Monday, July 23, 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: August 7, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

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.(synopsis from Goodreads)
Throne of Glass is the first in a young adult fantasy by Sarah J. Maas. I became completely immersed in the world this author created. I quickly consumed this brilliant, captivating tale. Filled with fleshed out characters and intrigue this is sure to make my top ten list for 2012.

The tale begins when we meet eighteen year old Celaena Sardothien. She is Ardarlan’s most feared Assassin. The world is at war, and Celaena has spent the past year in the deadly salt mines of Endovier. Known for being a brutal prison; most do not last more than a few months. Starved and scarred she is summoned and assumes it is for her death. Prince Dorian Havilliard of Adarlan makes her an offer. If she wins the king’s competition for a royal assassin she can gain her freedom. Despite her hatred for the king, she readily accepts the prince’s offer. At Rifthold Castle she trains, makes friends and discovers secrets about herself and the castle. The tale that unfolds kept me riveted. Filled with romance, mystery and danger, I devoured this novel in two evenings.

The characters were all fascinating from the cruel and power hungry king to the mysterious Princess Nehemia. Celaena has to be one of my all time favorite protagonists. She is smart, fearless and charming.  She can be snarky, quick witted and utterly delightful. Trained from the age of eight she is a deadly weapon and yet she can be completely feminine. Her conversations with the main characters had me laughing aloud. She is complex and I loved seeing all the different sides of her. The novel hints at things to come with Celaena and I cannot wait to see her growth in this series. The Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, is assigned to watch, train, and guard Celaena. He doesn’t trust her in the beginning but their relationship grows.  I really connected with him and found him to be noble, sensitive and loyal. The Crown Prince, Dorian Havilliard hasn’t yet learned to stand up to his father. I felt sorry for this quite, sensitive man. Celaena draws him out and allows Maas to reveal the many facets of this would be king. The elements of a love triangle are in place, and I waivered back and forth between the two men. Other characters added to the intrigue, suspense and mystery. Some I adored like Nox and some I loathed like Cain and Lady Kaltain. I seriously wanted to scratch her eyes out more than once..LOL.

The world building was fantastic, brilliant and spell-bounding. Maas breathed life into the glass castle, the characters and the world of Adarlan. In a world filled with Fae, witches and magic, the mortal king has outlawed all forms of magic. Celaena is well versed in the Fae and has a healthly fear of them. When she discovers Wyrdmarks around the castle she is intrigued and sets out to learn their meaning. I became swept up in the mystery of these marks and the discoveries she made. Something is brutally killing off the competitors and it doesn’t appear to be human. This adds a great deal of suspense to the tale. I loved the competitions the champions had to endure. I found myself on the edge of my seat as Celaena completed each phase. Maas has done an incredible job of weaving many different plots into a tale that is rich with well fleshed out characters. While this tale doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger, Maas leaves us with enough unanswered questions and suspense to have this reader itching to read book two.

I highly recommend Throne of Glass to fans of fantasy and strong female protagonist. This is a novel that will appeal to both the young and old. I have added Maas to my authors to read list.

I want to thank Bloomsbury Publishing and netGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this novel five coffee cups out of five. 
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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At July 23, 2012 at 12:04 AM , Blogger Crystal B. said...

Great review! Glad you enjoyed but it just makes me want to read it so much more :D

At July 23, 2012 at 4:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm dying to read this book, Kim. Everyone I know has been raving on and on about this book. Now, you too ? Well, I'm definitely getting a copy !
Barbara and I are going to review it for our next She Said/She Said. We're so excited ! :)
I love the sound of Celeana. She sounds really kick-butt. Plus, the world building sounds absolutely fantastic.
Brilliant review, Kim ! :)

At July 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM , Blogger brandileigh2003 said...

