OUR VERY FIRST REVIEW (I’m excited, so I’m going all caps here) is by a fabulous former student of mine named Keira. She didn’t want a picture of herself posted, but having just finished both acting in and making costumes for our school’s production of Alice in Wonderland, I decided to make her image The Cheshire Cat.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
[Keira has decided to use a star system. Others can do as they wish. Kind of a free-wheeling blog right now.]
“In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.”
Ask anyone who’s read Throne of Glass, they’ll recommend it to you immediately. Now, it took me a while to get around to reading it, but I’m so glad that I did! This book was phenomenal, in almost all regards. The protagonist, Celaena Sardothien (according to the exceedingly helpful pronunciation guide included, it’s Sell-lay-nah Sar-doth-ee-en) is an assassin who is stuck in a death camp, until the Crown Prince showed up with the prospect of freedom, in exchange for service to the King. The only thing she needs to do is to beat 23 other contestants in tests of strength, speed, and skill. It’s Hunger Games and Game of Thrones-esque, and yet this is an amazing book all of its own. Although it has an element of romance to it, the romance doesn’t overpower the story in the slightest, and I was left satisfied with where the romance might lead in future books. That leads me to my next point: brace yourselves — this is part of a six book series! In a world dominated by trilogies, it’s incredibly refreshing to have an actual series to look forward to reading. I loved the characters in Throne of Glass. It’s incredibly easy to connect to them. Somehow even in an alternate universe Sarah J. Maas has managed to construct characters that a middle school student can relate to. It has its funny moments, as Celaena is the master of the witty retort. Throne of Glass is heartbreaking as well, and you can never predict what will happen next. Finally, and improbably, in a book about assassins and murder, Throne of Glass has made me go “Awww” at the love between Celaena and her adorable dog. The only issue I had with Throne of Glass is that there was a tad too much world-building for my taste. I realize that this is a six book series, but sometimes I just wanted to get to the action. That being said, the action scenes are so well written, you can’t help but root for the protagonist no matter what she’s doing. The only cautionary thing to mention is that it can be gory at times, and there’s some implied/mentioned sexual content, but nothing graphic. Given that it’s set in alternate-universe medieval times, there’s no swearing at all. I absolutely adored Throne of Glass (I’ve already gone out and bought/read the sequel), and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who likes high-fantasy books with powerful heroines.