Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
I’d give this book 4 out of 5 daggers.
Ihad been wanting to get to this book for a while. The positive reviews raving about the world that Sarah J. Maas had created; about the royals, and the nobles, and the intrigue that ensued in the book got my attention. What I had heard about the world building alone would likely have been enough to get my attention, but throw on top of it all that there was supposed to be some elements of magic, and I was sold. It probably didn’t hurt, either, that when I picked this up I was feelng like mixing up my reading a bit, and going for a book with a strong female protagonist for a change.
So, what was the book about?
The beautiful Celaena Sardothien, a former assassin left to rot in the salt mines of Endovier, had quite the reputation. Enough to warrant a visit from Prince Dorian himself, and the Captain of his guard to attempt to strike a deal with her. What could she possibly want from them? As it turns out, her freedom in exchange for her unique skills. The offer: If she successfully fought on the King’s behalf in as his “Champion” in the upcoming competition, she would be granted a pardon, and her freedom after four years of service as said Champion. While Celaena loathed the king, the offer was too good to turn down.
As she travels with the Prince and the Captain, some of Celaena’s backstory is revealed: her familiarity with the forest, hints of magic history, and other little clues that come to her memory. Once at the castle, Celaena is given some of the niceties of court life that show another side of her. Dresses, jewelry, and attention from the other ladies that are vying for the Prince’s affections. These things seem all too familiar to the cold, hard, killer, and juxtaposed to her personality, make the reader wonder about who she was in a former—pre-assassin life.
The story gets interesting when the author begins to leave behind all the training and court life that Celaena has concerned herself with for a mysterious evil that begins to influence the competition. One by one, Celaena’s competitors are gruesomely murdered by what would seem to be some kind of beast. Celaena gets involved in the investigation, despite being warned not to, and tries to help solve the mysteries that would lead her to the killer, before the killer finds its way to her.
Ultimately, this is a good book. Let’s start with the positives. I liked the bit of magic it contained, although I was hoping for more, to be honest. I liked the fights, and the warriors, and even the politics. It was the romantic part that I struggled with, in a way. It almost felt that it was just there to be there…to check a box that says “I’m a YA paranormal romance novel.” I don’t mean that in a way that takes away from the writing—it was very good. It was just the literary device, I guess. In other words, this didn’t bother me from a genre perspective, because that’s not why I picked up the book, but for those that thought this was a paranormal romance, I could see it bothering them. I assume one of the reasons the author did this, from her perspective, was to round off Celaena’s character.
The book’s worth a read. Check it out! 4/5 stars.