Book Review: Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas

| 18 October , 2012 | Reply

Taken from the salt mines of Endovier, trained assassin Celaena Sardothien is offered one last chance at freedom—to act as a champion for the prince—but at what cost?

Celaena is to compete in a tournament where her opponents are fellow assassins, thieves and soldiers, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she wins and becomes the King’s Champion, she will have to remain in his servitude for four years time, until she is granted her freedom.

It appears to be quite a straightforward deal, but then her competitors start showing up dead. And as Celaena helps the gruff Captain Westfall investigate, she has to wonder, what has she gotten herself into?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas was filled with deception and intrigue. The main character, Celaena, was a tough girl with attitude, who had been serving a life sentence in the mines.

In the first few chapters Celaena was hard to warm to; she was skilled and she was pretty, and she knew it… I found there lacked a certain amount of flaws to help get me on her side and hope that she achieved her goals. However, as I picked up the book again and kept reading, I was soon able to overlook this and really get into the story.

The pace was a major highlight of the novel; it kept you in the moment and wanting to read more—particularly when Celaena settled into Rifthold and began her training with the other champions.

And though it was difficult to connect with Celaena at the start, she did grow and my regard for her changed; it was the little things that Maas slipped in through the story to make her appear more human. Especially when she interacted with Chaol, aka Captain Westfall, who appeared to be one of the stronger, more developed characters.

In comparison, however, Prince Dorian felt somewhat cliché and lacked a little substance (but who’s to say how he will develop in further books). Besides, there were plenty of other great characters to cling to, such as Nox, a thief in tournament, and Nehemia, a foreign princess, both of whom managed to befriend the cold-hearted assassin, Celaena.

The tournament, itself, wasn’t as present, as say in The Hunger Games, but there was still a strong feel for it. And the way that Maas has approached doing a competition, allowed readers to be given breathers into everyday life and court intrigue, rather than be overwhelmed by constant action.

Throne of Glass was a promising beginning to a new series, with elements to sate the tastes of various readers; Maas brought together fantasy, fae magic, action, mystery and romance… It was not everyday that you heard about a castle made of glass, and it was not everyday you read a story about a girl like Celaena.

Available now: Allen & Unwin RRP$16.99

Tina

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