Throne Of Glass – Sarah J Maas

Throne_of_Glass_UK

Blurb:
“After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18 year old assassin Celaena Sardothein 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.”

I’ve started noticing a theme with the books I’m posting about on this blog. Yes, they are pretty much all Young Adult but not only that, they’re books I’ve been meaning to read for years. Throne of Glass is a book I’ve heard nothing but good things about and the cover art is just so beautiful. But I kept saying what I can only coin as my catchphrase: “I’ll get to it eventually.”

I finally did.

So firstly, I don’t know who at Bloomsbury agreed with the cover design for this book but it is unbelievably beautiful, and from what I’ve seen of the others via research, they are just wonderful covers. Kudos to Bloomsbury.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this book, as with all YA fantasy (mainly kingdom based) I tend to read. From the first page I was hooked. I may be an avid reader but it’s rare that I actually find myself pacing when reading a book because I want to savour it. I kept having to put the book down because it was 2am and I had things to do the next day (even though I’d much rather have stayed up reading it until finished).

I want to take a moment to applaud Sarah J Maas on the protagonist’s name: Celaena Sardothien. It may be the best character name I’ve come across. There seems to be this stigma among YA readers of what a “strong female character” should be. While I agree that we need more female characters that are strong but not horrifically emotionless to try and make them so, but in the case of this book, Celaena being a badass female character who’s an assassin? YES PLEASE!
I think her character really sold me on this book. She was just the right amount of kickass with the addition of sass. In comments she makes to her trainer Chaol and the prince Dorian I found myself actually smiling. If I could be friends with any fictional character it would be Celaena Sardothein…. Even if she’d probably spend our time together listing all the ways she could kill me.

The training scenes and overall competition element of this book reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games and Divergent. So, if you enjoyed either/both of those series, you’ll enjoy this (hate to be that cliche person who says you’ll like something because it’s similar, but in this case it’s true). Many YA readers have said that the competition aspect is becoming overdone in this genre and while I agree, if a book does have that element, sign me up because I will read it!

This book is unique in the sense of NO LULL PERIODS. The novel was smooth, consistent and literally no parts of this book felt like a chore to get through to the real action. When the championship eventually happens, it was so intense I had to put the book down several times to compose myself.

Throne of Glass has definitely made it onto the list of books that will stay with me for a long time, and from a writing point of view: Sarah J Maas is the kind of writer I can only aspire to be.

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