Sunday, August 5, 2012

ARC Review of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)by Isabelle Doan


Random Info:
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Pages: 416 pages (paperback)
Series: Yes, this is #1
My Format: ARC from a friend
Time it Took me to Read: 12 hours
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover
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 kings 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.
It's no secret that Throne of Glass was once one of those books published online. The first thing I saw when I got the ARC was "Maas already has thousands of fans" and "published on FictionPress, where she has thousands of loyal fans". Yup- it was used as a marketing tool.

I don't blame the publishers one bit. I'm a fan of quite a few online authors- Hope Adon from Wattpad wrote one of my favorite books ever. So I was not a bit skeptical when I went into Throne of Glass. I was expecting it to be as awesome as her rabidly loyal fans have said.

Throne of Glass is about an assassin, Celaena, who is taken from the prisoner's slave mines and is thrust into competition, in order to win her freedom. Said competition features 23 other competitors- other assassins, thieves, mercenaries, Chic-Fil-A employees*, you know- all the kinds of people capable of murder and wrong doing. They each compete to become Ardalan's assassin. But I quickly learned there's something more sinister involved.

From what I've researched, the original actually did not have the competition. The original Throne of Glass - titled Queen of Glass- was a retelling of Cinderella. I can see many places where this original badassery might have gotten diluted.

For one, in the FictionPress version, Celaena had many suitors, not simply the love triangle between Choal, a captain, and Dorian, the prince. I can see why this would be true, because in the beginning, when male characters were introduced, they were either described as handsome or total brutes. Or old.

The love triangle itself was very reminiscent of the one in Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Seriously. Dorian makes for a good Will impostor. Both enjoy banter, and being jerks sometime. Both are also good love interests.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that both Tessa and Celaena like books??

Seriously. Assassin has time to read. I didn't believe it either. But apparently, Celalena has enough hours in the day to work out her bod, solve mysteries, be friends with a Princess, and manage to snag two guys. And be a highly skilled assassin. At age 18.

(That's yet another change. The Celaena in Queen of Glass was in her twenties.)

I guess you can tell that I thoroughly enjoyed Celaena's character. She was what you might you call a BAMF. Like, even more of a BAMF than Katniss. Because really, Katniss picks plants in the woods. Celaena swings from ropes to save her competitors.

So really, it was very much a tale of friendship and strength as much as it was a believable romance with strong characters. I'd recommend it for those who loved middle grade fantasy as a child, and are looking for something with a bit more depth.

All in all, a satisfying read with extravagant detailing and world building. I am really looking forward to book number two.

4 STARS.

*I was kidding about that, if you sincerely thought I was serious. No really. THERE WERE NO CHIC-FIL-A EMPLOYEES!

25 comments:

  1. Cool review :D but I think I'll pass for this one, I'm not really into assassins.

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