Thursday, January 10, 2013
"Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas
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 king's 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."
If I were to be asked what the first thing that pops into my head when I think about this book was it would be the characters- It has some of the best that I can recall reading in quite some time, main and secondary alike. From Celaena, a young assassin who is trying to find exactly where she stands in life and is loyal through and through, despite not owing anyone anything, to Prince Dorian, who, despite knowing that you'll just be another notch in his belt, you can't help but fall for,due to his larger-than-life personality, to Chaol, perhaps one of the most mature YA boys I have ever read of before, to Nox, a fellow criminal who is thrown into the champion competition alongside Celaena, providing her with the much needed camaraderie/ support that she so desperately needs (I don't know about y'all but for a while there I was totally rooting for Nox to be the third arm in the love triangle).
That being said, if I were then asked what the second word that pops into my head is it would be "busy". At times I thought that there was WAY too much going on- from a crazy king hellbent on committing essentially genocide, to a battle of champions, to a rebellious princess, to Fae, to a gateway between worlds, to religions and holidays, and the likes of. I personally would have preferred if the champion competition had played a larger role, after all, it is the core of the book- I found that in the latter half of the book especially it was too glossed over, with Celaena just mentioning it in passing (for instance, something along the lines of, "After the sixth competition that I did today..." Would you care to give us a bit more information about what exactly you had to do? How everyone fared, etc.?)- it seemed to be one of those instances of "told" rather than "showed".
All in all, despite my complaints I did quite enjoy the book- it is one of the better that I have read in quite some time and I will be continuing on with this series as I am quite curious to see how all of the various elements will come together. I think that fans of Tamora Pierce will devour this book as it is, in my opinion, her "Song of the Lioness" meets her "Trickster's" duet (and then some).
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.