Rating: 4 stars

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 four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. 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.

I remember the first time I read this book. My sister had come home to visit from college and gave me a copy, telling me a friend of hers from school thought I’d enjoy it. I remember reading it, feeling completely mesmerized by the story within its pages, wanting to find out what happened next to Celaena. Reading Throne of Glass again, I still remember those feelings, which have returned just as deeply.

The first book in a series I have yet to continue reading, Throne of Glass made me wonder what it would be like living as an assassin. An assassin well-known for her abilities, Celaena is more than she appears, which is why I enjoy her character so much. She’s very headstrong, good with any weapon in existence, and knowledgeable about the world she lives in. Even though she’s an assassin, she cares very much about protecting the people around her, despite the circumstances she’s currently dealing with. While at times I could find the way she talked to certain characters annoying, I overall enjoyed seeing such a strong character that I can’t wait to see how she continues to develop in the rest of the series.

I also enjoyed seeing this book from Dorian and Chaol’s point of view. Having their points of view allowed the reader to better understand their characters and how they both changed as the competition continued. While both Dorian and Chaol’s loyalty belongs to the kingdom, it gets tested when Celaena’s life is at stake during the final moments of the competition. I also loved their perspectives because you could see how conflicted both characters could be. As prince of the kingdom, Dorian knew he shouldn’t trust Celaena, but at the same time you could see the relationship he had with his father was pretty rough. This resulted in him being conflicted between doing what was right for the kingdom versus his own happiness, which I believe will continue to play an important role in the series as it continues.

I enjoyed reading this book too because of the competition and how magic came to play in the story with the competitor’s mysterious deaths. Sarah J. Maas did a wonderful job at weaving both these elements together to create a unique story that keeps the reader wondering what happens next. However, I did sometimes find these elements could be a little too much because I felt like there was already a lot going on in the story. But at the same time, Maas does a good job of connecting these two things together in order to allow more possibilities to exist in the world Celaena lives in.

I overall enjoy Throne of Glass because it kept me coming back for more. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series to find out what Celaena does next.