Author: Sarah J. Maas
I was frustrated with the book in the beginning. Maas employs a detail-dump approach whenever she
introduces a new character or setting. I get that imagery is important to a lot of readers. I just prefer a bit more subtlety. Throne of Glass is rarely subtle.
Despite my early misgivings, I got caught up in the story. Celaena Sardothien was the most notorious assassin in the kingdom until she was captured and sent away to a slave camp. One day, the crown prince springs her out of her misery with the promise that if she wins a competition back at the castle, she will eventually gain her freedom. Meanwhile, there is a mysterious evil afoot. The other competitors are being gruesomely murdered, one by one.
There aren't a lot of plot twists. Pretty much everyone turns out to be who you expect them to be. The most interesting narrative developments come in the evolving relationships between characters. The people don't change much but the way they see each other does. Celaena herself is a bit puzzling: an effective but not entirely cold-hearted killer. There's romance along the way, too: a love triangle between Celaena, the prince (Dorian) and the captain of the guard (Chaol).
Even with the lack of subtlety, there is occasional elegance in the language. The story is absorbing and it reads quickly. The world building is admirable: languages, races, religions. Overall, I'd rate the book above Percy Jackson but below Diana Wynne Jones's Howl series. Daughter tells me the second book is better so I'm intrigued. After all, I don't even know the saga well enough to understand the quote on her phone case yet. There's a TV show in production, too, air date TBD.