Throne of Glass

Zoe N. | January 21, 2014 | Review

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

by Sarah J. Maas

Series: "Throne of Glass" #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: August 7th, 2012
by Bloomsbury

three-half-stars

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Summary:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim?

Review:

This is one of the most hyped-about fantasies in the young adult genre, and, in a sense, it’s not hard to see why. Sarah J. Maas has created a story that is action-packed and appealing. And, despite the flaws, I found myself engrossed in Celaena’s story.

Celaena is an assassin who was betrayed and sentenced to hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier. But one day the Prince and Captain of the Guard come to her with a proposition: come to the palace and fight in a competition against other assassins from across the empire, and if she wins, she’ll be set free. With no choice but to accept the offer, Celaena is sent to the palace. But when contestant after contestant are mysteriously found dead, Celaena realizes that she must find the killer before she herself becomes a victim.

One of the flaws in the book is simply the mystery itself. Who is killing these contestants? Unfortunately, it’s not exactly hard to figure out. Maas’ “red herrings” are not very well placed and are easy to see past, and the entire story the culprit basically finds himself wearing a sign that says, in big bold letters: “I DID IT!”

I’m always hesitant to read fantasy in the first place because I always have trouble visualizing the worlds. I’m never quite sure how to picture them – as alternate realities? Dream-like worlds? Something else altogether? – and I’m usually left trying to focus on that the entire course of the story. Not surprisingly, that is no different than how I felt about Maas’ world. I simply couldn’t see the world in my head, despite the description provided.

Celaena is a protagonist that was a bit of a hit-or-miss with me. She is independent and is capable of taking care of herself, but she has an arrogance that didn’t suit well with me. I can’t count how many times she denotes herself as “the best assassin in the land,” yet, throughout the story, she never assassinates anyone. Rather, she focuses on whether she looks good or not.

The love triangle is one of the book’s other hit-or-miss aspects. The chemistry between Celaena and Dorian / Chaol, the two romantic interests, never felt truly genuine. I never felt the true spark on any of their parts, and I didn’t feel Celaena’s attraction to either guy. Unfortunately, the love triangle is one of the main points of the book, something I felt indifferent about.

Despite the flaws, Throne of Glass truly is action-packed from page one onwards. I can definitely see the appeal, and am interested, if a little wary, on reading the sequel.

three-half-stars

10 comments

  1. Best news? All your issues will dissolve after reading Crown of Midnight! I promise *pinky promise* (psssth, even the word building *gasp!*)

    The characters made the first book for me, and even they are going to get soooo much better in Crown of Midnight! You read my raving review, so you know I mean it haha.

    No for real, you need to read the sequel, like, right now! Love your review, as always! You’re the best (and grab that sequel and read it! You won’t be disappointed!)

    1. YEAH! I’m so glad to hear that! You’re getting me SO excited! I just requested the sequel from the library, so I’ll definitely let you know what I think when I’m finished! I have a feeling I’ll really enjoy it though…we always seem to have really similar opinions on books, so I completely trust you!

      Ah…thanks Iris! You’re awesome! icon-heart

  2. Wow, I only see people raving about this! But you know how I am with love triangles (I’m like the super uber Grinch about love triangles it seems -_-). This is on my to-read, buuut, it’s just not pressing. I’m kind of tempted to find it now and see what I think. 😉 I do like plots were people run around killing each other though. Especially if they’re in love. It’s so romantic.

    1. I know right! I haven’t seen a single bad review! (That’s an exaggeration…but you know what I mean!) Yeah…I definitely know how you feel. 😐 This love triangle is probably better than the majority of YA “love triangles”, but it’s still a love triangle…if you know what I mean…

      LOL…very romantic! 😉

  3. WOW 3.4!!! I haven’t seen anyone rate this below a 5! I’ve recently read this and thought it was the most brilliant fantasy book I’ve read but never realised there wasn’t any world building until I read your review – you’re totally right! Oh I just love this book so much and the characters. Lovely review Zoe!

    1. LOL…well, I am somewhat a black sheep, eh? 😉 I’m so glad you enjoyed it though Jeann! I definitely see why so many people enjoy it – it is definitely an intense page-turner!

      As for the world-building, yeah, at first I didn’t really realize that either, but when I actually stopped and thought about it – really thought about it – I realized there wasn’t really any world-building. “It’s a fantasy book…it doesn’t need world-building” doesn’t do it for me.

      I loved the characters too! <3 Definitely going to have to get onto reading Book 2 pronto - I just received an email from my library saying it's ready for me!

  4. Your explanation of the characters were right on target. I felt like I knew them without even reading the book. As for world-building, yeah, it definitely sounds like that could be bothersome. A book that is of great interest to me so I will need to find time to enjoy it in the future.

  5. Okay so I have to dis agree I think this book deserves 5 stars, obviously you haven’t read the 2nd book. Yes you don’t know much background but is that really a must have? I loved Throne Of Glass and Crown of Midnight.

    1. So glad you liked them both Tyme. 🙂 Of course, people have different opinions on things, so that’s why I can’t honestly say it was 5 stars. And I do feel that background is necessary. If I can’t picture where the story is set, how am I supposed to enjoy it?

      And FYI – I have read the second and third books. 😉

      Thank you for your input.

  6. Lol. I think it’s funny how when a person rates and reviews a first book, people comment that their judgment is “wrong” or “too harsh” when they haven’t read the second book. I think they forget this is a review for ONLY the first book. Not the whole series.

    Anyways, great review! There is hardly any background for the first book and is an ill representation of a high fantasy. I heard the rest of the series is better and shifts from a romance to more of a high fantasy, but I genuinely don’t care to find out anymore because this series has gotten so hyped up that I doubt it would be worth liking.

    For example, Cinder. I fell for the hype and went out to buy the first three books. Imagine my disappointment when I didn’t like Cinder. I plan to finish the Lunar Chronicles some day, but for now, I’m staying away.

    Another example, The Girl of Fire and Throne series. It’s okay. This series is probably not as hyped up as the first two series, but it’s quite popular to and I can’t lie that it’s impressive. It’s okay. Just okay.

    Once again, great review and I’m looking forward to your newest reviews.

    New follower!

    Cee @ The Mistress Case

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