Sunday, July 08, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass 
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas 
Release Date: August 7, 2012 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's 
Source: Publisher via NetGalley 
When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival–and a desperate quest to root out the source of evil before it destroys her world.
I honestly feel that fantasy has taken a back seat these days when it comes to books that are being published and I find this to be extremely sad. When I first saw the cover for Throne of Glass, the beautiful cover intrigued me. Would it sound as good as the cover looked? Turns out, not only did Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (who is gorgeous herself, y’all) have a great description, the book itself was really good. Throne of Glass was a great read with a kick ass assassin, mystery, world building and a love triangle that actually worked.

The plot: Political drama full of scheming and poisoning and placing bets and over throwing of governments and rebels! I swear, everything you WANT in a good fantasy world was in this book. First, the main protagonist is an assassin, something you don’t always see in books these days. Then, there’s a contest where more assassins and killers and thieves from all over the kingdom come to see how will be the King’s Assassin! Add in some mysterious deaths and fantasy folklore and you’ve got Throne of Glass. The book itself is HUGE and I was happy about that. Though it moved slowly sometimes, I was able to get a better feel for the world and the characters and what was really happening in the story.

The writing: I’m actually on the fence with this one. While I liked the writing and how well it fit the characters and the world, I did feel that it wasn’t as developed. Maybe even a little juvenile. No, I don’t like it when authors use big words that have nothing to do with the book itself to make it sound sophisticated, I want there to be some depth.

The protagonist: Celaena is awesome, plain and simple. The first thing I liked about her was that she was kick ass assassin who had been caught and though she was still as good as they said she was, imprisonment had broken her a little. She was ruthless, yes, but fragile at the same time and the reader is able to see this. I wouldn’t have liked her as much if she had sworn to never think about what had happened to her in the past because it really made her who she was. She saw thing differently after her imprisonment than she did before it. Not only is she a great assassin and she’s willing to prove it, the girl likes to dress up. When she gets a chance to wear pretty dresses, SHE TAKES THE CHANCE. You have NO IDEA how happy this made me.  Celaena wants to prove that she can be just as strong in a dress as she can be in more masculine clothes. Sarah J. Maas did a great job with Celaena! I did feel that she was very arrogant about her abilities and I didn’t like this at first BUT when she began talking about her past, I realized that it was very much a cover. Sometimes, you just need to forget the demons of your past.

The romance: Of course, there was a romance in this book! A love triangle no less but it was a love triangle that I actually liked. Both Chaol and Dorian had aspects of their personality that I liked and it made them more likable. Both men have something to offer Celaena and bring out different aspects about her. For me, I liked Chaol a lot. While the romance with Dorian was sweet and cute, I felt that Chaol knew the reality of Celaena’s life better.

The world: The interesting part about this book was that somehow, you learn more about the world through the eyes (and from) the characters themselves. The different countries and the kingdoms are described through the diverse cast of characters. There wasn’t too much descriptions to bog down the reading but there was enough to satisfy the reader. In a fantasy novel that is part of a series or trilogy, I don’t think the first book should ever completely get the world down flat. There should so a lot more about the world that the author needs to develop in the other books and I hope that this is exactly what Sarah J. Maas will do in the future novels.

Overall, Throne of Glass has a great protagonist who you will root for throughout the novel. There are times when you want to knock Celaena down from her high pedestal and other times, you feel for her. The world is amazing and the plot is terrific and this is an excellent fantasy novel. Sarah J. Maas delivers a wonderful debut that has been talked about for a reason!
Cover Comments: 
I like this cover a lot but not for this particular book. Does that girl look like she's been in salt mines for the past year? No. She's pretty and all, but I expected something....more. The *city* in the background looks like smoke *to me* and it's such a great contrast to the the other colors of the cover! The font is awesome too and makes it all seem to regal! I for one actually like it when they put the publisher on the cover and it's in dark font under the author's name for those of you who are interested!
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