Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4088-3233-2.
(Age: Teenage - Adult) Recommended. If, as a reader, you're tired of the frequently male heroes of typical fantasy novels, then Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas, is the choice new publication for you; its main character Celaena Sardothien is ardently feminine and yet strong, capable, intelligent and feisty. In a world torn apart by the selfish, power-hungry desires of the King of Adarlan, Celaena is nothing but unusual: a former captive and a trained assassin, she alone seems uncowed by the brutal, awesome displays of power the king uses to crush all opposition against him in Erilea.
Orphaned at eight and trained by Arobynn Hamel, the King of the Assassins, the eighteen year old Celaena is known as the Adarlan's most notorious assassin, until she makes a fatal mistake and is caught. Her punishment, like all those who openly defy the invading King of Adarlan, is to be sent to work in the salt-mines of Endovier, where the average life-expectancy for prisoners is one month; after surviving a whole year, including a foiled escape attempt in which she kills twenty-four guards, Celaena is offered a chance she cannot refuse, even though she would like to.
The Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havillard, selects her to be his competitor in a series of trials designed to choose a Champion to fight for his father as the official Assassin of Adarlan. Not only must Celaena defeat warriors and criminals double her size, using her skills and her wits, but then she will be required to serve the King of Adarlan for six years to earn her freedom. However, with her only other option an almost certain death in the Endovien salt-mines, Celaena must overcome her adverse hatred of all the king stands for - death and destruction - to win her only chance for a free life.
Written in a descriptive style reminiscent of Australia's own Juliet Marillier and the legendary Terry Brooks, Throne of Glass follows the enigmatic character introduced in Sarah J. Maas' four e-novels (available for download from Amazon) and is well-worth the weekend it takes to read. True fantasy lovers will find all they are looking for in this excellent novel.