Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Posted February 27th, 2014 in book review / 24 comments


Throne of Glass Series #1

by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children (Aug 2012)
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (404 pages)
Source: Purchased (or maybe won)
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½ (4.5 stars)

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.

At A Glance
Wow, such a great fantasy adventure. Loved the characters and the story, but Celaena weakened a lot as the book progressed.

The Good
So many people I know loved this book I don’t know why it took me so long to finally read it. And I am so happy I ended up loving it. I don’t read straight up fantasy/high fantasy very often so it was a nice change up. By the last page I really felt like I went on an adventure full of intrigue and action.

Anyone who knows me knows I love assassin books. I love the way assassins think, act, and strategize. Celaena was everything I wanted in an assassin in the beginning of the book. She would walk into a room and in three seconds flat she would know ten ways to escape and ten ways to incapacitate every guard in the room. That’s my kind of gal. She was also very kind, fierce, and witty. Her fighting skills were amazing as well. I never doubted that she could win the competition and become the king’s champion. I think she played the game well. I was excited to see her make new friends because after everything she went through in the past, she deserved to have people she could trust and care about. I can’t wait to learn more about her past though. We only get a glimpse in this book.

I loved the array of killers and warriors picked for the competition. Some were straight up horrible and some were surprisingly kind. Then there was Prince Dorian who also surprised me. He actually had more depth then I first thought, but he needs to stand up to his father a lot more in my opinion. He definitely has room to grow. Capitan of the Guard Chaol also surprised me. He was so mean to Celaena sometimes which was understandable since he shouldn’t trust an assassin. But I liked him more when he started to warm up to her. I think Chaol is a better fit for Celaena

The story and concept were pretty unique and kept my attention the whole time. The dialogue flowed and the characterization was great. The final battle scene was effing epic and also strange. Not what I was expecting but it worked. Very fantastical. I can’t wait to read more about Celaena’s adventure because I know there is a lot in store for her. So many questions to be answered, so many battles still to be fought.

The Bad
Celaena started out like a badass assassin, but by the end of the book she felt soft to me. Sure, she was still a great fighter but her assassin ways of thinking turned into almost constant pinning for two guys. Gag me! I like the independent, tough Celaena better than the love-struck one we get in the end.

There were many trials each warrior/killer had to pass to get closer to becoming the king’s champion. And we got to see two or three of them in their entirety and it was AMAZING. But the rest were either glossed over or just mentioned in passing. How disappointing. The dangerous trials/contests are what drew me to this book. I wanted to read more about them.

The Snuggly
Love triangle alert. It wasn’t too bad because really Celaena and Prince Dorian were the main love interest through most of the novel. Chaol kind of sprang up closer to the middle/end. I am not sure how I feel about Celaena and Dorian together yet. I like Chaol as a love interest a lot better.

Very YA, just some flirting and kissing.

Final Thoughts
Throne of Glass is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read (admittedly I haven’t read a lot of them). Even though I wish Celaena stayed a strong assassin throughout the book, I still loved her. I will for sure be continuing this series. Highly recommended.

“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”  

“How long was I asleep?” she whispered. He didn’t respond.
“How long was I asleep?” she asked again, and noticed a hint of red in his cheeks.
“You were asleep, too?”
“Until you began drooling on my shoulder.”

“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”  

“With each day he felt the barriers melting. He let them melt. Because of her genuine laugh, because he caught her one afternoon sleeping with her face in the middle of a book, because he knew that she would win.”  

book review

, , , , , , ,

24 Responses to “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas”

  1. Melanie

    I totally agree, Jennifer. Celaena felt like a softie and not as badass like we were told by the author, CoM so way better though! I hope you enjoy 😀

    Lovely review! <33

  2. Joy @ Thoughts By J

    Woop woop, so glad you really enjoyed this one! I read her first draft of the novel on fictionpress, and I think the author had to remove a lot of the kickassery in order to keep the first book from being like 600 pages. That’s why Celaena kinda comes off as weak. BUT, once you start to read Crown of Midnight, all that badass fighting will return. I would highly recommend you read The Assassin’s Blade, which are the prequels to the story. So much ass-kicking to be seen there! 😀

  3. Ashley

    Woah!! I had no idea you hadn’t read this book! I’m glad you really liked it!!! I think you might like the second book even more. In my opinion, Celaena is more of a badass in it! Great review!

  4. sherry fundin

    I loved your review and I love assassins too. She sure looks like a badass to me and I love a strong, kickass female lead character. I don’t know why some authors try to feminize them after we fall in love with their badness. ^_^ I haven’t read this series for the same reasons as you, straight up fantasy not high on my list, BUT assassins are.

  5. Jaclyn Canada

    I added this one to my to-read list a while back. It definitely sounds like a series that I would enjoy. Hopefully Celaena makes up her mind on the guy front and gets back to the business at hand. Excellent review 😀 Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  6. sshah605

    Although I do have the Beatific white covered book on my shelf beckoning to me for the past 8 months I haven’t been able to read it. Because well, actually I really have no excuse to let such a good book sit there. I am hoping to read it in the coming few weeks !!

    -Gayatri @ Drooling Over Book Covers

  7. Lily B

    why! why! why! Why must all badass characters loose sight of themselves over some guys. Why can’t they have both? why do they have soft? and why is there a love triangle!?:( shame really… i am interested in the assassins part.

Leave a Reply