Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy
I finally jumped on the Sarah J Maas bandwagon. I recently read A Court of Thorns and Roses series and OMG. Can I just say Rhys is the hottest character to ever exist?? Of course, after finishing, I needed more from this amazing writer. After learning one of my friend’s favorite series is her Throne of Glass, I immediately went and bought it. (Okay, I got it from Audible, sue me. The narrator was amazing.)
This book follows Celaena Sardothien, a teenage assassin. A lot of people hate her character because she’s arrogant, but if she was male, they’d think it was hot. I liked her for she is a strong female lead who is actually a strong FEMALE. She is sassy, a complete badass, and girly. The way she thinks, reacts, her likes and dislikes, they’re feminine. Too many strong female characters are just masculine girls, reading Maas’s Celaena was so refreshing.
Celaena has been enslaved for a year in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes when she is summoned to the castle. There, Prince Dorian offers her freedom, but first she must act as his champion in a competition. If she won, she would become the tyrannical king’s personal assassin and after serving him for four years, she’d be released. Set against the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land, she must survive every test to make it to the final, a fight with the remaining champions to the death.
Celaena accepts and begins training with the captain of the guard, Chaol Westfall. Of course, it’s a YA so the prince starts to show interest in her, but it’s Westfall who seems to understand her, commence the love triangle. Thankfully, this wasn’t a major focus of the story and left greatly unexplored (so it can be used in the upcoming books I am sure).
Then things get interesting. Candidates start winding up dead in the castle, their bodies mangled. Celaena finds herself diving into the mysteries of these deaths, which in turn leads her to discover a greater destiny.
This book is written in third person, so we get to see multiple people’s perspective throughout the text. Each character is written incredibly well; although Prince Dorian seemed like every YA prince to exist, there were hints to there being more we have yet to explore. I enjoyed Celaena’s friendship with Nehemia, the Eyllwe princess, and I hope it is explored more. I am excited to see everyone’s character development in the upcoming books.
The writing flowed well, however, as a book about assassins, I kind of expected a little more action. Many of these tests are just mentioned in passing. “Yesterday we threw knives! Another two people were just murdered! But now let me go into detail of eating a random bag of candy that just showed up on my bed without any reason or a note. Could this be a trick by the, I don’t know, crazy murderer killing contestants like me? Just kidding, I didn’t even consider that before eating.” (Seriously, that scene was ridiculous. She’s a trained killer and she didn’t stop to access the risks?) Although this story always had an air of suspense to it, I felt like the focus needed to be elsewhere in many parts.
Overall though, the story had me entertained, and curious as to what would happen next. I will be reading the rest of the series, but the ending tied up the immediate plot nicely enough that if I never read anymore, I don’t think I’d mind.