Friday, August 3, 2012

Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

I grabbed Throne of Glass at Book Expo, mostly because of the fantastic cover, and I'm glad I was in the right place to get a copy. Throne of Glass is a book that comes from very humble beginnings: it's background is similar to 50 Shades of Grey, in that it used to be a story published online that is now becoming a book--but unlike 50 Shades of Grey, the writing is phenomenal and the storyline is fabulous.

Throne of Glass is the story of Celaena Sardothien, once the greatest assassin known, now a prisoner in a mining work camp where the average lifespan is a month. Celaena is brought from the dreary mines to be given a choice: she can become the king's champion and work for her freedom, or she can be left to languish and die in the mines. The choice seems almost too easy, except that there is a catch: in order to become the king's champion, Celaena must come to the castle to compete against twenty three other criminals and soldiers who also seek the position--and that competition may very well be to the death. But Celaena used to be one of--if not the--great assassins of the land. She's ready for the challenge--and if she happens to find a friend, the one thing she never thought she could have again, in a foreign princess...well, that's a bonus she never imagined.
It's just a matter of winning--and surviving the great evil that lurks in the castle, slowly picking off her fellow competitors one by one.

Throne of Glass is an absolutely fantastic book. There are honestly no words for how much I loved it. Celaena is a once all powerful assassin now withered and weak from malnutrition and horrible prison conditions. She's determined to improve, reaching her old levels of strength and health--and it galls her utterly that she can't show off for fear of making herself a target, that she can't even claim her own name because of it's infamy. She's a strong heroine with the skills to back it up--without being an all powerful character who makes the book boring because of a lack of challenge. The balance between power and challenge makes this book absolutely fantastic--because no matter how good Celaena is, someone else is better.

The story is also spectacular! Celaena has to compete in various challenges and fights, struggling to win so she can work to earn her freedom. If she looses, she goes back to the mines. If she wins, she must labor under the command of the king who sentenced her to that hell to begin with. And all the while, there's a darkness, an evilness that lurks the castle, threatening Celaena as it mercilessly slaughters her competitors one by one. Add to that a hint of mystery and intrigue, and a spiteful foreign princess struggling to keep her land from being taken over by the kingdom Celaena fights to represent, and you have one hell of a fantastic story.

But whoever suggested that Throne of Glass is similar to Hunger Games, however, as the cover of this book proclaims, may need to go back and reread both books. If you're looking for a Battle Royale type book, Throne of Glass really isn't for you--the challenges are more like deadly Big Brother competitions than Hunger Games free for alls.

But if you're looking for a lovely fantasy story about magic and fighting and assassins, you need to pick up Throne of Glass. I'd recommend Throne of Glass to Tamora Pierce fans seeking something new, as well as fans of Maria Snyder, particularly the Study and Glass series. I'd also recommend Throne of Glass to anyone seeking out a great, fun book about a strong female heroine with just a hint of romance--not so much as to turn the book into nothing more than teenage trash romance, but just enough to provide another layer of story.

Throne of Glass is utterly amazing, definitely one of my new favorite books, and I'd recommend it to everyone! I especially appreciate Throne of Glass for proving that just because a story is published online first doesn't mean that it's going to be smutty trash, for that matter. Throne of Glass comes out on August 7th--this upcoming Tuesday, in fact! So find out why I love it so much and grab a copy for yourself!

You won't regret it!

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