Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 5/7/13
Length: 393 Pages
Series: Throne of Glass #1
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
I found this author when i stumbled on her other series A Court of Thorns and Roses, and i was drawn in so quickly that it’s not a surprise at all that this older series is just as amazing. What we have here is similar in the sense that there’s a world with magic or a magical history, but the depth and breadth of the story is different and unique.
Like the summary tells us, our leading lady Caleana is the most well known assassin in the land and has been put into a slave camp after being captured (someone turned on her apparently). She’s taken from the camp by the Crown Prince to be his Champion to fight against those 23 others to be the kings assassin essentially.
The story from there is one that’s really complex. We see the humanity in the story, of how Calaena was made into an assassin although we never really get the full back story. We see that she has some level of moral when she chose her jobs in the past and that’s what kept her head straight. IT’s something that she’s fearful of when and if she becomes the king’s champion because she will have no say in what she’s told to do.
If that weren’t stressful enough, she’s got a few folks in the story that make things more interesting. there’s the Crown Prince that she begins to see as a decent person and over time there’s definitely something more that builds between them. there’s a romantic spark that they act on yet don’t, and it’s interesting to see how that changes once the story gets hot – especially since their roles are so disparate. then there’s Choal – the Captain of the Royal Guard. He becomes a friend of sorts to Calaena, although you can clearly tell that there’s something more between them, at least from his side. I think that it makes for an interesting love triangle that you kind of feel can never come to life.
Then there’s the princess from Eyllwe – she’s definitely not at all what she seems – although it’s good that Calaena is the one that learns all this. We see that Calaena can speak the Princess’s language and that forms a quick bond, but when we see that the princess can actually speak the ‘common language’ – well it means that there’s something going on that we don’t know about.
Aside from those that are living – we see that there’s something more – something magical going on under the tone of the story. The big thing here is that we learned that all magic was banished or killed long long ago and it’s outlawed and all that. However, there are strange murders going on at the palace, and there are wyrdmarks, these hyroglyphics of a sort that are showing up marking the deaths – showing us that there’s magic at play. Calaena is lead to an underground passage that ends at the tombs of the first king and queen of the land and the queen – Elena – she appears from another parallel plane with a protective amulet and words of direction for what needs to happen etc.
You have to wonder how much magic is at play here, who’s involved and what it means. We know that for the most part it’s evil magic being used, and we don’t know who it is. There are moments when we think that it’s no one we know, then others where we think that it’s the princess, and then you have to wonder why Kaltain (another supporting lady) gets headaches, why the king is gone so much and returns sans his entire guard and why Calaena is able to see things that others can’t.
What we get is a really exciting story on so many levels. One about a competition, one about friendships, another about romance and a last about history and magic. I think that it sets up the rest of the series so well that i can’t wait to see what happens. I was really sad to see some of the decisions made at the end, but i have a feeling that we’re going to see it all come out for the best over the rest of the installments. Have a great day all!