Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass is the first book of its series, and is a fantasy retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Well, at least, that was the premise a long time ago, when the draft was first placed in FictionPress as Queen of Glass. Now, after years of polishing and rewriting, Sarah J. Maas has turned the Cinderella tale into something much, much more.
The story follows Celeana Sardothien, the world's most notorious assassin. Enslaved and imprisoned within the prison mines of Endovier, Celeana is offered an option to gain her freedom: become the King's Champion by defeating a slew of cutthroats, thieves, spies, thugs, and assassins in a crown-sponsored competition. Easy for a master assassin, right? Well, here's the catch: there's evil lurking in Rifthold, a brutal monster killing each competitor in gruesome style, and nobody knows how to stop it. Yet Celeana refuses to be defeated by her competitors, and she stumbles upon secrets that could possibly show her how to stop the evil in the castle of glass.
Admittedly, I'm not exactly sure where the story is Cinderella-ish in nature. Besides the handsome prince, the ball scene, and the glass palace (as opposed to slippers), there wasn't really much similarity. That said, I do understand that the story itself had gone through many changes, and since I had never actually read the FictionPress version, I read this knowing that it could very well stand as a fantasy story with fairy tale elements. Certainly, mention of the Fae in a world where magic no longer exists intrigued me enough to want to continue reading. I also found myself entranced with the world, and wished I'd been in Terrasen when the betrayals began.
Then, of course, there was the love triangle found in the YA genre. I'm pretty sure when I read through the book jacket summary, I'd snorted at the fact that I'd have to read through another YA triangle. However, after getting halfway into the book, I started cursing Ms. Maas for the fact that she actually wrote two utterly likable men. This proved rather awkward, considering I can usually choose between one guy or the other as far as shipping goes. It took me the entire book to decide that I liked Chaol much better as a male romantic interest. But, of course, since the book is only the first of the series, there's plenty more cliffhanging and flitting between men, monsters, and...well, kings.
Really loved the book, but since the second book is yet to come out, I might have to find my friend who recommended Throne of Glass so I can kill her for getting me addicted to another fantasy.