Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
First published: 2012
Cover: Paperback
Pages: 404

Blurb:    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?

History of my copy: Recently I have been getting into the book community on Instagram, and I saw that nearly everyone was talking about The Lunar Chronicles and Throne of Glass. When I went into Plymouth to get an interview dress, I had the intention of buying either Cinder or Throne of Glass, the first books in the series. Cinder was out of stock, so my decision was thankfully made for me and I ended up with Throne of Glass.

I had high hopes for this book due to the hype it has with fellow readers. Although slightly disappointed, the book is still good. The majority of it, I really enjoyed, and there were points in which I wasn’t able to put it down. However, there were also points I felt were a bit too far-fetched for the story, especially the final dual between Celaena and Cain.

Plot: The basic plot of the book is quite simple. Celaena is rescued from the salt mines in Endovier where she is serving a life sentence for being Adaralan’s assassin by Captain Westfall and Prince Dorian to be their champion in a secrete competition that the King is hosting. The winner of the competition serves as the King’s Champion for a few years, and then becomes free.
         Whilst in the castle taking part in the competitions, Celaena makes many unusual friends, one of which being the Princess Nehemia, whom she later ends up believing is responsible for the horrific murderers of her fellow competitors.
         After Celaena sneaks into the Yulemas ball where she ends up dancing the night away with the crown prince, she soon realises Nehemia’s innocence as she discovers that Cain, another competitor, is responsible for the murders.
         In a final dual between her and Cain, Celaena nearly loses due to being poisoned by Kaltain, a woman who is jealous of Celaena’s closeness to the Prince but, with some help from Nehemia and the first queen of Adarlan, Elena, ends up coming out on top.
         Throughout the story, we watch as Celaena becomes more and more trusted. We also see a love triangle between Celaena, Prince Dorian and Chaol Westfall form.

Setting: This story has two main settings: the salt mines in Endovier and the castle in Rifthold. I will admit that setting is not one of Maas’ strong points, leaving much to the imagination of the reader. You get the picture that the mines are a horrific place to be, and that the castle is magnificent and extravagant, but only a few places are described in much detail.

Characters: Celaena Sardothien, the eighteen year old assassin, is one of my least favourite main characters I have ever read. Although she is the best assassin, she seems a bit too flawless in my opinion. Yes, she is vain, and often rude, but her bad qualities seem very minor in comparison to the good. I hope that in future books her character is developed more, giving a better insight into her past. As someone who is nearly eighteen myself, I find it very hard to believe that someone could be quite so perfect at everything.
                One of my favourite characters in the story is Captain Chaol Westfall. I loved watching his character develop as he got to know Celaena better. Furthermore, I think it is interesting to watch someone have his morals questioned and learn to think for himself. I would like to see Chaol and Celaena’s relationship, either platonically or romantically, over the rest of the series.
                Another favourite character is Princess Nehemia of Eyllwe. Although introduced as someone who has limited knowledge on Adarlan, and there being the heartbreaking moment where you believe she might kill Celaena, Nehemia turns out to be a brave and intelligent woman, who knows entirely what is going on. She is a good ally for Celaena and I hope to see her fight to get her kingdom and title back.

To read or not to read: Read. Although there are a few negatives to this book, and it hasn’t made it’s way into my favourite books list, it is still certainly worth the read. I think Sarah J. Maas has the potential to be a fantastic author, but this book doesn’t quite showcase that as well as it could. However, I remain hopeful that the rest of the series shall only get better.

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