Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

February 25, 2015 3.5 stars, Book Review 21 ★★★½

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Audible Audio, Bloomsbury USA Childrens on January 1, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 404
Length: 12 hours, 47 minutes
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

A heroine many YA readers may very well love

In Throne of Glass, Celaena is made out to be a kick ass assassin, but having been captured has toiled away as a slave in some very nasty mines the past year before she is brought before by the Crown Prince Dorian himself with an offer she very well won’t refuse. The offer is for her freedom in exchange for entering a competition to become the King’s Champion (aka assassin). If she wins she will get her freedom after 4 years, lose or refuse and she’ll go back to slavery in the mines. Of course she accepts.

My thoughts on Celaena…

– She has a soft side, and wow, morals. How’d that happen!? Lol
– for all that she is touted and fluffed up as such a hardcore assassin, we don’t see any of that really. Especially given that she doesn’t seem quick to kill and has to keep her identity secret. And she’s out of shape from her year in slavery and the Captain of the Guard seems to be able to best her and he’s her teacher/mentor now. Wouldn’t she be able to wipe the floor with him?
– She loves books, reading and dogs…oh wait and getting all gussied up in pretty dresses. So the ultimate tomboy mixed with the self sufficient, geeky yet beautiful perfect girl. I guess it could happen, I think I know a few girls like this. 🙂 Still she almost seems like she was written for female readers.

There can be only one!

Wait wait, I was just kidding! Queue the love triangle lol. Yes that’s right it’s here, and luckily I’ve come to expect it as a standard trope in young adult fiction that I’m almost not bothered by it here, alright maybe I minded a little. I hate that it was here only because it is so commonly used that I feel like anytime triangles come into the picture it makes the story so much more predictable. But I guess if there were only one love interest that would still be predictable. Anyhow, kudos to the author because I wasn’t hating this particular love triangle.

There is the swoony die hard handsome playboy

Crown Prince Dorian – What teenage girl isn’t going to fall for the son of the King that enslaved her country and sent her to suffer in a slave mine? Alright so he hates his own father and doesn’t want to become him, that is definitely a saving grace. Plus he flirts with her and gives her books. The books might have won me over as well, just saying.

The stalwart uptight, emotionally unavailable mentor

Captain of the Guards, Chaol, acts as Celaena’s mentor and somewhat guardian (since she is still essentially a captive while at the palace competing in the competition.) You know the kind of guy, he’s tough, doesn’t show he cares but in the ways that you notice but could just as easily be misconstrued as him simply doing his job, is always proper and completely emotionally unavailable. Yeah, just the type to secretly moon over right? Because don’t you know he’s secretly mooning over you too. Yeah you can’t help it Celaena.

So the triangle didn’t bother me but I did feel it was a little predictable how she swings heavily one way towards one of them then at the end conveniently ends things all that it leaves things open for her to now try things out with the other. At least that is how I predict things happening and in eager to see if I’m right because right now I don’t know who I would root for and usually I would know by now. So that alone convinces me that it’s a triangle that is well dive for once.

The mystery, the magic, the murders

Much of the time in Throne of Glass is split between various plot threads. Celaena’s training during the competition, the weekly tests for the competition, the romance threads being built between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian, the mysterious and gruesome murders that are happening to the sponsored champions that are competing against one another, and finally a mysterious dead fae queen that Celaena meets who wants her to find and destroy an evil in the castle. With all of that going on I still felt the main focus was on the romantic plotline. All things considered tho I did enjoy the book and plan to continue as I hear from many other readers that the series gets stronger and better as it progresses.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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21 Responses to “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas”

  1. Melliane

    Ah I have book 1 and 2 at home for a while but I’ma little ashamed to tell that I haven’t read them yet. Soon! One day! I’ll do it. I’m curious and anxious to see if I’ll love it as everyone else or not.

  2. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    I haven’t read this book but I heard of other reviewers who had the same issue. Nevertheless it sounds enjoyable for he most part, and apparently the second book is better. Great review! 🙂

  3. Alexa

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Throne of Glass and even though I haven’t read it yet, I feel like I might agree with you when I do get the chance to read it. I love stories like this, but the common trope of the love triangle in the novels now a days can get really boring and, like you said, predictable. I guess I’ll have to see for myself.
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  4. Kirsty-Marie

    It took me a while to warm up to this one (I do prefer Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire), found some things a little silly in the beginning but by the end ended up loving it (and I didn’t hate the love triangle either, though that didn’t amount to much- I am totally team Chaolaena *cough*)
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  5. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Ah I’m so glad you plan to continue with the series because it indeed does get much better! I can understand some of your views on this book, though I ultimately really enjoyed it. I remember being surprised with how many plot threads were running through this too, it’s a really jam-packed story. I hope you’ll come to really love the series! 🙂
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  6. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    YESSS I am so happy you finally read this Tabs! I think Celaena is the perfect heroine that doesn’t need to be all hard cold badass but still has a girly side to her. The love triangle in this series is seriously done so well, and with each book it gets better! You’ll see her kick ass in Crown of Midnight and don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll work out the guy you prefer by then 😉
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  7. Brigid

    I think there’s a good possibility that all the hype killed this book for me. Probably why I didn’t like it. But, I am actually reading Assassin’s blade right now which I have been told to read first because you understand the MC a lot more. I am going into this series trying not to think about the hype and the fact that I’ve already first book.
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  8. Dragana

    My impression about Throne of Glass was the same as yours when I read it. It’s a fun ya fantasy novel that seemed like maybe too perfectly tailored for girl readers. I liked the second book more because it really developed characters (some in unexpected ways).
    I didn’t read the third one, but as you said I heard it’s even better (more world building, less ya cliches).
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  9. Leslie

    The second one is much better than the first one, I thought, though I was pretty fond of Choal from the beginning. I haven’t gotten around to the third one, but I have it on reserve at the library whenever my turn comes around. I look forward to seeing if you like the series more as you continue.