About the book
Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Edition: E-Book, 404 pages
Published: Bloomsbury Children's, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Series
My Rating: 4/5
Challenge(s): COYER, Flights of Fantasy
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Blurb: 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?
ReviewI've heard very close to only good things about the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas and was so excited to start the first book. Though I did not give it a perfect rating, I was definitely not disappointed.
The GoodI loved Celaena as a main character. She was a strong female lead and thought rationally throughout the book. There is nothing more annoying than a female lead whose head is way up in the clouds. You definitely get to see two sides to Celaena, the trained assassin versus a more feminine character connected with reading and music. Though I felt these juxtaposed a bit, and acted as quite a heavy contrast in parts of the book, it wasn't unbelievable. I'm sure plenty of people in real life have equally as contrasting identities or past-times. I thought this fan art did a great job at representing the dimensions of Celaena in one shot.
Maas's writing was easy to read and very descriptive. I especially loved being able to picture the elaborate ball dresses Celaena wore and the many rooms of the castle she resided in.
I also thought the premise of the book was unique and captivating. The competition that pitched train killers against each other was entertaining and fun to read about, though I do wish they had more of these scenes involving the other champions Celaena was up against. The mystery involving the castle and certain characters kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book. Any loose ends were tied up nicely by the finale, but still left me wanting to explore the Throne of Glass universe in the remaning sequels. I don't think it had a massive cliffhanger ending (not necessarily a good or bad thing) but rather a more open ending that gets you excited for the adventures ahead.
The Not So Good
Probably the biggest problem I had with this book was that I found it a bit too perfect (and slightly annoying) that two of the first male characters introduced to the reader were both young and attractive i.e. potential love interests. I just thought Maas could have done a little more world building before their appearance in the plot as at the start I was more curious about the setting and context than anything else. Also I think I could see that Celaena leaned towards one member of this triangle more than the other pretty obviously, but I do see opportunity for this to change in the future. I didn't find myself particularly attached to either of these relationships. I thought the male characters felt like pretty typical archetypes that I've seen before, whilst Caelena remained quite unqiue. I have yet to make up my mind to which couple I ship more!
I didn't connect to many of the other side characters either. As I said previously, I wished there had been more scenes with the other champions so I could have learnt a bit about them and their backgrounds. The antagonists were definitely very formidable and evil and though Caelena wasn't the only against them, I didn't form significant attachments to any of the other protagonists. Hopefully they'll be fleshed out more in the rest of the series. Despite this being said, it wasn't a massive issue for me as Caelena was such a fantastic lead.
I thought it would be fun to start showcasing "celebrities" (actors, singers etc.) that I can see playing the main character in an onscreen adaptation, based on appearance and/or talent. For Caelena I though Candice Accola would be perfect. Most famous for her character Caroline Forbes on the Vampire Diaries (which I watched ages ago, but not any more). She's the perfect combination of girly and fighter in my opinion and I think her appearance fits the description of Caelena. I don't know if I'll be doing this showcase in all my reviews - maybe just for the ones I can really invision!
I'm giving Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas a 4 out of 5. I would recommend this book to fans of young adult fantasies that are accompanied with a love triangle or a plot line circulating a competition pitching various fighters of different classes against each other (kind of a similar thread as the Hunger Games). This book is appropriate for a wide range of ages. There is moderate bloody violence and mild sexual content.
Not sure if you noticed but I tried to add some more images and formatting to this review. I want to make my reviews easier to read and scan for specific points. Hopefully this helped break the content up a bit! How did you like the new format? Let me know, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you have read the Throne of Glass series, did you enjoy the sequels? Be sure to keep the comments spoiler free for those who haven't read the books yet!
Disclaimer: Photos are linked to their original sources. They are not mine. I created the header for this review myself. The background image is the book cover of the novel reviewed.