Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Review: 'Throne of Glass' by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: 01/08/2012
First in a Series.
Received from publisher.
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
When I first heard about 'Throne of Glass' I immediately added it to the list of things I wouldn't be interested in. I wasn't going to read it... A book about an assassin? That sounded a little too grim for me, but after seeing so many of the bloggers I follow giving the book high ratings I just had to give it a go. And, I'm so happy that I did!
One of the best things about 'Throne of Glass' was that it had a kick-ass female as the main character. Celaena was not only great at fighting, but she was surprisingly kind-hearted and intelligent. I thought that creating a character that was a killer was a cool way for an author to incorporate different ideas about whether or not people who kill have any humanity with-in them in the story. In this case I think Celaena definitely did. I liked that even though Celaena was a deadly assassin, there were still times when she needed to be saved. This proves that nobody is invincible no matter how strong they may seem.
My favourite part of the book was Calaena's sudden good behaviour (and perhaps a little bit of neediness) when she discovers a library that she would like to borrow from. I thought it was such a cool (and quite smart) event (can I call it that?) for the author to include in a story that will be read by so many bookworms. That was the point in the book where I knew that I could definitely relate to the character, because it's exactly how I would have acted if I was in her position.
This book had a bit of a love triangle in it. I thought the love triangle worked well in this story because it was one of the most believable love triangles I have come across in YA fiction. It was the first time that I couldn't decide which guy would be the better choice for the heroine. They were both as sweet as they could be in the situation they were in and they both did the best they could to help her out when she needed it without stepping on her toes.
I think the quality of 'Throne of Glass' was terrific! There were a few phrases/ terms used (such as 'womaniser') which I wasn't sure about in this time frame. Actually, I wasn't exactly sure what this "time-frame" was supposed to be... I know it's dystopian, and historical but other than that I wasn't really sure... Anyways, the rest of the writing was great! I loved the descriptions! A lot of the metaphors and smiles were very original, but were still very real. I could read a simile and think "Wow, I've felt like that before. Exactly those words."
I didn't realise until I actually got myself a copy of 'Throne of Glass' that it was a Cinderella retelling. It wasn't until later on in the book that I could actually piece together bits of the story that were like the fairytale. I liked that the retelling wasn't a to-the-letter retelling and that there was more to the story than just a retelling.
I was (and still am) a little unsure about the fantasy element of the story. I was really enjoying the historical/dystopian female kick-ass secret assassin part of the story for what it was before anything mystical happened. I felt that the fantasy aspect started a little too late in the story for it to feel believable and I don't know that it really added that much to the story-line.
Overall, I think 'Throne of Glass' is worth 4.5 out of 5 stars. While I did enjoy it a fair bit, I was a little unsure about some aspects of the story. Also, I think the novel is one of those that won't appeal to everyone. I can't wait to read the e-novellas and the sequel (where I hope there will be a bit more of a description about the glass castle).