Redonk Nutshell: Convicted assassin gets a second chance at life when she’s given the option to compete in a challenge to the death

I want it to be known that I didn’t really know jack-squat about this book going into it. I knew it was a YA book, and I had read a few pushes labeling it the “Game of Thrones for YA.” I also had seen several novellas/prequels available on Amazon. I was looking forward to reading this – I have a serious soft spot for assassins.  Imagine my surprise when, after the first few paragraphs, I find myself wondering if this was written by a child.  Turns out it kind of sort of was.  It was written by the author when she was sixteen, or at least she started it’s first drafts when she was that age.  Know, this may sound condescending, though I don’t necessarily mean it to be – it shows. The writing style lacked a certain gumption that I was expecting. There was quite a bit of potential for darkness, what with our heroine’s backstory being an assassin sentenced to death by working in a salt mine. But instead, our heroine comes off as…well..adolescent.  I have a hard time believing she’s as bad ass as everyone says she is.

However, I carried on. Why? Because this book has a crack factor, and I became hooked to the story enough to just HAVE TO KNOW what happened.

Celaena Sardothien was sentenced to serve out a life term in the salt mines after being caught for her crimes as an assassin. When she is dragged before the crown prince and offered a chance to compete in a contest to be the King’s Champion, she accepts.  She develops a sort of friendship with her trainer, Captain Chaol Westfall, and eventually the prince himself, Dorian. It develops into an anticipatory love triangle. Kind of. It’s very wishy washy. Celaena competes against her rivals to win the competition to become the Champion, ironic because Celaena loathes the King. Things get super complicated when competitors begin getting gruesomely murdered.

I was let down by this book. It just wasn’t at all what I had expected. It’s a bastard child of The Hunger Games and a kind of sort of Graceling. We’re left at the end with, again, a kind of sort of conclusion, yet knowing that more is yet to come.  And I can honestly say I’m not sure I cared. I have to give props to Maas for her world building, though. This book seemed to have So Much Potential, but just didn’t follow through.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: C-

Romance: 1/5              Raunch: 0/5

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