Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This is the first book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.

After being in the salt mines of Endovier for a year, Celaena was given an opportunity to get out. Endovier almost broke the 18 year old assassin, so she was game for pretty much anything.

But when the Crown Prince Dorian was the man she was presented with a deal, she wasn't sure if she should take it. Dorian's father has created a competition for someone to be the King's Champion for 6 years and will do the kings biddings and "dirty work".

Celaena, before getting caught and sent to Endovier, was Adarlan's Assassin. She was the most feared assassin in Adarlan and she was such a good assassin that no one knew who she was. They especially didn't know she was younger than 17 or a girl.

So the thought of working for the king made her ill. But after 6 years, she would have her freedom - no more running from the authorities and she wouldn't have to be an assassin anymore because she would get a reward from the king.

After debating with the Crown Prince, they made a deal that she would be Dorian's candidate if she could take leave after 4 years, not 6, when she won. Because she knew she would win against any other candidate - that wasn't the issue.

Now Celaena is living in the castle under watch of numerous guards. But the one guard that is always around and trains with Celaena to get back into shape is the Captain of the Royal Guards, Captain Chaol Westfall.

Chaol does not trust Celaena - not one tiny bit. She is the feared and trained assassin that has no emotions and will do anything to survive, so he keeps both eyes on her and makes sure she can't harm the royal family.

But the more he gets to know Celaena, the more he might have misjudged her. That doesn't stop him from not trusting her, though. And the same is happening with the Crown Prince. Both men are surprised by how much they enjoy Celaena's company. Some times they even forget she's a trained assassin that will kill in a second.

Strange things are happening at the palace, though. The candidates are being murdered by a monster that tears through their skin and pieces are missing. With so many thieves  killers, assassins or hunters in the palace for the competition, anyone is a suspect, even Celaena.

And even though magic has been banned from the world, it seems that there might be someone who found a way to use the forbidden magic.

Can Celaena figure out who is doing the killings? Can she win against the other candidates, especially Cain who keeps getting stronger and bigger after each trial and test? And what will Celaena do if she does become the King's Champion, because she definitely doesn't want to work for the horrible king? Read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I've been wanting to read this book for awhile and I'm glad I finally did! If there are any die-hard fans of The Hunger Games this might be a great novel for you to pick up! It has the same idea: a group of people fighting to the end to a prized title.

Even though this is more science fiction than dystopian, I didn't have any trouble keeping up with the different world that Maas created. It was nice and I loved how Celaena was the complete opposite of the other "proper" women in the novel.

Celaena was by far my favorite character! She has spunk, she talked back, and she is a survivor; she will do anything that needs to be done in order to live another day, even if it means becoming a killer and getting paid to do it.

And the interactions with the Crown Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall are amazing. The reader can tell that she has feelings for both men, but she doesn't know what to do with them or how to act on them. Plus, she knows nothing can come from it since they are located in the palace and she is just trying to get out of it.

Out of the two men, I like Captain Westfall the most. He doesn't say much, a man of little words, but he is always watching Celaena and, because we get multiple narrations in this novel, we know a little of what he is thinking when it comes to Celaena.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I think other readers will as well. Maybe if the cover was changed to make it gender neutral  more readers would pick it up and realize it's a different version of The Hunger Games, because the cover probably sends guy readers away.

I would definitely recommend this to other readers and I cannot wait to read the second novel later this year! Now I just have to play the waiting game!

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