted and I was ravenously reading each page, wishing my Kindle would turn the pages faster!
My biggest problem with Throne of Glass wasn’t the obvious predictability of the book, I’m a Tamara Pierce fan so I’m well used to enjoying books that you can see the plot from the first page. What I couldn’t stand is Celaena. The idea of a YA book with an Assassin as a lead utterly fascinated me, especially since she’s female. Female assassin’s are a weakness of mine, and the fact that before she even turns 18 she’s the most notorious and feared killer in the lands is too tantalizing to pass up. Celaena is the worst assassin that I have ever read. She should have died within the first 20 pages of the book. People are constantly sneaking up on her, readers are never given any real proof that she’s a real killing machine, and any time she did “shine” it felt fake. She’s so cocky that she compromises her self left and right, no wonder she got caught! It felt like Maas tried to over compensate to make Celaena “human” so that readers could feel for her and believe the romance, and how people could befriend a killer. (Trust me a good author can make you love a murdering lead by making the contrast between the killer and the human side of the lead.) In Celaena's defense I will say the events leading up to her becoming a killer are very believable and I liked the slow buildup of her past, and the “mystery” the author tries to create about her real identity.
The love triangle is fun and I really enjoyed it. The build up for each man of interest is not equally written or given page time so I felt a little left out since I’m the one that always goes for the underdog. Let’s be honest between a Prince and a Captain of the Guard, readers know who is going to get favored. For once I’d like it if a writer realizes that we the readers are tired of Princes as love interests for YA fantasy. Give us something deeper please, we don’t need Princes on white horses anymore.
Despite all of these annoying problems and I was squealing like a crazy fan and totally fell in love with not only the love triangle, but the other characters. The politics are fun enough that I feel intrigued and hope that a “revolution” is coming soon. Now that the contest for the “Kingdom’s Champion” is over I’m hoping for more world building and intrigue. The sneak peeks at Maas other realms and lands in this world are beyond tantalizing. The “magic” is also a fun concept and there might be a comeback for the Faye!
This is a title that I love to be annoyed by. The writing is nothing special, and at times I felt like the author was telling me how I should feel instead of showing. Sure I knew the plot from the get go. I know what Celaena's real secret past is, so that plot arc is spoiled. This series is obvious, but it’s still an addiction. I’m already trying to figure out any news about the next ones, and I’m planning on getting the four short stories that come before this one. Any fantasy fan worth their salt should read this title. I know other readers are going to breeze through this and not see anything wrong with it, and think I’m crazy for knit picking it. Other fans (as seen in Goodreads recent updates) are simply going to love to be annoyed because secretly, like me, they’re going to be one of the new additions to Maas hot new series. (Oh, Team Chaol fans Bs!)
Sexual Content: This is safe for he kiddies. At times it’s mature as it talks about rape (there are slaves and it kind of an inevitability for females in that position), there’s making out, but nothing to overly done. For a killer Celaena is pretty innocent.
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