Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's on August 7th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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An alternate cover edition can be found here.
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.
So, I’m a total pantser when it comes to reading books, meaning I RARELY read full synopses or even skim them prior to choosing a book, as I discussed in my post, Synopsis Free.
So, since I’ve encountered some questions regarding why I don’t read summaries and how in the world I’m able to pick a book, I’ve decided to mix up my review formatting a bit!
What I Expected [Prior to the Summary Read]
- A LITERAL throne of glass, prominently featured
- A book about a female assassin – I knew this much from a mere summary skim
- Battles of some sort
- The main character running away from someone or something
- Maybe a bit of romance
What I Got
- A literal throne of glass, though it wasn’t a main focus, AND a glass castle
- A female assassin
- A slave camp
- Battles, or more accurately, Tests leading up to a penultimate battle
- The main character turning detective and NOT running away from anything
- Vicious murders
- Supernatural awesomeness and ancient religion
What I Thought
I absolutely loved Throne of Glass and I’m so excited to see where Maas takes me throughout the rest of Celaena’s journey in SIX more books! After my introduction to the saga of Celaena Sardothien, I am incredibly intrigued regarding what’s in store for her and her pals – and suitors.
It took me a bit to get into Throne of Glass, only because I didn’t have much time to dedicate to reading when I first picked it up. However, once I got going, I couldn’t put the book down and found myself reading faster and faster, churning through chapters, salivating for more of the story.
I never imagined that a seriously mysterious ancient religion would be at play in Maas’ series. I adore tales involving religion, whether it be fictional or based in fact. Celaena just cracks the surface of the ancient form of worship, which has no name and has virtually been erased by history.
Further intriguing me are the mysteriously creepy, gruesome murders of a number of Champions, who are pitted against each other in a competition to determine the ultimate Champion of the King of Adarlan, who has conquered and destroyed many rival civilizations in the land of Erilea.
I love how Celaena’s story is eked out in bits and pieces – no one, including the ancillary characters and the reader, knows just who the anonymous assassin is. No one knows of her mysterious past, although a handful of characters do know her true identity, she has much to hide and I can’t wait to read her tale unfold as I continue the series.
I’m really glad I didn’t read the entire synopsis of this book prior to reading it – I was definitely able to feel intense elements of surprise by avoiding the summary. See, I like to read synopses after reading the books they summarize, just to see how much plot is given away in a simple blurb.
I was so right in choosing not to absorb the synopsis before cracking open Throne of Glass at last. The summary gives away so many plot points that I ultimately loved being surprised by, including the terms of the grueling competition winner’s contract with the king to whom he or she will be beholden.
Additionally, the summary gives away the fact that the book features the aforementioned murders, which came as a total surprise, a sweet one at that, to me. I am a fan of the gory and gruesome and Maas’ descriptions of the killings certainly do not disappoint!
I also love the style of writing Maas employs – that of an omniscient narrator who focuses on different characters’ viewpoints, as opposed to switching between characters telling their own tales. This style makes reading much less confusing and eliminates the need to distinguish each POV by headlining chapters based on whose story is being told.
As I stated previously, I am so excited to continue following Celaena’s saga and to discover which of her possible suitors with whom she ultimately connects. Personally, romance and love triangles typically get on my nerves in general, but I really like how Maas approaches the triangle in Throne of Glass – it’s not too much or too little, but just right.