Throne of Glass

(Throne of Glass #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 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.

Published August 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children's


I gave this book 4 stars. The characters and world building in this story were extremely well done, and the build towards the continuation of the series really drew me in. There was a lot of great action - when the plot wasn't being drawn out for backstory - and overall the pacing kept me flipping through this book easily. 

The entirety of this novel revolved around a competition to find a new royal assassin. Because of this, at times, the action was a bit drawn out, with a lot of time between major points of conflict ("tests" in the competition). While this slowed the pacing down slightly, it allowed for a lot of time with the main character, and a lot of background world and relationship building. Although it lacked constant action, I didn't find myself bored with the down time. Maas did an incredible job at seamlessly weaving in back story and depth into this world while avoiding too much telling. 

For me, the story was a constant build leading up to the next book in the series. By the end, there was so much going on in the world and so many unanswered questions, that the story felt incomplete (which is ideal for the first book in a long series). There were a lot of quick information drops throughout the story that felt like seeds being planted - and I wanted to know more about all of them. And while the world was complex, it never felt overwhelming or hard to keep up with. 

Finally, I absolutely loved the characters in this book and the easy way in which Maas developed them. They truly jumped off of the page and felt real from the very start. The relationships were genuine and slow building, which allowed me to catch feelings alongside the characters and see the many facets of each individual. 

Overall, I highly recommend this read, and I can't wait to continue with these characters for the duration of their story. While I wanted more at times from this first book, it simply allowed my curiosity to wander towards the next installment in the series. 




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