Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
Release Date: 2nd August 2012
Edition: UK proof, review copy
Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, a seventeen-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. Calaena must represent the Prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Calaena will be free. Win or lose, she’s about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
Throne of Glass is one of those novels that has had so much pre-publication buzz that I was slightly hesitant about starting it but it just sounded so good that I gave in. I’m so glad I did!
My immediate reaction to Throne of Glass was that it felt quite similar to Maria V Snyder’s Poison Study with the deal being made to get the protagonist out of prison and the outlawing of magic. Although I enjoyed Poison Study I found reading it an effort so I had a few more moments of doubt as I began reading Sara J Maas’s debut. I really have no idea why as I absolutely adored Throne of Glass and it surpassed Poison Study with ease.
One of the first things that surprised me about this book was that I couldn’t easily identify which of the two main male characters would end up as the chief love interest or who she would ultimately end up with. I think I have a better grasp on it now though and I really, really hope it’s who I think it is...
With Prince Dorian and Choal, the Captain of the Royal Guard, being the complete opposite of each other, but each with some serious appeal, it was very hard to determine which Calaena would respond to. With this not-quite love triangle came a languorous, slow-burning romance that was a breath of fresh air and I loved every burning glance, flirtatious comment and electric touch. I also really enjoyed how the romance aspect of the story allowed Calaena to be a realistic and well-rounded girl. As well as being a fast, strong (mentally and physically) and quick assassin, she also loves flirting, beautiful dresses and dances. She’s a real girl and I loved it! It’s rare to get a character who’s so well-balanced but also not portrayed at perfect. Sarah J Maas did a really fantastic job with Calaena.
Throne of Glass has a healthy dose of mystery that I really wasn’t at all expecting. As soon as Calaena spotted the Wyrdmarks in the castle grounds I knew they’d have an important role in the novel but it took until they appeared in Calaena’s room for me to put together what exactly they were and what they were being used for and it took me far too long to figure out who was committing the murders. There was also the question of what the evil in the castle was and how Calaena’s presence tied in with saving the situation, and that we never concretely discovered.
There was one theme in Throne of Glass that quite strongly captured my burgeoning interest in feminism and the treatment and freedom of women. That was how the traditional treatment of women in fantasy that was represented in Throne of Glass contrasted with the female characters that were shining examples of bravery, intelligence, strength and resilience. It was very obvious to me and it made me so angry that the simple reason of sex can encourage such thoughts and reactions and made me glad that while our world today is nowhere near perfect, we’ve come a long way.
All in all, I absolutely adored Throne of Glass and I’m already anxiously awaiting the next instalment in the trilogy.
For my 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing me with a review copy.