CBR15 PASSPORT (Stamp #11: Different Genres, High Fantasy)
CBR15 BINGO (Violence square: super violent gladiator situation/also the inner turmoil of a young woman trained to be violent from childhood)
Not to get too spoilery, but it has become apparent that all three of Maas’ book series (Crown of Thorns and Roses, Crescent City, Throne of Glass) are connected to one another. I am a completionist for better or worse. I’m also a sucker for the big payoff that epics can bring. That point where everything coalesces? Love that. Don’t know yet whether that will happen here, but I’m willing to take the gamble. This is just the first book in an 8 book series, so we’ll see how it goes.
After trouncing nearby territories and banning all forms of magic, a king is on a mission to conquer whatever is left to conquer. One way to help accomplish that goal is to secure a personal assassin to do all of his dirtier work. Naturally. To find the most assassin-y assassin in all of the lands, he holds a contest. It’s basically a Hunger Games situation without all of the digitized rigamarole and stage manager manipulation. Thieves and criminals train together and compete in a series of “tests” that will end in a final showdown of four potential assassins.
Amidst all of the knife throwing, archery, and sword fighting there is court intrigue, a mysterious princess, secret passageways, and a budding love triangle. Oh, and a pesky little murder problem that is crossing contestants off the list quicker than expected.
Reminded me of a lot of A Court of Thorns and Roses: love triangle, young woman “rescued” from dire circumstances, territorial war mongering. However, rather than steamy shenanigans, we’ve got furtive glances, hand grazing, and what-are-all-of-these-feelings feelings going on here. The violence is pretty adult, but the rest exists in a chaste zone, even for YA. Again, this is the first book in the series so that may ramp up a bit?
Thematically this book is similar to A Court of Thorns and Roses but it isn’t as fleshed out. This is where Maas cut her teeth, I think. I felt the same way about Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone books. I enjoyed them, but all of her books that followed were so much richer and more rewarding. (Looking at you Six of Crows duology). I do think that my reading of the Shadow and Bone trilogy only enriched my reading of all of the other books in the Grishaverse that followed. I’m hoping the same happens here with Maasverse.