Series: Throne of Glass,
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire
Published by Bloomsbury on 07 August 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
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Also by this author: The Assassin's Blade, Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Heir of Fire
Place(s) Traveled To: Endovier, Adarlan // Rhifthold, Adarlan (World: Erilea)
First Line(s): After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is one of those books that came highly recommended to me by multiple people and one that had lots of promise. I have always loved a good fantasy read, especially when you add in assassins, and so I was looking forward to this one. However, this is one that never quite lived up to its promise and I ended up being horribly disappointed in it. Celaena Sardothien is supposed to be the worlds greatest assassin and yet we never see that side of her. She’s supposedly in this competition that will release her from slavery and make her the King’s Champion and yet despite 400 pages of text we see little of this competition. Even though, according to the synopsis, its supposed to be the main focus of the book. Instead, we get a character more focused on dresses or pouting because she has to miss a party. Then as the book progresses she shifts her focus a little and she gets all swoony in lust with the two male leads, Prince Dorian and Chaol Westfall who is Captain of the Guard.
*insert huge mega sigh here*
I was expecting more of a mystery as Celaena tried to figure out what was causing the deaths of her fellow contestants but she never really investigated and just sort of stumbled onto clues. Clues that were blatenly obvious and even though the big reveal didn’t happen until the end of the story I had this one figure out very early on. Which just added a whole other level of frustration to the story as things were so obvious and yet all the characters just sort of fumbled about turning a blind eye to things that were right in front of them. There there was one scene in the end where Celaena barely glances at a body and makes all these observations and the super smart Captain of the Guard is all how did I miss these obvious things on all those other bodies, wow Celaena for a cold-hearted assassin you sure are brilliant. Not to mention how he then asked her if looking at a dead boy was too much for her? Um…isn’t she the biggest, baddest assassin Erilea has ever seen? Dead bodies should be nothing new to her.
Another aspect about Throne of Glass that annoyed me was is shift in POV from Celaena to Dorian to Chaol. Now, if you know me, then you know I am usually a fan of multiple POV stores…when its done right. But in the case of Throne of Glass it came across as lazy story telling as Maas needed to move the story along but wasn’t entirely sure how so she just jumped into another characters head to do so. And don’t even get me started on the Lady Kaltain POV. Seriously that is a rant for another day. This may have been around the time I started to hit myself in the head with the book. Literally. In all honesty I have no idea how I managed to finish this one until the end. I really did want to like it but it was just a poor imiatation of a fantasy novel and it read more like a high school contemporary set in a fictional world.
Celaena is supposed to be this strong female lead but she never comes across as such. Not that she’s weak or anything its more that she’s just there and things happen around her. Then on occassion she’ll seize an opportunity and everyone will praise her and tell her how wonderful she is or how beautiful she is. We’re told over and over that she’s an amazing person and a deadly assassin but nothing in the text ever supports these claims. I much prefer my books to show me how a character is and leave the telling for other details that aren’t as readily explained. Celaena is also so oblivous to things around her and she keeps saying she’s a light sleeper or that she placed something in front of her door but people are constantly sneaking up on her while she sleeps. She’s so trusting that she eats everything that she finds and doens’t question where it came from or if it might be poisoned. Everything she does seems to be in direct opposition to how a fearless, trained assassin would act and I am abosultely amazed that she hasn’t been killed long ago.
In the end, Throne of Glass just wasn’t for me and while I initially rated it as a low 3 stars after writing this review I have to drop it down to 2. The more I think about this book the more it frustrates me. I think that Throne of Glass will appeal to the non-fantasy reader as its not really a fantasy story but those that love the genre as much as I do may be disappointed.
People who liked this one more that I did:
AndiABCs: “What I truly liked about the book most were the characters. Celaena was awesome. She had an edge to her but she was still a teenager with past demons. She was strong and did what she had to but she still felt things deeply no matter what people thought about her based on the fact that she was an assassin.”
Overstuffed Bookcase: “I loved the whole plot of this story, I loved all the characters, and here’s something I bet most people don’t say often with books these days–I loved the love triangle.”
Book.Blog.Bake: “I was worried for the safety of the characters I grew to love in a very short amount of time, especially since this book is part murder mystery. I think this really added a needed additional element to Throne of Glass.”