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Throne of Glass Review

Throne of GlassTitle:  Throne of Glass

Author:  Sarah J. Maas

Release Date:  August 7, 2012

Number of Pages:  433

Description:  “Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?”

-From Book Depository (Click here to purchase from my affiliate link!)

I have to admit:  I went into Throne of Glass with low expectations.  Sarah J. Maas is a divisive writer and people either seem to love her unconditionally or hate everything she has ever written with no real middle ground.  Since I recently read Cassandra Clare, an author with a similar reputation, for the first time and wasn’t particularly fond of her work, I didn’t anticipate enjoying Maas, either.  Still, I decided to give this book a try anyway, primarily because the author is on my list of shame because I have never previously read anything from her.  Thankfully, I really enjoyed Throne of Glass, even with some of its flaws, and I’m glad I gave it a chance!

Before I gush about the many reasons that I love Throne of Glass, let’s talk about its biggest flaw:  the protagonist.  Celaena Sardothien is, according to the book’s description, one of the greatest assassins in the world.  She is skilled, cunning, and brave, all of which are traits we rarely actually see her exhibit on the page.  Readers are told repeatedly about how awesome Celaena is, but nothing she actually does showcases any of this.  Instead, readers are treated to someone who is icy, cold, and frequently makes bad and irrational decisions.  Over the course of the book’s plot, I did begin to get a little more background into why she acts the way that she does, but her early characterization could have been handled better.  Thankfully, as this is a long series, I have hope that Celaena, as well as everyone else in this book, will grow substantially as the plot progresses.

Now, it’s time to talk about how much I love everything else about Throne of Glass.  The world-building is strong, particularly in regards to the amount of political intrigue at work.  I love political fantasies that discuss tense alliances and keeping the peace between different nations, so finding that this appears to be a large part of the plot here is a pleasant and fully welcome surprise.  So far, I wouldn’t say that there’s anything about this world that sets it apart significantly from any other fantasy that I have read recently, but the amount of detail here is still commendable.

While Celaena may be frustrating at times, the same cannot be said for the side characters supporting her.  In particular, Chaol and Dorian are both interesting potential love interests.  There is definitely a sense that they exist to fulfill character archetypes for a love triangle, with Chaol being the brooding warrior and Dorian being the sensitive reader, but they do such a good job at handling their roles that I don’t care, either.  Normally, I’m not a fan of love triangles, but since I could genuinely see Celaena with either one of these guys at this point in the plot, I’m not upset about its existence.  What I enjoy for one book, however, I will not enjoy for a full series, so I don’t want this love triangle to persist forever and I really hope that Celaena makes her final decision long before that.

Overall, I love Throne of Glass, even if it’s not a perfect book by any means.  In particular, I think it’s a strong start to a potential series.  With every author I read from my list of shame, I discuss whether I think I want to give them another chance, and the answer is quite obvious here, I suspect.  In fact, I’m actually in the middle of the prequel novellas as I write this and loving them just as much as this book!  I’m not sure if I will finish the series or just read it until I lose interest, but I’m having a lot of fun and I’m glad that I finally gave Sarah J. Maas a try!

Final Score:  4/5

Have you read Throne of Glass?  Let me know in the comments below!

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14 replies »

    • I put it off for so long, but I’m really glad I finally gave it a try. I’d honestly recommend possibly starting with the novella collection first, though, because it’s honestly making me like Celaena a whole lot more than Throne of Glass does. Maas even recommends that on her website, which I didn’t know until after I read the first book so….oops?

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  1. God this is one of my all time favorite series I’m glad to see you enjoy! There’s definitely SO much character growth for all the characters and many many more come in in the later books. Hope you like the rest of the series!! (God now I want to reread)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well based upon the first three novellas of Assassin’s Blade, I’m liking Celaena a whole lot more already. It’s good I’m reading these before going into Crown of Midnight because I think it helps me understand Celaena better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I totally agree! I usually tell people to either read Assassins Blade before ToG (ToG & TAB kinda spoil each other) or at least before books 4-7. So glad you got to it before CoM!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read it and have to admit that I also had very low expectations because there are so many mixed reviews about this series. BUT I loved it! Not as much as her A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy but I did enjoy it very much. I’m not far in the series yet. I still have to read the novellas before continuing with book 3 so maybe the rest of the books will surprise me and I may love this series more than ACOTAR.
    I’m glad that you enjoyed Throne of Glass 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

      • ACOTAR is a great series but book 2 is the best. However, you need some time to get into book 1 so you should maybe lower the expectations a bit because otherwise you will be disappointed but book 2 is pretty great and for some book 3 is even better but the second one is definitely my favourite one.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the novellas after Throne of Glass and that added to the character of Celaena. Crown of Midnight is near the top of my TBR pile – but distracted by other genres like mystery and historical.

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    • Yeah, this is why I won’t go back to reread Vampire Academy. As a tween, I thought it was the best book series ever written (except Harry Potter) and I know I wouldn’t feel the same today. Sometimes, it’s better off just letting my past favorites remain in the past and not ruin them with my adult brain.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic Review!
    This series is one of my favourite series of all time and I am so glad you enjoyed it. I totally agree with Celaena’s flaw in this book but believe me, it gets so much better and complex! Also, one of the best things about Maas’s books is the way she writes the relationship between characters. I feel she keeps it real and relatable without getting overly dramatic like some other authors (ahem! Cassandra Clare).

    Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this and I can’t wait to keep reading. The hold list at the library is going to slow my progress with the series a little, but I’m still going to get there eventually!

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