Thursday, July 26, 2012

Early Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas / Reading Romances July Challenge

Reading Romances July Challenge

3) Read a book that is part of a series (Don’t forget to name the series and what Book number it is)
7)Read a book that has a princess or prince as a character; or a book inspired by a fairytale.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
by Sarah J. Maas

Expected publication: August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

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 kings 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 exhilirating. 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.

Bloomsbury USA Childrens

My Review:

The Throne of Glass has been available on Fictionpress a few years before, in a serial then known as Queen of Glass. Now, the famous tale is finally being published.

Celeana Sardothien has been sent to the prison of Endovier, to work as a slave. She has been able to survive in the salt mines for over a year, much longer than most people. Why? Because she is Adarlan's most notorious assassin. 

One day, a the Chief of the Kingdom's Guard is waiting for her. He came to fetch her and bring her to the Prince of Adarlan. Celeana is certain she was brought there to die, and so is completely stunned to discover that he had a bargain for her. Became the King's Assassin for a few years with the promise of freedom... or return to prison to die. Having no real choice in the matter, she agrees.

But to effectively become the King's Assassin, she must first defeat other 23 criminals in a tournament made to amuse the King and his court. Now she must train... and with so many threats around her, try and stay alive.

The Chief of Guard, Chaol Westfall, is in charge of her. Even though he doesn't trust her, he helps her regain her strength with serious training. However, Chaol can't help but start noticing more than her physical abilities and stealth. The thing is, neither can the Prince. 

Prince Dorian finds himself to be absolutely enthralled by the Assassin. She is nothing like other court ladies. And she couldn't be more wrong for him.

In a world of secrets and danger, Celeana struggles to figure out who is friend and who is foe in the frightening and cold Castle of Glass.

There were so many comparisons of this book to Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, that I was super excited to start reading it.

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed to find a very arrogant and very bland heroine. I know it may not make much sense. I mean, a female assassin, feared by so many... a very strong young woman, fending for herself, always on her own... I should have loved her!!! I'm not sure if it was all those comparisons and raving reviews that did it, but I just wasn't very impressed with the beginning of the book.

Nonetheless, the plot kept me going. Celeana became more human, more bearable, more likeable. And, eventually, I found myself cheering for her. And Chaol. And Dorian. LOL. No, I can never pick just one Team. 

The book was full of surprises, with a lot od fantasy and Faerie magic thrown in the mix, to make things more interesting.

I didn't like that the time period wasn't made very clear. I suppose it was set sometime in the past, (maybe 16th or 17th century?) if the clothing, the duels, kingdoms, and all that machismo crap were to be taken into consideration. But if I had only the dialogues to try and situate the story, then I'd be completely lost. They all talked like contemporary citizens. Slang included. Maybe that's a silly complain, but it bothered me. It is my opinion that the whole book would have had a more compelling feel to it if only it had been written more formally.

Oh, and it certainly took forever for people to realize that what had been killing those contenders wasn't human or even natural. I'm sorry, but if there are bite marks, claw marks, open chests and missing brains, then I'm pretty sure a human didn't do it. I just couldn't swallow their original disdain ("Oh, it was nothing. Maybe he just fell." Sure he did. And ripped his own heart and brain in the process!), and following doubts and suspicions over who did it ("Oh, I wonder if Celeana did it.  Even if she was inside her room the whole time and all the guards can attest to it."). It took them forever to even start considering that, maybe, it was a what, not a who. That little bit of info made me seriously doubt the characters' intelligence. Sorry, but that, too, ruined the story quite a bit to me.

The name Celeana bothered me, too. Couldn't they have gone with the simpler form of Selena? Well... but that's a bit irrelevant now. LOL.

Also, the book felt long, but even with all the faults, I ended up enjoying many parts of it. How Celeana would help and even care about her 'nicer' contenders. How she would befriend an outcast and, even though she became her only friend, it still didn't stop Celeana from being careful and doubting her motives later on. But I especially enjoyed the ending. Celeana surprised me by thinking first of herself and her future, not letting a troublesome and clearly fleeting romance get in the way of her freedom. 

I'm curious as to what will happen in the next books and will look for them. :)

If you like strong young heroines, fantasy and magic along with your adventure and romance, then you'll enjoy Throne of Glass.

* I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*


  1. comparable to Hunger Games and Game of Thrones. sounds like a good one already.
    The name Celeana bothers me too:D

  2. Sorry that Celeana didn't do it for you, but at least you liked the plot.
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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