Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Shelf: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

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?

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas’s is a beguiling debut which blends high stakes fantasy with court politics and action, all the while brimming with friendship, love and romance.

Going into this novel, I must say I had quite high hopes. And while the book didn’t live up to my expectations entirely, I found Throne of Glass to be quite an enjoyable read. The book is steady paced and admittedly seems long at times with very little occasionally going on, but the mystery that surrounds the goings on at the palace are enough to keep one entertained, with the relationships that develop between the characters and the plotline demanding your focus.

Sarah J. Maas is extensively talented for a debut novelest. From the very beginning her writing draws you into the story. Written in the third person, it’s beautiful and extensively descriptive; detailing a fantasy world incredibly vivid. Maas spared us nothing; painting a rich, lyrical world both war torn and beautiful. Maa’s plotline is intricate and politically driven. Intrigue and deception go hand in hand with friendship, trust and loyalty all playing important roles within the story.

It’s quite clear that Maas has put a lot of thought into the creation of the world of Erilea. Evident from the detailed map we see at the beginning of Throne of Glass, Maas’s world building shines with ancient history warring with current tradition. Magic and leaders from the past haunt of heroine and shape the novel. With so much left unexplained, but hints towards more made throughout, I’ve looking forward to where Maas intends to take this world.

Featuring such an alluring setting, Throne of Glass was lucky to feature a handful of really fabulous characters. Maas’s characters were surprisingly layered, where assassins and thieves prove be kind-hearted and deep and those of the court (unsurprisingly) were deceptive and self driven. Obviously, Celaena stands out as long with male leads, Prince Dorian and Captian Chaol Westfall, but Nehemia, the princess of Eyllwe and Nox a charming thief all prove to be fantastic additions to the storyline.

Our heroine, Celaena Sardothien is the world’s best assassin. Beautifully. Deadly. And quite an exceptional leading lady. It took me a little while to warm up to her, but as the book progressed, I really came to like Celaena. A trained assassin more than capable of killing with her bare hands, Celaena is a delicious mix of innocence and killer. There’s no mistaking the strength of her. Celaena was all sassy arrogance and snark on the outside, but surprising sweetness and femininity inside. There was a definite difference to face she projected to court society and the Celaena she was to those she grew close to. I found I really loved the contradictions to her; fighter one moment, girly the next. I liked that she had insecurities as a woman but strength and confidence in her fighting skills and who she was as an assassin. Intelligence, courage and bravery all shone from her. Here is a girl who truly didn’t need a man to survive and was fully capable of taking care of herself and I found that empowering!

Throughout Throne of Glass there are two prominent male leads. Crown Prince Dorian and his best friend Captain Chaol Westfall. As the novel is told in third person, we get glimpses into these two very different yet still so intriguing young men. One the future king; cocky, arrogant and a complete womaniser and the other Captain of the guard; quiet, shy and guarded but with a mesmerising personality. Both have amazing heart and intentions and both clearly come to adore Celaena as they get to know her and she worms her way into their hearts.

Maas writes Celaena’s relationships with both men wonderful. There are two very different relationships here and yet both were so perfect. Celaena and Dorian’s relationship is flirty and fun, while Celaena and Chaol bond over their shared skills and experiences. Both male leads have chemistry with Celaena, sharing endearing moments with her. It’s really impossible to see where this love triangle will go—really, at this point it’s anyone’s guess. There’s an added complication that both Chaol and Dorian are close friends and while I’m still not completely sure who Celaena will choose, I know who my heart belongs to. I have a special place in my heart for Dorian (He reminds me of Adrian from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead) but at this point I’m strictly on Team Chaol. There’s just something so appealing about that deep, stoic solider that I can’t fight.

Featuring an exciting, edge of your seat battle leading up towards the ending, fans of Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study will adore this book and with this stage of Celaena’s journey wrapped up nicely, I find myself very eager for the next instalment!

Source: Sent for review by Bloomsbury Australia (Thank you guys!).
Format: Paperback.
AU Release Date: Available now!
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Recommendation: This is one for fantasy fans and those who love Maria V. Snyder's books!
Cover: It's pretty kick-ass, although I am partial to the US one a bit more.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes, I will. I'm eager to see what happens next.


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