Feb 22, 2014

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Blooms-bury USA Children's
Publishing Date: August 7, 2012
Pages/Format: 404, Hardcover

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 exhilirating. 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? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Neeeeext!

I wouldn't really say fantasy is my thing, but I was excited to read Throne of Glass. I'd heard such raving good things about it (especially its sequel, Crown of Midnight), and I really wanted to check it out for myself. And I'm glad I read it, because while I didn't love it, I did like it, and I reaaalllyyy want to get my hands on Crown of Midnight.

(Note: This review is a bit of a cheat. You see, I read Throne of Glass a few months ago, and I've already read Crown of Midnight. The latter made me like Throne of Glass even more, and time also made me like it more, so, you know, there's that. And also, my mind wants to stray to the sequel, so...)

Besides the fact that it lacked something to make me love it, I recall only have two main issues with Throne of Glass. One was the names and elements of the story. With the setting--both location and time--there are fancy names and magical this and that, I didn't always understand what was going on, or what this and that was, and so on. But my number one issue that drove me slightly crazy was the use of exclamation points. My gosh! I get it when Celaena is talking every once in a while, but it was constant, and it was in her internal dialogue ALL THE TIME! A lot of times, the story read like this! And this! And it drove me crazy! Like, please, cut back on the exclamation points! It's too much! (And it made Celaena somewhat annoying!)

Throne of Glass is, for the most part, told from the POV of Celaena Sardothien, an infamous assassin who's taken from a prison-like salt mine to compete to be the king's champion. She's taken to the castle (part of which is made out of glass) to compete against men of all shapes, sizes, and talents, in hopes of winning her freedom. But of course, it's not that simple. Magic--which is forbidden and supposedly nonexistent--seems to be occurring, and it's not always the kind your fairy godmother gives you, either. So on top of trying to win the king's competition, Celaena's trying to stay alive. However, she's not alone.

When the book isn't told from Celaena's POV, we get some tidbits from Prince Dorian, captain of the guard Chaol Westfall, and one or two passages from some minor characters. This next bit may be slightly spoilery, but here's the deal: I went into this thinking, from what I'd seen and heard, that the ship was Celaena and Chaol. So I immediately went to to Chaol...when Celaena went to Dorian. So while I didn't dislike Dorian--he is a good friend, and he has the potential to do better than his crappy father--a part of me disliked him because No, Dorian, you do not belong with Celaena. Chaol does. And Chaol, by the way, is super swoony. Like, I love him. And he ever dies in this series, SO HELP ME. And there's this scene near the end of the book, and he says something to help Celaena, and my gosh, if you don't swoon for him there then IDK. Because Chaol is epic and amazing and I ship him and Celaena SO HARD.

What else can I say about Throne of Glass? While I didn't love, there's something about it that made me want to keep reading and see what would happen. I had some issues with the writing (!), but it was still readable. And I applaud Sarah J. Maas for building up to a big scene and making it last more than a few pages. (Yay, a fight scene that doesn't happen quick as the snap of fingers!) I also applaud her for packing so much into this story and doing it pretty well: swoons, romance, mystery, thrills, humor, snark, action, etc. The ending was also successful, for it ended well, but it also made me yearn for the next book. Speaking of which, if you were sort of eh (but a good eh, if that makes sense, because that's sort of how I was. Heck, even a bad eh!) about Throne of Glass and are debating whether or not to read Crown of Midnight, DO NOT DEBATE. For, as I mentioned earlier, I have read Crown of Midnight, and it made me like Throne of Glass more, and even then, Crown of Midnight was even better and just MY GOSH, THE FEELS. So read it, READ IT NOW. But Chaol is mine, so...

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? Yesss.
Would I purchase it? I already have it, thank gosh!
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of fantasy, kickass heroines, and a book that makes you yearn for the sequel.


  1. Oh, my co-blogger Kim will probably challenge you to a duel for CHAOL! I haven't gotten around to reading TOG yet, but her recent review for COM made me reaaaaallly regret beating around the bush for so long. It sounds like an amazing series, and I I'm glad book two made you like book one even more. Rare when that happens. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  2. I cannot stand this book. I do like fantasy like The Percy Jackson series, but this...this disgusts me. I can't even read into it. My book club chose this book. Majority won and I hated it. Very bad. Too many names like Ardalan ( I think), Nehemia, Caelana Sardothian and her real name is like Elena and Dorian.... its too chaotic. Not my style

  3. Can Throne of Glass be read as one or do I have to read the entire series?

    1. I guess you technically COULD just read THRONE OF GLASS and not the others--I don't recall if it ended on a big cliffhanger or not--but the story continues with each book and gets so good, so I'd recommend reading the series as a whole.

    2. Okay so I've just finished reading Throne of Glass, and just like you, I was kinda 'eh'. I was doubting whether I should continue the series but since you said it gets better, I think I'm gonna go ahead and buy Crown of Midnight!


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