Sunday, April 24, 2016

Staff Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is a young adult fantasy novel - the first in a series by the same name. It was published in 2012 and book number five is due out later this year (Empire of Storms). I heard the author speak last year and the audience went wild when she discussed the main character - Celaena Sardothien. My interest was piqued. This book has been hovering at the top of my to-be-read list ever since.

The story begins with our main character, seventeen year old Celaena Sardothien as she is being escorted out of the Endovier Salt Mines and into an audience with the crown prince of the country Erilea. Celaena was sentenced to Endovier - which is basically a death camp. People rarely last a month there. Celaena has been there for one year.

Celaena's crime? She is an assassin. Indeed, a notorious assassin who is considered to be the best in all of Erilea. She is brought before the prince and given an offer she can't refuse. Due to her notoriety and skill set, the royal offers her a chance to be in a competition to become the King's Assassin. If she wins, she works for the King for three years and is set free. If she loses, she has to go back to a bleak and short future at Endovier.

Celaena agrees to the proposition and lives in the castle under guard and an alias - so her competitors aren't intimidated by her reputation. Soon, one by one, the other competitors are killed in the same most gruesome manner. Who or what is killing Celaena's competition? Is she next? As Celaena begins to investigate, she finds there are dark and dangerous elements that are infecting the Kingdom. When Celaena finds herself in the center of this mystery, we want to know more. Celaena's epic story is firmly established in this first book. I have just checked out the second book (Crown of Midnight) to find out what happens next.

Throne of Glass has elements of action, danger, supernatural fantasy, mystery and touches on issues of war, violence, power and social injustice. The story moves at a nice clip and keeps you guessing. Celaena holds her own among some of the better tough and flawed female protagonists in young adult fiction.

If you like your fantasy novels to have adventure, fighting and forbidden romance, you might also like:

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Legend by Marie Lu
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Shatter Me by Teherah Mafi
Poison Study by Marie V. Snyder
Blood Red Road by Moira Young 
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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