Monday 6 August 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Celaena Sardothien.

Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

Throne of Glass is such a treat to read- the best kind of fantasy, because you can believe in this magical world and these characters are so real and lovable and their experiences are relatable.

First of all, Celaena is my favourite type of heroine because she is so feisty and independent. She is a powerfully deadly assassin, a fierce woman who can totally look after herself, has a strong will to survive, and a spunky attitude, but she also has a strong moral compass, a playful side, a snarky, sarcastic wit, and also an emotional vulnerability that makes you want to wrap her up and look after her. Plus she is smart and she loves books!

When we first meet Celaena she has spent a year as a slave in the salt mines of Endovier as a punishment for her crimes as an assassin. She is beaten and half-starved, but still has a strong spirit, and still talks back to anyone in authority.

When she is offered a choice- to stay and die in Endovier, or to come to the capital, and compete for the chance to become the King's Champion, and after four years her freedom- she knows that there is no choice.

The captain of the guard Chaol Westfell assigned to watch her is accutely aware of what Celaena is capable of and never for a minute underestimates her- he is quite cold and extremely dedicated to his job, but even he starts to thaw out  around Celaena's character eventually, and it's obvious that he grows to really respect her, and even trust her.

The other main character that I really loved was Dorian the Crown Prince- so different from his cruel father the King- a bit of a joker with a reputation as a bit of a player, but who is also a big reader, and who is drawn to Calaena's wit and her spunkiness- she is so different from the rest of the simpering girls at court. I really loved both of these men for different reasons, and I liked reading the the growing bonds of friendship between these three.

Another fantastic character is Princess Nehemia, a visiting princess from a neighbouring country, who quickly befriends Celaena, and is another character who is not what she first seems. But all the characters in this- from the good guys to the bad, are all so fleshed out and therefore really believable. Celaena quickly and easily adapts to her new surroundings and her new role, and makes a new life for herself within the palace.

Celeana has to use her brain, her instincts and her ability to sneak around the palace to work out who she can trust, especially when the potential champions start getting killed off in mysterious circumstances, discovered next to banned magical symbols. But this mystery and the politics of the warring countries all adds extra layers to a fantastic story where the main focus is on the charactersand their emotions. .

I wish that more of the intriguing hinted at backstory had been told, but overall this is a brilliantly told tale, with mystery, intrigue, action, humour, magic and love. It has many elements that reminded me of Maria V. Snyder's Poison Study. This is such a fantastic fantasy debut, and I would love to see more in this series.

Alternative cover:

Published in the US and other parts of the world.

This was originally published under the title Queen of Glass on FictionPress


  1. This is one of my favourite reads so far this year. I can't wait for the sequel!

  2. What a great review, Sally I can tell you *really* liked this and you've made me reconsider it because I have read a few negative reviews and I'm a bit sick of love-triangles!

    I do like the back cover, too!

    Cleo Rogers (Auto Detailing)


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