We Found Love in a Throneless Place
For an embarrassing number of years, I found it difficult to read for fun. As an English major, I was assigned to read countless books, short stories, and poems per semester, often taking multiple literature classes at a time (not to mention my six year employment at a popular chain of book stores), and letting that lifestyle bleed into my already limited free time seemed a bit...much.
It's a common affliction among my peers. In high school, we had no problem packing away a 400-plus-page book every week, but somewhere along the way we lost that drive and are slowly figuring out how to love reading again.
I think what I missed the most was that "I can't put this book down" feeling----the burgeoning need to consume an entire book in one day because you can't bear to fall asleep without knowing what happens.
Post-graduation, the first book to give me that particular feeling was Throne of Glass, a young adult fantasy by Sarah J. Maas.
The series follows Celaena Sardothien, a deadly assassin who finds herself in the midst of an even deadlier plot. Throne of Glass opens with Celaena's release from the salt mines of Endovier, where she had been imprisoned a year prior. She is then brought to the kingdom capital, where she agrees to compete for the position of King's Champion and, by extension, earn her freedom.
As the competition progresses, Celaena uncovers magic, darkness, and friendship through well-rounded secondary characters such as Chaol, the captain of the guard, and Nehemia, a princess from another land. Maas also does readers a service by uncovering lore at a comfortable pace----there are no aggressive info dumps, and the continent of Erilea and its troubles are revealed in fragments, allowing the reader to understand Celaena's world without feeling confused or overwhelmed.
Initially, I was afraid that Celaena would be somewhat of a stock character----you know, the snarky, reckless rogue type (à la my first Pathfinder character)----but she quickly became one of my favorite fantasy protagonists of all time, subverting my negative expectations while fulfilling others in a new and refreshing way. Celaena's character development is some fine writing, and her arc only improves as the series continues.
As of this month, I've completed the first four books in the series, as well as The Assassin's Blade, a prequel to the events of Throne of Glass. These books alone have spurred me forward in completing my reading goal for 2019, and have lit a proverbial fire under my once-dormant love for reading.