Thursday, July 26

Throne of Glass: Book Review

Throne of Glass
Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury USA Children's
August 7th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Official Blurb -

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.
Dorian's interest in Celaena feels like that of a spoiled child wanting what he can't have or isn't given him. A desperate attempt that allows him to avoid actual effort but taste what work is like. Chaol's interest is more the result of a guilty conscience. His logic says not to trust Celaena while his subconscious is ready for a full investment. He hangs around her from the guilt of purposefully mistrusting her.

Celaena really bothered me as a character. She is all bluff. At every turn she brags about all her assassin prowess but NEVER does anything. It seems like all her inner "I am so great" is just an attempt to make herself feel less helpless. She definitely has plenty of flaws, so much so she is like a sieve. She is not the assassin I expected. I guess I was hoping more for someone of Valek's ability, from Poison Study, and she was pathetic. Easily distracted by pretty things and always leaving herself vulnerable. Even some of the other characters comment on how vulnerable she is. She is far too trusting for an assassin. But that is her problem and why she ended up in captivity in the first place. She is a very lucky person. It is hard to believe she could ever have made it to the top of the assassin pyramid.

The climax was very intense and violent. So incredibly intense and violent that everything that came after felt off. It was hard to believe she could just sit around after being in such danger.

I thought it was insanely obvious who the villains are and was so irritated with Celaena for being completely blind. All the groundwork clues that were supposed to implicate this other person just weren't strong enough to convince me as a reader. Not enough misdirection.

This book was very slow to build and full of tons of empty threats and dialog. The characters seem so shallow at first. Then almost suddenly, near the end, they take sides and have demands. The status of the relationships between the characters ends oddly. In a way it is really different to not drag out a romantic triangle. I really wonder if it will hold and where the three will end up. I feel a forboding about Dorian. There is such dark potential in him through his obsession with a certain young lady. That would be a really sad road to follow. Let us hope I am wrong.

Violence: Heavy