Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s Assassin and has just spent a year in Endovier, a slave camp, for her crimes against the crown when she is pulled out by Chaol Westfall; Captain of the Guard. She meets Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard who offers her a chance to earn her freedom. It comes at a price; she’d have to fight in a competition and win–to become the King’s Champion. If she swears to serve the king for four years, she’d be released and set free to do whatever she wished. Over the course of the book, she creates surprising bonds with not only the Captain of the Guard, but the Crown Prince, and even Nehemia; Princess of Eyllwe. Champions are being killed by some mysterious force and Celaena uncovers secret tunnels connecting to her room and when a long dead queen beckons her to help, to become the King’s Champion so that she could stop the evil–what is the assassin to do?
I’ve read this book twice before and each time I have, I am left still surprised at how quickly the story sucks me in. I fell in love with the world that unfolded before my very eyes; the world of magic long since snuffed out and of a certain brilliant assassin, of a prince who had a heart despite his father’s work to rid him of it and of a Captain whose loyalty will undeniably be his downfall.
It is with Dorian that Celaena finds herself enthralled, the two of them get very close very quickly but the entire time you can’t help but see that there is something simmering beneath the surface between the assassin and the guard. There’s a lot of potential in the two pairings, but Celaena ends things with the prince when she is officially the King’s Champion; knowing the complications that could arise.
While Sarah J. Maas’ novel is one of magic, faraway lands and fantasy, it is also one of love. Where the assassin sought out stability; sought out love even without trying. The story is as much about Celaena finding the bravery to allow herself to open up again to people as it is the mysterious wyrdmarks and mayhem that is being unleashed around her. She is a flawed protagonist, one who isn’t afraid of dirtying her hands for the sake of her friends–but even more, one who isn’t afraid of fighting her way through hell for herself. She isn’t the protagonist that we can agree with the entire time, but she is one that I came to admire rather quickly. She is cunning, and she is first and foremost a survivor.
She, as a character, carries burdens and guilt that we do not get to see all at once. They are unveiled to us the same way they would be if she were a real person standing before us–slowly and after much development and trust. It makes the story believable because we do not know everything about her right at the beginning. It makes her story–her downfalls and her triumphs that much more addicting; it makes Throne of Glass the kind of book you can’t put down until it is over and you’ve already moved onto the next; Crown of Midnight.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling ignited my deep down into books after many months of not reading a single page. In a matter of two weeks I have completed five books and have done very little apart from reading during my down time. Expect many book reviews to come.
Have any of you read Throne of Glass? What did you think of the story of Celaena Sardothien?