Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (Memorable Reads)

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


My Review & Thoughts 
5/5 Memorable & Favorite Series 
Cover: Badass much?! The original cover for this book was a soft, beautiful girl living in a garden...Beyond glad they switched the cover to fit this AMAZING book!
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Teen 
Romance: In the first book, it is building, but I promise it will be one to watch in the ongoing series! 
Blurb is spot on description on the book plus some

I was going to review this series one after another but after reading some reviews on 'Throne of Glass', I felt I needed to put my thoughts into it. 

Celaena Sardothein (that last name is so fitting) is an assassin. Not just any assassin, but trained by the best, feared by her 'skills', and wanted by many. 
Her heart thundered in her chest. “I was born in Terrasen, then I became an assassin, then I went to Endovier, and now I’m here. And that’s it.” Silence fell; then he asked, “Where’d you get that scar on your right hand?” She didn’t need to glance at the jagged line that ran along the top of her hand, just above her wrist. She flexed her fingers. “When I was twelve, Arobynn Hamel decided I wasn’t nearly as skilled at swordplay with my left hand. So he gave me a choice: either he could break my right hand, or I could do it myself.” The phantom memory of the blinding pain lanced through her hand. “That night, I put my hand against a doorframe, and slammed the door shut on it. I split my hand wide open and broke two bones. It took months to heal— months during which I could only use my left hand.” She gave him a vicious smile. “I bet Brullo never did that to you.”
She's been prisoner in Endovier, where slaves are beaten, used, and do not have a longer life span then a couple of days, she lived a year.
“Yes,” she said slowly. “It was.” He gave her a look that asked for more. Well, what did she care if she told him? “When I arrived, they cut my hair, gave me rags, and put a pickax in my hand as if I knew what to do with it. They chained me to the others, and I endured my whippings with the rest of them. But the overseers had been instructed to treat me with extra care, and took the libertyof rubbing salt into my wounds— salt I mined— and whipped me often enough so that some of the gashes never really closed. It was through the kindness ofa few prisoners from Eyllwe that my wounds didn’t become infected. Every night, one of them stayed up the hours it took to clean my back.”
Prince Dorian seeks her out to be his champion in his father's competition. Winner will be the King's champion (will do the dirty work of the king) and receive their freedom after time is served. She has to compete against the filth and deadly of fighters.
“However,” the prince said, “there’s a catch.” She kept her face neutral as he toyed with a ring on his finger. “The position isn’t being offered to you. Yet. My father thought to have a bit of fun. He’s hosting a competition. He invited twenty- three members of his council to each sponsor a would- be Champion to train in the glass castle and ultimately compete in a duel. Were you to win,” he said with a half smile, “you’d officially be Adarlan’s Assassin.” She didn’t return his smile. “Who, exactly, are my competitors?” Seeing her expression, the prince’s grin faded. “Thieves and assassins and warriors from across Erilea.
Celaena accepts the challenge, not that she had many options. This is the point where I think thoughts of the book from others get muddy. Yes Calaena enjoys the finer of the Castle but mind readers, she's coming from crap hole where she had nothing which before she had everything. SO of COURSE a girl will lavish in the jewels and dresses!  But everyone has their own unique opinions.
“Are you mad? I’m an assassin— not some court idiot!” Philippa clucked. “You’re still a woman, and so long as you’re under my charge, you’ll act like one, or Wyrd help me!” Celaena blinked, then slowly said: “You’re awfully bold. I hope you don’t act like this around court ladies.”
Captain Westfall trains Celaena during the competition. Becoming the  King's 'Champion' is not the only worry Celaena has but there's a mystery of unnatural beings, deaths, and questions of loyalty roaming around the glass castle.

