Throne of Glass
By Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury, 2012. 406 pgs. Young Adult
Celeana was once Adarlan's Assassin, the best assassin in the country, but after she was betrayed, the king sentenced her to work in the Endovier salt mines, where most people die in a matter of months. Celeana has managed to survive a year, when the Crown Prince, Dorian, and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, show up to make her an offer. The king is hosting a contest to find his champion; the winner will have to do his bidding for four years, but after that, will be free. Desperate to be free, Celeana agrees to be the prince's contestant, but when she gets to the castle and begins her training, she finds herself dealing not only with the other competitors but some sort of monster that is brutally killing off contestants. And although the king has banished magic, Celeana finds magical symbols, a secret passage way, and has dreams of a long-dead queen who doesn't seem quite as distant as a dead person should be.
I really liked the action, adventure, and world-building in this book, as well as Celeana and the supporting characters. One thing I didn't like is that there's a bit of a love triangle and Celeana picks the wrong guy! If she straightens that out in the next book, though, I'm sure I'll love the series. It's a great pick for fantasy fans.