Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Throne of Glass

By Sarah J Maas


“Still the image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back”


Celaena Sardothien has spent the past year in the slave mines of Endovier. She’s the world’s best assassin, but she was betrayed… The Crown Prince offers her a deal; Celaena represents him in a tournament to find the king a champion to use as his personal assassin and after four years, she can finally reclaim her freedom. Celaena is provoked by the Prince, protected by the Captain of the Guard and befriended by a foreign Princess… and someone has started picking off the contestants.


Maas’s world is rich in culture and history after 10 years ago the king banned magic, slaughtered many Fae and began his overthrow of royal families. Her vivid descriptions transport you to Erilea so that you’re standing with Celaena throughout her (mis)adventures. The sprawling medieval-style world allows for detailed imagery of open landscapes bordered with mysterious forests and cloud-topped mountains.     


Throne of Glass has been criticised for its protagonist being a world famous deadly assassin and yet enjoying dresses, make up, reading and food. In my opinion, it makes it even better! Celaena is still a teenage girl; these things make her more realistic and relatable. I’d love to be able to fight like a badass but it doesn’t mean I couldn’t still like to look nice once and a while. This doesn’t mean that main characters like Katsa from Graceling are bad for not being girly enough, I just like Maas’s particular and different take on fighting girls.


The main point of view is obviously Celaena but it is mixed with little instalments of Prince Dorian and Captain of the Guard Chaol which allows you to get another perspective, see how they see Celaena and get to know them better as they become more and more important to the storyline and start their own. Often in young adult novels the dreaded Love Triangle occurs driving a rift between characters and starting an endless ship/OTP war online, but Throne of Glass in my opinion doesn’t have one. The friendship is more of a Harry Potter golden trio relationship. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some hints at a possible love story…


Maas manages to flawlessly blend heartbreaking drama, which allows you to see right to the heart of the characters and connect to them, with laugh out loud humour at the easy banter between the characters as they poke fun at each other.


Throne of Glass is a breath-stealing first instalment to the series. You feel completely at home immersed in the world. Maas eases you in by setting off with a fairly simple storyline of a tournament where the protagonist aims to be Champion but has the underlying main storyline which takes off in Book 2- Crown of Midnight allowing you to ease yourself in and fall in love with the characters rather than tumble in head-first, wondering which way is up and which is down.         

I hate to give a book 5 stars as I feel a book can always be improved, but Throne of Glass will forever remain a firm favourite on my shelf as I find it appeals to everything I like, a strong female lead in a fantasy world with a deep and gripping storyline full of political intrigue and betrayal, leaving to wanting more, all with a dash of humour and romance. Can’t fault it. 5 Stars.               

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