DISCLAIMER: this review was originally written and posted to my booklr (bookish tumblr) on MAY 6TH, 2015, and is being archived on this blog. This review contains my thoughts on the book at the time that I read it, but I have not re-read it since then, so my feelings about the content may have changed.
Date of Publication: May 7th, 2013
Dates Read: May 1st – 6th, 2015
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
My (initial) rating: ★★★★☆
Okay, so it’s more like 4.5, but Goodreads still hasn’t jumped onto the half star boat yet, so I settled with 4
If you’ve read all the books so far, my review will probably sound naive because as you can tell I have no idea what happens in the next books. So I will be talking about characters I like and I don’t want any of you saying “oh honey you have no idea what’s in store.” Just let me live in my little world where everyone is still alive. Thank you! (2016 edit: since then I’ve read up to Heir of Fire, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten)
So I think the reason for the .5 off is just because while I was reading it I remember some moments not being quite as interesting as others, and from all the good reviews I expected every single aspect to be knock-your-socks-off amazing. But otherwise, I look back upon this book very fondly.
I loved the characters. Love-loved them. There’s this complexity to Celaena that draws me to her. And there’s something very badass yet classy about Nehemia that I can’t get enough of. And for the love of God, nobody ask me if I like Dorian or Chaol more. I’m still deciding. I think I’m leading towards Chaol at the moment, but my opinion is subject to change. Anyway, the fact is the characters are all enjoyable and are not exact clones of each other with just little things changed. Each character has a story of their own, and could stand on their own if the need should arise.
The pacing was very good, and while certain parts were predictable, others I could not figure out or did not see coming. It always kept me on the edge of my seat, and has left me wanting more!
The world is interesting and built well, especially with that handy dandy map. And I am starting to like Sarah’s writing style more after reading this.
As for those of you wondering whether to read The Assassin’s Blade or Throne of Glass first, I find that I understand Celaena as a character a lot better because I read Blade first. But I know that ToG is better at introducing the world, so it really depends on which you care about more.
Overall: A really great book that lives up to the hype!