Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas, takes place on a continent on which magic has been wiped out and fear reigns supreme, which, in part, parallels our world. Anyone who can bring light and hope back is essential to the survival of its people.
Celaena Sardothien, our heroine, is an assassin forced into slavery in Endovier, a salt mine in the country of Adarlan. When its Crown Prince, Dorian Havilliard, makes a deal with her, she agrees to become his champion in his father’s game--a competition in which the victor becomes the King’s personal assassin.
The King of Adarlan has eradicated magic, Celaena’s family, and essentially all good in the world. He forces her to not only fight for her freedom, but for the freedom of her country. When her competitors start dying brutally, Celaena begins to realize the depth of the king’s heinousness. She seeks out the aid of her new ally, Nehemia--a princess from a southern country--who leads her deeper into the mysteries of the castle. With romance, gore, and political intrigue, this fantasy novel is a refreshing turn in the genre. The Hunger Games-like trials and Harry Potter-esque magic makes this book appeal to readers of all ages. Maas’s enchanting storytelling and whimsical writing will grab you and never let go--making you feel as if you are the one wearing the dress at the ball, or running through the dim streets, chasing assassins. It is a must read for anyone who believes in magic, and the love that sprouts from it.
Celaena is an empowered, strong woman who has lived a long time without depending on anyone else. Despite her occupation, I can see parts of myself in her. Her character development throughout the book and the series is nicely-paced and well thought out, and she appropriately and realistically falls in and out of love.
This novel put fantasy stories in a whole new light for me. Previously, fantasy books were not my first choice--I gravitated toward dystopian, or realistic fiction--but the characters and plot of this book drew me in and opened my eyes to the genre. Maas’s world building is broad and extensive, and her descriptive writing brings you right into the action. Although it is a cliche, I read this book during a particularly difficult time in my life, and it really put everything into perspective. I had someone to look up to, and I could repeat to myself, “If Celaena can do all of that, I can get through this.”
This story shows readers the importance of preserving magic, no matter the form; the
importance of independence and strength, while highlighting love and friendship; and the importance of perseverance and fighting for what is right.