The Assassin’s Story

Posted: March 14, 2014 by Arushi in Book Review
Tags: , , , , ,

Throne-of-Glass

We all.. I really wanted to start this post on a plural note… because simply put.. Its harder to admit that you’re the only crazy one. But then again, I know I am not. Alone that is. Crazy has always been debatable at best, especially considering I am here talking about books. Anyone who reads, and I do mean reads, will know what I mean.

Recently I went on a reading strike. Nothing caught my interest, not even books I had been waiting almost a year for (they’re still gathering dust on my hard drive) and when I finally shook myself out of it, to my consternation, the only that would keep my interest was romance. I am not proud of it, not one whit, but at least it was not the sappy stuff. I am holding very tightly onto that one redeeming quality.

When I finally got over that bender, I immediately succumbed to an assassin bender. Let us not even try to understand the mechanics of how that came around. What I can say is, I am quite proud of the books I read on this bender, especially the series that has drop kicked me out of my rut. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is a dark fantasy series that I somehow just cannot call YA, because apart from the age of the protagonist, there are (thankfully) no elements whatsoever of the genre present.

I started with the prequels. The books are set in a world where most of the continent has been conquered by one cruel man over the past decade, and magic has been banned by royal decree. The protagonist, Celaena Sardothien is the most famous assassin of Adarlan, in fact, she is Adarlan’s Assassin.  She is also sixteen and gorgeous though very few are aware of what she looks like. There are few things Celaena will not do, she is an assassin, but trading in slaves is one of them. So in the first of the prequels, she sets the events in motion that precipitate everything.

Celaena is not just an excellent assassin, she is the best. Her displeasure with the man who raised and trained her, eventually leads to her choosing to break from him. Her love for Sam, an assassin she grew up with, eventually puts her in a place where she can either be Adarlan’s assassin or she can be with him. She chooses Sam, chooses to leave everything behind, to be happy. Of course that is not how things turn out and at the start of the first book, Celaena has been a slave in the salt mines of Endovier for a year.

And that is where the main plot of the series starts because as interesting as they are, the prequels provide insight into Celaena, but a lot is still left to be revealed.

Throne of Glass, has Celaena freed from Endovier by the Crown Prince, Dorian, who wants her to be his representative to become his father’s next (and first) Champion (read official assassin).  After a year in the hellish mines, her courtly manners are rusty, her form terrible but she has a championship to win, her identity to protect, figuring out why a Queen who died a 1000 years ago is talking to her and if she wants to do her bidding, all the while surviving not only in the actual fighting but whatever creature is hunting down the champions one by one.

Then there is Chaol. The Captain of the Guard is the best friend of the Crown Prince, and his relationship with Celaena is complicated at best. But I think he is one of the most layered characters in this series and becomes more and more intriguing, the more we get to know him.

Add in the fact the Dorian himself is fascinated with the assassin who reads until she falls asleep, and that there is another Princess, Nehemia,  in the castle who has decided she prefers Celaena’s company over that of the other court ladies and their combination is no less volatile than dynamite and fire. Even Chaol knows better than to annoy them when they’re together.

And this is the just the first book.

This is an intricate series, with twists, details, plots, intrigues and lots of layers to everything and everyone. That is what makes it so very interesting to read. The wit and humor that is laced throughout the novels also makes them fun, in spite of all the violence and the darkness of the story. This is definitely a book I would recommend, especially if you enjoy a kick-ass, no-nonsense female protagonist who refuses to agonize over anything.

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