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Throne of Glass

The Assassin and the Princess - Sarah J. Maas A year spent in the salt mines of Endovier is no easy life, and Celaena Sardothien—the fearsome Adarlan’s Assassin—has managed to survive so far. Her life sentence is cut short when Dorian Havillard, Crown Prince of Adarlan, makes her a deal. Celaena is to be his champion in an upcoming competition to find the King’s new assassin. Winning means she’ll have to work for the King, but it’ll also mean her freedom. Her opponents are the best thieves, assassins, murdered and warriors of the land, but with her skill and the help of Captain Westfall, Celaena is confident she’ll win. That is, until the contestants start turning up dead, and Celaena is warned of a great evil lurking in the castle. Suddenly, court life gets very interesting with murder investigations, training sessions, a handsome prince, and past secrets coming back to haunt her. Throne of Glass is YA High Fantasy of the finest brew; Sarah J. Maas work is right up there with my all time high fantasy idols Tamora Pierce, Maria V. Snyder, and Cinda Williams Chima. Though reading the four Throne of Glass Novellas is not required, I strongly encourage you to do it. Not only will you get to know Celaena Sardothien better, but you’ll see why Adarlan’s Assassin is so feared and awesome. Throne of Glass starts after the end of The Assassin and The Empire, and living in the salt mines for a year has left Celaena with a sick sense of humor that she doesn’t hesitate to use it to taunt the always-serious Captain Westfall. Our little assassin is as hardcore as ever, but I was disappointed that her vanity and arrogance were still the same; being in the mines hasn’t humbled her at all. Oh, and she’s still a hot head too! But during the course of the novel we see her grow. She lowers that wall she always keeps up and starts making friends. As always, she’s very caring for those less fortunate than her, and for that alone I can forgive her other faults.Dorian Havillard, the rebellious prince of Adarlan, is such a heartbreaker among the ladies, but he’s tired of them all. When he meets Celaena, he can’t help but fall in love with her sharp tongue and direct manner. He’s the first one to see past her assassin reputation. Though Celaena knows it’s a very bad idea to fall in love with a Havillard, she soon realizes he’s not like family. Dorian has a big, big heart, and if there’s anyone who can lead Adarlan to prosperity, it’s him. After losing Sam, Celaena never thought she could feel anything for anyone again, but Dorian shows her otherwise.Celaena also befriends Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Royal Guard, who can certainly hold his own against Celaena both in duels and arguments. He’s not afraid to put her in her place when she’s being arrogant, vain, or impertinent. I was shocked at first, because Chaol seemed to truly hate Celaena because of her reputation. But after so much time spent together, he finally sees there’s more to her than being an assassin. As the only person who seems to really understand her, Celaena feels a strong connection towards him.The handsome prince and the gruff captain arent the only one helping Celaena. There’s also Philippa, Celaena’s maid, who handles her quite well when she’s throwing a tantrum. Nehemia, a princess from one of Aderlan’s conquered lands, who’s just an awesome friend to Celaena. And Nox, who is one of her opponents in the competition, and the only one who doesn’t underestimate her for being a woman. Well rounded and interesting, I really hope that these characters return for the other installments. Those ending chapters had me cursing and growling at the book, and I swear to you, I didn’t dare breathe during that final fight. And Chaol! Oh sweet, Chaol! Time literally slowed that when you stepped in