I LOVED IT!!!
Oh gosh, I can't even…I don't even have the words. Honestly, I can't understand why someone wouldn't love this book. To each her own, but for real: This book was such a great addition to the fantasy genre, the girls-kick-a** genre, and the I'm-so-excited-for-Book-2-I-think-I-may-go-nuts genre. If you've ever read a fantastic introduction to a series, you know what I mean J
According to the acknowledgements, Throne of Glass took Sarah J. Maas ten years to write (i.e. from word one to "The End" and finally to publication). Ten years! Believe me when I say that not a second of that time was wasted. Her heroine, Celaena, was absolutely masterful. And when you put a fierce girl like that into a book driven by character, supported by setting, and positively brimming with adventure, mystery, and plot, it is a beautiful thing.
The story opens with Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan's #1 assassin.
For the past year, she's been imprisoned in the Salt Mines of Endovier--a place so brutal most people only last a month before they're broken. When Chaol Westfall, the Captain of the Royal Guard, comes to escort her to the castle, Celaena thinks this must be it. They must've finally decided to kill her. However, the Crown Prince isn't interested in her death. Instead he asks Caleana to be his representative in a competition to win her freedom and ultimately become the King's Champion. Celaena isn't too concerned with the other 23 competitors. She knows she's the most deadly of them all. But when something starts attacking and killing champions, Celana discovers a terrible evil, long-forgotten magic, and a destiny that's been waiting for her.
Again, I really enjoyed Celaena. One of my favorite things was that she knew exactly how deadly she was. She was very guarded, having been betrayed once before (she believes that's how she ended up in Endovier; though it's never confirmed). BUT, she's also impossible not to like/respect. A will of steel, a kick-butt personality and the skills to back it up, Celaena Sardothien stood out in a crowded field of fantasy heroines.
And I might as well go ahead and say that I'm Team Chaol J
Loved Prince Dorian; he was carefree and sarcastic, yet capable of becoming a good king. Still. The Captain was my guy. I loved Chaol Westfall more :-P He was a little cold, a tougher nut to crack for sure than the playboy Prince. Favorite line from the jacket cover: "The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her." Explains both love interests in a nutshell.
Celaena didn't really need protecting, but when she did, Chaol was there. Celaena had a deeper connection to him; plus, Chaol could totally kick Dorian's butt! I REALLY hope they end up together. The romance wasn't overpowering, but it was done with a deft hand. Fan-freaking-tastic!
Oh, there's not enough room for all the awesome in this book. It definitely reminded me of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (but better imo). Maas put everything you need for a great fantasy into this book: great characters, plenty of action, a little mystery, a dash of romance and that certain something that makes the book completely unique. Throne of Glass was tops. I'd recommend it absolutely, without reservation. If you're about fantasy girls kicking butt, you NEED this book!
P.S. Here's the jacket summary b/c I just don't think I did it justice :D
When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King's Champion and be released from prison.
Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.
And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she'd have again: a friend.
But something evil dwells in the castle--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival--and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.