Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Throne of Glass | by: Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass seems to be one of the most-loved fantasy series in YA right now and I had definitely been feeling the hype. The last book I read with a ton of hype was Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and it didn't sit well with me overall, and I was afraid of Throne of Glass being a similar disappointment. Fortunately, it wasn't.
The premise itself is pretty deep. An assassin by the name of Celaena Sardothien has been enslaved by the Kingdom of Adarlan after finally being caught, and she has been kept in absolutely wretched conditions. But now she has the chance to win freedom through a competition, the only problem being that she would have to work for the King of Adarlan if she won, the very person responsible for all her traumas. As if that situation wasn't emotionally-compromising enough, it's becoming apparent that someone in the glass castle is using magic for brutal murder. Oh, and there's a love triangle.
So, there's a lot of drama to absorb in this one, but it's all quite epic. The idea of an Otherworld and the people and creatures who roam between dimensions reminds me a bit of Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink, but I think the magic has a lot more potential in this series. To be honest, I thought the mystery of who could possibly be causing the murders and for what purpose was relatively easy to figure out, but the lack of a major twist in that department doesn't make this book less intriguing. I found the characters far too interesting to ever be bored.
Our leading lady Celaena is different than what I generally expect from badass female protagonists. While she is undoubtedly tough and lets everyone know it (and possesses the skills to prove herself), she still has a feminine side that shines through. She may be able to kill even the most-skilled of those around her within minutes, but she still wants to wear dresses and attend balls. She still has a puppy. Her inability to remain confined to one stereotype is what I like most about her.

Even the love triangle flows better than in most novels. Chaol and Dorian are actually both contenders, much like Gale and Peeta in much of the Hunger Games books. Far too often, a second love interest is only thrown into the mix for the sole purpose of shaking things - he/she scarcely ever seems to be a real contender. But both Chaol and Dorian get plenty of time with Celaena and both are so different that it's easy to appreciate them individually. I'm honestly not very sure how this will end up working, but I certainly look forward to finding out.

Plus, it's obvious that Celaena is going to be part of something even bigger than she ever imagined, and I think the series will be even more epic because of it. Throne of Glass was a great series-starter - Sarah J. Maas definitely has me hooked - and I'm very optimistic about what the rest of the series will be like.

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