Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Summary: 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.
Lured in by the beautiful cover and the promising summary, I have yet again been the victim of THE HYPE.
What we have here is a true case of a reader(with limited resources), desperately searching for a book, contemplating on buying it because it has such amazing ratings on Goodreads.com and making a great decision by telling herself to not be an idiot and check it out in the library first.
Unfortunately, That was not the case for this reader with other overly-hyped books, but we'll get to that in a later post.
The HYPE forgot to mention some issues that were brought to my attention concerning our main character, Adarlan's Assassin Celaena Sardothien. Described as a skilled assassin from page one; I am not even sure I was reading about the same girl as we got further along in the book. As the story progresses, she never showed hint of her oh-so-powerful skills mentioned from the start. She might written to be strong and capable but she only showed the skills of an amateur criminal with luck. She was more enticed with pretty dresses, jewels, and finding suitors. I don't think a trained assassin, especially someone who has trained since infancy, would be distracted by things like that. Celaena is smart, beautiful, and athletic. And our main character never let us forget it. The reader was constantly reminded of her many attributes by either Celaena or her many admirers.
Chaol, the captain of the guard, was the most likable character but he didn't show true potential until the end of the story.
I do believe he might be one of the few reasons I might continue to read the series. Hopefully his involvement within the story evolves and improves. As well as our dear assassin's, who seemed to be more interested in batting her eyelashes and partying than actually saving anyone.
I did not like Prince Dorian character even the slightest. His vain attempts at teasing and flirting were cringe worthy and I found myself rolling my eyes every time his name was mentioned. Though I admit he was kind, I hope he might develop into a likable character in the future.
The one female character I did not find irritating was Nehemia, who was a princess of a seemingly enemy kingdom. She was smart and resourceful, she was more careful about who to trust than the actual main character was. She cared for her people and focused on doing everything she could to help them. In the end, it seemed to me Nehemia was the hero of the story. Which seemed to be Celaena's job, at least, according to the description. THE WHOLE LAND FEARS HER. ONLY SHE CAN SAVE THEM ALL. Yeah, okay.
Nox was also a likable character who, again, is not given much chance of development in the story. He was a criminal who became allied with Celanea (not a major spoiler, promise). I was excited at this development but was quickly disappointed when he just became an object of jealousy. He had so much character potential and I hope that he comes back in the sequel.
The descriptive writing and beautiful world building made this story worthwhile, but I could not sympathize with the main character at all. I did not relate to her and I found myself frustrated with her bubbly thoughts and her short attention span. Most of the time I found myself thinking, I know you are eighteen years old, but you're a trained assassin for crying out loud, act like it! I did not want her killing left and right, but when it came to matters of the heart I would have thought she would be clever enough to put that aside and focus on the BIG PROBLEM THAT SHE WAS WARNED ABOUT.
All in all, I liked the different POVs offered in each chapter. Though at times confusing, I found it refreshing to be in each of the character's heads. The action in this book was lacking, but to be fair there was a lot of world building on the author's part and it would have been worse if it would have had a lot of action and vague descriptions of Celanea's world.
I hope I can continue reading the rest of the books and maybe our assassin would will do less dancing and more defending in the near future.