Sarah J. Maas’s 2012 YA debut “Throne of Glass” chronicles the trials of eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien, the most feared assassin in the land of Adarlan. After spending a year in a prison camp following her capture, Celaena is taken to Adarlan’s capital where she is forced to enter into a competition to become the King’s Champion. Although Celaena abhors the idea of becoming a servant to the very king whom she has fought to undermine, she agrees to the competition in order to earn her one shot at freedom. During her time in the King’s glass palace, Celaena becomes close to the King’s son, Prince Dorian, her sponsor in the competition, and Dorian’s friend, Chaol Westfall, the Captain of the Guard, making Celaena question her long-held prejudice against the King’s followers. As the competition gets underway, sinister events begin to take place throughout the castle: competitors are found brutally murdered, and Celaena worries that she might be next. Making it through the competition becomes not just about earning back her freedom, but staying alive. Along the way she will make friends in unexpected places and uncover a long forgotten magic that may hold the key to her survival.
With its mix of magic, danger, and romance, “Throne of Glass” is thrilling read not just for teens, but for all fans of the fantasy genre. Though the concept of a deadly competition harkens back to Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games,” Maas puts a new spin on the trope by rooting her story firmly in a fantasy world where magic, though forbidden, lurks just beneath the surface. In fact, the novel is less about the competition to become the King’s Champion and more about the change Celaena undergoes during her time in the kingdom, and her discovery that not all who are connected to the King are her enemies. Maas has written a wonderful cast of characters, from Celaena, to Prince Dorian, to Chaol Westfall, and Princess Nehemia. Celaena’s sharp wit, perseverance, and compassion make her a heroine to root for. While she remains the novel’s main focus, Maas also gives glimpses into the minds of other important characters, creating an even richer story. By the time readers have reached the end, they will be itching for the sequel (not to mention ferociously debating over who Celaena’s love interest will be: Chaol or Dorian).
“Throne of Glass” is available for purchase now at many bookstores in the Indianapolis area, including: Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. “Crown of Midnight,” book two in the “Throne of Glass” series, will be released Aug. 27, 2013. Maas has also written a series of four prequels that can be purchased wherever e-books are sold.