Brittany Jarvis ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Aelin Ashryver Galathynius resides in Sarah J. Maas’ series, Throne of Glass. After serving a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, the eighteen year old assassin is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Whats makes Aelin stand out in the YA genre is the many layers to her character. She is more than just a badass with a blade. She is also smart, cunning, in love with her many dresses, and honestly just wants to sleep all day, but that’s not all her character has to offer.
First of all, it has to be highlighted that she is in fact an eighteen year old trained assassin. She’s at the top of her guild and notoriously known as “Adarlan’s Assassin.” She is trained in various forms of hand to hand combat (she’e even traveled to the end of the continent to be trained by the Silent Assassins). Her armory of weapons is endless, but her weapon of choice is twin daggers, easiest for her to conceal. However, Aelin didn’t get the title of Adarlan’s Assassin without also being mentally equipped. Her mind is as much a weapon as any dagger she may have concealed. She’s been trained in strategy and can nearly get herself in and out of any situation.
Aelin may be quick with a sword, but she is likely one of the “bougiest” characters one might ever encounter. Her wildly expensive taste for finery ranges from rare gems and hand crafted gowns, to daggers made out of precious metals. She also made sure to purchase herself an apartment with a functional bathroom for the sole purpose of taking bubble baths with her imported oils.
Lets not forget her appetite for reading. She nearly had a meltdown when told she couldn’t travel with her books, which most avid readers can relate to. Her reading interests range far and wide, but a good romance is her guilty pleasure. She once loaned an erotica novel to Prince Dorian, who was likely in no way prepared for this imminent friendship.
When Aelin is not enthralled in a book or sharpening her weapons she is most likely shoving chocolates or baked goods into her face. After a long day’s workout Aelin can be found rummaging in the kitchen, or sneaking out to buy as much chocolate as she can carry.
As for her name, it is extremely long and hard to pronounce. However, though she is only eighteen she also holds claim to sixteen other titles that are mentioned throughout the series:
Adarlan’s Assassin, The King’s Champion, The Royal Champion of Adarlan, Queen of the Underworld, Queen of Assassins, Princess of Terrasen, Queen of Terrasen, The Queen Who Was Promised, The Queen of Flame and Shadow, Heir of Brannon, Heir of Mala Fire-Bringer, Heir of Fire, Fire Breathing Bitch Queen, Aelin of Wildfire, Aelin Light-Bringer, Aelin Fire-Bringer.
Not only does this young woman hold sixteen titles, she can also outwit a Pirate Lord just with her quick tongue. Anyone should be weary before entering a verbal match with Aelin. Her viper tongue is as quick as her sword and she has ways to charm even the nastiest of opponents, or fire them up with her sassy comebacks. However, what is it that makes people truly fall in love with a character?
A character’s flaws are often the reason for this love. Sometimes they see something of themselves in these flaws or can relate to a characters actions. One of Aelin’s greatest flaws is the love and dedication she has for her friends and country. She is the martyr of her own story, and would sacrifice anything for those she loves, including her dog, Fleetfoot. Many would argue that Aelin is stubborn and listens to no one but herself. While this may be true, every choice she makes is because she cares.
There are many amazing female characters in YA, but Aelin Ashryver Galathynius deserves recognition. Her story is a long one, but definitely worth reading. If you enjoy great fantasy novels and clearly amazingly strong female characters then Throne of Glass is the series for you.