Saturday, July 29, 2017

Throne of Glass Review

Throne of Glass
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.

This was a great and original story that I could not put down. I was immediately enthralled by Celaena's character and how strong she is regardless, or maybe because of, her environment. It's not often that we get a true heroine who stays strong throughout every setback and who isn't made weak by falling in love and changing her personality to suit her partner; and this time the author gave us just that. When you think of the word assassin you think of someone cold, unfeeling, who thinks nothing of death or the people they kill. Celeana's character made it known that that is not how she felt. Her character was so refreshing in that while the general population knew of her and was terrified of her, she was compassionate. She was nice to people. She made friends. She was still human.

The plot line of the competition and the competitors kept the story interesting as it always added a bit of action to the book. The competitors were ruthless and it was a great test of strength to see Celaena pitted against them in the fight for her freedom. Celaena's opponents were all interesting characters, themselves being criminals of sorts. The competiton also brought to light the shady intentions of the King and the way he rules his kingdom. It seemed odd to me that the King began the competition knowing that the competitors would be the dregs of his kingdom, for the most part, and didn't care. He was completely willing to have one of them win and then be in his service as his personal assassin, giving them the freedom to roam around the city and do whatever they please, as long as they carry out his orders. The underlying issue of who is killing off the competitors was an interesting interlude to the competition and also added a bit of mystery to the story. The castle is filled with so many criminal and untrustworthy characters it's hard to decide who is behind the killings.

I wasn't a huge fan of the author's intention to create a love triangle between Celaena, the Captain of the Guards and the prince. I do like how Celaena isn't too affected by their attention but at the same time takes an interest in both of them for different reasons. I loved how she befriended them both and kept their relationships platonic for the most part. The love triangle aspect of the book really took second place to the competition and therefore didn't make or break the book for me. Too often I become involved in a story just to see how their love lives play out, but in this book, I really didn't care how it went either way. I was far more engrossed in Celaena's personal history and her performance in the competition.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I found the whole thing very refreshing compared to all the other books I've read recently as there are not many female characters that give their male counterparts a run for their money. Too many times the male characters end up overshadowing the female's allowing them to slip into the background. I don't necessarily consider myself a feminist but who doesn't love a good strong dose of girl power to help raise their own sense of strength? This book has made me excited to read the rest of the books in this series. And I am sure that they will become some of my favorite books.

Final Rating:
Probability of Rereading:

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

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