Published: August 2012
Source: I purchased this book on Amazon ages ago, and waited WAY too long to get around to reading it.
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.
Oh my god, this book. Why on earth did I wait so long to read this?! This was a strong 5 stars for me, and I have seriously high hopes for the rest of the series.
First I just want to say that I am so, so happy with the new cover design this book received. Normally new covers drive me insane (because inevitably I'm halfway through purchasing a series when the new covers are released, and it makes me crazy to have a mismatched set!) but in this case I will happily re-buy an updated version of Throne of Glass at some point. The new covers are much more fitting to Celaena and her story. Massive improvement. Much love to the new covers.
I've seen a lot of reviews that slam Celaena as a ridiculous main character, but I really like her. She loves books, candy, clothes and parties, and she's a loyal friend and a badass assassin. I really don't understand what's not to like? And after serving a year in the salt mines of Endovier, I think she's more than entitled to a little frivolity now and then.
I loved the idea of a female assassin as a heroine, and I was delighted to see that so well-executed here. I enjoyed reading about the competition to find a new King's Champion, and I was glad to see some of the challenges described in detail, but I also liked that it didn't take over the whole book.
Even the love triangle worked for me. I liked both Chaol and Dorian, though I'm definitely Team Chaol all the way when it comes to a match for Celaena. Personally, I kind of like Princess Nehemia for Dorian. To me, Celaena and Dorian make much better friends than lovers, and I think Chaol understands Celaena in ways that Dorian just doesn't.
“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”
“How long was I asleep?" she whispered. He didn't respond.
"How long was I asleep?" she asked again, and noticed a hint of red in his cheeks.
"You were asleep, too?"
"Until you began drooling on my shoulder.”
“His breath was warm on her neck as he bent his head, resting his cheek against her hair. Her heart beat so quickly, and yet she felt utterly calm—as if she could have stayed there forever and not minded, stayed there forever and let the world fall apart around them. She pictured his fingers, pushing against that line of chalk, reaching for her despite the barrier between them.”
“With each day he felt the barriers melting. He let them melt. Because of her genuine laugh, because he caught her one afternoon sleeping with her face in the middle of a book, because he knew that she would win.”
Have you read this one yet? Do you love it as much as I do?