Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
Page count: 416
Release date: August 7th, 2012
Book: Advanced copy - ebook (Thanks to Bloomsbury for the copy.)
Who I'd Recommend It To: Fans of high fantasy + heroines who kick major butt.
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 kings 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 exhilirating. 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. BOOK. I loved it, I adored it, I devoured it, and now I need the next book. Pronto. Also, I don't know how to pronounce half of the names in this book. So my mind kinda just read them as adasjdklsajdaslkjsd. But in all seriousness, can someone tell me how to pronounce Celaena? Or Chaol? I pronounced Celaena as Selena. Chances are that I'm probably wrong though. . .
ANYWAY. ON TO THE REVIEW. (Warning: There will be major gushing and fangirl-y moments ahead)
I had high expectations for this book, as I know that many people enjoyed it when it was on FictionPress. It may also be one of the most anticipated debuts of this year. Plus, the synopsis made it sound fantastic and right up my alley.
So, did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them.
Right from the start, the story pulls you in and never lets you go. The writing is fantastic, the pacing is fast and there is a great amount of world building. The book transports you to Celaena's magical yet terrifying world and leaves you wanting more. The book was seriously bad ass, but it also had a lot of depth to it.
Celaena is a very refreshing heroine. Unlike majority of the girls in YA fiction these days, she doesn't drone on and on about how unattractive she thinks she is. Celaena knows she's beautiful. She loves dressing up, she loves looking good. She also spends a lot of time thinking about food, which is sort of hilarious.
I know she's been compared to Katniss already in terms of her personality, but in a lot of ways she's entirely different. I really loved her personality. She's intelligent, funny, lethal, independant - she's a great character. Despite all her great qualities and her wit and attitude, she's layered and she's flawed, and beneath everything she's really just.. a girl, which makes her extremely easy to relate to. I loved the stuff we get to know about her past and how she became to be the assassin she is in the book, and I'm hoping the next book delves deeper into her past - especially her relationship with a boy called Sam, her time in the death camp and her parents.
Now to the other characters: There's princess Nehemia, who is a strong female character, just like Celaena. I loved her and Celaena's friendship. There's also the Crown Prince, Dorian, who is fun and a huge flirt and Captain Chaol Westfall, who is Celaenas trainer of sorts. He's more serious and stoic, yet there is a lot more depth to him.
And yes, there is a love triangle in this book, though it is definitely not the centre of the story. Celaena has a lot on her mind other than boys in this book. Although, I do have to say - I loved both boys. And like the love triangle in The Hunger Games, I think the boys show two differents sides to the heroine. I'm really excited to see where this goes in the future books... And if I had to choose, I know whose team I would be on.
CHAOL CHAOL CHAOL. Sorry Dorian I still love you . When the book comes out, there will be a lot of fangirling over these two boys, I'm sure of it.
The action in this book was really great, too, and there is a lot of it. The fight scenes involving swords were just really awesome to read about and you could really imagine them in your mind. Kind of got me wanting to learn how to sword fight. Or fence.