Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury UK on August 2nd, 2012
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
Ah this book! This series! The Feels! I did something both great and stupid when I finally decided I wanted to join so many others on this epic journey of Celaena Sardothian’s.
I read the novellas…which were perfection although the pain, the emotion, the delirium, the joy and the SHEER trauma that came with reading them was enough to stunt my progress for almost a year. Sam Cortland – that’s all I’m going to say about that.
When I finally felt brave enough to pick up THRONE OF GLASS I realised the pain was worth it because I honestly don’t think I would have enjoyed this book as much or even liked its heroine without going in armed with her back-story. I’m going to skip my usual recap and just go right into discussing Celaena. I adored her, this young woman with the ability to snark with the best of them >>*cough*Me*cough*
When we first meet Celaena, a prisoner of the famed Salt Mines of Endovier, she has endured torturous, back breaking days of work with beatings that would bring the toughest soldier to his knees and carries the memories of a happiness she has lost forever after being betrayed by those she trusted most. Despite this she has an impeccable air of grace and authority about her. She is someone worthy of respect. However I don’t know if her steely nerve is something I would have recognised quite so easily had I not read the novellas. At times in THRONE OF GLASS Celaena comes off as frustratingly shallow and easily distracted. This has been justified in many reviews as normal because “ya know; she’s a girl after all.” Umm no. I – like Celaena – have a love for the finer things in life, my bathroom is bursting with all the latest make-up products, I have tons of shoes and pretty trinkets but this doesn’t make me shallow or give me an excuse to behave flighty. It’s not even that big of a deal however when you know what Celaena has been through and more importantly where she’s coming from, there are many incidents that are directly contradictory. The deadliest assassin in the land makes mistakes that don’t quite make sense and it may seem like I’m harping on about it a bit but considering it is pretty much the ONLY thing I have to criticise, please forgive me. I don’t know if Sarah J. Maas wrote the novellas before or after TOG but if it was after it seems almost an attempt to right a wrong and develop Celaena’s character more to combat the criticism that she inevitably got from glancing at other reviews. Okay and I’m shutting up now!
Despite those few jarring incidents of character “slip-ups” Celaena has firmly shoved her way into my line-up of all time favourite heroines and I loved her strength and ferocity especially when it came to those she loved. Maas has created an admirably complex and well-envisioned world that is described in such rich detail it is easy to imagine. The writing is beautiful and assured and strikes a fine balance between character and plot that I think is wholly satisfying.
One of my favourite parts of the whole book was the healthy, supportive and oh so rare example of female friendship in a YA novel. There’s nothing that will give me more goosebumps or make this chick happier than this. The development of Celaena and Nehemia’s relationship from an uncertain dance of mistrust to a warm, giving companionship was utterly joyous. Likewise the easy friendship between Chaol and Dorian that transcends status was equally satisfying.
This brings me to the men and the inevitable discussion about ships and romance. *Heavy Sigh* I do not know WHO to ship! Can I have both? I loved the effortless rapport that developed between Chaol and Celaena and despite their strong-willed personalities clashing at times, the innate understanding of a life that truly doesn’t belong to you but is held to a sense of duty and honour is something that binds them together so intrinsically. Likewise the flirtatious banter and intellectual bonding over a love of reading made me fall for Celaena and Dorian just as easily. I’ve been told my choice will become easier in Crown of Midnight which unnerves me to be honest but I’m excited to see how romance develops especially given how glorious (and devastating) it is in the novellas.
While it is clear that one of the major strengths of the book lies in its characterisation and development of its relationships I found the plot to be equally as compelling, satisfyingly pacy and the tension remained marvellously taut throughout. From devious acts of political intrigue at court to the action packed fighting and training scenes, THRONE OF GLASS is entertaining and exhilarating.
Beautifully written, utterly enthralling with exceptionally rendered characters and what truly appears to be the definition of epic, THRONE OF GLASS was everything I expected and more.