Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
416 pages
Middle School+

Celaena Sardothien is one of the best assassins in the world, and she knows it.  But after getting sent to a slave camp for the past year, she hardly looks like it anymore.  Worn and scarred, she is shocked when the crown prince comes and takes her away.   The only thing she has to do to earn her freedom is beat out the other contestants to become the king's champion.  She can't decide if it is another turn of bad luck, or the chance to escape that she has been hoping for.

Thus begins the contest for her freedom.  She must regain her strength to outwit and outfit the other contestants.  Most she has no worries about, but a couple give her pause for contemplation, especially the big brute Cain.  As Celaena slowly recovers, scary still start happening: random killings of the contestants in gruesome ways.  Not only does she have to worry about the other players killing her, she must watch out for these as well.

Throughout all of this, Celaena find those that might be allies in unexpected places.  The crown prince is showing strange interest in her, and the captain of the guard watches her every movement.  She also finds a possible friend in a visiting princess of a neighboring nation.  Celaena must figure out who the real threats to her are, and who are her allies.

So, I'm conflicted about this book.  This looks like something I would normally love, but I found myself noticing all the flaws or other things I don't like.  For example, there was a theme that just appeared out of nowhere near the middle of the book:  no hints, not foreshadowing or anything like that.  Almost as if the author was like "oh, let me add this element!" all of a sudden.  And other things that had seemed so important to Celaena, and occupying her thoughts suddenly disappearing and not being mentioned.  Kind of weird.

I do like the potential that the book has.  It does set up some interesting possibilities for future books, and I do like kind of Celaena's character.  I had a hard time getting into the first half of the book, but I ending it fairly quickly, once I got past that.  Hopefully now that the world is set up, the action and everything can continue in the sequel.

I find myself wanting to write more things that bugged me about this book than positives.  It was an alright book, but I hope I don't have to read it again to understand the sequel.  I will probably still recommend it a little, but it won't be the first on my list to recommend.

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