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.
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
For lack of a better word—WOW!!!
This book was completely, totally, freakin’, AMAZING. I’ve found a new Favorite of All Time. Ms. Maas, you are officially one of my idols. I am now on a severe Reader’s High (a sense of lingering euphoria resulting from reading an outrageously good book).
I’ve had two copies of Throne of Glass on my shelf for a few weeks now, but haven’t picked either of them up because I’d read the novellas and knew that once I started it, I wouldn’t be able to properly function as a sane individual until I finished it. (And I was right.)
I started it in the afternoon and my eyeballs were practically glued to the book until I reached page 300-ish about 11:00 at night and I finally decided to go to sleep. But I couldn’t get the story out of my head and woke up at 3:30 in the morning dying to know what would happen. After tossing and turning for awhile, I broke down and read the final 100 pages while everyone else was properly asleep.
Once I finished it, I stayed awake for about another half hour, grinning like a moron and running over the awesomeness of the story in my head.
The plot was quick paced and relentless, but not so fast I was emotionally exhausted by the end. There were places where I could stop and catch my breath, but the pace never came to a complete stop. Though a satisfying amount was explained at the end, there’s still plenty of questions unanswered and I’m very, very excited for the next book.
Well, Celaena won me over for good by the second chapter of The Assassin and the Desert, yet she did it all over again here. She is the perfect blend of arrogant, vulnerable, kind, deadly, and strong. People, don’t you dare go comparing her to Katniss and Katsa, she is far more awesome.
Dorian was a likeable character, though I could get frustrated with him at times. (Which was just another thing that kept yours truly flipping the pages.) I found his moral struggles with foreign policy and his father’s conquering mentality to be very compelling and he was very helpful in providing the occasional ridiculous comment to soften the tone.
Okay, so I said I liked Dorian, which is true. But I’m still for Team Chaol, 100%. Chaol wasn’t nearly as prone to jealousy as the prince, which I thought was charming. He falls for Celaena against his better judgment. I admired his loyalty (even that to the King), his level-headedness, and his bravery. He’s also quite compassionate and kind under that gruff exterior.
Nehemia, the foreign princess who befriends Celaena, is another excellent character. Strong, intelligent, courageous, skilled in (spoiler), I think she is a great friend for Celaena and I look forward to seeing more of her.
Usually, I mention the bad guy in this paragraph. Problem is, there are about a half dozen to pick from. So I guess I’ll go with Dorian’s father, the King, since he seems to be the main baddie. The King reminds me of Darken Rahl from Legend of the Seeker. That means he is a wicked, powerful, evil character you just can’t wait to get bumped off and at the same time you’re morbidly fascinated by his seemingly pure evil nature. As far as villains go, the King is perfect. Celaena’s fear of him is completely understandable and I thought that was something else that made her relatable as a character (don’t we all have something we’re scared of?).
I am wondering about what’s going on with Arobynn Hamel and how life’s treating him. He’s mentioned a few times, but we’re not really sure about him. After reading the ending to The Assassin and the Empire, I’m vindictively hoping something unpleasant happens to him.
So that was a pretty long review. Well, what can I say? I’m entitled to gush. This book is the best I have read in a very, very long time and in my opinion, it leaves all the popular books I’ve read behind in a cloud of dust. In other words, go read it. Please, and then we can all gush about it. =)