Saturday, July 21, 2012

Early Review - Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas

"“You must listen to what I tell you. Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin, to learn the skills necessary for survival.”" Queen Elena to Celaena (Taken straight from ARC)

18-year-old Celaena Sardothien is serving out hard labor after being betrayed and captured by her enemies. After ending up in the salt minds of Ednovier where she is nothing more than a slave, she staves off attempts at murder and rape by the guards and fellow prisoners.

Having trained since the age of 8 to be the best assassin ever, she’s not easily killable as numerous guards and prisoners find out.
Celaena is known as Adarlan’s most skilled and feared assassin and it was her misfortune to trust the wrong people at the wrong time which got her sent to Ednovier in the first place.

Now, faced with certain death, she is given an opportunity by the Crown Prince of Adarlan Dorian Havilliard, to become the Kings Champion. All she has to do is face-off against 23 others, all of them men, in a battle of survival and skill sets and she will have her freedom after 4 years of service to the King. Given the bleakness of her future in the mines, she gladly agrees to Dorian’s proposition.

Yet, not everything is at it seems. The King of Adarlan is a piece of work. He is evil incarnate and wishes to expand his empire at the expense of anyone who gets in the way. There is also evil within the walls of the Glass Castle that wants to put an end to the competition and kill all the competitors.

"“Something evil dwells in this castle, something wicked enough to make the stars quake. Its malice echoes into all worlds,” the queen went on. “You must stop it. Forget your friendships; forget your debts and oaths. Destroy it, before it is too late, before a portal is ripped open so wide that there can be no undoing it.”"

Let me say right off the bat that I adore Fantasy of this nature. I love the fact that Maas created an alternative world that is straight out of Lord of the Rings. I love the fact that Maas also creates a strong, beautiful female lead character that isn’t afraid to show emotion and can kick some serious ass in the process. I highly disagree with anyone who compares this story to the Hunger Games. There is no comparison.

Although this is clearly billed as a YA novel, I would highly recommend it for all ages. I absolutely loved the world building that Sarah J Maas creates. I also enjoyed the sub characters like Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol Westfall, Princess Nehemia, and Queen Elena.

There is a bit of romance thrown into the storyline to make things more interesting. Yet, it’s not the highly objectionable 3 way love triangle that gets under my skin and causes me so much angst.

I can’t say enough about how Celaena was written. She is by far one of the best characters that I’ve read about in a very long time. She’s willing to take chances, she’s extremely brave, a bit on the sarcastic side, and she has an intelligence that rivals that of Dorian and Chaol. She loves to read books, and she plays music to remember those who have fallen before her. She becomes friends with Princess Nehemia and former Fae Queen Elena who both end up saving her life. Elena’s connection with Celaena is a mystery and one which I hope ends up being explored in the next installment.

Although Throne of Glass is the first book in the series, it doesn’t get bogged down by world or character building. The story is straight forward in it's mystery, suspense and conclusion. Celaena lives in a dangerous world where the King of Adarlan is an evil SOB who wishes to conquer all corners of the globe. She has one main mission and that is to survive and defeat the last men standing so that she can finally be free.

I’m obviously hoping to learn more about Celaena’s background in the next installment and how she ended up being trained by an assassin after her parents were murdered. In as far as my rating, I’m like a hanging chad in Florida, I can’t make up my mind what I want to rate this book. So, I shall leave it hanging between a 4, and 4.5 for now.

*ARC recvd 04.24.2012 from Bloomsbury Children's Books via --Releases August 07, 2012.

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