My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
*Possibly, maybe some spoilers*
Alright. Some of my thoughts may seem prejudiced after reading the other two books in the series that are currently out, but I’ll do my best to write what I was feeling and had felt when I had read this book only.
Sarah J Maas has unbelievable skill, as so many fantasy writers do, at creating new worlds and characters. She builds up kings and queens, noblemen, countrymen, slaves, magic, and mayhem. The character have depth, even the shallow ones. There is constant growth, which I love. I need character development in my books. I love to be immersed in whole new worlds and imagine things that I never would’ve thought of.
Meet Celaena: An assassin. A slave. A champion? The least likely savior of her competition and the Royal Bloodline she hates the most? I loved her. She had an amazing ferocity. No matter her past, she was snarky and sarcastic. She also had a soft side too, despite her best attempts to fool everyone into thinking otherwise. Flirty…and oblivious!! God like most protagonist sometimes I just wanted to yell at her. Okay, so maybe I did yell at her. In my head–or out loud. The point being she wasn’t perfect, because how boring would that have been? She got into messes, a lot, but also got out of them–barely.
Captain Chaol Westfall (of the Royal Guards): Oh Captain, My Captain. Yes I fell in love with you from the start. Prince who? It broke my heart to see Chaol and Celaena be so clueless together, when they were so right! I mean he was gruff, but so was she, they argued, but what romance doesn’t inspire a little passion? He had a weak spot for her, tenderness that seemed new–different from the way he treated Dorian, his BFL. Bros for life.
Prince Dorian: I don’t know… Dorian was a well written character. He had charm, he had insecurities. But he was just a boy and so confused it seemed to me. Sometimes I even felt he was using Celaena as much as she was toying with him. I didn’t hate him. But he kind of flew under my radar, I seemed to skim more in the chapters that were focused on him (I know I’m awful!!!)
While Dorian and Chaol definitely had that Barney and Ted bond. (Dorian/Barney had all the charm, was a player and partier. Chaol/Ted was more the stay at home, one girl, if any sweeter when you got to know him, but still slightly awkward and took everything so seriously.) Dorian was missing Barney’s flare, his panache for life and holding your attention.
Princess Nehemia: A visiting Ellewye Princess to the Glass Castle. She was mysterious, but Celaena was the only one to really break down her walls it seemed. No one else wanted anything to do with her, or trusted her because Adarlan was on the brink of war with her people. Tall, graceful–hating court life, and spy?
Setting: Adarlan, Rifthold. ONce again an author took me away to a whole new land. Rifthold is the entirety of the country. A country where magic once prospered as well as several countries with their own governing bodies. That was before the King of Adarlan took over, magic disappeared and thousands or more were butchered. All royalty, magic-wielders gone. Most of the story took place in Adarlan though with few mentions of outside places. Like the Assassins Keep where Celaena was trained.
Everything seemed so vivid, perfectly laid out for me to imagine, or piece together in my ind what I thought it was like. There was no point in time that I couldn’t conjure an image because there was nothing to go off of. And that is what I liked, there wasn’t so much information and detail that I was drowning, but it swept me up into the story that I honestly couldn’t put it down. When I did, I felt awkward being back in the real world, I needed Rifthold again.
Brillliant! Stay tuned for my Reviews on Throne of Glass #2 and #3!
Let the Ink Run Free~