Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: August 2nd 2012
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The first time I read this book a little over a year ago, I enjoyed it, but wasn't highly impressed so I never got around to picking up the sequel. Since, I've had countless friends tell me I need to read the sequels so I decided to give this book another shot and my feelings from then haven't changed.
Celaena Sardothien is a famous as an assassin and Throne of Glass begins with her being rescued from the salt mines/prison death camp in Endovier by the Crown Prince (Dorian) and the Captain of the Guard (Chaol), she is given the chance to fight in a competition to become King's Champion and earn her freedom after four years of service to him. Things are more complicated and dangerous than they seem when other competitors are slowly killed off by a mysterious evil lurking in the castle.
I really wanted to love this!! The first half for me was dreadfully boring and I really disliked Celaena. She's arrogant, rude, and whiny and it wasn't until the second half that I started to like her character at all and started to enjoy the plot. She is supposedly the world's greatest and deadliest assassin, yet she doesn't kill a single person throughout the entirety of this novel and spends most of her time flirting with everybody, talking about how attractive/deadly/clever she is and obsessing over dresses. Most of the time I would be okay with this and see it as a sign of a well-developed and rounded character, but I just couldn't stand her at first. In the second half, her personality is still more or less the same, but she starts to deliver on how much of a badass she is supposed to be which made me appreciate the rest of her personality traits.
The premise is pretty awesome but it wasn't executed very well. The majority of the novel focused on the romance with Celaena/Dorian/Chaol and not so much on the tests she was supposed to do in order to become King's Champion (in fact a lot of the tests were simply glossed over or completely left out). On an added note, I didn't mind the love triangle in this novel and I was really satisfied with how it ended - Celaena is a badass heroine and I'm so relieved she is putting herself before some hot prince tbh (by the way, if I don't see more of Chaol/Celaena I will be disappointed).
There were a lot of inconsistencies with this story apart from Celaena being an assassin who didn't actually do any assassinating, one of which was her and poisons. She claims to be super clever and know all (although granted, she doesn't specifically mention she's a poison expert, but her arrogance could imply it), yet she has to resort to what is essentially cheating in order to pass the poison test. (I have another issue with this but is spoiler-y so is hidden in my Goodreads review).
I wouldn't call this high-fantasy, and I found the plot to be horrendously predictable. However overall, it was enjoyable and fun to read, especially towards the end. I've decided to give Crown of Midnight a shot, here's hoping it delivers more than this one did!