What I LOVED about the book! 
-Celaena! She is a strong, confident female lead with the skills to show for. She kicks ass when the time is needed. Loving and emotional under the tough persona. 
-Dorian! He was comical, fun, and endearing. It made me his own cheerleader for his agenda! 
 ...she pointed to the door. “You may leave now.” “You’re dismissing me ?” He didn’t know whether to laugh or yell. “Shall I summon Chaol to see what he thinks?” She crossed her arms, knowing she had won. Perhaps she’d also realized that there was fun to be had in riling him, too. “Why should I be thrown from your rooms for stating the truth? You just called me little more than a whoremonger.” He hadn’t had this much fun in ages. “Tell me about your life— how you learned to play the pianoforte so masterfully. And what was that piece? It was so sad; were you thinking about a secret lover?” He winked. “I practiced.” She stood, walking toward the door. “And yes,” she snapped, “I was.” “You’re quite prickly tonight,” he said, trailing her. He stopped a foot away, but the space between them felt strangely intimate, especially as he purred, “You’re not nearly as chatty as you were this afternoon.” “I’m not some odd commodity that you can gawk at!” She stepped closer. “I’m not some carnival exhibit, and you won’t use me as part of some unfulfilled desire for adventure and excitement! Which is undoubtedly why you chose me to be your Champion.”
-Captain Chaol Westfall (heart!) #Team Chaol 
“Crime isn’t an accomplishment, Sardothien.” “Yes, but becoming the world’s most famous assassin is!” He didn’t respond. “You might ask me how I did it.” “Did what?” he said tightly. “Became so talented and famous so quickly.” “I don’t want to hear about it.” Those weren’t the words she’d wanted to hear. “You’re not very kind,” she said through her teeth. If she were going to get under his skin, she’d have to push a lot harder. “You’re a criminal. I’m Captain of the Royal Guard. I’m not obligated to bestow any kindness or conversation upon you. Be grateful we don’t keep you locked up in the wagon.”
He was definitely not a fan of Celaena at first until he sees under her reputation. There chemistry is built with love and hate, comical as well. 

 This book is not even justice to the amazing series it is! I find this one, 'Throne of Glass' to be an introduction of what's to come. It is a long read, fast paced and giving a lot of information. Sarah J Maas builds her relationship with each character. There is no 'instant-love' relationships, no quick plot, and it is not solved in this book. Celaena is an assassin but she is not invincible stabbing people left and right. Her character is also just shown a peek of her abilities and identity. Celaena's first fight scene is not till more then half of the book. A slight triangle is brewing! I do think the author played the the love interest right into the story and not forced. One of the men fall for her 'tempting, dangerous assassin exterior' and the other learns to see past the veil for who she is. 

Cliffhanger Warning! 
This book is a continuing series! 
Must Read & Highly Recommended 
“You were brought here— all of you were. All the players in the unfinished game. My friends,” he gestured to the dead, “have told me so.”
Excerpt, showing the assassin at her best*
Verin gave her a snakelike smile, and Cain clapped him on the back as he entered the chalk- etched circle, drawing his sword. Nox put a hand on her shoulder, and out of the corner of her eye, she spied Chaol and Dorian watching them closely. She ignored them. It was enough. Enough of the pretending and the meekness. Enough of Cain. Verin raised his sword, shaking his blond curls out of his eyes. “Let’s see what you’ve got.” She stalked toward him, keeping her sword sheathed at her side. Verin’s grin widened as he lifted his blade. He swung, but Celaena struck, ramming her fist into his arm, sending the blade soaring through the air. In the same breath, her palm hit his left arm, knocking it aside, too. As he staggered back, her leg came up, and Verin’s eyes bulged as her foot slammed into his chest. The kick sent him flying, and his body crunched as it hit the floor and slid out of the ring, instantly eliminating him. The hall was utterly silent. “Mock me again,” she spat at Verin, “and I’ll do that with my sword the next time.” She turned from him, and found Brullo’s face slack. “Here’s a lesson for you, Weapons Master,” she said, stalking past him. “Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I’ll bother trying.” She strode away, past the grinning Nox, and stopped before Cain. She stared up at his face— a face that might have been handsome had he not been a bastard— and smiled with sweet venom. “Here I am,” she said, squaring her shoulders. “Just a little lapdog.”
Cain’s black eyes gleamed. “All I hear is yapping.” Her hand itched toward her sword, but she kept it at her side. “Let’s see if you still hear yapping when I win this competition.” Before he could say more, she stalked to the water table. Only Nox dared speak to her after that. Surprisingly, Chaol didn’t reprimand her, either.

