After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
Although I still can’t call myself a fan of the series, I am starting to see why so many people like it. It’s got a kind of careless, breezy approach to the fantasy genre that makes for light reading, while still having all the swashbuckling action to keep a reader interested. That’s the same kind of tone that I enjoyed from The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, but without going whole-hog about embracing it. (Although, really, “whole-hog” is the only time I actually like that, which is probably why these books still don’t click with me.)
The Throne of Glass novellas were in some ways better than the first novel and it some ways worse. So much worse. I have to admit, it was nice to see Cally actually doing things instead of just making boastful claims, but that’s a relative statement. Doing more than she did in the first book isn’t hard.
A week later, Cally sits in her room reminiscing over how posh her time recuperating has been. She still doesn’t have her contract from the king (and even though I know contracts have existed forever and ever, that still sounds weird). Chaol shows up, and they do more talking about the plot. Because we’ve got to squeeze out a little more padding, apparently.
Dorian and his father are having a chat. Dorian wants to know what’s going to happen to Chaol for killing Cain.
“I think he killed him to defend Cel—to defend the assassin.”
“You think the life of an assassin is worth more than that of a soldier?”
1) Cain was a disgraced criminal, otherwise he wouldn’t be in the competition. It’s not like he was going to go back and do soldierly things after this. 2) Cally was IN DORIAN’S LAP at the time. Why not argue that Chaol was keeping the criminal with the sharp pointy knife away from the crown prince? 3) Cally had just been declared the king’s personal champion and Cain the looser, so yeah, it’s perfectly normal to assume that her life would take precedent.
Stop ignoring the obvious arguments just for the sake of engineering drama. If there’s a logical explanation and/or counterargument to be had and you ignore it for the sake of the argument that you want to have, then you didn’t set the scene up right.
Once again, we step out of the POV of the person getting the action so we can report on it from the outside. Although, for once, this does kind of help. Cally was pretty out of it when we last left, and Dorian is a lot more lucid as he watches her thrash about on the ground fighting imaginary enemies.
Although, he is just standing there and watching it. At least Nemmy steps up and starts doing covert magic.
Kate ( !!! :D :D :D ) is standing in her position on the day of the duel, thinking very valid complains about how only idiots would go outside in the cold. Frankly, she’ far more restrained than I would be standing out in the cold. At least Kate has the good sense to keep her complaints inside her own head.
The day before the last test, Nox and Cally are having a chat during practice. Nox sees the scars on Cally’s hands and starts putting puzzle pieces together, which make him automatically smarter than every other person in this book. Cally starts telling him it’d be in his best interest to leave the castle and competition, but she’s cagey about why. Because…reasons? It’s not like she can’t tell him “hey, btw, Cain’s summoning monsters to kill off the competition.” Her excuse for the everyone else is that she can’t prove it, but why would Nox need proof?
Cally wakes up in her room to find that she is completely, totally, 100% healed. Because consequences are for other books, and explaining stuff to Chaol would entail explaining stuff to Chaol, which for some reason this book is opposed to.
Next day, Cally is reading more weirdmark books and thinking about Nemmy. She continues to berate herself for daring to think that Nemmy would be less than a saint, all because Nemmy failed to mount a very obvious attack at the worst possible moment one could chose to do that.
This is so lazy. There was little reason for Cally to suspect Nemmy in the first place, but there’s even less reason to let her off the hook. I’m sure if you look at one random hour out of the life of a serial killer, he’d be acting perfectly normal, too. Might even pet a puppy. But that doesn’t make him not a serial killer. Yet this book is bored with suspecting Nemmy, so it has decided to move on, and logic be damned. It’s almost like the author had the idea for that scene first, wrote it, then had to twist the rest of the book around to fit it rather than edit it when it ended up not fitting.
Turns out we’re still stuck at the ball. In Dorians POV as he dances with her, so we can hear about how totally awesome he thinks she is. Then we switch to Chaol so that he can fume on the sidelines and also inform us that they look tots awesome while dancing. A random noble comes up to gossip and then he points out that they look tots awesome, and also Dorian is tots in love with her.
If you have to use some one-off side character to hammer in the fact that your character is in love, you’re overdoing it. We should be able to tell from his actions, and in fact we can, so the extra just feels like bragging.