Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Rating: Awesome, Amazing, Astounding (I need another superlative that starts with 'a'...)
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Celaena Sardothien is given a choice: remain a slave in the mines of Endovier or fight in a tournament to becomes the king's Champion.
Even though the king in question attacked and then subjugated her kingdom, Celaena is wooed by the promise of freedom. But there is more to this assassin than meets the eye and when tournament competitors start turning up dead it's up to Celaena to discover what darkness is behind this.
Before she becomes the next victim.
'How difficult could it be to outshine, outsmart, and then obliterate her competitors?'
I didn't think I'd like this book. Heaven help me, I didn't think I'd like this book. I thought I'd buy it and if it was mildly entertaining and diverting, it would be time well spent. And I've got a bit of a thing for assassins, be they male or female - especially those assassins that are starting to thaw a little. There's just something about those type of characters that make me go all mushy. So, the main character being an assassin immediately caught my attention.
Celaena Sardothien did not disappoint at all. I mean, seriously, I first met this girl and she's prickly, she's arrogant and abrasive and so incredibly full of herself. Then I read another few pages and fell absolutely in love with this mouthy 'former' assassin. Celaena is so different than all the other lead females I've read about in fantasy stories. This here is a girl that's tough - and she knows it. Will probably rub your face in it. She stands up for herself but if she's ever put into a position that she cannot (IE: if she did, she's be executed) she stands there, seething. More than once, the thought of killing someone just to get them out of her hair crossed her mind.
I just don't think I can describe to you how much I love this girl. I don't often feel this strongly towards the main character if it's a female in stories
Right… The guys.
Dorian, Crown Prince… I really got a kick out of this guy. Him and Celaena had some great back and forth joking going on. He was a fun character for the most part, but I had a hard time with one aspect of his character. You see, Dorian was a bit of a flirt. I don't mind guys with that personality trait, in fact I usually quite like them - this time being no exception. However, for a character like this to work for me as a love interest, I need to feel that he views her differently than he does all the other girls - and I never really reached that point between him and Celaena. I do look forward to Dorian growing as a character in later books of the series, because there was this one personality trait he has that I am less than enamored with.
Chaol, the Captain of the Guard. I really loved watching him and Celaena forming a friendship and relating to each other throughout the story. I will admit, I was interested in him from quite early on in the story due to the way he reacted and behaved about certain things. I think he was supposed to be the more serious of the two guys, but I laughed as much at his conversations with Celaena as I did Dorian's. There was something about him that gave him this boyish charm. I will admit, there were several instances toward the end of this book that Chaol just really, really impressed me. I mean, the way he was acting, he was actually starting to give Celaena a bit of competition for my favorite character.
I do feel that special mention must be made of Nehemia, a young princess from another land. This girl was amazing. Though she doesn't play a particularly large and important role in the book, she absolutely does have her moments (like towards the end...). And she becomes a close friend to Celaena. One thing Ms. Maas seems to know how to do exceedingly well is make strong, likable females.
The plot was quite cool. Having it slowly develop instead of everything slamming into you all at once was great. I know this story was inspired by Cinderella and, if you know that story, you'll be able to see a few instances of this inspiration. However, this story went off in it's own direction right from the start (and as someone that really didn't want to read about 'Prince Charming' or evil stepsisters at that time) I thought that was great.
While there were a few slow moments in the book - as in, not much fighting (yes, it is that type of book) - the down time was used wonderfully to develop the characters.
I honestly cannot wait to get a hold of Crown of Midnight because if it's close to as good as this book is, this series will be up on my shelf as one of my two favorite fantasy series, ever.