Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy YA
First Published: 2012
Page Count: 404
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Note: Book 1 of the Throne of Glass series
While the main storyline can be less than thrilling at certain points, it is the characters and their journey together that make this story worth reading.
“Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters.” Celaena Sardothien, one of the kingdom’s greatest assassins, has been summoned from her prison to compete against other thieves, criminals, and warriors to win the job to become the King’s Champion. If she wins it could mean her freedom, but if she loses, she will return to serve out her life sentence in prison. However, Celaena soon has more to worry about then the competition with the attentions of her sponsor, Dorian the crown prince, to fend off, the intense training from Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, a friendship to foster with a visiting foreign princess, and the fear of death that creeps up as more and more competitors end up murdered.
I am in love with the A Court of Thorns and Roses series so the next logical step, especially while waiting for book 3 in the series, was to look into the first book Maas wrote. Initially, I didn’t click with Celaena because she was this rough, scarred (inside and out) individual who somehow also liked to wear pretty things and be feminine. She is complex and it took awhile to get used to who she is. Every single character is interesting from the dark and scheming king and Duke Perrington, to the handsome yet lonely prince Dorian. And who can forget the mysterious princess Nehemia or the no-nonsense Captain of the Guard, Chaol? I wanted to know what their backstories were and where they were going, but the most engaging part of the book were any interactions between Celaena, Chaol, or Dorian. I have to give props to Maas for how she made those two characters so important to Celaena right under our noses.
Celaena’s story revolves around her competing to become the King’s Champion, but that was the piece of the book that I found least interesting. A lot of times it felt like the author was just glossing over each test they had to compete in. Sometimes she would give it a little description and others, Maas would merely mention that a few tests had already gone by. The reader really only sees any action in the first, one of the middle tests, and the last test. In truth, I wasn’t too upset to skip over the tests because I was more interested in the politics and relationships outside of the competition, but if this was the whole point of the book I thought it could’ve used a little more attention.
While this book wasn’t nearly as exciting as any in her other series that I mentioned above, it was definitely a good read. I don’t know what is in store for Celaena that is epic enough to fill the pages of the next five books that currently exist, but I am very motivated to find out where the characters go in their relationships. Looks like I have a date with Amazon Prime later tonight…