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?
The inspiration for Throne of Glass came when Sarah J. Maas thought, “What if Cinderella was an assassin, and went to the ball not to dance with the prince, but to kill him?” I knew then it would have me hook, line, and sinker even though it has deviated from there with little resemblance to Cinderella. Throne of Glass has everything I like: assassins, princes(sees), castles, friendship, intrigue, romance. Add in an expansive world and I’m in.
Celaena Sardothien is exactly the type of heroine I’ve been looking for. I’ve been lamenting the lack of “girly” protagonists in YA because hey, you can kick ass and look good while doing it. In a world of YA where most female protoganists scoff at dressing up, it was refreshing to see Celaena revel it. I like that Celaena is beautiful and confident. Sometimes her arrogance can grate but her moments of humanity are shown and her heart is always in the right place. An aspect I really appreciate in the books that while Celaena is quick judge other court ladies, she also forms a friendship with Nehemia, a visiting princess. I felt like the friendship softened parts of Celaena from her time spent at Endovier. I generally enjoy the way this book portrays females. Even Kaltain wasn’t a fully stock character, she is an antagonist court lady bent on marrying the prince but her motives also can be understood.
There’s one of those dreaded love triangles here but I think it’s done well. Both love interests come with their own set of redeeming qualities and appeal. I really liked the different aspects they brought in Celaena, her playfulness and her determination. I’m very excited to see where the series takes us next and can’t wait.
Oh, this book. I am gong to have a situation with this series, I can tell already.
The best thing I could say about this book is that it made me feel extremely…fan-ish? Like, I want to talk about this book with people, I want to have people to geek out over this book with. After finishing it I emailed Elena and was like “Can this be the next big ‘thing’? Can we spend forever freaking out about it online with fellow nerds? Can we?” If you’re anything like me and prone to bouts of fangirly devotion for things, pick up this book, finish it, join me in line right this very second, this is not a test!!
Everything about Throne of Glass is so incredibly engaging for me. I am in love with Calaena, as Elena put it she is everything I can have been craving in a lady-hero for ages. She can kick everyone’s ass for days, no problem, she just also happens to want to be wearing a pretty dress while doing so and I LOVE. THAT. I feel like femininity is something that has been looked down upon by a lot of heroines, like the only acceptable way for a female to be taken seriously is for her to reject things or emotions perceived as girly and to embrace masculinity and man, that is bullshit. You can be strong and be the prettiest girl at the masque ball, dude. Calaena also has a wicked sense of humor and I love her, I love her, I love her. So excited she exists.
The story lost a little bit of its steam toward the end for me, because I think it focused a little too much on the romance instead of the bigger plot but it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. I cannot even be mad at the love triangle, which is saying something for me. I definitely have a favorite out of the two suitors but for once that plot device didn’t really hinder my overall enjoyment of the novel. I’m already on pins and needles for book two, honestly.
GO FORTH AND READ THIS BOOK, EVERYONE. Then come talk to me about it. Seriously. I need to discuss. Call me.
La Roux – In For the Kill (SKREAM Let’s Get Ravey Remix)
I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
Oh I’m hoping you’ll understand
And not let go of my hand
Let’s go to war
To make peace
Let’s be cold
To create heat
I hope in darkness
We can see
And you’re not blinded by the light from me
St. Vincent – Champagne Year
I’ll make a living telling people what they want to hear
It’s not a killing, but it’s enough to keep the cobwebs clear
‘Cause it’s not a perfect plan
It’s not a perfect plan
But it’s the one we’ve got
Kaki King – The Betrayer
I did this to you, yes I did
I had my own life to save
I did this to you yes I did
Again, I’ve become someone else
It’s up to them
Will they let me through
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Time of the Assassins
I sift through the ash
I look for a sign
I open the wound
That keeps me in line
The shoulder that turns
The flame that goes out
The chapter I close
In the Time Of The Assassins
They say hallelujah
it doesn’t take a miracle to raise a
Heart from the dead
And can something change
But still feel the same
I specifically wanted it to be all girls because yay, girl power. I took the assassins thing pretty literally and I wanted it set a sort of resigned tone to this, even though the book is lighter than that. The idea of assassins is very cold and mechanical so when it’s contrasted with Charlotte Gainsbourg’s breathy vocals or St. Vincent’s delicate singing, the complexities of being an assassin are shown.
Tori Amos – Precious Things
He said you’re really an ugly girl
But I like the way you play
And I died
But I thanked him
Can you believe that
Sick, sick, holding on to his picture
Dressing up every day
I wanna smash the faces of those beautiful boys
SBTRKT – Wildfire (feat. Little Dragon)
You’re like a wildfire.
You got me rising hot.
Your innocence- Who’s the brave?
Drowning in,will you save me?
It’s a crime- if you don’t.
You’re the spy, by the throat.
Danger Mouse – Black (feat. Norah Jones)
Fooled them hoping to seem
Like a slave of evil but the product of greed and
It’s not a mass so be honest with me
We can’t afford to ignore that I’m the disease
Practical since we had to be and
When they were old they came back to me and they tried
Oh they tried
And when you follow through and wind up on your back
Looking up at those stars in the sky those white clouds have turned it black
Lotte Ketsner – Leif Erikson
She says it helps with the lights out
Her rabid glow is like braille to the night.
She swears I’m a slave to the details
But if your life is such a big joke, why should I care?
For my mini-soundtrack I wanted things to sound like a fairy tale that has gone slightly off kilter. Each song as sort of an undercurrent of unease to it while somehow managing to suck you in further to it. I listened to Tori Amos almost exclusively while reading the book so I let her song sort of set the tone for the rest.