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The Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas - Book Review

Updated on September 21, 2015

What the book is about

The story kicks off when Celaena Sardothien, the feared and notorious Assassin of Adarlan is called by the crown prince Dorian Havilliard from the Salt Mines of Endovier. She had been sentenced to spend her life there because she got caught. For a year, she had acted as a slave. Now the price was giving her a chance to be free and get away from the horrors of the mines. The only condition is that she will have to be his champion. She will have to represent the prince in the competition being held by the king. The winner of this championship will have to serve the king as his champion for six years, and then be free.

Celina bargains with the handsome prince and reduces the serving sentence to four years. She makes the trip from Endovier to the glass castle in the capital of the empire. The competition comprises of a number of tasks, too simple foe Celaena. The last four remaining would fight and the winner will be decided. The only competition for Celina among the group of criminals appointed by the courtiers is Cain. As the story continues, one by one competitors get segregated. But Celina’s life in the Glass Castle is not limited to the competition. She can see the prince coming closer to her, and feel herself getting attracted to him. A love triangle is hinted when even the prince’s best friend, the Captain of Guard, named Chaol Westfall shows interest in her, but things get sorted out in the end. Sort of. She also befriends Nehemia, the princess of another kingdom Eyllwe.

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The King of Adarlan

The King of Adarlan is scary and power crazed. He wants to seize control of the entire continent. Oh and even anti magic. He killed all the magical creatures, destroyed magical libraries and forbade anyone to do it. No one knows why. He hates his elder son and totally adores one of his courtiers, Duke Perrington, who also happens to be the one who appointed Cain.

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Celaena Sardothien

The character of the protagonist, Celaena is well developed and interesting. She is sarcastic and can think of creative ways to kill each person she lays eyes upon. Not that you would expect anything else from an assassin. Celaena is the only female in the competition, and proves that a woman is no less than any man in any way. Not even killing and being the best assassin ever. She also loves to read, which I didn’t expect from a notorious killer. Dorian and Celaena bond over books. She uses the massive library of the palace in trying to decipher the mysterious Wyrdmarks, which seem to make an appearance in front of her all the time. There is also a mystery surrounding Celaena’s past, which includes her family and her journey to becoming an assassin from a little orphan girl.

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What I think

The competition between the different criminals in nothing new, however the way Sarah J Maas writes it, it becomes captivating and interesting. Even the introduction of dangerous, and not to mention illegal (not that Celaena cares) magic, secret passages, fancy balls and a jealous competitor Kaltain (not in the dangerous, life threatening competition, but to woo the crown prince) is not fresh, there is something about this story that makes you want to keep reading. There are unexpected twists and an unanswered question that will haunt you till you finish the book.

The Throne of Glass is a gripping novel, which I couldn’t keep down once I started. Though there are a few things that I wish were different, or a few which were kind of incomplete. Maybe the next book in the series will clear my doubts about the story, but so far I haven’t been able to read it. All the while, it is made clear that Celaena hates and fears the King. The hatred is justified in sorts, but it has also got something to do with her past, which as I said wasn’t something that was made clear.

Her relationship with Dorian and Chaol is what you’d expect from a love triangle. She likes this one guy, without realizing that his best friend likes her. And when she finally sees what she means to both boys, she doesn’t waste time crying and being in a dilemma for much time. She takes the decision quickly by dismissing one of them as infatuation. She realizes that she cannot be with that guy and instead of stammering and apologizing; she makes her point and ends it. I like this about her. There is no drama surrounding her relationship. Except probably Kaltain who does everything a mean girl does to eliminate competition for the race of becoming the future Queen. Celaena’s last fight is the best part, but the story doesn’t end on a proper cliffhanger.

The book is a onetime read, but an amazing one all the same. You wouldn’t want to read it once your questions have been answered. My favorite character is definitely Celaena. Her strong personality and individuality single her out from the crowd of women like Kaltain. She likes dressing up and looking pretty like all girls do, but her life is greater than wooing and flirting with rich men. This book must be read for all the suspense, and of course Celaena. You cannot draw many similarities between Celaena’s world and ours, which makes it all the more fascinating.

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