Series: Throne of Glass #1
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
The entire premise for this novel makes little to no sense to me. First, she is saved from an enslavement camp by the prince as a snub to his father, the king, who had her put there in the first place. The prince wants her to compete to be the king's Champion and if she wins the competition, and serves four years as his assassin, she will then get her freedom. But if the king put her in there for being the most lethal assassin in the kingdom, why would anyone think it's a good idea to let her out? Of course she's going to plot her revenge on the king.
Then there is the fact that she is this legendary assassin, but she clearly doesn't come across as one. Sure, she can kick butt in training and in the Tests, but it almost seems out of character when she does. And the whole subplot with the princess and the magic being released to take out Champions? It all got so convoluted and when the plot barely makes sense to start with, it basically comes apart at the seams.
And, since this is a YA novel, there is the obligatory romance/love triangle. Again, this makes little sense to me and I feel no real connection between any of the characters involved. With regard to the crown prince, there is no way I would ever be able to trust her if it were me. I would always have to assume her feelings and actions are a con in order to get closer to me to get to my father or to get back at my father through me somehow. If I were Celaena, I would probably resent the crown prince a little until the mentality of "sins of our fathers".
Though the pace of the novel kept moving and the story is just interesting enough to keep my attention to the end, I really don't see what the fuss is all about with this novel. Even the writing style seemed toned down, and you could tell she started writing the novel as a teenager. All the italicized and punctuated words for emphasis really annoyed me, and a lot of the omnipotent revelation of characters' thoughts and feelings feel juvenile. All that being said, you kind of have to root for a writer that started out as someone just writing on FictionPress and getting discovered and published, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt and most likely try the second installment in the series to see if it gets any better.