^ link to Maas’ website.
“Throne of Glass”, the story of Adarlan’s Assassin, Celaena Sardothien, and how women can still be kick-ass in literature. The King is holding a competition for a new Champion – someone to be his personal assassin. The competition is of course completely secret, and sponsored by the crown and a few choice nobles. Celanea is the most feared assassin in the land; serving time in Endovier for her crimes against humanity she is “rescued” from the slave camp by Prince Dorian Havilliard who chooses her as his Champion in the competition. If she wins the competition she will serve as the King’s personal assassin and earn her freedom – a word she hasn’t known in years. Trained by Chaol, the captain of the guard, she must defeat 23 other Champions to win the title. In the midst of the competition the other Champions begin dying off in gruesome ways. Celaena must keep her wits about her if she hopes to survive.
Throw in some rebel forces and a strong lack of trust in anyone and anything and this makes for a pretty intense novel.
I read this novel because my dear friend lent it to me with the comment, “It’s weird. Good. But weird. Kind of ‘Hunger Games’-y. But not really. There’s magic. You’ll see. It’s weird. But good. It’s a series.”
I therefore went into this novel with limited expectation, except to expect Hunger Games and Magic. Which both elements are present. The competition definitely has a “Hunger Games” vibe, and there’s a bit of (what I saw as) a love triangle (Gale/Peeta/Katniss style); but the magic elements take it to a different level. I felt like there was a lot going on in the novel, from the basic plot (Celaena, compete, go) to the magic (Wyrdmarks, Fae, and Demons oh my) to the rebel forces (a foreign Princess, a seedy King, really what more could you ask for?) however, all of these elements continuously intertwined so I didn’t feel as though anything was too out in left field. I think it all came together well, and it kept it interesting. I definitely got to a point a few times where I didn’t want to do anything but read and find out what would happen.
Celaena was a strong female character. I think she had enough girlishness about her to be realistic, but I think that it wasn’t her sole quality – and I don’t think she was so hardened and tough that she became bland; there was a good mix of characterization in her in my opinion.
I look forward to seeing how Chaol, Dorian, and Nehemiah (amongst others) evolve in the sequel(s). “Crown of Midnight” is available now.
I think if you do like fantasy novels and Hunger Games, and kick-ass heroines then yes, this is a book you will enjoy.
Also, there are e-book novella’s that accompany the books (stories of Celaena as an Assassin judging by the titles, I haven’t yet read them). You can find them here however.