I reviewed this one today as well.
Celaena was a fantastic main character, I loved her interactions and her strength.
Thanks for review.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

At July 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM , Blogger Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

i am ticked I didn't get this one. It is just getting such great reviews and I absolutely love a book with plenty of action, a strong female lead and excellent world building and this one seems to,have all those elements that I love. I need to get my hands on it!

At July 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM , Blogger ChristasBooks said...

We definitely see eye to eye on this one! I loved it! And you're right the world building was fantastic!

At July 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM , Blogger Blodeuedd said...

Though I do not get why the saltmines girl gets to be the champion, that just seems silly. Could he not find anyone better?

At July 23, 2012 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

The protagonist has been trained since the age of 8 and was/is the best assassin in all of Ardarlan before she was captured and placed in the salt mines. Hope that clears things up for you.

At July 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM , Blogger Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Hmmm...I keep reading so many wonderful reviews...but this one just doesn't appeal to me. Probably a good thing with the size of my TBR & Wishlist!

At July 23, 2012 at 2:26 PM , Blogger emaginette said...

Sounds like an excellent read. Looking forward to it.

At July 23, 2012 at 2:39 PM , Blogger Danny said...

AWesome!! Wasn't this a great read!?!? Always so excited when I see someone loved a book as much as I did!! and, whenever I read such a glowing review from this book, everyone mentions how awesometastic Cealena was as a heroine! And I agree! She was perfect and I cannot wait for the next book!

At July 23, 2012 at 3:04 PM , Anonymous Audrey/Ink and Page said...

That sounds really good! I have vowed not to get any more books until I read the 21 "real" ones and the 6 eBooks that I is getting put on my brand-new Excel spreadsheet of books to read!

At July 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM , Blogger Dalene @ A Date with a Book said...

I'm not much of a fantasy reader, but this book sounds fantastic. I love the cover as well. I wonder if I could get my teenage daughter to try it. Would you recommend it for her?

At July 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM , Blogger Obsession with Books said...

Yay!! I am so pleased you enjoyed this as much as I dd Kimba! I loved the world & characters Maas has created.

A wonderful review :)

At July 23, 2012 at 8:04 PM , Blogger Silverlight said...

I started reading the preqeul novella's to this book and let me tell you, I loved the first one, The Assasin and the Pirate. I fell for the whole world Sarah creates and how she builds the story. I love kick butt chicks w/action packed fantasy scenes, and Mass delivers! Can't wait to read this one for a tour I'm on. Great review!!

At July 23, 2012 at 8:38 PM , Blogger Renae @ Respiring Thoughts said...

Excellent review! I was pleasantly surprised by this one, to be honest. One of my favorites from 2012.

At July 23, 2012 at 9:44 PM , Anonymous Christy @ Love of Books said...

Dude.. I must read this one! I'm so ticked that I didn't request it. Definitely going to have to buy this one and squeeze it in sometime.

At July 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM , Blogger Melissa (My words and pages) said...

THis sounds like my kinda read. Guess I'm heading to the want list to add it. :) Thank you!!!

At July 26, 2012 at 9:53 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

This one that I can't wait to get my hands on. Great review.

Jenea @ Books Live Forever

At July 29, 2012 at 7:57 AM , Blogger Kristin @ Addicted to HEA said...

Awesome review!!! I love the no spoilers and great way you shared your love of the characters!! I was going to get this one on NetGalley, accidentally asked for the Aussie one (oops!) and just never looked for the US one. Now, I'm just going to have to go BUY it b/c it sounds almost like the high-fantasy I LOVE and miss!!!

At July 29, 2012 at 7:58 AM , Blogger Kristin @ Addicted to HEA said...

why did I say "almost like" ~ sounds just like the high fantasies I miss!! ahhhh, I miss Robert Jordan..

At July 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM , Blogger Lauren @ Northern Plunder said...

Wow, bumped this up my to read pile. I didn't really expect much from this but you've changed my mind :D

At July 18, 2013 at 2:54 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Thanks Kathleen..would love to hear your thoughts after you read it. I really enjoyed this one!


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