July 19, 2012 by thebookslayer
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date : August 7th
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 kings 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.
Celaena is one of the worlds lead assassins. She was trained for this position when her life derailed into disaster at the young age of 8. When life was finally going right she was betrayed and lost all yet again.
This is where the story begins.
Celaena is in the Endovier mines which was her punishment handed down from the king. Surviving day-to-day has become trying. She managed to make a daring prison break once but never made it home free before she was caught. Since that escape her life has gotten harder. Most people don’t make it 3 feet away from the guards without being caught or shot. This speaks volumes to her Assassin training and therefore makes her the perfect candidate for Prince Dorian to pick as his champion.
Champion of what you ask? Well his father, the king, is holding a kill or be killed contest. The prize is a one way ticket out of the hell they are in, to another form slavery as the King’s personal assassin. You heard right. The King wants to conquer all so he must have the guns to back it up.
The King is vial and sadistic which makes for the perfect villain. But he dotes on his son in many ways. He may not treat him like an equal but his son wants for nothing and goes around lazing about. Can you tell I am not a fan of the Prince? Yeah he was pampered.
Now this would not have been too big of a problem except that the pampered Prince and Celaena the assassin end up having a little love affair. Gag me now. Really this part just lost me.
At the beginning of the book she was counting the ways she would kill him and by the middle she just wanted to screw him. Yup, didn’t work for me.
Captain Chaol Westfall is my love triangle winner. Not only is he top dog of the guards but the man can fight. He also is apparently good-looking which always helps.
My Captain Westfall! Rawr!
Chaol helps get Celaena back into fighting shape before the contest and helps her out during it. She does seem to have feelings for him but is blinded by the shiny-sparkliness of Prince Dorian. Blah. But at least she comes to her senses by the end of the book.
We get to actually read in detail two of the tests that they are put through for the contest. I must say that these scenes are full of awesome. If the book would have been filled with a couple more I think my rating would have jumped up a star. But only having two left me wanting more.
Celaena is also discovering part of her heritage throughout the book as well. This leads to tight spots and hell hounds on her trail. I did enjoy this part of the book but thought it could have been better executed. It seemed a little choppy and switching between the tests, love affair with Dorian and her heritage was too much. This is one of the reasons the book got the rating a gave it.
The best quote in this book was :
“Oh, how wrong he was! Libraries were full of ideas – perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons. “
Overall we get to watch Celaena become who she was always meant to be. She must embrace her past and heritage in order to win the contest. Love seems to come and go for her but the friendships made will be her salvation.
Recommendation : Those who are looking for a kick-butt female character who must battle her demons to fulfill her destiny.
Warning: If you love Poison Study then this book will probably rate lower than most. The similarities are many and this book was not as well written.
This review was hard for me. There were quite a few things that were similar to Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.
You must know that Poison Study is one of my favorite books. I think if I had never read Poison Study, Throne of Glass would probably rate more stars, but the similarities were just too many.
1. Both start off with a scene where they are chained and are being taken to someone with power.
Poison Study : “..the guards efficiently chained my hands behind me and manacled my feet. ….one season shy of a full year. ” She is taken to see Valek.
Throne of Glass :
“After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.” She is taken into a room with her shackles on to meet the Prince.
Desperation was more profound with Poison Study than with Throne of Glass. Celaena is supposed to have tried to escape and then broke. But Yelena already understands she has lost everything. Poison Study wins this one.
2. They are not Fools!
Poison Study :“A fool would refuse the job.” … “What shall I tell the executioner?”Valek asked. “I am not a fool.”
Throne of Glass :“It’s a bargain. I might be trading one form of slavery for another, but I’m not a fool.”
Trust me Poison study won this scene.
3. Assassins all around!
Poison Study : Valek is teaching Yelena to become an assassin. Oh and Valek is the top assassin.
Throne of Glass : Celaena is an assassin and was trained at a young age. However, throughout the book she has to go through tests to become the Kings assassin.
There were only 2 test actually drawn out to read in Throne of Glass but we see a lot of different tests that Valek gives to Yelena throughout Poison Study. But we will call this on a draw.
4. Magic is Forbidden and our Assassins have a secret
Poison Study : “Magic, a forbidden word in Ixia since Commander Ambrose came to power. Magicians …They were hunted, trapped and exterminated. A hint or suggestion that someone had magic was a death sentence.”
Throne of Glass : ” the King’s campaign to hunt them down and execute them the faires and Fae fled … The King of Adarlan had outlawed it all- magic… and removed any trace so thoroughly … that it had never exsisted.”
Honestly, these two books had similar stands on this subject. They did take these Magic users in different directions. The background behind the magicians and slaughter are the same. Draw
5. Orphans All Around
Poison Study : “Even during the first ten years I had lived in Brazell’s orphanage, I had only caught brief glimpses of him and his family.” “Trouble seemed to find me regardless of my efforts. Orphaned. Tortured. Poisoned. Cursed with magic. The list grew longer by the day.”
Throne of Glass : “Arobynn had never replaced the father she’d lost, nor had he ever tried to.”
Both of these heroines were orphaned at a young age and raised by other men to serve their purpose. Yelena to be a magic slave and Celaena to be his assassin, do what he says. This one is a Draw. Both of them got the shitty end of the stick.
6. Same Colors
Poison Study : “Black and red were Commander Ambrose’s colors.”
Throne of Glass : “..a crimson and black tunic.” These were the colors of the King.
The Commander is a bigger stickler for the color code and it trickles down into his servants. Poison Study wins this round.
7. Wooden Staff
Poison Study : ” I concentrated instead on the smooth solidness of the weapon. I hefted it in my grip, trying to make a connection, creating an extension of my thoughts through the bow. A light vibration tingled through my fingertips as I traced the wood grain. My consciousness flowed through the bow, twisting and turning along the grain, and back along my arm.” Yelena fights with a wooden staff because it helps center her magic.
Throne of Glass : “…the wooden staff became dear.” “She gripped the staff in her left hand, taking in the strength of the wood, the strength of her friend.” Celaena fights her last battle with her friend, Nehemia’s wooden staff. This is symbolic for the book in many ways.
Both of these assassins fight with a wooden staff. There are important fights that take place with this weapon and both are significant. But Yelena’s staff and fighting techniques are more interesting with her magic twist. Poison Study wins this round.
Seven Rounds and Throne of Glass was able to hold its own with Poison Study for three of them. Not bad but Poison Study definitely kicked Throne of Glass!
As I said before if you had not read Poison Study you probably thought that the quotes and instances above were great, but when compared to a much-loved book as Poison Study you have to admit it doesn’t look good.
I declare Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder the winner!
Hope you enjoyed this little one on one action between these two books. Best of luck!