Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

20/03/2015 Reviews 8

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas‘Atop the hill, Celaena stared at the crowning achievement of Adarlan. The glass castle of Rifthold.’

I had been hearing about this book for so long that I’ll admit I was a little worried when I finally began reading it. The last time I read a book that had such a huge hype around it I found it to be really disappointing (as you can gather from this extremely ranty review!), so I wondered if it would live up to everything I had heard about it.

So imagine my relief when this book turned out to be amazing!

For my fellow behind-the-times readers, Throne of Glass tells the story of eighteen-year old master assassin Celaena Sardothien, who has spent the last year of her life as a slave in the salt mines of Endovier after being betrayed, and subsequently captured. However, she is given a chance to regain her freedom by the Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard: if she represents him in a tournament held by his father and wins she will become the ‘King’s Champion’ (basically the king’s personal assassin) and be freed after four years. Accepting this deal Celaena travels to the capital city of Rifthold to compete in the tournament, but sinister events begin to unfold…

One of the few complaints I have heard about this book has been about the heroine herself: I have seen Celaena described as unlikable because of her vanity, arrogance and childishness. And whilst she certainly does possess all these negative qualities, I actually quite liked that about her! There are too many perfect heroines in YA these days, with perfect morals, who are ridiculously selfless and humble, and quite frankly it’s annoying. No one is actually that perfect, and I really can’t stand such goody-two-shoes characters! So for me, Celaena made quite a refreshing change, even if she doesn’t necessarily have some of the most endearing character traits. She is certainly one of the most interesting and animated characters I have come across in a book recently, and I loved the fact that she is so tough, yet also girly and frivolous.

I also loved the chemistry between her, Dorian and Chaol (Captain of the Royal Guard). Whilst at first I was pretty worried about the idea of a love triangle, the ‘triangular’ nature of the three characters relationship wasn’t pushed too much, and definitely wasn’t the centre of the entire story as so often happens.

I really liked both Dorian and Chaol and the juxtaposition between their characters. Whilst Dorian is a bit of a smooth talker and known to be a ladies man, he definitely has a heart and is very moral, often feeling torn between his duty as Prince and his own values. Chaol meanwhile takes his job very seriously and is kind of grumpy, but is also very loyal and comes to be very protective of Celaena (not that she really needs it!). Of the two, I think I preferred Chaol as he seemed more complex and I was intrigued to know more about him, so I’m kind of hoping to find out more in the next book!

There was also some great secondary characters, for example Nehemia. I liked with her that she seems to develop a lot throughout the book, and my idea of her kept changing until I finally knew the whole truth about her. I also liked Nox, Celaena’s fellow tournament contestant and friend, as he livened up the training scenes.

The ‘villains’ were also pretty good, with Duke Perrington being absolutely detestable and his champion Cain being a truly deadly opponent for Celaena, even if he could have been a little more developed as a character.

I also liked Kaltain Rompier (well I hated her, but in a love-to-hate-her kind of way!) because she ended up being way more than she seemed. At first she came across as a not very nice, but not particularly intelligent hanger-on at court, but it gradually became clearer that she was more of a force to be reckoned with than I had first thought. And at times I even felt slightly sorry for her, having Duke Perrington all over her all the time!

The tournament itself didn’t end up being such a huge plot point as I had imagined. I had assumed it would make up the main part of the story but it actually just ended up being the backdrop to the more sinister goings on in Rifthold. The mystery that unfolds was pretty intriguing, although it doesn’t exactly come as a huge surprise at the end when you discover who is at the heart of it.

Overall I really enjoyed Throne of Glass. I didn’t expect to, as I worried that it wouldn’t live up to the huge hype around it, but it has actually ended up being one of the best books I have read in a while. I am definitely excited to read the next book in the series, Crown of Midnight, and am kind of hoping to see a bit more of a Chaol/Celaena relationship in this one!

Rating: 5/5

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

  1. Sarah H

    Ah, opinions are subjective. I personally didn’t enjoy Celeana, the love triangle or any of the characters, lol! But , glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been told that the second book is even better than the first.

    • Laura

      I’m part way through the second book, and so far it is pretty good! Opinions really are subjective though and I can see why you wouldn’t like Celaena. I usually hate love triangles as well, but I didn’t mind this one too much because I don’t think too much was made of it.

  2. Killian

    I’ve been meaning to read this book for so long. I’ve wanted to try some more YA books because it’s a genre I’m not very well read in and this was a book that kept popping up all the time.

    I like that you said the main character isn’t ridiculously selfless because, like you, that’s a big complaint I have with a lot of protagonists. I hate it when protagonists are way too selfless and perfect to be realistic, so the fact that there is a bit of realism here is a big point in its favour.

    Fantasy is one of my favourite genres so I’ll definitely give this one a go as soon as I can.

    • Laura

      I would definitely recommend it! I had been meaning to read this for ages too because I kept seeing it everywhere and I’m so glad I finally did.
      I know some people find Celaena really annoying because of all the negative traits (and to an extent I can see why), but I do think it made her seem more real, and she wasn’t irritatingly perfect which I liked. I would be interested to know what you think of her anyway, because opinions seem to differ. I hope you enjoy the book!

    • Laura

      I have just finished Crown of Midnight and absolutely loved it as well, so I think this series is going to be one of my favourites too. I really need to read The Assassin’s Blade too though, as I’m really intrigued to know more about the Assassin’s Guild, Arobynn Hamel and Sam!

  3. Tika

    I read this last year around the time it was being hyped up by everyone and their mother, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t LOVE it like everyone said I would. I am however, intrigued to continue the series, especially since I’ve been told numerous of times that COM is 100 times better. I actually can’t wait to be re-united with Celaena! I loved her character, I mean come on that girl was sassy as hell, and let’s not forget to mention the boys, Dorian and Chaol.

    • Laura

      I finished reading Crown of Midnight a week or so back (I’ve moved house so have been kind of slow getting a review done!), and it really is even better than Throne of Glass. A lot more happens in it, and the whole love triangle aspect gets a lot more complicated. I have just bought Heir of Fire today as well, so I’m seriously excited to read that!

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