Celaena was Adarlan’s most feared assassin before betrayal landed her in an Endovier salt-mine slave camp. She has managed to survive there for almost a year, when most last less than a few months. She is offered the chance to compete as the Crown Prince’s competitor in a fierce contest to become the King of Adarlan’s Champion. To earn her freedom she must out-fight 23 other competitors, all sponsored by members of the royal council, and serve for 6 years at the hand of the King.
Celaena has little else to do but accept and is sent to live in the castle of Rifthold. There she trains with the Captain of the Guard, Chaol. When competitors start to die from unseen darkness in the castle Celaena must uncover what is happening to them before she becomes the next victim. Between competitions and searching for the killer Celaena makes friends with a visiting Princess from Eyllwe, Nehemia. She has much more knowledge than anyone else about the magical happenings within the castle but keeps many secrets from Celaena. While working to uncover who or what is behind their deaths she uncovers historical events that will lead her to a destiny she never expected.
This is the first book in the captivating Throne of Glass series.
The first book does not do the series as a whole justice. The author, Sarah J. Maas, had a difficult task of explaining the history of magic in the kingdom and the backgrounds of the characters without giving away too much of the plot upfront. Ultimately, in my opinion, she is an amazing writer. She has a knack for dropping small clues throughout the series and manages to wrap everything up in the end making you wondering "how did I never see that coming!"
I agree with other reviews that much of the competition was skipped over, but I think they are missing the point. This book/series was never about the competition but more about a girl battling with magic that was growing within the castle in a land where magic has been gone for over 10 years.
We were supposed to assume that Celaena would win, because after all she is the best assassin the land has ever known. The love-triangle between Chaol and Dorian was weak to me, I think because so many YA books has this plot. The abrupt ending of the relationship between Dorian and Celaena left me wondering what she was thinking! As you read through the series and what she knew of herself and others versus what he knew...you'll understand they just weren’t meant to be.
I loved the mystery of the hidden passageways that led to the old crypt where the ancient Queen Elena would meet with her and give her nondescript clues of what she could find out about the King. What was your favorite part of book one?