Thursday, December 27, 2012

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

An amazon summary because I'm still not entirely sure what I read.
"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 king's 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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

I aggressively fell asleep at this book for about the first quarter of it. I debated just putting it down and leaving it alone since it read a lot like a weird romance novel at first. Based on the writing and the details it offered, I wholly expected it to become a weird love triangle between the assassin, the captain of the guard, and the prince. I won't ruin it until later in SPOILER LAND.

After that, I started thinking about it as a comedy and it was just much easier to read.

I'm not going to dignify any of the characters with their actual names because I don't know how to pronounce half of them. So no one gets a name, they get titles though as their references.

The prince and the captain of the guards have an interest in the assassin in the lover's way. The back of the book really wants you to believe this is the main plot of the book, the writing of the book at first really wants you to believe that's the main plot of the book, but it's not. Oh, it's not.

So the story goes that the assassin was caught, sent to the salt mines to do hard labor (where people usually die within a month, but she lived for a year OH MAN BADASS OVER HERE) was recruited by the Prince to participate in a competition set forth by the King. The King's competition is designed to find the next King's champion; if you win the competition you're the champion, get lots of money, get lots of tasks, and eventually get your freedom. The freedom part is really intriguing to the assassin. So she goes, "Eh, I'll be the champion" but has a 'feisty' attitude about it which makes her 'appealing'. It turns out the Prince and the Captain of the Guard are friends but still have a professional relationship sometimes and they escort her back  to the glass kingdom. Oh, the king is crazy and had his castle forged out of glass. Because he's crazy. He's a crazy conqueror King. More on him later.

So they get to the castle and the assassin is all, 'Well crap, I'm horribly out of shape and thin as crap from working in the mines and not being fed well. Uh...I CAN WIN?'. The captain of the guard sets about training her and the Prince kind of dabbles in his attentions towards her.

The king abruptly leaves. No one knows why, there's only vague hints as to where, and the captain of the guard just shrugs about it a bit. Slight spoiler: The king is gone for basically the whole book and returns at the end only to see the last battle between the champions. He's also the only one to return. ...I found that I didn't care.

Then the champions start going through the tests and mysteriously winding up dead. But that's just the 'suspense' that's added to the story. It didn't truly seem like THAT big of a deal when it was happening. I was much more interested in the fact that the King outlawed magic in the Kingdom ten years ago. Then there are these symbols called Wrydmarks that may be used to open some sort of gate to let different beings through. MYSTERIOUS. Slight spoiler: Even at the end of the book we don't REALLY know what's going on with the Wrydmarks.

I got really annoyed with the assassin's attitude a lot. She claimed to be smart, appeared to be well read, yet it took her the longest time to figure out the simplest of clues. She didn't trust anyone (which makes sense because she's an assassin) but then a princess comes from a land the king terrorized and took over. The assassin is like 'Well, it'd be nice to be friends. ... ... ... FRIEND???' And they kind of mention like WHAT NEVER HAD A FRIEND THAT DIDN'T TRY TO KILL ME BEFORE. MEH I'LL BE FRIENDS ANYWAYS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. Like, what? Are you not supposed to be the deadliest assassin ever? What? ...WHAT?

I wasn't impressed with the book which is sad because it had a lot going for it. I think if the voices of the characters had been a little more distinct (It was written in third person and followed different characters around randomly but was mostly all about the assassin) and it was a little less like OOO LOOK AT THE PRINCE AND THE ASSASSIN FLIRT, AND MAYBE THE CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD? HELLO? I would have been more inclined to like it. There was a lot going on for the book that the addition of romance who simply unnecessary.

Plus I didn't like how the assassin tried to play the part of the tortured soul. She's the deadliest assassin; as such I expect her to be ruthless, mostly removed from emotional attachments, and unflinching about killing people. I didn't want this, "WELL, I MIGHT LIKE THE PRINCE. IS THIS LOVE?" crap in there. I just didn't. The prince wasn't even cool. He was just a smartass with a lot of anger and little direction.

I don't know what to say anymore. In general the book irked me with it's ambiguously vague answers about the Wrydmarks, the tyrannical kingdom, and the love triangle that never was.

Supposedly there are a few e-publications about what happens before this book and what led to her being in the salt mines. As a reader? WAY TOO MUCH EFFORT TO GET THE BACK STORY. I wasn't overtly curious about it either. It was more obnoxious that there were tiny tidbits hinted every few pages about how awesome she was and then she spent the rest of the time being totally dumb. It got to the point where I just wanted the book to shut up or tell me. Seriously. That's cool that you're trying to create an elaborate story, but I really don't care. If you want it to be a part of the series then you should try including it in your first PUBLISHED book. HERRO LOGIC. I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE. HURK.


I was kind of all over the place on this one. So overall reaction: Kind of bored. Not a memorable experience.

Happy reading!

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