Book Worm: Throne of Glass: candy coated demise and destruction

Kathleen Duncan

Feb. 5, 2014 at 2:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 4, 2014 at 8:05 p.m.

Eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is taken from her life of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier by none other than the crown prince.

He offers her a deal: commit to be his champion in a deadly competition, and she will be removed from a slow and painful demise in the labor camp.

Of course, there is a catch. The winner of the competition will be the new royal assassin who will murder at the order of the king for three years.

Three years of service - of blood, of death - before she would be set free to live her life again.

Unsurprisingly, the king is the one man Celaena is least likely to be loyal to. She struggles with the choice between freedom in three years and serving a man she detests.

During her time at the palace, she becomes attached to her allies in the competition and a few rare friends. Between those she wants to protect and those she must serve, survival at the palace becomes a delicate balancing act.

In "Throne of Glass" (book 1) and "Crown of Midnight" (book 2) by Sarah J. Maas, Celaena embarks on a new, if not less fatal, existence.

She must beat the other lethal competitors, do the King's bidding and survive the mysterious murders that begin to occur at night behind closed doors.

Celaena, of course, is no ugly duckling. (Heroines rarely are.) She is beautiful, athletic, intelligent and deadly. Despite her harrowing circumstances, she becomes enthralled with two men, the captain of the guard and Prince Dorian. The love triangle slowly develops as a contrast to the violence that the story revolves around but, thankfully, doesn't overpower it.

Celaena is a pretty emotional character, causing her to be clever one moment then make disastrous decisions the next. She protects those she cares for and easily discards those she doesn't.

As her survival becomes increasingly difficult, we learn she has a history that she denies even to herself. As events unfold, she is obligated to face her past by supernatural forces of fate.

The first two "Throne of Glass" books are a pleasing start to the series thus far. Celaena's candy-coated assassin adventures are a definite guilty pleasure for any enthusiast of the young adult genre.

They are to be devoured much like a secret chocolate bar hidden away in a drawer for a special occasion - in the dark of the night with fleeting but fervent relish.



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