I haphazardly bought “Throne of Glass” after finishing both “A Court of Thorns and Roses” and “A Court of Mist and Fury” because I fell in love with Sarah J Mass’ writing style. It is incredibly easy to get lost in her books- I have never felt Mass’ books were drawn out, seeing as each time I couldn’t get enough and was dreading the feeling of the last page. Once again, the mistress of wit and snark has delivered again- and there is no disappointment to be had.
Readers are immediately introduced to Celaena Sardothian- a woman who has spent a year of slavery in the Salt Mines as punishment. She is escorted everywhere she goes in shackles and at sword point. She is known as Adarlan’s most notorious assassin. All of these accomplishments, all of these punishments, all for an 18 year old. The King of Adarlan imprisoned her, and now the King of Adarlan has given the opportunity for some of the most notorious villains, army men, and general trouble makers to prove themselves worthy of being a champion for hire.
Ironically, as most children do, the King’s son, Dorian, has decided to spite his father, and choose Celaena to fight for the right of the King’s Champion. In Celaena’s words, “How unfair of him to be royal and handsome.” At least a year in the most miserable of all places, the salt mines, hasn’t taken Celaena’s sense of humor. Dorian explains that a rough and tumble group of 23 people will be vying for the position of the King’s Champion. There will be training and tests to advance every week, eliminating the weakest link. If a champion is chosen, they will devote a minimum of 6 years to accomplish the King’s dirty work- no questions asked.
Having lost muscle mass and general weight, Celaena trains with the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, to help her have a leg up on the competition. Not included in the fine print, was that Celaena has to battle a fixed competition that’s aided by a supernatural presence- and yet the King has disbanded all magic from the kingdom.
Throughout the book we see a seemingly broken young woman trying to prove to her rescuers, the King who damned her, the 23 other contestants, and herself that she still matters in the world. She’s brought to a competition where the only choice she and the other competitors have is death. Even though the salt mines should have taken her spirit, she still has time to bear all the training, the criticism, the competitions, and making friends.
What I love about this book, and what I’m looking forward to for the rest of the series, is how easy it is to relate to Celaena. One of my favorite reactions from her is when she visits the library in the castle:
“She’d entered a city made entirely of leather and paper. ‘I didn’t know assassins like to read.’ If she were to die now it would be in complete bliss. ‘Libraries were full of ideas- perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.’ All those books with no one to read them.” Celaena gets it, she gets me. She gets the exact same feeling when I walk into a bookstore, or just sit in my favorite reading spot in front of my bookshelves. I may not be an assassin, but I definitely feel the same kind of awe being surrounded by books.
Had I not had to work my day job, I could have easily finished this book in a day. However. . . adulting. I can’t tell you how excited (and not excited) I am to finish this series.
****PS**** Do you follow me on Instagram? I JUST started doing book review haikus! Short and sweet synopsis without the spoilers! Be sure to follow!