Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

So, I finally read Throne of Glass. As part of the Beat the Backlist Challenge, I decided to finally see what all the fuss was about and read the series.

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Throne of Glass tells the tale of Celaena Sardothien, a notorious assassin who has been sentenced to be a slave in the salt mines of Endovier. One day, the Crown Prince and the Captain of the Guard arrive with a proposition. The King is having a competition to find a champion to serve him, if she wins she must serve him for four years after which time she will be granted her freedom. Celaena agrees to be the Prince’s candidate, believing she can win, and if she doesn’t she has nothing to lose.

Celaena competes under an alias, so no one will know who she really is. But just as the competition begins, a competitor turns up dead, and his body has been half eaten. As the competition progresses, more candidates are mysteriously and brutally killed. If Celeana wishes to stay alive long enough to win, she has to get to the bottom of who or what is killing the competition before it’s too late.

Celaena is a very interesting character. She has been trained since the age of eight to be an assassin and is considered the best in the land. She is sarcastic, sometimes arrogant and overconfident, but has a vulnerable quality too. She hides a past she doesn’t want to confront and it is hinted at that she hides a secret that could change everything. Best of all, she’s a reader.

Prince Dorian is a shameless flirt, but is actually quite shy around girls he actually likes. Despite being the Prince, he doesn’t agree with his father’s ruthlessness, but is too afraid to speak out against him. Like Celaena he is a reader, and the two bond over a shared love of books. Then there’s Chaol Westfall, Captain of the guard at only 22, he is honorable, loyal, . Celaena begins a relationship with Dorian, but also begins to fall for Chaol. Thankfully, this love triangle is not in your face, but more subtle. It’s not a “who will she choose?” love triangle. It’s definitely more of a “will she even notice how they feel or how she feels” situation.

Celaena also starts to make her first friend in Princess Nehemia. Nehemia is a from a neighboring country the King has conquered, and is much more than she seems. Nehemia reminded me a bit of an Egyptian Princess, and I love ancient Egyptian lore so I look forward to seeing more of this character.

However, I though the beginning of the book was rather slow. The chapters before the competition actually started kind of dragged on with little action. Once the action started though, I quickly got sucked in. I also think that once she found out who and what was killing the other champions, she defeated it way to easily and quickly. I expected it to be a bit more difficult, and that she would need help from Chaol, or Nehemia. I just think it was wrapped up too quickly so that we could get to the duel that ended the competition.

That being said, I’m intrigued by the story and the world. As a debut, I think it was quite good. My interest it piqued enough to continue reading the series to see what sort of danger and trouble Celaena and Co. get into next, and if she will be become the rebel leader it’s hinted she is destined to be. Overall, I give it Three and a Half Lightsabers due to the pacing and issues with the ending.

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