Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Release Date: March 30th, 2012/August 7th, 2012
After serving out a year of hard labor 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 three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. 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.Where do I even begin? Before I started the book, I had kept hearing about how great this book was. Everyone seemed to just absolutely LOVE it. And rightly so! I'm just one more blogger that agrees.
I guess I'll start with the characters. They're all phenomenally written, and what I think Maas did best was that she made sure that all of the characters had flaws. Celaena, who is one of my favorite heroines of all time, was so well-written and so real, partially due to the fact that she wasn't perfect. She had her own moments of weakness, and getting to see both sides of her was great. (I also found it interesting to see how girly Celaena could be despite her, ah, profession.) And of course it wasn't just Celaena. There was also Chaol, Dorian, Nehemia, the King, and everyone! Maas builds up her characters extremely well, and they're all very well-rounded characters.
Next is the plot itself. I've always been a fan of epic/high fantasy, and Throne of Glass made me fall in love with the sub-genre all over again. The world building was beyond phenomenal. Of course, there's also a map at the front of the book. Awesome, right? Anyway, back to the plot. It felt perfectly paced, and it was suspenseful and intriguing enough to keep me interested and invested in the story through the entire book. I never wanted to put it down! If it were up to me, I would have spent the entire day reading it. Seriously, why didn't I read this book before??? I'm also really glad that although there was some light romance, it didn't overshadow the main plot. If anything, it enhanced it. And I personally thought there was enough in it for you to at one moment want her to be with Dorian and the other to be with Chaol (I was originally a Dorian fan, but I think I'm siding more towards Chaol now; thinking back on it now, especially having started Crown of Midnight, it's obvious she was never meant to be with Dorian, and they didn't seem to really come together naturally). It's interesting to see how the different relationships, all of which are very different (as in not just romantic relationships), affect the plot. I don't really know how else to describe everything I loved about this book. It was just everything!
What else do I talk about? (It's been too long since I've written a review, clearly.) Basically...intriguing, complex characters with compelling relationships, great character and world building, perfect pacing, extremely invested in the story, enjoyable style (at least personally), and a really well executed plot and story in general.
I kind of just love everything about the book, so I highly recommend it.