Rating: 5 Stars
Published: August 2012
Genre: YA/ Fantasy
“Still, the image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back.”
“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if you only dared.”
Celaena (Sell-lay-nah) Sardothien is Adarlan’s deadliest assassin. Prince Dorian Havillard is the King’s heir. Chaol is the Captain of the Guard. The three of them could never imagine the events to come once Dorian chooses to release Celaena from the salt mines of Endovier to compete to be the King’s Champion. What starts out as Celaena’s fight for her freedom, escalates into something much more important.
This is one of those books that I really wish I just gave in and believed the hype right away. It’s brilliant. It’s everything I loved about Grave Mercy & more. I think my favorite kind of heroines now are assassins. They’re just so kick-ass! I can’t believe there are going to be 5 more books in this series. I kind of wish I’d waited longer to read these just so I could read them all at once!
I apologize in advance for the myriad of quotes this post has. I’m in love with every single one. I couldn’t write this without showcasing my favorite bits & pieces of writing. There’s not really any spoilers, but if you haven’t read this before, you might want to skip reading the quotes if that bothers you.
I’m just going to start gushing now. Okay? Okay.
The prose is beautiful. Sarah J. Maas really has a way with words that I can only envy.
“She looked at the sunlight filtering through the canopy, how the trees swayed in the wind with their long, bony arms around each other. She suppressed a shiver.”
Her imagery is stunning. The world building was fantastic too. It was rich and alive and easily imagined. Likewise, her characters were well- rounded and full of depth.
Celaena, in particular, is an incredibly relatable character. She hates wet shoes, loves books & candy, and adores puppies. She jumps off the page and feels so real. I felt her rage. I felt her longing. I felt her excitement. Tangible characters are something that I admire in writers and it automatically makes me think highly of a novel.
“Over a million? A million books?” Her heart leapt and danced, and she cracked a smile. “I’d die before I even got through half of that!”
Grinning, she whirled and moved through the main floor, running a hand across the dusty books. “I didn’t know assassins liked to read,” Chaol called. If she were to die now, it would be in complete bliss.
Celaena doesn’t do anything half-heartedly. She’s wickedly smart and cunning. She loves with her whole heart and is extremely passionate. That’s what makes her such a fantastic character to read.
“She forgot about time as she drifted between pieces, voicing the unspeakable, opening old wounds, playing and playing as the sound forgave and saved her.”
Don’t get me wrong, despite her charm, Celaena is a force to be reckoned with. She’s fierce. She’s strong. And she’s a killer. She has some anger issues and she has some growing up to do.
“A shriek of rage ripped from her throat, and Celaena ran over to the pocket. She first screamed at the ball, then took the cue in her hands and bit down upon the shaft, still screaming through her clamped teeth. Finally the assassin stopped and slapped the three ball into the pocket.”
Honestly, I love this bit because it shows how angry she can get. The frustration is at a level that I feel I get while playing pool, too. Practicing any new sport or talent is horrible. You play until you get it right but sometimes you just want that anger that Celaena easily unleashes.
The banter between characters is something to behold. The wit! The charm! It’s all wonderful. It doesn’t feel forced. There’s a natural ease in which the relationships progress.
“As my friend, you should either bring me along, or keep me company.” “Friend?” he asked. She blushed. “Well, ‘scowling escort’ is a better description. Or ‘reluctant acquaintance,’ if you prefer.” To her surprise, he smiled.
Chaol and Dorian are quite the pair. It is a little surprising that Chaol is Captain of the Guard at such a young age, however, Celaena is a successful assassin at 18 soooo… It’s clearly a different time. Sometimes the little unbelievable details of a story just don’t matter. Did the story hook you? Were you enthralled? Did you enjoy it? Did it make you feel something? Sometimes those elements mean more than mere details. If you honestly didn’t enjoy this book, then I can see how you can pick through the details that others overlooked. And that’s fine. But that’s not what I’m going to do.
I enjoy the revelations and observations that are made through her writing. They ring completely true and allow us to agree or imagine something completely differently than we had thought.
“Maps had always interested her; there was something bewitching in knowing one’s precise location in relation to others on the earth.”
“Guards are of no use in a library.” Oh how wrong he was! Libraries were full of ideas- perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.
I love that there is a High Priestess that presides over religious ceremonies and they worships to a Goddess and her gods. Brilliant. That’s not something you see all the time and I love the inclusion of it.
“He held out his hand, inclining his head. “Dance with me?” Was there music playing? She’d forgotten. The world had shrunk into nothing, dissolved by the golden glow of candles. But there were her feet, and here was her arm, and her neck, and her mouth. She smiled and took his hand, still keeping one eye on the ball around them.”
Did you know that Sarah J. Maas started writing Throne of Glass as a Cinderella retelling? While it’s now just fantasy in its own right, there are some nods to the tale through the novel. I think that’s awesome. It makes me like it more. If that’s even possible.
I can’t think of anything that I don’t love in this book. The first page pulls you in and holds you in place while you take this incredible journey with an incredible character. This is a strong beginning to what’s sure to be an amazing series. I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here.
If you STILL haven’t read this book. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?