Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Title: Throne of Glass {Throne of Glass #1}

Author: Sarah J Maas

Published: Bloomsbury August 2012

Synopsis: 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?

Status: Read from August 16 to 17, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Bloomsbury ANZ}

My Thoughts:

I love it when a book surprises me and Throne of Glass did just that. This engaging debut fantasy novel by Sarah J Maas introduces the world of Erilea, a kingdom in conflict as the King of Adarlan ruthlessly seeks to conquer his neighbours.
Celaena Sardothien was rescued near death at age eight and trained by Arobynn known as the King of the Assassins. Her talent earned her the title of Assassin of Adarlan but her capture saw her incarcerated in the Salt Mines of Endovier, a slave who is starved and beaten. Near death, Celaena is offered a reprieve, the chance to compete to become the King’s Champion. Despite her hatred of the Adarlan royalty, Celaena can’t resist the promise that, should she win, four years of service will earn her her freedom.

Celaena is an appealing heroine, for despite her deadly nature she is exactly that. Though she has endured much pain and heartbreak she retains a sense of empathy and her vulnerabilities offset her arrogant facade. Celaena has earned the right to be proud of, and confident in, her prodigious skills, though we see little of them before the competition in Throne of Glass (There are 4 e-novellas, prequels, available that illustrate her talents). Perhaps if anything, Celaena is a little too perfect, as well as being an expert assassin she is also intelligent and beautiful, however I like that Celaena makes no apologies for who she is and in fact, uses her gifts to accomplish what she needs too.
While I would have preferred less of the romantic element in Throne of Glass, which includes the obligatory love triangle, at least the attraction between Celaena, Prince Dorian Adarlan and King’s Guard, Captain Chaol Westfall, develops slowly. It’s a bit of a stretch to believe Celaena would be willing to fall for Dorian’s charms, simply by dint of his birthright but I liked the way in which his relationship with Celaena changes him. Dorian is a promising character, he is not quite the feckless prince one might expect and I have hopes that he will come into his own as the series progresses. I thought Chaol could have been a more well rounded character, I did’t feel I learnt enough about him, aside from some basic personality traits, to feel strongly about his fate.
The storyline of Throne of Glass includes an engaging balance of action and magic. Erilea is still a little sketchy with the world building receiving less attention than the establishment of character and relationships, but I didn’t find it lacking. There is enough information provided through out the story to form a solid impression of the kingdom and its operation and as it is just the first in a series I am sure there is much more to come. Throne of Glass has elements that are definitely skewed towards to the female YA market, the love triangle and descriptions of court gowns among them, but I do think it has broader age appeal.

Throne of Glass is similar in some ways to Kristin Cashore’s novel,Graceling, another YA fantasy novel I enjoyed despite not being fond of the genre in general. True high fantasy fans will probably find Throne of Glass a bit light for their tastes but I found it an entertaining and engaging escapist read.

Available to Purchase

Australian Edition: @Allen & Unwin I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon

via Booko

International Edition: @Amazon I @BookDepository

 

Throne of Glass on Facebook

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Australian Bookshelf
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 20:32:58

    Thanks for your review Shelleyrae- this book is getting some great reviews, it’s on my wishlist!

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  2. Trackback: Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | book'd out
  3. Trackback: Review: A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas | book'd out

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