After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. - (Baker & Taylor)
Appearing before the Crown Prince after a year of hard labor in the salt mines, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is offered her freedom in exchange for representing the throne during a competition to find a new royal assassin, a challenge that is marked by grueling training and the murders of fellow contestants. - (Baker & Taylor)
After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. - (Baker & Taylor)
The first book in New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas's sweeping fantasy saga—now available in hardcover with a new look to match the series! - (McMillan Palgrave)
The first book in New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas's sweeping fantasy saga - now available in hardcover with a new look to match the series!
When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the king's champion and be released from prison.
Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing she never thought she'd have again: a friend. But something evil dwells in the castle-and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.
- (McMillan Palgrave
Librarians looking for a Hunger Games read-alike for their Katniss fans may find their best option in this first novel that began years ago as an online serial called Queen of Glass. Celaena Sardothien is a noted assassin competing to the death against soldiers, assassins, and others to earn the role as the king's champion—and eventually her long-denied freedom. Unlike most strong female protagonists, Celaena relishes the exquisite trappings of her new environment: the fine fabrics, the intricate embroideries, and the jewel adornments. Her taste for finery, though, never impedes her success in the tests or her determination to track down the meaning of the wyrd marks and the evil force that is killing competitors ahead of schedule. Of course, there is a love triangle, but Prince Dorian and the Captain of the Guard (begrudgingly assigned to keep Celaena safe) make for interesting foils to a female assassin, one who values the lure of freedom more than male companionship. Her freedom will likely have to wait; duty calls in the next book. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A six-figure promotional push and the obvious Hunger Games parallels ensure that this title will meet with widespread demand from both teens and adults. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
In order to gain her freedom, skilled assassin Celaena Sardothien enters a competition to become the King's Champion. Filled with secrets, murder, magic, court intrigue, and forbidden romance, this engrossing (if purple-prosed) fantasy introduces an audacious yet feminine heroine looking for a second chance at life. Detailed world-building and unanswered questions create opportunities for future exciting tales from the land of Erilea.
A teenage assassin, a rebel princess, menacing gargoyles, supernatural portals and a glass castle prove to be as thrilling as they sound. Being the most feared assassin in Adarlan is a notoriety 17-year-old Celaena considers an honor, even though it has landed her in a slave-labor prison no one has ever survived. A year into her sentence, the Crown Prince offers to sponsor Celaena in a competition with 23 other criminals and murderers that, should she win, will result in her freedom. The only catch? She'll become the king's personal assassin for four years, the same dark-hearted king who sentenced her to imprisonment. Woven in the vein of a Tolkien fantasy, Celaena's world is one where magic is outlawed and power is snatched through greed and genocide. The third-person narrative allows frequent insight into multiple characters (heroes and villains alike) but never fully shifts its focus from the confident yet conflicted Celaena. And though violent combat and whispers of the occult surround her, Celaena is still just a teenager trying to forge her way, giving the story timelessness. She might be in the throes of a bloodthirsty competition, but that doesn't mean she's not in turmoil over which tall, dark and handsomely titled man of the royal court should be her boyfriend--and which fancy gown she should wear to a costume party. This commingling of comedy, brutality and fantasy evokes a rich alternate universe with a spitfire young woman as its brightest star. (Fantasy. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Readers seeking the political intrigue of Kristen Cashore's Graceling and its sequels or the deadly competition at the heart of The Hunger Games will find both in Maas's strong debut novel. Celaena Sardothien is considered the best assassin in Adarlan, and she has been condemned to the salt mines for her work. As the story opens, she is plucked from slow execution by the calculating crown prince, Dorian, to be his candidate for champion, competing against "hieves and assassins and warriors" to become an enforcer for the king. The stakes are freedom or death: win or return to the mines. Youthful captain Chaol is charged with preventing Celaena's escape, and though she fantasizes about killing him on occasion, he becomes a far different target of her attention. This is not cuddly romance, but neither is it grim. Celaena is trained to murder, yet she hasn't lost her taste for pretty dresses or good books, and a gleam of optimism tinges her outlook. Maas tends toward overdescription, but the verve and freshness of the narration make for a thrilling read. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tamar Rydzinski, Laura Dail Literary Agency. (Aug.)
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School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 9 Up—Celaena Sardothien may be young in years, but she has seen more than most men twice her age. She was raised to be an assassin and until her capture and imprisonment in the salt mines of Endovier, she was known as the Assassin of Adarlan and feared the world over. No one lasts long in the mines, and when she is offered the possibility of release in exchange for a mandatory, four-year conscription as a hired assassin to the king who conquered and enslaved her people, she has no choice but to comply and play a brutal game to win back the chance at freedom. In order to succeed she needs to outfight, outplay, and outlast 23 men in a competition that many would not survive. There are other forces at work as well: an ancient and outlawed magic that she doesn't understand; fellow competitors turning up murdered; and the three very different men who are attracted to her and frightened by her. Maas has created a strong and sympathetic character in Celaena, who is able to best men in a fight but is laid low by the return of her monthly cycle. The world-building is complex, as is the political intrigue. Fans of Tamora Pierce will find a lot to love here and will wait eagerly for the next installment.—Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA
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