Published: August 2012
Series: Throne of Glass #1
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.
Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
The only catch is, Celaena has to pit herself against other assassins, thieves and thugs in order to gain her title. A tournament to determine the best person to become the King's Champion. It's here that a slew of grisly murders and once-dead magic begins to arise. Not only that, but the prince might be falling for Celaena and this doesn't bode well for either of them.
The story was a bit choppy, sometimes slow but when the primary points arose, they were interesting and I found myself liking the characters. I can't say I really connected with any of them as they weren't as personably or realistic as I'd like but they were comfortable and the new world was interesting. My favorite character was probably Princess Nehemia because of her boldness and acquaintance with the political game.
Sometimes there were moments where I doubted the main character. There were a few times she contradicted herself. For example, I read this: "What was "Champion" but a dressed-up name for murderer? Could she actually stomach working for him?" Up to that point the author has been painstakingly trying to convince the reader that Celaena is a notorious assassin, which is, in essence a murderer for hire. Instead of a crime of passion it's a premeditated crime, which to me seems worse. I didn't understand where the sudden conscience came from and it seemed unlikely for someone who'd survived such trials to get where she was. There were other minor contradictions but I'd rather not ramble on with a list.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the California coastline with her husband.
Where to Find: Webpage