What’s it all about?:
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
What did I think?:
Okay, so I’m a little late to the party with this series, I know its been getting a lot of love round the blogosphere and now I can understand the reasons why. Seriously, if there is anyone out there who doesn’t really think YA fantasy is for them, please give it a try, I thought the same and would have missed out on an amazing reading opportunity if I hadn’t given it a bash. (Now I kind of wish I hadn’t discovered it just so I could have the joy of discovering it all over again but hey, that’s what re-reading is for!) The star of the story is an eighteen year old girl called Calaena who is not your average young adult, far from it in fact. She is the infamous Assassin of Ardalan and woe betide anyone who crosses her as she has been trained by the best of the best. More of Celaena’s past life can be found in a prequel novel that was actually published after this one, The Assassin’s Blade but when we meet Celaena in Throne of Glass she is a prisoner in the salt mines of Endovier, tasked to carry out back-breaking labour until she dies.
Luckily she is thrown a life-line by the Prince of Ardalan and his friend and Captain Of The Guard, Chaol Westfall. If she agrees to participate in a competition that would see her becoming the King’s Assassin, she would serve four years under the King then be granted her freedom. Is there a catch? Well, she has to overthrow several other assassins to get to the top and none of them are easy to beat. These are the most ruthless, vile, dangerous and feared assassins from across the world and hey, it doesn’t matter if the majority of them are big beefy men – she must fight them. It’s a high price to pay for freedom but confident Celaena agrees to take part and immediately moves into the castle to begin training with Chaol. Nobody’s going to make it easy for her though and it’s difficult for her to know who she can trust, especially as she begins getting closer to Dorian, the Prince who seems the exact opposite of his blood-thirsty, frightening father. Then one by one, each assassin is targeted, murdered in the most grisly of circumstances which opens up a whole web of mysteries. Is there something deeper going on within the castle? Celaena must draw on all her resources, learn who to trust and, above all, watch her back as every day she rises further to the top might be one day closer to her death.
I absolutely loved this book. There’s so much more I want to say about the plot, Celaena and the host of wonderful characters but this review may end up more of a thesis if I do! Reasons to love Celaena: she is a brilliant assassin but also intelligent and feminine, her wit and sarcasm had me doing mini fist pumps in the air, she refuses to let the trauma she suffered while in the mines get on top of her, she is sensitive and kind to the friends she happens to make, she can be vulnerable at times and, most important of all, she’s a bookworm! Unfortunately, I didn’t buy into her relationship with Dorian but in complete contrast I loved her deepening and sarcastic relationship with Chaol who is another fantastic character. The plot also surprised me slightly, it was a little bit mythological and magical and even at some points a bit eerie! The ending was everything I had hoped it would be and definitely set the scene for the second book in the series, Crown Of Midnight which I cannot wait to read, eager to get inside Celaena’s world once more. A new and amazing talent, Sarah J. Maas is without a doubt going to be a household name.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):