Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, published by Bloomsbury on 2nd August 2012
Celaena Sardothien is a daredevil assassin with unrivalled fighting skills. After a year’s hard labour in the salt mines of the kingdom of Adarlan, Celaena is offered her freedom on one condition—she must fight as handsome Prince Dorian’s champion in a contest sponsored by the king, facing the deadliest thieves and assassins in the land in a series of set-piece battles in the country’s stunning glass palace. But there is more at stake than even her life—for Celaena is destined for a remarkable future...
To describe 'Throne of Glass' by Sarah J Maas as epic would be an understatement. This extraordinary well crafted story is a book lover's dream. After finishing the last page it will linger on long in the memory.
The book actually first began on the Fiction Press website where it gained legions of avid readers. Ten years later and it's finally being published as a full length novel and is sure to garner many more devoted fans. Maas's inspiration for the book interestingly enough came from Cinderella but the fairytale has been reimagined and reworked to create something entirely new.
This is a book which I found impossible to put down and which won me over heart and soul. Every second I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. The characters became like friends which meant that I worried about them, laughed along with them, smiled and loved alongside them and didn't want to say goodbye to them when their adventure came to an end.
'Throne of Glass' perfectly combines elements of fantasy, adventure and romance. All the things that I look for in a book were there and it has earned a permanent spot on my shelf of favourite books. If I could make everyone I know read just one book then this would be it!
The actual story centres around Celaena Sardothian, otherwise known as Ardalan's Assassin. Having been imprisoned in the mines of Endovier, she's given a chance at earning back her freedom by competing in a tournament where there can only be one victor. Her opponents are other assassins, thieves and murderers, all attempting to escape a death sentence. This is a brutal to the death tournament unlike any other and only the strongest and the smartest contestant has a chance at survival.
Celaena Sardothian is fierce but fragile at the same time. She has faced terrible things in her life and survived. She has been beaten and half-starved but her spirit is still intact. She's extroverted and witty and she has an aura which seems to draw people towards her, not least Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Guards and Dorian, Crown Prince of Ardalan.
Usually in books which have two strong male figures, you end up rooting for one or the other but what's so great about this story is that Chaol and Dorian both come across as equally wonderful characters. Dorian is the more overtly romantic figure but there's something interesting about Chaol which intrigued me and attracted me to him so that I looked forward to his appearance in each chapter.
There is however much more to this book than just tangled affairs of the heart. There is also a struggle between countries for freedom and power, as well as traces of magic and the supernatural which are central to the story.
I adored 'Throne of Glass' and I fell in love with the book! Maas's writing is so vivid and powerful that I was drawn into the story and never wanted it to end. With a storyline that has plenty of twists and turns and with characters that will steal your heart, this book is a winner on every level.