Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas



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 exhilarating  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 (goodreads).


I'm stuck between a 3.5 and a 4 star rating for this one. Once again, while I liked it, it didn't meet the expectations that I had. 

To escape the mines, ex-assassin Celaena is pitted against the kingdom's brutes. She is serving as the crown prince's champion in hopes of being the King's private assassin. The very same man who put her in the salt mines. This book definitely had more magic that I expected it to have but that doesn't mean it was any less enjoyable. I really enjoyed the clever use of the magic and how it was slowly weaved into the plot. 

Calaena is the reason why I can't decide on a proper rating. As an assassin, I expected Calaena to be a badass, kicking ass and taking names after. Imagine my surprise when I find out that Calaena hops around in fluffy dresses and contemplates her feelings for the crown prince for a majority of the book. For someone who was raised in an assassin convent (can there be convents for assassins?), killed her fair share of men, and has spent over a year doing hard labor, I assumed she would be a bit more cynical and have more anger towards the world, not befriending guests and flirting with the enemy's son. 

I did like that the love story as not a central story what's so ever. For half the book I didn't even know who to root for and I'm more than sure that Maas is going to do a complete 180 with the pairing, which I'm not sure if I'm okay with it. 

The writing was told from the point of view of Caelaena, the crown prince and the king's guard. Hearing actions from their respective point of view definitely kept the story interesting but I must admit, there was a lot of dialogue and description. Maas is a talented writer, but I firmly believe that this book could be 100 pages shorter. 

So I loved the originality of the story, but I didn't quite care for our protagonist  Let's see if my opinion changes with book 2.

2 comments:

  1. I really want to read this, though it does seem weird that Celaena spends so much time trying to decide if she loves the Prince...
    I had no idea this book was told from three POVs, but that's good to know.
    Great review! :)

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  2. If the writing and story is captivating I can usually deal with a protagonist that I don't particularly like. Gone Girl was a good example of this. But I'm not sure the contradiction of her character would fly with me too well. You do have me interested in knowing Westfall better though.

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