Thursday, August 2, 2012

Throne of Glass ~ Sarah J Maas earc review

Part of Bloomsbury's Throne of Glass Blog Tour

Throne of Glass (#1)\
Bloomsbury USA Children's
August 7, 2012
416 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/or Amazon

Trained as an assassin since childhood, Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan's Assassin, has been imprisoned in Endovier, for the past year. The slave labor camp has killed many and Celaena doesn't is just barely getting by when a visitor shows up demanding her presence.

Dorian, the Crown Prince has come to offer her freedom. One one condition: she will compete to become the king's new royal champion. Celaena will have to serve the king for five years and then she will be free.

Her opponents, twenty something men, are all thieves, criminals, soldiers in the king's army or other assassins. Through a series of tests, the king will find his champion among them.

Court, much different than Endoiver or anything Celaena has dealt with before, bores her. But her training, rebuilding herself after a year, is the one thing she really enjoys with great fervor. Then life at the castle gets abundantly more interesting when the prince begins treating her as more than just his champion and Captain Westfall stops making his dealings with her seem so onerous.

That's all before a tournament contestant turns up dead. And then another.

The tournament was just a way to get out of Endovier, but it's looking to be much more for that for Celaena, the assasin - if she can stay alive that is.

Sarah J Maas first published Throne of Glass on the original fiction, self publishing site - where it gained legions of fans - before submitting it for publication. It's now being published next week by Bloomsbury.

There have been a lot, a lot of books that have mentioned the Hunger Games in their synopses. Some have had a little bit of similarity to the series, some have had a teeny, itty bitty bit, some have had zippo zero bit, some have had none, and (I'm sure, though, I've not read them) I'm sure some have attempted copying the series. I didn't actually see mention of Suzanne Collins series before starting Maas debut, but I wouldn't be surprised if it starts popping up.

Throne of Glass doesn't so much follow a similar line like Hunger Games - and as it was on, it was actually published/posted first, I believe - it's more reminiscent of it. Celaena is thrown into a situation she's not thrilled to be in (like Katniss) but the alternative (staying at Endovier for Celaena, Prim for Katniss) is worse. The tournament is not nearly as brutal or described in Throne but Celaena definitely has some skills.

It's always fantastic to see a girl who can handle weapons in a YA novel (I suppose any) but is a full character in the book, not a hardened killer (they do have a place) and still allowed to be a girl (not necessarily girly, but not just hard, either) when necessary.

There are also two male characters who each see different sides of Celaena. I definitely liked one of them more than the other, but a specific thing one of them did may have almost one me over (yes, I'm being vague - sue me . . . . or better yet, read the book and guess!).

The events of the novel really drew me in and kept the story going. The imagination required in not only creating the whole world of Throne of Glass but the tournament, the different relationships between the characters and how everything came together.

The novel did read a bit slowly for me, though, and I think that was because somehow I just didn't quite click with the characters, Celaena mostly. I seem to be in the minority here and I don't believe she was a bad character by any stretch, she just lacked that oomph that really got me. Reading over the summaries for the  four prequels that are available I think reading them may have helped. I wanted more background in the beginning on who she had been, about being Adarlan's Assassin, then later when a character from her life before was mentioned, I wanted to know about that.

I may still read those to see if they help me get Celaena more.

Regardless, I love the action in the story, the imagination, how things developed and where things seemed to be leading.

Rating: 8/10

Check out the Throne of Glass Facebook page

thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for my egalley of this title and to Bridget for my participation in the tour

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