We’re a stop today on Bloomsbury’s virtual book tour for Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Throne of Glass is Book #1 in an exciting new YA paranormal fantasy series that I believe is going to appeal to people of all ages. I know I’m hooked! With strong male and female characters, and a world badly in need of heroes, it should even appeal to some who don’t normally read fantasy. Read on to see if this one should be on your TBR list.
Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is laboring in the salt mines of Endover. Every day is a battle for survival in this death camp. And then one day she’s made an offer she can’t refuse. The Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard, offers to make her his temporary champion and his contestant in a battle to see who will become the new king’s champion. The deal he dangles in front of her is that if she wins and serves his father for just a few years, she will gain her freedom. In her emaciated state, she knows if she stays in Endover much longer, she will die. As badly as she hates the king, she can’t resist even the remote possibility that she could be free some day so she agrees.
“’And you’re Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s greatest assassin. Perhaps the greatest assassin in all of Erilea.’ [Doran] He studied her tensed body before he raised his dark, well-groomed brows. ‘You seem a little young.’ He rested his elbows on his thighs. ‘I’ve heard some rather fascinating stories about you.’…’After a year, you seem to be more or less alive. I wonder how that’s possible when the average life expectancy in these mines is a month.’
‘Quite a mystery, I’m sure.’ She batted her eyelashes and readjusted her shackles as if they were lace gloves.”
Celaena was the King’s Assassin before she was sentenced to Endover, the deadliest person in the kingdom. She’ll be facing the most ruthless men the kingdom has to offer in the Champion competition; warriors, thieves, and other assassins. Still she, Dorian, and the Captain of the Royal Guard, Chaol Westfall, who’s training her, believe she can beat her opponents in their tests, no matter who they are, if she can regain her prior fighting form.
“’She shouldn’t pose a threat or problem while she’s here,’ Dorian said as calmly as he could. Picking Sardothein had been a gamble – a bet against his father’s tolerance…
‘You think like every fool she’s murdered.’ Dorian straightened as the king continued. ‘She owes allegiance to none but herself, and won’t balk at putting a knife through your heart.’
‘Which is why she’s fully capable of winning this competition of yours.’”
When the tests begin, she’s given a fake name and is told to hold back so the others don’t realize how powerful she is. It goes against her grain to not shine in competitions but she recognizes the wisdom of the strategy. Still it’s hard not to knock the arrogance off of some of her competitors’ faces.
“’To everyone in this castle,’ Dorian said, ‘your name is Lillian Gordaina. Your mother is dead and your father is a wealthy merchant from Bellhaven. You are the sole heir of his small fortune. However, you have a dark secret. You spend your nights as a jewel thief. I met you this summer after you tried to rob me while I was vacationing in Bellhaven, and I saw your potential then…’
She raised her brows. ‘Really? A jewel thief?
Chaol snorted, but Dorian went on…
Dorian chuckled. ‘I’m glad to find that seeing your competition hasn’t damaged that swagger of yours…’”
To add to her stress about winning her freedom, Celaena finds herself drawn to Chaol, and to Dorian, even though she hates his father. She must keep her mind on the contest if she’s to win her freedom and winning her freedom is all she cares about, right? Ugh – she doesn’t need this complication!
And then something bizarre begins to happen. Some of the best contestants are being killed, picked off one by one and torn apart in dark hallways during the night just before their next test. Despite her single-minded goal, she realizes she will have to find out what’s going on to protect herself if nothing else. After all, she could be next. What darkness lies within the glass castle? Why is Celaena finding glyphs underneath her bed and what do they mean? Can she find and/or survive whatever is killing her opponents? What role does magic play, if any, in all of this?
Celaena is a strong, stubborn, accomplished and independent young woman whose life is filled with secrets, going all the way back to beyond how she became an assassin. She does her best to keep her eye on the prize of freedom because if she fails to win that, she’ll be back at Endover and won’t survive long enough for anything else to matter. At the same time, Dorian and Chaol have awakened feelings in her that she seems to be unable to control. Not only that but she’s made friends, something she’s never allowed herself to do before – something dangerous for an assassin to do.
Sarah J. Maas has written an excellent novel in Throne of Glass, one that makes me want to read Book #2 in this exciting series right now! This world is one steeped in conflict, with shadowy figures bent on sending it even further into chaos if not stopped. Some likely heroes begin to emerge in Book #1, in addition to Celaena, ones with the potential to battle these villains and save their world. At the same time, these potential heroes have weaknesses so their battles are not going to be easy ones.
I couldn’t put Throne of Glass down, and stayed up until I got double-vision trying to read it in one marathon sitting. Yep, it was that engrossing! You don’t have to like YA books or fantasy to enjoy this one!
Can’t wait to read it?
Throne of Glass was published on August 7, 2012, so it should be available from your favorite bookseller below. Just click the button to go there to get it.
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