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Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas was released in the U.S. on August 7, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA, the print edition is 416 pages.

Throne of Glass is the first full-length book in a series by the same name.

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Goodreads description:

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 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.

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Celaena Sardothien had a choice to make. Become Prince Dorian Havilliard’s champion in a competition to be the next King’s Assassin or remain in the salt mines of Endovier for the rest of her days.

The choice should have been an easy one – eventual freedom over certain death. But serving the King, even for a short period of time, was a price Celaena wasn’t sure she was willing to pay. Then again, the price for choosing to remain in Endovier was one she knew she wasn’t ready to pay.

Trained by Arobynn Hamel, the King of the Assassins, winning the competition was practically a foregone conclusion. But all the training in the world would not be enough to ensure a victory if she wasn’t around to compete. And with someone, or something, killing off the competitors one by one, there was no guarantee she would be.

With time running out and the competition quickly drawing to a close, Celaena must figure out who’s behind her opponents’ grisly and violent deaths or she could be next.

And not only could her one chance at freedom be taken away, so could her life.

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Throne of Glass is an exciting, enchanting and epic tale that delivers page after page of riveting action, nail-biting suspense and an intriguing mystery. It invites readers to a faraway land ruled by a power-hungry King, where just the mere mention of magic could mean instant death, where assassins do the bidding of those willing to pay and where imprisonment means hard labor with almost no chance for survival.

When Adarlan’s Assasin, Celaena Sardothien, is given the opportunity to leave behind the confines of Endovier’s salt mines to serve as Prince Dorian Havilliard’s champion in a competition to become the new royal assassin, she knows it’s her only chance at freedom. And her only hope of leaving the prison alive.

But unless she can regain her former strength and dexterity, that the year of harsh conditions and punishment she endured in prison had taken from her, she will end up back in Endovier’s mines with little chance of lasting another year. So losing is not an option. And Celaena will do whatever it takes to win.

Even if it means training with the Captain of the Royal Guard. Even if it means keeping her identity secret. And even if it means letting everyone believe that there’s something going on between her and Prince Dorian.

Author Sarah J. Maas has penned an incredibly captivating and beautifully written story filled with dangerous enemies, dark magic, fierce battles, deadly secrets, twists and turns, deception and betrayal. With a strong, clever and resourceful heroine who gains strength and courage as the story progresses, a Prince who is faced with a choice between standing up for what he believes in or continuing to side with a King he fears, and a loyal Captain who must decide if he is willing to let down his guard and put his trust in the assassin in his charge, Throne of Glass will keep readers glued to the page and thirsting for more.

With an expansive setting just waiting to be explored, a large cast of characters to love and adore, despise or distrust, and both a past and present that are shrouded in mystery, this first book in the series sets the stage for even more exciting and magical adventures to come.

Throne of Glass is a must for fans of high fantasy and readers who are looking to get lost in a story set in another time and place, where kings have dominion over the land, where battles are fought with swords, where magic lingers and where treachery abounds.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

Throne of Glass put the “epic” in epic fantasy. This book was the stuff of awesome. I fell easily and immediately into this world of treachery, assassins, thieves, princes, kings, magic and betrayal.

And I instantly connected with the story, with Celaena, Dorian and Chaol and with the author’s gorgeous writing.

I knew from the moment I saw the book trailer and read the book’s description that I would love this story. A competition that pitted criminals against each other to win the coveted title of royal assassin and a chance to earn their freedom was one I couldn’t wait to read. And the fact that the main character, Celaena, was an assassin made me even more excited to check it out.

Well, it was everything I imagined it to be and more. The world was enchanting, rich with history and full of secrets. Secrets I just know the author only touched upon in this book.  I am so very curious to find out more about the places the King had conquered, the mystery behind Oakwald Forest and just what the world was like before it was stripped of magic.

Though I’m even more curious to find out about certain characters’ motivations and to learn just who is really pulling the strings. Yes, I really want to know who that is.

While I loved the fighting, the mystery, the danger, the deception and the action and suspense, I really love, love, loved the love story – and the almost love story – in this book. So much so that I can’t even choose sides.

I don’t know who I love more for Celaena, as they both are perfect for her in so very many ways and both can break her heart. Chaol is so serious and Dorian is so much fun. Chaol is strong, loyal, a fighter. Dorian is powerful, rebellious, a Prince. Both men are honorable. Both men are flawed. And I can totally see Celaena with either of them. For the moment, anyway….

There was so much to love about Throne of Glass, but what I loved most of all was meeting Celaena. While I still have so very many questions about her past, about her time training as an assassin and certain other details I can’t even whisper about without potentially revealing too much, I really feel I’ve gotten to know her.

She’s strong. She’s intelligent. She’s a survivor. She’s a fighter – and not just in battle – though she is scary good with knives. And she’s charming and kind and still has hope, even with everything that has happened to her in her life.

And while she may be a hired killer with some serious skills, she has not lost her humanity. Not even her imprisonment could take that away. Which makes me love her even more. Though I’m not the only one. It seems she may have managed to capture the heart of a Prince and chip away some of the ice from the frosty exterior of the Captain of the Guard. Neither of which are easy feats.

I am so excited to read all the author’s short stories of Celaena’s adventures as an assassin. But I’m absolutely dying to read the next book in the series. I can’t wait to see what happens with Captain Westfall and the Crown Prince of Adarlan. I can’t wait for secrets to be revealed. I can’t wait to discover even more about this world the author created. And I can’t wait to be amazed once more.

Throne of Glass was magical, exciting, full of twists and turns, surprises and betrayals. It was a book I wasn’t able to put down. It was a story I never wanted to end. It had characters I didn’t want to say goodbye to. Even temporarily. This book was a total must read for me, and one I definitely must read again.

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Favorite quote:

I had just over twenty favorite passages in Throne of Glass. Some perfectly captured the author’s beautiful writing. Some painted an incredible picture of the world. Some made me smile. And some made me melt. I decided to share a part of one of those.

His breath was warm on her neck as he bent his head, resting his cheek against her hair. Her heart beat so quickly, and yet she felt utterly calm–as if she could have stayed there forever and not minded, stayed there forever and let the world fall apart around them. She pictured his fingers, pushing against the line of chalk, reaching for her despite the barrier between them.

 

About the Author

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she’s not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

Her debut YA epic fantasy novel, THRONE OF GLASS, was published by Bloomsbury on August 7th, 2012.

Find her: TWITTER, FACEBOOK, GOODREADS, WEBSITE, BLOG

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The Tour

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The AWESOME Book Trailer

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This review is based on an eARC I received from the publisher Bloomsbury Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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