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 exhilirating. 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.
Here is a book that I've been anxiously awaiting to hit the shelves and I must admit I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Since it's a first for Maas I had no prior experience or predictions for what her writing style what be like, how fast or slow her pace would be, or what to think her characters might turn out like. I'm glad I went into this read with no firm expectations or ideas because it was a fresh start and one I found myself enjoying. The world Maas has created and dreamed up for this series was fun to be introduced to and get to know along the way. There are still many secrets and hidden histories that I'm sure she's waiting to reveal in future installments down the line but for now we get a good idea of what's what and who is who.
There's always a lot of pressure on the female leads in books like these I find. I'm not sure if its the genre they fall into, or if readers (like myself) just expect them to be a certain way or hope they've behave a certain way. Whatever the reason, I am happy to say that in my opinion Maas created a strong, brave, and quite (pleasantly so) outspoken leading lady. But along with this new female lead we're introduced to many side characters and dare I say it....the beginnings of a potential love triangle? Granted there were only hints here and there through this series opener, but I'm ashamed to admit I've already chosen sides should there end up being a ring for these guys to throw their hats into, and I'm firmly on Team Chaol! There, I said it!
I know this title has gotten mixed reviews around the blogging community, but truthfully I found Maas' writing style to be smooth and entertaining. I felt like things moved along at the pace I was hoping for and there was definitely more than one moment where I caught myself wanting to cheat and look at the end of the book to see what would happen because the tension got to me and almost pushed me over the edge. So if you're looking for a new author to check out, this one might be the way to go.
I gave Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) 3 shamrocks!!!