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.
Throne of Glass is the first book of Sarah J. Maas’s debut series, and that much is obvious when reading it. In a way, opening its pages has enlightened me to her growth as a writer. And while Throne of Glass is far more difficult to get into than Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses, I can definitely see where its fandom comes from – now if only my library had book two!
One of the things I was most excited to learn by reading this book is that Maas isn’t one of those authors that fall victim to making all their characters the same. In fact, I was thrilled to learn that Celaena is nothing like Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses (or should it be the other way around since this was published first?). Her love interests are vastly different, and so realistic that I couldn’t decide who I wanted to cheer for. Usually I’m pretty decided on what characters I like/don’t like, but even this early work from Maas shows she makes it difficult to simply pick and choose.
The plot of Throne of Glass is a bit Hunger Games-ish, what with a competition to find out who will be the King’s assassin meaning that it gets narrowed down to one. I will admit that I wish I’d read this book before I read Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller, as this one was published first and the plot is a bit too similar for my taste. Both books center around a competition to become the ruler’s assassin, so I couldn’t help but think of Miller’s book the entire time I was reading this one. That, and Sal and Celaena have similar attitudes. It makes me wonder if this book inspired Miller. I do like the idea of magic only just returning to the world of Throne of Glass, though – if you can call it that.
That said, I really, truly cannot wait for the opportunity to read the next book.