{Kat's Korner} Reviewing THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

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It's a special day! I've been asked by Bonnie to cover THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas. We're teaming up for this series, and I get to take the wheel for book one. So here we go! I'm taking a small break from my EVERNEATH spree and self-made twitter challenge to do this.

Like many people I've spoken to about the two different covers, I am a bigger fan of the US paperback/UK cover art. (The UK cover art is slightly different from the US paperback art, but they're more or less the same.) I feel like it portrays Celaena much better than the US hardcover. Don't get me wrong, it is a pretty book in its own way, but it doesn't feel as right as the other. But you be the judge.


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.

I read the novellas before this novel. Celaena quickly became my spirit animal. When I was a child, when asked what I wanted to be, I would reply with "A dad and an assassin." I was a little gender confused, but assassin sounded like a really cool occupation. Celaena is no father, but she is an assassin. She is also sassy, smart, and a lover of animals and books. She is a protagonist who had me at hello. I can relate to her, which made the prequels so easy, and yet so hard, to read. We'll talk about those more some other time, though. I promise. (Especially because THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE hit the shelves recently! If you haven't seen it yet look it up, it's gorgeous!)

So here she is after the novellas, at the start of THRONE OF GLASS, enslaved and weakened, but not broken. (Raises some fun questions, right? Like I said, we'll talk about that another time!) On another horrible day of work in the salt mines of Endovier, Celaena is pulled aside by Captain Chaol Westfall, a total hottie, on business for the King. Celaena's interest is piqued, even though she has no choice but to go with him. Things take an even more interesting turn when she is presented to the Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard, also a total hottie.

Here she is informed that she will be taken back from whence she came, to Rifthold, to compete in a series of trials for the chance to earn her freedom from the salt mines and become the King's Champion. Maas wasted no time making this plot move along and become super interesting and exciting. Celaena's return and stay in the castle heats up quickly as the trials begin and she resumes physical training. At first, she is rusty from being beaten, overworked, and underfed in the salt mines, but she soon adapts back to her old ways of constant training. She manages not to be eliminated during the trials and make progress with becoming healthier and more physically fit again.

As the trials and training go on, she befriends a foreign Princess, who has come to stay and negotiate for her country. Princess Nehemia, who is a fantastically wise and strong young lady. As their friendship deepens, the story becomes enriched with a softer and more human element, which is very nice in comparison to all of the intense training and combat. Also, things warm up between Celaena, Captain Westfall, and Prince Dorian. A love triangle, yes, but a very well written one. Personally, I am a Chaol girl, but who knows where the story will take Celaena's heart?

Things take a weird and cool turn when Celaena discovers some of the castle's hidden passageways and secrets, and a mysterious beast starts murdering contestants in the King's trials. Celaena also has a ghostly encounter with an ancient being, who gives her cryptic advice and messages. Why did this being show itself to Celaena? Is it connected to the thing murdering people? What, exactly, is killing them? Will it come after Celaena? If she survives the beasts' attacks, will she win and become Champion? Will the King accept her victory?

Maas did not disappoint on any of these plot points at all. THRONE OF GLASS is a breath-taking beginning to an incredible book series. Thus far all of the books involved, whether novel or novella, have matched each other in excitement and gasp-aloud plot twists. I look forward to more of this series, and more from Maas in general. Speaking of Maas, she has teamed up with author Susan Dennard, of the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY trilogy, to write a free sci-fi adult saga called THE STAR KILLERS CYCLE on tumblr. Check it out if you have a thirst for the stars and don't mind adult themes.

That's it for now, I'm neck deep in my five books in one week challenge. I'll be back with more of the EVERNEATH trilogy, possibly my reaction to reading DIVERGENT for the first time, and some sci fi awesome. Happy reading!

*This review is an HONEST representation of my personal thoughts and feelings of this work. THRONE OF GLASS was purchased by me, and this review was not prompted nor paid for by any individual or group.

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: Aug. 7, 2012
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Children's
Received: Purchased

The epic meeting of the two Kats!
Kat Meets Kat Zhang (And Susan Dennard,
Sarah J. Maas, and Erin Bowman!) at YAGB!
Check out our exclusive full audio recording from the tour
to feel like you were there with Kat, Bonnie, and the authors!


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