Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass # 1)
By Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared Assassin. She is also a prisoner in the labor camp of the salt mines in Endovier where nobody survives long. She has surviving for a year, after being locked and hidden away by the king. Then she is met with an unlikely proposition from none other than the Crown Prince, Dorian, the very heir of the man who is responsible for her imprisonment.
The deal? She can agree to accompany the Crown Prince and the Captain of the Guard to the Glass Castle to compete against 23 other men for title of the King’s Champion. If she win’s she will earn her freedom in 4 years. If she loses, she returns to Endovier. There is little to choose from, and Celaena soon journeys to train for her potential freedom. But there is more happening behind the glass walls than they reveal. Her freedom may not be the only thing she is fighting for.
I am hesitant to agree with classifying this as a fantasy read. There is some magic, but the first book does not really delve into the supernatural occurrences enough to read as true fantasy. But it is definitely present, and I do see how it is potentially introducing what will become a series full of magic. So here I sit, on that fence once again. I am more apt to label this first book historical fiction, but not strongly enough to argue my case any further. Slap which ever genre makes you feel best on this one!
Let’s skip that whole scenario where I attempt to disect the book a bit before disclosing my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! Devoured it, peice by peice each night. There was enough entertainment packed within this 400 page gem to keep me up well past bedtime. And that is no easy feat. I wake at 3:00 am. There is very little I will sacrifice sleep for, aside from a good book. Throne of Glass met the qualifications. Fangirl alert!
What Really Worked For Me:
Let’s talk main character. She is a badass female assassin. Ermahgerd! There is nothing negative to say about Celaena Sardothien. Loved her! She is young, fierce, cold and calculated. She is also weakened and sad. After a year in the harshest labor camp, she is nearly defeated, emotionally and physically. Yet she kicks total ass! Because that is what one does when you are known as the scariest assassin in town, right? Everything about her works for me.
“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.”
― Sarah J. Maas,
I know that there are many who would argue that her character is cliché. Maybe she is. Look closely enough and you will find all heros are to an extent 😉 “Look at me, I am tough and pretty.” But I am going to completely disagree with this and state that I do not care. Piss off if you are judging me. For one, you can be tough and pretty. That is completely okay in my book and this book. There are others who claim the book is full of frilly moments where Celaena spends too much time admiring herself. What the hell do you expect from a young girl who just spent a year caked in dirt, in a labor camp ?! The mines of all places! Of course she takes a moment to feel pretty! She is barely 18. Come on! Be real here. If someone swooped me away and transformed this mess into anything remotely “pretty”, I am taking a moment to enjoy it.
The world building is of great proportions. I love when you open a book and discover a map. Bonus! So we have a prison camps, castles made of glass, secret chambers (cannot elaborate further on the latter without those filthy spoilers escaping) and a I am sold! Oh you what? You want to throw in the mention of fae and forbidden magice? Shut up! Take my money and give me the damn book! This series has so much looming potential.
The story is tight. Anyone who reads and appreciates fantasy or historical fiction are no stranger to a kingdom in distress. It can be presented a million ways and will always be fun if it is showcased properly. I love the struggle, the fights, the heros and the villians. Accompanied by fast paced, smooth narration and the story pushed forward without stalling. I also loved that while this was only the opening title in a lengthy series, it felt complete. The conclusion was satisfying while leaving a segway into future volumes. A nice clean break ❤
Now here is the part where I could spend a paragraph describing how beautifully Maas writes. Skipping it! Complete waste of me time. If you have not figured out from countless reviews and the media that she is doing something right, you never will. So moving on.
What Was Meh..
The supporting charcters were touchy. I loved the Captain of the Guard. Fangirled over him a tad I think. I am probably told old to do so, but no one was looking 😉 The Crown Prince was a bit pompous and annoying for my tastes. Not into those “overly confident” men. I also felt that the king, who I suspect will be a main antagonist later, should have been elaborated on a touch more. I love good villians! But this was not his story. I have no doubts we will see more depth in his character later.. errr I hope.
Love triangle.. duh duh duh. I am hoping this is something that the author plans on using to really stir things up later down the road. So only knocking off small points since I smell a twist brewing. But still..
I went into this series very apprehensive. Too many times, when I finally roll up my sleeves and tackle a “big” one, I end up frustrated and left alone with my tears of disappointment. That is generally why I am so late to the party. Well that, and a massive TBR. Throne of Glass was a welcomed and needed change. I shamefully hang my head and admit defeat. I think I almost wanted to dislike this. I do not need another fandom, but alass here I am. Sarah J Maas, you scoundrel! I do not have the time and money for this, but I will give it all to you.
Recommending this to fans of YA fantasy and historical fiction. I do not feel at liberty to compare it to another title so early one. I have seen comparisons to Game of Thrones (damn you Martin).. maybe a “baby” version 😉 It is definitely a much easier read with far less detail. Remeber, YA. Try it.. have fun with it.. share thoughts. I am going to slap 4 big shining stars on this. Might have been five without that stupid ass triangle rearing its ugly head.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Here is the book trailer for those who are interested. Although I a quite disappointed in the model chosen. She does not fit the Celaena Sardothien I invision.