She stalked toward him, keeping her sword sheathed at her side. Verin’s grin widened as he lifted his blade.
He swung, but Celaena struck, ramming her fist into his arm, sending the blade soaring through the air. In the same breath, her palm hit his left arm, knocking it aside, too. As he staggered back, her leg came up, and Verin’s eyes bulged as her foot slammed into his chest. The kick sent him flying, and his body crunched as it hit the floor and slid out of the ring, instantly eliminating him. The hall was utterly silent.
“Mock me again,” she spat at Verin, “and I’ll do that with my sword the next time.”
Synopsis (From Bloomsbury):
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 three 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.
My Quick Review:
The debut novel of Sarah J. Maas transports you to her world of competition, castles and conspiracies. The fast-paced action and compelling characters drive the plot, and the end will only leave you wanting more.
If I were to see this book in a store, I might glance at it, and if it weren’t for the background design, by Regina Roff, I might walk on by. I prefer the character image of the UK cover. The blurb on the inside of the cover is pretty compelling. It seems to have a little bit of everything; magic, competition, royalty, danger, action, and of course the requisite love triangle. My only question: How do I pronounce her name? Found out it’s pronounced Sell-lay-nah HERE.
Full Review, Minus Spoilers:
I started reading this book with a completely open mind. I didn’t know if it was a stand alone or part of a series. So initially, I thought Sarah Maas gave us too many snippets of back story that weren’t integral to the plot. However, after I learned that it would be at least a trilogy, it made sense. Most of the information given, that may seem trivial, ties into the plot of this book well. So I’m hoping all the other information we receive will be explained in future books.
This story is very well written. The voice of the main character, Celaena, is strong, and her character grows throughout the book. She may come across as arrogant and a bit sharp-tongued, even after being imprisoned for a year, but as the story develops, she develops along with it. All the characters are great and serve a purpose, even the nasty ones that you hope will get what they deserve. I love that it’s written from multiple points of view. It gives us the chance to get inside the other characters’ minds.
I’m also glad that the love triangle takes a backseat to Celaena’s desire for freedom. It reaffirms her strength and will, and makes me glad she cares about more than two equally interesting, yet different, in her life.
Maas does a great job making Celaena’s world come to life. The imagery that comes of the page is so vivid, I could visualize the glass castle, the masquerade ball, the challenges the competitors face. Usually, when an author takes that much care to create her world, the plot lags and I find myself trying to skip to the action. This story does not have that problem.
The plot of this book moves quickly. The action, combined with quick chapters and compelling characters, makes it hard to put down. The ending of Throne of Glass was good. It gave us closure on the action of this book, but definitely let us know, it wasn’t over. And I’m glad for that. I’m anxious to know what will happen to Celaena and the men that want to protect her.
My Favorite Passage:
One by one the threads of his rope snapped beneath Grave’s dagger, and Nox, sensing the vibrations, looked up at the assassin in horror. If he fell, there was no chance of surviving. A few more slices of Grave’s blade and the rope would be severed entirely.
The rope groaned. Celaena moved.
She slid down the drainpipe, the flesh of her feet and hands tearing open as the metal cut into her skin, but she didn’t let herself think of the pain. The mercenary on the gargoyle below only had time to lean into the wall as she slammed onto the creature’s head, gripping its horns to steady herself. The mercenary had already tied one end of his climbing rope around the gargoyle’s neck; now she seized it and tied the other around her own waist. The rope was long enough—and strong enough, and the four gargoyles perched beside hers would provide enough space to run. “Touch this rope and I’ll gut you,” she warned the mercenary, and readied herself.
Nox shouted at Grave, and she dared a look to where the thief dangled. There was a sharp snap of rope breaking, and Nox’s cry of fear and rage, and Celaena took off, sprinting across the backs of the four gargoyles before she launched herself into the void.
For Fans of:
The Hunger Games, Graceling, Divergent, The Mortal Instruments, The Selection, fans of fantasy & dystopian genres. There’s something for just about everyone in this book
sarahjmaas.com, Throne of Glass Facebook page, Bloomsburyteens.com
Review copy provided by Bloomsbury Children’s Books and Walker Books for Young Readers