“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”
I don’t like reading high fantasy. Never have and (I thought) I never would. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Game of Thrones, loved all of the Lord of the Rings movies, but somehow I could never get into reading high fantasy. *drum roll please* Until now! Sort of. I am a fan of Sarah J. Maas’ “Court of Thorn and Roses” book — I breezed through it which is rare for me since it’s not contemporary romance YA. I did the same thing with her first novel in the “Throne of Glass” series. Oh, boy was it good! I can see why some of my co-workers gave it a 5-star rating on Goodreads. It’s steamy when it needs to be but also jam packed with action and adventure. What a ride!
“Throne of Glass” begins with an introduction to our main character, Celeana (‘sell-lay-nah’ according to Sarah J Maas’ own blog). She is this badass ex-assassin who we learn was the best in Adarlan even though she is only 18. Hello, strong female heroine! She was adopted by an assassin at an early age in order to save her from something much worse than killing people (yikes) but unfortunately she has been locked away for a year in a prison of sorts. She is finally released but only because she is asked to compete in this Hunger Games-type competition. She needs to compete against twenty-three other killers, thieves, and warriors in order to gain her freedom and serve as the King’s Champion. She doesn’t particularly want to serve the King but the pot is sweetened when she bargains with Chaol (I pronounce it like Kale but apparently it should be ‘kay-all’) and gets the time down to 4 years before freedom. Did I mention that Chaol is super hot and dreamy? Oh yeah and Celeana is naturally hot too. Even though she is all grimy from not showering in a year, her beauty can still shine through. Damn. If I go 3 days I think I would be ignored by everyone around me.
This premise alone had me intrigued, despite not loving the genre. It also helped that I enjoy Maas’ writing style before picking this one up. One thing that I particularly like is that it’s not told in first person. I find that most YA is told in that perspective, perhaps because it seems more relatable? Sometimes I think that her romance scenes could be a bit better but then I have to remind myself that I’m not there for the romance aspects, rather to see this girl kick ass and show everyone around her that age ain’t nothing but a number (RIP Aaliyah :().
I highly recommend this book, especially to those who already love high fantasy. This book is evidence that YA books do not have to be read just by teens. I do however recommend that this book not be ready by young teens. As in maybe keep the 11 and 12 year olds away from this one. Actually, scratch that. I used to sneak Harlequin romances behind my mom’s back when I was that age. I turned out fine. I think (I hope?). 5 out of 5 stars for this lovely book!