My Initial Reaction...
Michelle @ Because Reading pretty much held me at shotgun - she'll be weighing in on my review throughout - and said I needed to read Throne of Glass. And then I won the book and there was no reason not to read it anymore. And boy am I glad!! It was flipping fabulous! I loved the characters, the magic, and the wonderfully medieval-esque fantasy world in Throne of Glass
The heroine of Throne of Glass is Celaena Sardothien, a teenage girl living a very adult life. At just eight years old she was orphaned and taken in by a master assassin. She trained with him and eventually became Adarlan's Assassin. As in - the most notorious assassin in the land. But when we meet Celaena she's been down on her luck - she's been caught and convicted to work in the vicious salt mines until her death. And considering the horrible conditions there, her death probably isn't far away. But her luck is about to change - she's getting the opportunity to enter a contest to become the king's champion and earn her freedom.
Michelle Says: Celaena was just a totally bad ass. Has to be one of my favorite heroines.
So I pretty much adored Celaena! She's your definitive bad-ass, independent urban fantasy heroine. She is stubborn as all hell and even more determined. I loved being inside her mind - she's so smug! This girl does not suffer from a lack of confidence and that was great - she was not broken by her time in the mines and she has a silent strength that refuses to be broken. period. She also has pretty much no sense of limits. She teases and sometimes crosses over to purposefully spiteful. And you can't help but love her for her flippant attitude. Dorian, the prince, and Chaol, her guard and trainer, certainly aren't immune to her charms. I loved both these men and a part of me seriously hates that a love triangle is forming. I'm not a huge fan of love triangles in general and ones where I like both the love interests are the worst. Someone's going to get hurt and I'm going to hate that moment when it comes. I can only hope that something happens to make one of these two guys not quite right for Celaena and drop out of the race for her heart of their own volition. Maybe they'll fall in love with someone else...?
Michelle Says: Slow down young lady, Chaol is mine :) I would totally fight you for him. Triangles are tough when both guys are good but I am TEAM CHAOL :)
Anywho - as I was saying - I love both these guys. Dorian isn't what you'd expect from a prince, particularly the son of this horrible - downright vicious - King. He's nothing like his father - you can tell from the start that he really has a heart and feels horribly about what his father has down as he's conquered territories, leaving a destructive path in his wake. He also is a bit of a playboy, which makes the interactions between him and Celaena that much more interesting. And then there's Chaol, who I personally like better than Dorian for Celaena. I think he's a better fit for her and knows her better. I also think he's a bit more her equal - under that reserved proper facade is a man with many of the same qualities as Celaena (IMO). I guess only time will tell if I'm right.
Michelle Says: Did you not find the king to be so evil? I hated him.
The story for Throne of Glass surrounds Celaena's training and participation in the challenges to be the king's champion.I really enjoyed this element of Throne of Glass because it allowed us to see how tough Celaena is. She knows she's out of shape from her time in the mines, so she pushes herself in her training (as does Chaol). But in addition to the competition to be the king's champion, someone/something has been viciously killing contestants and Celaena's not content to wait for it to come and get her. She's a smart cookie and she's using everything at her disposal - including allies in the castle and the expansive library - to try and get to the bottom of what's happening.
Michelle Says: I never expected magic and I was loving it too. I just felt like Throne of Glass had everything.
All this action and mystery is amplified as Throne of Glass progresses and you realize that this is serious fantasy. Early on there are references to magic, but it feels very unimportant. Then all of a sudden - BAM - magic is there front and center. I loved it, but really wished it had been developed a little more thoroughly early on. To be fair, I think it wasn't because this is a world where the king has worked furiously to remove magic and all the people we're seeing are somewhat in the dark.
Michelle Says: I loved the life inside the castle too. I loved how she went from a prisoner to a royal. It was nice to see her be kind of girlie.
A final element to the story - which I also loved - was the life inside the castle. This had all the makings of everything medieval that I love. We're in a castle and there's all the elements of court life - the clothes, the balls, the conniving women, etc. It was the perfect mix of action, fantasy, and historical (yet fantastical) setting.
Michelle Says: I told you so :)
Well, I may have read Throne of Glass under pressure, but I'm sure glad I did. I enjoyed every element of it and I'm thoroughly looking forward to reading the next one!