Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Summary: World-famous assassin Celaena Sardothien has spent a year in prison, forced to slave away in the salt mines of Endovier. Suddenly, the crown prince shows up with an offer she can’t refuse: if she agrees to compete for the title of the King’s Assassin, she will be allowed to go free (after serving the King for a few years, of course). Celaena accepts, eager to be free from slavery. But she needs to re-hone her skills quickly, because the competition begins immediately. And if she loses, she goes back to the salt mines for life.
My thoughts: Throne of Glass is one of those books that occupies your thoughts whenever you aren’t reading. It begs you to come back and read more. This might be a personal preference, since fantasy is one of my absolute favorite genres, but I think other readers might feel similarly. I didn’t find Throne of Glass to be a perfect book, but it never failed to keep my attention, and for that I applaud Sarah J. Maas. She crafted a world that I couldn’t wait to be a part of every evening before bed (the time I dedicate to reading).
Something unique about Throne of Glass is that there are a few accompanying novellas (four, I believe) that can be read before starting the novel. I did not read these novellas, which was fine, but there were moments in the story that were clearly placed so as to alert readers (and non-readers) of the novellas. If you didn’t read the novellas, you don’t have the back-story, and so the obscure reference doesn’t make sense. These moments were out of place and they interrupted the flow of the story; I was generally unimpressed by these not-so-subtle hints to go read the novellas (because, honestly, I just wanted to read Throne of Glass. Not four other stories). That being said, one will only be slightly annoyed if she chooses not to read the novellas: she will not miss any major plot points.
Moving on! The characters are what truly shine in Sarah J. Maas’ story—not for who they are, necessarily, but for how they interact with each other. In this single novel, one can read about the forming of three great friendships, one smoldering romance, and a few rivalries. Each of these relationships is given special care, and because of this is outstanding. The interactions between Celaena and the other characters is authentic, and usually hilarious to boot. Celaena is a firecracker of a girl; one whom many readers will easily find themselves drawn to. I loved her spirit, but most of all her humanity despite being a killer.
Fantasy fans, Throne of Glass delivers. Take a chance on Celaena’s story, because once you start it, you won’t be able to stop.
For those who like: fantasy, assassins, competitions