Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas It feels like [b:Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas||11138426] has been a book I've been thinking about maybe reading for a million years. The reviews and ratings from my GR friends on this book are very mixed and I can easily see why after finishing this entertaining but disappointingly tame and romance-y young adult fantasy. [b:Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas||11138426] is like [b:Shadow and Bone|10194157|Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)|Leigh Bardugo||15093325] round two. The premise is awesome for both: full of hardcore warriors/assassins, royal/noble secrets and scandals, a touch of magic... but each one, though entertaining, quickly hangs up its weapons and becomes far more concerned with dresses, bitchiness and whether or not that sexy dude thinks the MC is hot (he does).

This book is to the fantasy genre what [b:Twilight|41865|Twilight (Twilight, #1)|Stephenie Meyer||3212258] is to vampires; though I have to stress that it is a fast-paced, compelling read and Maas does tame fantasy as well as it can be done. Despite my frequent eyerolls and disappointment at the romantic turn the story took, the pages seemed to fly by. I tend to read several books at once; I'll spend a few chapters with one and then mix it up by moving on to another, but [b:Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas||11138426] managed to hold my attention from start to finish with no time for interference from another book. This, in itself, was quite an achievement.

Celaena Sardothien is the star of this show. A former assassin turned prisoner, she spends every day in the salt mines prison of Endovier. Having given up on hoping for freedom, she wishes only for death. That is, until one day The Crown Prince (Dorian) and his Captain of the Guard (Chaol) arrive with a proposition for her - fight in a competition, win, become the King's Champion for four years, and finally earn her freedom. It's an offer Celaena can't refuse. But, of course, things aren't that simple. Some dark evil is at work inside the King's castle; something that is killing off the competitors one by one. Plus, there's the handsome Prince and moody Captain to deal with too.

I don't think Celaena is in the King's palace for a day before she starts obsessing over her looks, her new dresses and whether or not either or both of the aforementioned men find her attractive. She still manages to have more badassery than Alina in [b:Shadow and Bone|10194157|Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)|Leigh Bardugo||15093325] and the book is, in my opinion, nowhere near as boring as [b:Grave Mercy|9565548|Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)|R.L. LaFevers||14452295]. But, still, I couldn't help being like "BUT you said ASSASSIN!" when she's there swanning around in front of the mirror. I like that she's "feminine" (whatever you want to take that to mean) as well as a brutal killer, but there's only so much high school changing rooms behaviour I can take. I think there's an excellent quote, a question that Celaena wonders to herself, that basically sums up what was running through my head for a lot of this novel:

"How had she gone from the most feared prisoner in Endovier to this sappy mess?"

How, indeed. But, that being said, I really enjoyed the banter between her and Chaol. And Dorian wasn't bad either. I've said it before but I'll say it again for the benefit of this review: I actually don't mind love triangles when they're convincing and both candidates for the MC's heart are on equal footing so there's some tension over who they're going to end up with. Though I may have to do all kinds of evil things - like... stomping around my bedroom angrily or letting library books become overdue - if Celaena doesn't end up with Chaol. Ms Maas, you've been warned.

So, yes, I will be reading [b:Crown of Midnight|17167166|Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)|Sarah J. Maas||21581860], god help me. I'm hoping it will please me more than the sequel to [b:Shadow and Bone|10194157|Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)|Leigh Bardugo||15093325] did, but the ending of this does make me think the second book could have more action and nastiness (yes!). I think you can enjoy this book if you go into it knowing exactly what you're letting yourself in for. It isn't high fantasy. It isn't mind-blowing. But it is kinda fun *grins*