By: Sarah J. Maas
Published By: Bloomsbury Children's
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Page Count: 416
Source: Amazon Vine UK
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
What I loved the most about Celaena is that she was really very weak at the start of the book, but she didn't give in and show that weakness. Her spirit is undaunted, and she fights to survive with her every step. I also loved reading about her developing camaraderie with the Captain Westfall, the Captain of the Royal Guard. He is a very suspicious man, and he rightly doesn't trust Celaena as far as he could throw her, especially around the Crown Prince, Dorien, who just can't seem to resist her. I found the interaction between these three characters to have just the right balance of trust and mistrust, coy and overt behaviors, and some really zingy dialogue. As you might expect, there is a little bit of a love triangle going on here, and I really enjoyed that element. I found it hard to call how it would work out, but I enjoyed being able to read the thoughts of all the characters.
The contest between the killers made for good reading, but the primary focus for plot development became a murder mystery involving sorcery and spirits. I was less satisfied by that development than the progress of Celaena as I wanted her to play a larger role in solving that problem than just reading tons of books. When she was finally allowed to examine a body, she was fantastic! I can see a rosy future for her in a more empowered role within the Kingdom.
While I wanted a little more action from this book, given the promise of it being about an assassin, I think that there is more than enough to entertain here, and I look forward to reading more about Celaena. I might start with the 4 prequel novellas that have been released, and I do expect a sequel to Throne of Glass in the future which I would be excited to read!
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.