Book Review: Throne of Glass

Caitlin Husted, Editor In Chief

With an assassin, a playboy prince, a determined captain of the guard, an evil King and mysterious events happening in the castle, “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas has all the makings for a young adult, fantasy novel.

The story takes place in the kingdom of Adarlan, where 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothian works in the salt mines of Endovier to serve a year of hard labor. Every day spent performing the back breaking, and often times perilous, labor works off the crimes she committed in the years prior. Filled with anger, bitterness and violent tendencies, Celaena is dragged before Dorian, the crown prince of Adarlan. He comes to her with a promise for her freedom with one condition: she must be his champion in his father’s competition to find a new royal assassin for three years.

With little hope for a different type of freedom, she accepts the prince’s offer and begins the trek to the royal castle. In this competition, Celaena must face men-thieves, assassins, and warriors sponsored by members of the king’s council from across the empire.

As Celaena begins to remember who she was before the mines, she settles into her routine of training for the contest. An unexpected friendship blooms between Celaena and her trainer, Captain of the Guard Chaol Westfall while mysterious events begin to unfold around the castle. When one contestant turns up dead, quickly followed by another, Celaena is forced to find out who the killer is before she becomes a victim herself, leading her to discover a greater destiny that she could possibly have imagined.

More interesting than the book itself is the inspiration behind Maas’s creation. While watching Cinderella run away after the ball, the music playing in the background caught the author’s attention, provoking an intriguing question: What if Cinderella was an assassin and went to the ball not to dance with the prince, but to kill him?

With her inspiration fueled by fire, she began writing the story she originally called “Queen of Glass” for FictionPress.com in 2010. Through this process, Maas built a large following of eager readers. “Throne of Glass” also became the first Bloomsbury children’s novel to be featured on Netgalley.com, attracting requests from all over the world. Needless to say, when the book was released on Aug. 7, 2012, many ran to the shelves to buy a copy. The second book of the series, “Crown of Midnight” was released the next year, followed by “Heir of Fire” in September of 2014. The fourth book is scheduled to be released on Sept. 1, 2015.

While this book has the feel of a young adult novel, many of the issues addressed by Celaena are real and inspiring for people of all ages. It takes a couple chapters for the reader to grasp the setting and time in which this story takes place, but once they settle in, they are in for a story that is inviting, suspenseful and all around entertaining.