|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."
Throne of Glass. Oh, where to start. I knew that I was going to freaking love this series when I read those prequel books. And I am so happy to say that I was not disappointed. I mean holy bananas. (I'm keeping things PG for the kids, the exclamations I really want to use are slightly more vulgar.) This book is fantastic, and if it weren't 2 am, I would be heading out to B&N to buy the sequel right now.
Celaena Sardothien, raised to be an assassin has just spent the last year in the Salt Mines, after being betrayed. (You find this out in the prequel books, for my review on those go here) Prince Dorian has selected her to be his champion to fight for the title of being the Royal Assassin. Celaena is, understandably, reluctant in doing such a thing being it was the King that sent her to the mines in the first place. Being so young and skilled at her job has earned her quite a reputation, and even though she did spend a year of hard labor in slavery, she still has her pride. So when the offer of freedom is given to her as part of the terms if she were to compete and win she can do little but accept.
The progress of this time frame was very interestingly done, taking place over the course of a couple of months, it was never slow. Even the parts that were focused mostly on Celaena and the rest of the competing champions training. In the prequels, we learn a decent amount about her personality, in this book we learn more of her backstory, and that of the nation. About what kinds of magic existed and the kinds of people that had it in them. I am really curious as to where a certain bit of insight into our Heroine leads in the rest of the books. All the supporting characters seemed deeply important, even the ones that had no lines. Cain is a crazy bastard and deserved what he got. I hope to see Nox in later books, I really liked his character.
The romance seemed a little unnecessary. While the story didn't really seem to turn into a book about a girl with two men vying for her affections, there were moments, when I did feel like the romance took a center stage. Perhaps the romance will be important during the rest of the books to the point where it was needed to be in the center of the story during the parts it was, in the way it was. The rest of the story was far more engaging, that the romance never took away from the real story.
I really liked Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Guard and Celaena's personal guard during the competition. He was kind of adorable in the way he handled her chiding and sassiness, and the visiting Princess, Princess Nehemia, was a nice addition. I freaking loathed Kaltain Rompier, though I assume we are supposed to hate her. I need the second book in my hands right now. This series is phenomenal, read it... all of you.