Meet Celaena Sardothien.Beautiful. Deadly.Destined for greatness.
After serving out a year of hard labour in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Chaol Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page count: 404
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.45/5)
I am an occasional liar. I don’t lie often, but when I do lie, trust me, I might pass as a lie-detector scammer, don’t test me, I’m ruthless. But in general, I prefer to be brutally honest and direct. That’s my nature. Today, I could’ve easily lied and said that I’ve wanted to read this book,Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, for as long as I remember, but I’ve chosen to tell the truth instead:
I’ve heard about this book two months before I actually started to read it and it didn’t appeal to me, mostly because of the cover somehow?? I know, I am a hypocrite (don’t judge a book by its cover, remember?), but the cover itself has (in my opinion) a crucial role in my own personal pick of a reading. And this particular cover felt like it wanted to intimidate me so bad.
I actually tried to read Throne of Glass once before, earlier in the year, and I managed to stop after precisely two words, change my mind and read something else. I don’t know what got into me then, but I dropped it like it’s hot, really. But boy was I wrong because I actually enjoyed it and it was VERY readable.
Celaena Sardothien is the world’s greatest assassin only at the age of eighteen, music is her salvation and she loves to read and is obsessed with libraries and puppies?? Gee, I love that tune, play it again. So, so unusual to put together ‘assassin’ and ‘bookworm’ in the same sentence though but CELAENA SARDOTHIEN IS A COLD-BLOODED ASSASSIN WHO IS ALSO A PART-TIME BOOKWORM. Let the haters hate and let’s move on.
I can’t say that I particularly loved any of the characters, at least at the beginning. They all seemed to be so stereotypical that I quit trying to bother: the narcissistic prince, the oppressed heroine with a shady background, the wicked king scared of magic, the workaholic right hand of the narcissistic prince and so on. But as the plot developed, I started liking this workaholic gorilla bodyguard with the name of Chaol, this narcissistic prince with a flirty nature, but with a real love for knowledge, this oppressed heroine which made a name for herself, but preferred to use it just to cover herself because that was a choice she could make.
Of course, there is going to be a love triangle (Gee how I love those…). Celaena seems to be caught between her weird affectionate friendship with Chaol, too lonely and too caught up in his own job to let his feelings flow, and her attraction and lust for Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan, with his witty jokes and his devilishly handsome figure. Both men fell for the young assassin in their own way and their different traits would make such a hard choice for Celaena, don’t you think?
But, to be completely honest, the most beautiful relationship of them all is the one between Celaena and Princess Nehemia. Their friendship is so pure and so natural that it seems like their souls have been friends since the moment the world was created. If I’d had to truly ship someone, I’d ship them both, because, let’s be real, they are on their own passionate, dedicated and strong women, but together, they make the perfect team. As I heard some lady in a bus saying once: “Us women are stronger when we stick together” and yes, it is so true and so accurate for Celaena’s and Nehemia’s situation too.
There are two important things about a book: it has to teach you something and it has to help you escape your own reality. I don’t know about you, people, but I read books in order to escape my own cruel reality (because that is the reality – a cruel and devious lifetime lasting wake up call) and I recently discovered that fantasy books are the best remedy for an ordinary life. There is another life to live in a fantastic story, whenever the presented world is amazingly constructed and erected before our mind’s eye. To claim that and also deep, 7-D characters with some serious wisdom passages attached to the neatly done plotline is totally just a whole load of bull, if you’d pardon my fluency in French. I, for instance, do not judge a book by the lack of one of those aspects, but I judge it by the way it makes me feel and by how wholesome it is as an entity (and by its cover, of course!). This is maybe why almost every time I find something positive that I liked in a book it contributes to my general opinion about it.
Yes, this book might look a bit forced in the building of the characters, which might be a turnoff for some people, but don’t you expect every book you read to have everything you ever wanted from a book, because, let’s be honest now, where would the fun be if all the books were the same? Nowhere, most probably. So, please, don’t stumble on that and let’s give this book an overview, shall we?
“We each survive in our own way.”
This is not only a book about assassins and assassinates, but also it is a book about survival. In an oppressed world, the ones caught on the ‘wrong’ side of the wall get punished with the price of their lives. Here and now, the feeling and need for survival reveals itself. We must act in order to survive and all of this depends only on ourselves. Celaena is given another chance of living after almost dying in the salt mines of Endovier. In a past life, she made a name for herself as the most feared assassin Adarlan has ever had, but after taking her chance to a new life, she struggles to still live up to her earned title, but because her life changed, she changed herself. Everyone sees her as the cruel assassin she used to be, but she always sees herself as the girl who loves to read:
“Lonely? No. I can survive well enough on my own – if given proper reading material.”
and also as the girl who lives through music:
“I like music because when I hear it, I…I lose myself within myself, if that makes sense. I become empty and full all at once, and I can feel the whole earth roiling around me. When I play, I’m not…for once, I’m not destroying. I’m creating.”
because, well, music is used to tame even the most fearless beasts. Music is the medicine of one’s soul.
As the plot develops, the storyline becomes more and more intriguing until it reaches a point where things turn out dark and fantastic. What seems to me at the beginning as an okay-ish reading turned out to be, towards the end, a great, imaginative story. I am beyond happy that I was wrong! (That means the book is good because I rarely am wrong and I even rarely admit that I was wrong!).
Celaena Sardothien, world’s best assassin, proves to everyone that, after all, no matter how hard life beats us down, we must raise our head high up and keep fighting, because we all are beaten down by Faith, not all of us show this the same way, but we all suffer:
“We all bear scars, Dorian. Mine just happen to be more visible than most”.
P.S. I gave it 4 stars because I feel that the other books of the series are going to get better and better 🙂