"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 king's 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."- Goodreads Summary
I'm so glad I finally got the chance to read Throne of Glass. When I held this book in my hands I was so happy that I squealed and carried it like a baby to my room. Throne of Glass was certainly a good book with many elements to it that helped it live up to it's hype.
Throne of Glass takes place in a world where a monarch controls his kingdom with an iron fist. His people and other people are suffering at his hands, so Caelena pauses before making a deal that puts herself into an alliance with him. But she knows that if she doesn't agree to serve the King as his Champion, she will likely die at the camp where she's imprisoned. So she agrees and that is the catalyst for a whirlwind of events that land her at the castle she despises, fighting for something that she doesn't believe in.
“Celaena," Chaol said gently. And then she [Chaelena] heard the scraping noise as his hand came into view, sliding across the flagstones. His fingertips stopped just at the edge of the white line. "Celaena," he breathed, his voice laced with pain--and hope. This was all she had left--his outstretched hand, and the promise of hope, of something better waiting on the other side of the line.”
I loved the descriptions of the castle and the dresses Chaelena wore. Sure it's a story about an assassin but the assassin is a teenage girl and, like many other teenagers she longs to feel pretty and above all loved. Which is why she ditches her trainig and begins to trust people. She makes a new best friend, Nehemia, quickly, which I had some issues with at first but it actually makes sense eventually. Furthermore, Chaelena slowly begins to trust the Prince, Dorian, and the Captian of the Royal Guard, Chaol. All three of the characters added dimensions to the story and they were all truly admirable characters that I could relate with. Chaol puts up a tough front but his actions show that he has a soft side. Dorian has his heart on his sleeve and he's very sweet but he's tough when need be. Nehemia is a strong princess who wants what's best for her people. The addition of these three characters were what made Throne of Glass so exceptional.
"Here's a lesson for you, Weapons Master," she [Chaelena] said, stalking past him. "Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I'll bother trying."
Chaelena herself was witty and it was always a pleasure listening to her comebacks. She had a smart-mouth and didn't think twice about using it. She was also fierce and smart. When the mystery began to wrap itself around the castle, she dove in and thoughtfully pondered over it. She, like Dorian, had a soft side and even though she was an assassin who could (and did) kick ass she respected the lives of innocents and loved puppies.
I had difficulty believing that the king would choose assassins and theives, people who had obvious problems with authority to become his champion. It seems to me that he logically would've chose loyal soldiers who would be faithful to him. Also, it bothered me that we were only given small chunks of Chaelena's past. I would really like to know more about her. She is the main character after all. Hopefully these issues are resolved inthe next book!
The writing was very good, better than many of the books I've been reading lately. Overall, the story was well put together. Characterstics such as the assassin heroine, witty banter, romantic entanglements, a deadly mystery, betrayal, and tragedy made up the story. This book would be perfect for fans of all those things and specifically fans of a fantasy with a stable foundation from world-building. It's no secret that I am counting the days until the next book.