Friday, June 7, 2013

REVIEW: THRONE OF GLASS (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass, #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Purchased
My star rating: 4/5


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.


I had no idea what I was letting myself in for with this book, but oh my goodness, I could never have guessed I would enjoy it as much as I have! Whatever I was expecting, it wasn’t this. I’ll admit it took me about seventy or so pages to get used to Celaena’s character and for the story to grip me, but once I got into it, there was no turning back or putting it down until I was done. I was hooked until the end. From page hundred onwards, I tore through this book and begged for it not to end.

At first, I didn’t care much for Celaena’s character. She was too rude and juvenile for my liking. After a couple of chapters and further into the story, I got to know and understand Celaena better and realized that what I mistook for rudeness and immaturity, is actually Celaena being defiant; and taking her past into account, even bold. How else would an assassin behave after spending two years in a death camp? Three things I really loved about Celaena are how her character grew throughout the story, her sense of humor, and the fact that she literally kicks butt without batting an eyelash. No weepy drama queen to be found in this stunning novel. Another admirable trait about Celaena’s character is when she gets the living daylights beaten out of her, she’s more concerned about the feelings of the people she cares about, than her own injuries. In short, she’s an assassin with a heart. Enough said.

I’m glad I didn’t know in advance that there would be a love-triangle in this book, or I might not have read it. But, I’ll be honest, this love-triangle fitted perfectly into the plot and isn’t an irritatingly angsty sort of love-triangle. It actually adds a lot to the story and makes it way more interesting. You see, unlike armloads of books I’ve read where the love-triangle fuels the plot; this is a story where the two male protagonists don’t fall in love with the heroine right away. It develops gradually over time and by the end you’re still not hundred percent sure whether one of the two is really in love with Celaena, even though there are a lot of indications that he might be. Or maybe he only has a soft spot for her? I love books that don’t force the reader to instantly fall in love with one of its main characters! And because this is the first book in the series, I’m curious to know who Celaena will choose: charming, generous Prince Dorian, or the strong but aloof Captain of the King’s Guard, Chaol.

In terms of world building, there isn’t much to be seen outside of the glass castle. A detailed world map of Erilea is presented to the reader at the start of the story, but the reader is only told about certain parts of Erilea by means of its history, Celaena’s past and a few rumors of the king of Adarlan’s whereabouts. The inside of the castle, where most of the story takes place, is a vast world on its own and this backdrop is vividly described in colorful detail to make the reader feel right at home. The most exciting parts which had shivers running down my spine were the times Celaena ventured into the forgotten passageways and secret rooms beneath the castle; as well as the epic, but terrifying confrontation with the monstrous ridderak – a nightmarish beast. Endless twists abound in this fantastical story of ancient legends, forbidden magic, dark powers and unimaginable horrors.

Throne of Glass was an awesome surprise and worth every hour it took me to finish this book. Maas is no Tolkien or George R.R. Martin, but she holds her own with an exceptionally imaginative endeavor into the fantasy genre and her precise writing and to-the-point dialogue makes this a memorable read suitable for readers aged thirteen and up.



Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas has 2 730 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.


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