18 year old Celaena Sardothien can break a man’s neck with very little effort. She has been trained to withstand difficult physical and weather conditions. She bears scars, both visible and invisible, all over her body. But what she can’t do is curtsy properly.
When the Crown Prince drags the young assassin out of the salt mines with a promise of freedom, Celaena has no idea what to expect when she is taken out of hard labour and made into a lady.
The price of freedom? A competition between other skilled assassins of the land to pick out the King’s Champion. Whoever wins at the end becomes the King’s personal assassin, and then is freed in a few years.
As she begins training with the able, handsome captain of the guard, Captain Westfall, it all seems pretty simple to Celaena, that is until the other assassins start showing up dead in the most gruesome, terrifying ways. And it only seems like a matter of a time that the killer reaches Celaena, before she can win the competition…or have her heart stolen.
I honestly didn’t expect much from this book, whose description was interesting, but by no means mind-blowing. What I got instead was a fast-paced, suspenseful, thrilling fantasy story.
Calaena was definitely not your typical YA heroine who swoons and simpers. She is a trained assassin and doesn’t really let her guard down, even when she’s brought to the castle and given comforts she hasn’t seen in years. She is arrogant at times, yet Maas doesn’t let her get away with it, as her over-confidence does come back to hurt her during the competition. She is flawed and that’s what makes her a great character.
Again, with mention of two leading men and a hint of a love triangle, I was pleasantly surprised at the way Maas handled it all. Sure, there are times when Calaena seems infatuated with the Crown Prince, as they flirt and kiss, but these feelings never consume the whole story. Throughout it all. Calaena seems guarded and cautious, and doesn’t let her feelings get the best of her. She knows she has a job to do and she remains focused on it.
The suspense (and the creepy deaths) keep the plot moving forward, and there isn’t really a moment when you’re bored or waiting for something to happen. The twist of the supernatural also adds an extra plot twist, as does all the political intrigue regarding the king and the revolution that seems to be brewing in the lands. Thus, the story is never truly Calaena’s, as there are numerous agendas at work, and Calaena is sometimes just a pawn in them.
With that said, Throne of Glass isn’t perfect. There were times when the political drama, with all the neighbouring lands, just went over my head. I couldn’t keep the other countries’ names straight nor could I remember who was from where.
Other than that, Throne of Glass was a fast-paced adventure that was filled with supernatural going-ons, romance, mystery, and a great story.
So for that: 3.5/5.
Thanks for reading,