Dorian & Celaena excerpt <3
She clutched her belly and bent over. Sometimes she hated being a woman. “It’s Dorian, by the way. Not ‘Your Highness.’ ” 
“Very well.” “Say it.” “Say what?” “Say my name. Say, ‘Very well, Dorian.’ ” She rolled her eyes. “If it pleases Your Magnanimous Holiness, I shall call you by your first name.” “ ‘Magnanimous Holiness’? Oh, I like that one.” A ghost of a smile appeared on her face, and Dorian looked down at the book. “This isn’t one of the books that I sent you! I don’t even own books like these!” She laughed weakly and took the tea from the servant as she approached. “Of course you don’t, Dorian . I had the maids send for a copy today.” “ Sunset’s Passions ,” he read, and opened the book to a random page to read aloud. “ ‘His hands gently caressed her ivory, silky br— ’ ” His eyes widened. “By the Wyrd! Do you actually read this rubbish? What happened to Symbols and Power and Eyllwe Customs and Culture ?” She finished her drink, the ginger tea easing her stomach. “You may borrow it when I’m done. If you read it, your literary experience will be complete. And,” she added with a coy smile, “it will give you some creative ideas of things to do with your lady friends.” He hissed through his teeth. “I will not read this.”
She took the book from his hands, leaning back. “Then I suppose you’re just like Chaol.” “Chaol?” he asked, falling into the trap. “You asked Chaol to read this?” “He refused, of course,” she lied. “He said it wasn’t right for him to read this sort of material if I gave it to him.” Dorian snatched the book from her hands. “Give me that, you demon- woman. I’ll not have you matching us against each other.” He glanced once more at the novel, then turned it over, concealing the title. She smiled, and resumed watching the falling snow. It was blisteringly cold now, and even the fire could not warm the blasts of wind that crept through the cracks of her balcony doors. She felt Dorian watching her— and not in the cautious way that Chaol sometimes watched her. Rather, Dorian just seemed to be watching her because he enjoyed watching her. And she enjoyed watching him, too.

<3 Chaol & Celaena  <3
At the sound of his step, she opened an eye. “It’s not morning,” she grumbled, and rolled over. 
“I brought you a present.” He felt immensely foolish, and for a moment considered running from her rooms. “A present?” she said more clearly, turning toward him and blinking. 
“It’s nothing; they were giving them out at the party. Just give me your hand.” It was a lie— sort of. They had given them to the women of the nobility as favors, and he’d snagged one from the basket as it was passed around. Most of the women would never wear them— they would be tossed aside or given to a favorite servant. “Let me see it.” She lazily extended an arm. He fished in his pockets and pulled out the gift. “Here.” He placed it in her palm. 
She examined it, smiling drowsily. “A ring.” She put it on. “How pretty.” It was simple: crafted of silver, its only ornamentation lay in the fingernail- sized amethyst embedded in its center. The surface of the gem was smooth and round, and it gleamed up at the assassin like a purple eye. “Thank you,” she said, her eyelids drooping. “You’re wearing your gown, Celaena.” His blush refused to fade. “I’ll change in a moment.” He knew she wouldn’t. “I just need . . . to rest.” Then she was asleep, a hand upon her breast, the ring hovering over her heart. With a disgruntled sigh, the captain grabbed a blanket from the nearby sofa and tossed it over her. He was half tempted to remove the ring from her finger, but . . . Well, there was something peaceful looking about her. Rubbing his neck, his face still burning, he walked from her rooms, wondering how, exactly, he’d explain this to Dorian tomorrow.

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