Saturday, January 5, 2013

Throne of glass by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothien is beautiful and deadly, sent to the salt mines of Endovier for the crime of being Adarlan's Assassin.  She has survived in the death camp for a year, something no one else has ever done, and she has survived with her mind and spirit intact - although her physical shape leaves a lot to be desired.  She is waiting to die, waiting for the mines or the King to finish her off - she does not expect the Crown Prince to offer her a chance at her freedom.  There is only one catch, to gain her freedom she must win a tournament and become the King's Champion.  As King's Champion she will have to obey his orders, including assassinations, but after just four years of servitude she will be free to live her own life.

The training for the tournament will not be easy, she must rebuild her body after a year of hard labour, and return her strength after a year of near starvation - and she she must survive the trials themselves, and the tests that form the tournament.  There is also something dark stalking the halls of the castle, something that is picking off the other potential champions one-by-one, killing them in a brutal and gruesome fashion.  Life at Court is also not easy, there are undercurrents of deceit and maneuvering for power that are as dangerous as the battles and training.  Hidden behind a false name, and forced to hide what she is really capable of, Celaena slowly realises that there is more to the tournament and life in the castle than she thought.

Throne of glass is the first book in what promises to be an epic series, one with real depth and an addictive storyline.  Celaena is intense, surprisingly vulnerable, driven, and very human - characteristics that make her both more believable and more relatable.  The language of the story is quite modern, there are moments where it almost seems like the story could be happening right now, but that adds to the relatability of the story (nobody likes reading a book when you have to keep a dictionary handy to figure out what the characters are talking about).  The other characters are well developed and equally engaging, even if at times you want to slap some of them (yes Kaltain I am talking about you!).

This is not a lightly written novel, it has depth and character, which is just as well as the story is over 400 pages and it takes a good writer to keep an audience thoroughly engaged through all of those pages - and Maas does it with style and skill.  There is great promise for this series if Throne of glass is any indication, and Maas has the potential to become one of the great fantasy voices of her generation, a new master (or mistress if you prefer) of the genre.  I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to seeing what is next for Celaena and her world, as the ending hints and promises there is more to come.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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