My reasons for loving the Cannonball Read are legion. One of them is finding new books, series, and authors. Baxlala reviewed Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorn and Roses and mentioned that Maas had another series that was further along. I checked out Amazon and ended up buying Throne of Glass mostly because it was cheap (I am poor). I love a good YA book and really appreciate that the genre has so many awesome female protagonists.
I enjoyed Throne of Glass tremendously. We jump right into things with Celaena Sardothian being released from salt mine prison into the custody of Crown Prince Dorian and the Captain of the Guard Choal (“kay-all”). She can go back to the mines (and certain death), or she can be their entry into a competition to become the King’s Champion with a promise of eventual freedom. Why would they be interested in an 18 year old convict? Celaena was once the best of the assassins.
The competition itself is something of a macguffin, but it brings the characters together and allows Maas to establish a world where something in Denmark is very rotten. And it’s pretty clear that the rot emanates from the King. The King has outlawed magic, killed or driven away the Fae, and is conquering all of the kingdoms and lands around him. Where he goes, he destroys libraries and burns scholars and people with magic gifts. He is setting up to be a juicy series villain, though we don’t see much of him in this book.
While training and competing, Celaena grows close to Dorian and Chaol, and becomes friends with a princess from a conquered land, Nehemia. Nehemia is amazing, and I love her growing friendship with Celaena. Celaena herself is a delight. She makes definite choices about playing along to earn her freedom. There is a love triangle with Celaena, Dorian and Choal, but only if you’ve never read YA before. To a long time reader it is very clear which way this triangle is going to resolve.
Speculation – not spoilers, because I have read no further than Throne of Glass. Obviously, there is more to Celaena than teenage assassin. I suspect she will turn out to be the last of a conquered royal family. She is probably magical, and almost certainly part Fae. I suspect that Dorian is also part Fae, and not really his father’s son. I’m off now to read the next book in the series, and to fantasize about becoming a middle aged assassin.