Guess what, guys? I finally finished the book!
**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**
Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
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. (source:goodreads)
I have a few awesome words to say about this: there's no fancy dress! I mean, sure, there's a girl, but she looks totally kick-ass in the same kind of outfit I only wish I could pull off. Granted, I honestly don't have a problem with the 'girl in fancy dress' kind of cover that's been circulating the shelves, lately, but it's only when it's appropriate (as in: the girl is in a dress at some point in the novel). This book would have fallen into that category.
Want to know what I love? As I mentioned: she looks totally kick-ass. She's in a get-up that's easy to move around in, there's weapons in her hands, her get-up is easy to move around in, her face is dark and twisted: she looks like an assassin, which, plot-twist (*coughs* sarcasm): the book is about an assassin. Case-in-point. You're welcome. Not only that, but when I got the book in the mail, and I opened it, I started mildly shrieking because I honestly thought the cover was so beautiful.
Alright, it's told in third person, occasionally close. The majority of the book is from Celaena's POV, but it occasionally switches to Prince Dorian's point of view, or else Captain Chaol. All of them were extremely interesting, although I would honestly say that Celaena's was the best since she was in the middle of all the action.
What I love about the style, too (this is also concerning my love of when 3rd POV is done right): is that the narrative, itself, is written to match the setting: long eloquent sentences. But it's not overly flowery, and there's definitely a hint of Celaena's voice in there (which is lovely).
My only issue: I can't stand exclamation marks in the narrative. Dialogue? Totally workable, because who hasn't shouted in their lifetime? It's just my opinion that exclamation marks do not belong in the narrative, first person or third POV. It's kind of a weird thing with me, so . . . yeah.
First thing's first: Throne of Glass definitely reminded me of The Hunger Games: there's twenty-four competitors rounded up with their own sponsors, all set to compete in a tournament in which the last-man-standing is the Champion. Sounds familiar, right?
What I appreciated was the way it diverged. These aren't random people: all of the competitors are criminals of some sort, with the exception of some being soldiers. And I've mentioned that the main character is an assassin, right? I seriously have a thing about assassins: they make the most interesting characters.
Another separation from THG: there is way more going on here than meets the eye. I'm talking a court lady trying to marry into her crown, a princess who you're seriously unsure about, the motives of the king, the motives of a certain duke, a ghost/spirit who seriously needs to work on decoding her sentences before speaking, the fact that the main character has mixed motives of her own, and the big tamale: there's this weird magical beast thing that's killing the contestants of the competition when magic hasn't existed in this world in supposedly a really long time.
My mind was continuously blown, to be honest. The events were spaced out extremely well, and except for the occasional slow valleys that the plot crossed through I was never too bored. And despite that huge plot and the multiple plot arcs I already mentioned, I was never lost. It was so easy just to keep turning the pages until somebody texted me at an odd hour of the night, which distracted me and made me realize how late it was and that I had work/class the next day.
This part I'm going to be a tad bit harder on. Because while the plot is complicated and involves many different players, there's only a few /main/ characters that are worth mentioning. I've already talked about how I love assassins; no matter what genre you're looking at, the main ones are super interesting.
So if I'm honest, I was slightly disappointed in Celaena. There was conflict in her, sure, and I love the ending where all she's talking about is her freedom, and that freedom is her dream. But that's the end, and while there were a lot of moments in the book where the reader gets to see how epic and awesome and kick-ass she is, there were a lot more moments where all I saw in her was a flirty girl who was playing with two suitors. And . . . honestly it bugged me at times. The only redeeming qualities here were that there were moments where you find out more about her past, glimpses into who she used to be. And those moments were fantastic, but few and far between for a 300+ page book.
The other two most noteworthy were the Captain and the Prince. And both of them came off as love sick puppies who were vying for Celaena's affection. And competing against each other, sort of. Granted, one of them was able to pass it off as trying to protect the other from Adarlan's Assassin (aka: Celaena), but . . . honestly. By the time you're about 75 pages in you realize that both of the men are falling in love, and it's extremely obvious.
I'm not saying that characters that run off their emotions are bad; in fact, they're good, because those emotions cause them to do things they might normally balk at, and they tend to add bumps in the road to make sure their journeys aren't too smooth.
I just wish there was more to them.
Final rating: 4 / 5
Thoughts or Questions? Let me know what you think!