Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

Title:  Throne of Glass
Author:  Sarah J. Maas
Genre:  Young Adult – Fantasy, Romance, Action

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  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 king’s 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 exhilarating. 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.

Review:  I can’t even remember how I came across this book, honestly.   It seems like I was poking around on Goodreads, and noticed on something – but then again, it seems like it was on Amazon.com first, because I remember their descriptions/synopsis sucked, so I went to Goodreads to see if I could get something better – which of course I did.  Goodreads almost always has a good description of the book.  Plus, if you read reviews, they are mostly reliable. 
So Throne of Glass; first of all, the first thing I think of is “Game of Thrones,” which I think is natural given the popularity of the show and books, so I had to do a double take to realize that this book had nothing to do with the other.  Reading the synopsis, I knew immediately this was a book that I would be interested in, and hoped that the reviews were trustworthy.  THANK YOU follow bloggers/Goodreads reviewers, you did not steer me wrong in this one.  I absolutely loved this book.
Describing Throne of Glass to my husband was interesting to say the least.  I don’t usually talk about books with him, just because the majority of the books I read he wouldn’t be interested in, but I knew that this one was just interesting enough that he’d probably be okay discussing it with me.  However, I used a myriad of similes while describing this book to try to give him an idea of what we were dealing with.  The first is an obvious, Celaena is a lot like Katniss of the Hunger Games, however minus any self doubt, in that she is just simply awesome.  Celaena was trained from the age of 8 to be an assassin, and she is quite simply the best.  She knows it, and anyone who has ever heard her name knows it.  The next comparison I made was between Celaena and Sherlock Holmes (hear me out here)!  We are not talking about the books – which is what confused my husband – but the most recent movies with Robert Downey Jr.  The scenes where he sees what’s coming and he mentally goes through all the moves as to how he’s going to get out of the situations.  Celaena does this as well, as an assassin, she is trained to know the easiest and most effective way to get out of situations, so from the beginning she is constantly mentally going through scenarios as to how she can disarm, escape, kill, etc.  However, she is smart enough to watch all the cards on the table and see what hand she is being dealt.  This constant awareness, though, starts to happen less frequently as Celaena gets more comfortable with her surroundings and the people around her.  As she becomes less of a being looking to defend and look out for herself, and more of a girl with emotions and a great personality.  And finally, as a description of the kingdom that we are looking at, I briefly used the BC show’s Merlin, a kingdom where magic exists, but it is illegal/banned/will get you killed in a heartbeat. 
So here we are, combining many of my favorite book attributes into one beautiful novel.  Er, well series actually.  Of course.  Unfortunately, the storyline of the love triangle is not lost on this book either. I mean, everything else was included too, right?  (I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES!)  I will say, that within this novel, the romance is a byproduct of the book.  It was perfectly played out.  Celaena was a little oblivious, or maybe not oblivious, but being obtuse when it came to the men in her life, but still yet, it wasn’t horrible.  What IS horrible is the fact that both Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall are equally as appealing.  It makes it very difficult to come to grips with the love triangle when there isn’t a clear cut “I like this guy” in the scenario.    So outside of that, I loved this story – Celaena is fighting for her freedom, which comes with a cost of it’s own, but at least she has a definite goal and end in sight, and she’s no longer a slave in a salt prison, right?  I’m sure that this all plays out interestingly in future books.  But then throw in the elements of magic, and it’s not overwhelming within the book – just enough to keep you interested and curious.  It makes you want to know who Celaena really is, and how this is going to end.  This, in my eyes, makes Sarah J. Mass a great story teller.  She’s got foreshadowing down to an art, however did not leave the book in some scream-worthy cliff hanger…just enough to make you want more.  NEED more!
Fantasy/romance/strong-female character/evil kingdoms/injustice/rebellion – all the wonderful beautiful elements in creating a story…a fairytale if you will, that you will not want to miss!

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