“She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow.”
4.5 / 5
Throne of Glass: Celaena Sardothien has a fearsome reputation of Adarlan’s Assassin. She is beautiful, deadly and ruthless. But she has fallen, and ended up in Endovier, a deathcamp for slaves and criminals. After a year of hard labour, she is dragged before the Crown Prince, Prince Dorian. She is offered her freedom, on the condition she must accept to be his champion in the competition to become the royal assassin. Competing in a series of tasks against murderers, thieves and assassins from across the empire, Celaena is fighting for her freedom. Until one of the contestants turns up dead… then another. Now Celaena has to figure out who is the killer before she becomes the victim.
Crown of Midnight: The royal assassin, and the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon, Celaena is winning her freedom through her enemies blood. With one problem, she cannot bare to kill for the crown, but instead is faking every death, putting herself and everyone close to her at risk. In refusing to assassinate the king’s list of rebels, Celaena finds her loyalties torn; between her contract to the king and her freedom, and the fate of the kingdom.
The Assassin’s Blade: A collection of short novella’s based on Celaena’s life before being in Endovier. Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s assassin, her reputation known far and wide, but owes it all to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassin’s Guild and taught her all of the skills she knows to survive. Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide, and until she can pay off her debts, Celaena is duty bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lie a dark truth, that conflict with Celaena’s views. Should Celaena follow orders which conflict with her feelings, or disobey and face the formidable consequences…?
I’m cheating a little bit here, and instead of reviewing the three books individually, I am going to do all three at once. I don’t usually do this, but I finished the first two books whilst on holiday where I didn’t have access to a computer.
There are two factors which will make you either love or hate these books; first, whether you like Celaena or not, and secondly, how you feel about love triangles. Bluntly, Celaena is vain and opinionated, she is not even in the castle a day before she starts obsessing over her looks. She is rather immature, emotionally unstable at times, and highly opinionated. However, considering she is aged between 16-18 in the books, and the things she is emotionally unstable over are things she is highly emotionally invested in, I did not find this too much of an issue. Her vanity is influenced by her back-story, which you can read more of in ‘The Assassin’s Blade’, which I liked as it showed that she could be feminine and kick ass. Now, as soon as I realised that there would be a love triangle involved, I did an audible groan. There is nothing that infuriates me more than a book that has an awesome premises, which is overshadowed by a love triangle. Especially if they’re the “I’m plain, no one will notice me” “oh, I never noticed my best friend was in love with me” “I know I shouldn’t fancy him, but I can’t resist a brooding, emotionally manipulative, handsome boy” love triangle, which unfortunately summarises the majority of YA fiction. Luckily, this book is none of these things! The relationship between all three of the characters is believable, and gradual. None are based solely on the person’s appearances, or their apparent lack of interest or love at first sight, in fact she detests Chaol to begin with, they are based on gradual friendship. Most importantly, the love elements don’t dominate the books!
As stated earlier, ‘The Assassin’s blade’ is a collection of novella, which should be read first, as they are stories of Celeana’s life before. I, stupidly, read these after I read the other two, which was silly as it meant I knew the ending. The novellas are separate events, but they link together well, with overlaps between each of them. In ‘ The Assassin and the Pirates’, Celeana and Sam are sent by Arobynn to sort out a negotiation between the two, which leads to be a trade of slaves. Outraged, Celeana sets the slaves free. Furious, Arobynn beats the two of them bloody, and sends Celeana away, to train with other Assassins. From that moment on, Celeana promises to herself to that she will raise the money to free herself from her debt to Arobynn. The following novellas surround her attempting to free her debt and escape from him and the guild. The events from the book lead into ‘The Throne of Glass’. I each of the books easy to read, and very gripping. However, within ‘The Throne of Glass’, I would have preferred to have more detail on the different events within the competition, as we only had a couple in detail.
Overall: I would definitely recommend.