I dig a kick ass heroine and Celaena Sardothien definitely fit the bill. A teenage super assassin, whose sassy, got a terrible temper, and in the end a young girl at heart, what's not to love?
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.
I really enjoyed Throne of Glass, and cleared through it in just one day. The story was intriguing, the characters were charming and the tension between Celaena and Dorian (the prince) was fun. The set up for a long reaching mega series has definitely been put into play, and I can see this stretching into a YA version of a David Eddings type fantasy series (which rocked my world back in my fantasy only phase). To be honest, I can't wait to see what she does with it, it's going to be fun.
I do have a few complaints I have to voice though (may the mega fan base not strike me dead, pretty please). How is it, that a super assassin whose tricky and supposedly always on her guard, can be snuck up on? And only ever by her love interest? Who repeatedly startles her in her rooms while she's playing pool, playing the pianoforte, reading etc. I get that it's got this romantic slant to it, but it wasn't believable, and I kept waiting for Celaena to question it or worry about the fact he could sneak up on her. Especially because she comments at one point on how she'd adjusted all the hinges on her doors to be extra squeaky.
Also, and this is going to be the controversial part here, I didn't dig the love triangle. It was a bit contrived. For starters Celaena seemed to mostly be just toying with both Dorian and Chaol, until the end when there was a glimpse that she was having some possible feelings for Chaol, maybe. Which really didn't do her character any favours in the like-ability department. Also, Chaol only makes a couple of small plays early on and then at the end, and they're a bit ambiguous. Like he was going to ask her something, but she throws up and so he doesn't, but it was never clear to me what he was going to ask- however there's this emphasis that it's important. So I felt like I was missing something.
Although a bit niggling while reading, I can forgive these things for a debut author who has other wise written a tight story. I'm guessing these things will iron out in the future sequels of which I can't really find any concrete talk about (how many? Is the second one in the works now?), and I'm really looking forward to the potential for an epic story arc. Please, please make this a long and complex series. YA could use an ongoing fantasy series, especially one with a crazy teen super-assassin. I mean, who doesn't like the sound of that?
Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury, August 7th, 2012
My copy acquired at the BEA
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