Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
or: BOOM LETS GO MOTHER FUDGER
Synopsis: In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught. Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
People have been recommending me this book for ages, but for some reason, I’ve only just recently picked this series up. I know, I know, I’m insane right? I’m afraid I’ve only just recently seen the error of my ways.
This book is a brilliant debut novel;- I read Maas’ Court of Thorns and Roses earlier in the year so I was familiar with her work. But wow. What a kicker of a debut. You can tell Maas’ spent a lot of time working on this book. It’s been polished so much it shines.
The tournament is excellent. All the tests are placed perfectly through the middle of the book in a believable time frame. I honestly have no idea how Maas came up with all those creative tests. Either she has some weird dreams or she watches/reads some messed up stuff. Nothing felt repetitive, and it was refreshing watching Celaena really struggle with some tests but succeed in others.
This is what made Celeana an enjoyable character. She could have been one of those unbelievable heroines that was good at absolutely everything. I’m so glad she wasn’t. She made mistakes, and learned from them. She was stubborn without being annoying, and the slight psychopathic overtures you see in her logic and workings is fascinating.
And the elvish mythology subtly woven in? Almost got a nosebleed from how good that was. I’m really interested to see where she takes the whole forgotten queen story line. Especially the messed up stuff the baddies are getting messed up in. That’s creepy but interesting as heck.
My only quip with this book? The forced romance. WE DON’T NEED ROMANCE. IT’S NOT A NECESSARY REQUIREMENT FOR A NOVEL BELIEVE IT OR NOT. Augh, I hate it when an author chokes a book with romance when it’s not needed. Celaena doesn’t give a rats ass about that romance, she’s just forced into it. She’s an assassin. A good one. A man shouldn’t define her.
Sorry, had to get that frustration out.
By all means, create tension in your work. It just doesn’t have to be romantic all the time. Maas does end up improving on this in the second book; with hindsight and after reading the second book, I much prefer her approach in the second book to a romance between Celaena and another character. But that’s because its warranted, believable for her character at the time, and isn’t soppy in the slightest. But that’s for the next review. Lets go back to this book.
The dark shadow creatures scared the absolute bejesus out of me. Expertly crafted, Maas develops something of true night horror quality. But ultimately, the scariest villain in this series? Human. That’s what makes him so scary. But to avoid spoilers, that’s all I will reveal about the main villain. While slightly predictable, it’s still a good plot reveal and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.
As mentioned, I have read the second book in the series already- I raced my big white butt straight to Kmart and snatched it and devoured it soon after finishing this book. Watch this space for the review.
Overall? Liked it. Now sucked into this series.
Read: Australian/English mass-market paperback edition