Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Review: Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Format: Uncorrected proof
Pages: 420
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published (UK): 2nd August 2012 (Bloomsbury)

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I was initially a little bit cautious about reading this book as I'd seen a fair amount of hype about it. In my experience books that received this kind of attention before release (especially as it's the first book in a seris) don't always live up to expectations - and in some cases turn out to be down right awful.

Thankfully this book met the hype face on and I was extremely glad to find that it is well written. The plot flows nicely and the main characters are likeable. Celaena meets most of my criteria for a good heroine - actually, I'd be inclined to call her the hero because heroines can be a little pathetic at times; Celaena's an assassin, she holds her own with the boys. I loved the mix of tension and rapport she has with both Captain Westfall and Prince Dorian and that she can at one moment be witty and sarcastic but the next awkward and cautious.

One of my minor issues with the book was that some of the names were annoying at times. The author has, as is often done in this genre, used unusual names and spellings to reflect the fantasy world. While I don't have a problem with this in theory, I did find myself basically skipping over a lot of names because I just couldn't decide how to pronounce them in my head.

My second 'issue' was that at times the story reminded me of a fantasy version of The Hunger Games. To be fair, being compared to that amazing series probably isn't the worst thing in the world but it did make it feel like the story wasn't a hundred percent unique. Saying that though, it's still a really good one.

Throne of Glass is a must read for fans of The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), Avry of Kazan (Mari V Snyder) and The Seven Kingdoms (Kristin Cashore)

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