If only she had actually been the bamf she has claimed to be for the entire book.
The Throne of Glass is marketed as High fantasy but I'm struggling to understand why. Celaena Sardothien is an assassin, she's ruthless and cold-blooded. Or at least she says so. She's kept prisoner in Endovier, a terrible prison-like salt mine in which the inmates get whipped and beaten and raped. One day she's offered a deal, she'll be competing in a tournament representing the Crown Prince of Adarlan, in which she'll be fighting the most dangerous criminals of the land, in order to win and become the King's personal assassin. At the end of her contract she'll be free and her name cleaned up. She accepts the deal although she harbours a deep hatred toward Adarlan's King.
"We all bear scars... Mine just happen to be more visible than most."
Once taken to the Castle she's given a room, personal guards and a servant. She's asked not to use her real name because of the attention it could draw (because Celaena Sardothien's ruthlessness is very famous and everybody fear her!) so, when she's not fighting for her own survival, she dresses in silk and acts like a court lady. During the first days her most pressing concerns refer to her beauty long gone, she wonders whether or not men could still find her attractive despite the depravations her body has suffered in Endovier. Don't get me wrong, she's still flesh and blood and I get why she would be worried about that but there has been a moment in which I felt like there were far more descriptions of dresses and balls than fightings and plottings. (I say this also because the tournament is divided into trials and many times Celaena tells us she's just passed one that we never even saw happening!) As I already said Celaena never fails to tell us how she'd slit the throat of anyone with unbelievable ease and, you know, you kinda expect for someone who's had her past and upbringing to be dark and kinda pained, right? No. Her depth was only shown to us through sporadic nightmares. Mostly she acts like a happy puppy. She sleeps and snores and doesn't realize people are getting in and out of her room, she spends most of her time reading which is not shameful but damnit Celaena, how can you chill so much when there's so much shit going down everywhere you turn? She even eats unguarded food left on her bed when there's a mad serial killer roaming the castle! She puts herself in the middle of a love triangle and doesn't even care. She nourishes both men's fantasies without any kind of second thought (me is not slut shaming Celaena Sardothien, me is just saying that she's a very selfish human being). We see her actually fighting someone, how many times? One? Two?
The world building was not the best one I've ever read about. Printing a map at the beginning of your book doesn't mean you have automatically written a Fantasy. The Magical element was confusing, the King's deeds half-explained. Even the side characters were just there, witnessing Celaena's stunningness because she's special and unlike any other girl evah!
"You could be great. You could rattle the stars. You could do anything if only you dared."
I'll probably keep reading the series though. I'm still waiting for Celaena to go and finally kick some ass. I only hope that she'll stop playing with both men in her life as soon as she can. And, oh lord, let the female friendship be still a thing in the next books! Let's just say that I want to trust the hype for this one. I've seen this series everywhere and I want to give it another chance.
Finally, kudos to Maas for writing a female character that has her period. Despite it having been described like there was a dreadful creature ripping out of Celaena's belly tearing her in half, it was refreshing to get to see your heroine going through the same crap as you do.