Throne of Glass was the second book I read this past August, and HOLY MOLY, did I have fun.
I’m that weird breed of reader that hardly buys books until after I’ve read them* (there’s something called a LIBRARY, ALRIGHT) and I was literally halfway through Throne of Glass and I immediately sauntered over to Book Depository and ordered the next two books beCAUSE THRONE OF GLASS IS JUST THAT GOOD.
Has it been bad for my wallet? Eh, maybe. Is it a problem? Absolutely not.
I’m aware that that this series is very much a love it or hate it kind of thing, so I’m sorry if you hated it and really want me to take an hour to bash it till it’s dead** because YOU’RE NOT GONNA FIND THAT HERE.***
Becuase I loved it. #sorrynotsorry
So let me
rant to no end and pretend to be professional talk about it.
*Except classics… I’m not going to count the ones I own and HAVEN’T EVEN TOUCHED. They’re just so addicting and I know they’re going to be good SO LEAVE ME ALONE.
**Who are you, really? That’s cruel!
***Am I screaming too much? SHOULD I TONE IT DOWN???
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
“Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters.”
I was initially a little nervous starting Throne of Glass. Everyone talks about it. Everyone adores it. I was afraid I’d be that one person who wouldn’t love it.
I shouldn’t have worried.
It was kind of amazing.
I feel professional today, so I’m going to do an in-depth look at EVERYTHING ABOUT THRONE OF GLASS. *cry laughs because this means I actually have to work*
At first, I adored Sarah’s writing. It was descriptive, but utilitarian enough to keep things moving.
“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. Most of the thousands of slaves in Endovier received similar treatment—though an extra half-dozen guards always walked Celaena to and from the mines. That was expected by Adarlan’s most notorious assassin. What she did not usually expect, however, was the hooded man in black at her side—as there was now.”
It felt formal enough for fantasy and quick enough for YA.
Unfortunately, not long after that, Maas started to overcompensate. The balance shifted. She began to sprinkle in stilted words that would work in an Austen novel, but felt extremely out of place here. It didn’t happen often enough to be a problem, and it isn’t too hard to look past, but still, it took away from my enjoyment of the story.
On the whole, the dialogue was smooth and funny and adorable. However, there were a few moments where I couldn’t quite piece together how a certain comment would garner a certain reaction. I’ve read better dialogue, and I just wish the subtext was a little clearer here.
The Half-Existent Plot:
I wasn’t impressed by the plot or action in this novel. It felt really drawn out, and I don’t see how it’s going to fill up six more novels. *laughs nervously*
The whole “competition” concept that drove the book has been used before and often. And while I’m usually the defender of “unoriginal” books—seriously, Red Queen has gotten way too much criticism than it deserves for that—Throne of Glass didn’t bring much else to the table, so it was hard to ignore…even though it really wasn’t that much of a problem.
The characters were the strength of Throne of Glass. Maas created a trio of characters who care about each other and whom the reader cares about. And as simple as that sounds, it’s hard to come by. It can be so easy for one character of the three to become a whiny little fool and annoy the other characters and the reader (hello, Kilorn) or they can all be slowly poisoned by the emergence of love triangle. And even though a love triangle does entangle the characters—(which I’ll talk more about later)—it doesn’t ruin any of the friendships. How that was accomplished, I have no idea. I’m just thrilled it was the case.
And that trio, by the way, WAS ADORABLE. *throws the book at you so you CAN READ IT AND UNDERSTAND*
I don’t really know if “narrative” is the proper term for what I want to talk about, but go with it please???*
Throne of Glass is narrated through multiple points of view. It’s a little crazy how many there are. (And they’re all super fun to read like that’s? Kind? Of? Shocking?) Every point of view related directly to Celaena, though, so we didn’t get any “behind-the-scenes” looks at other characters. Except Dorian. HOW BAD IS MY LUCK, SERIOUSLY.** I would’ve much rather learned more about Chaol outside of Celaena’s interactions because, honestly, there’s so much more depth that can be explored with him. Not just in his character but with who he interacts with and what he knows about the king’s policies and plans and the secrets other nobles have that are his duty to protect. He seems to have more of a direct connection to the political side of the world here than even the prince, and my goodness, the potential!
*Okay, it’s most likely not. But y’all know I’m dim, so please. Have mercy.
**I’m sorry, Dorian and I aren’t on the best terms right now. Yes, I am a normal human being. I PROMISE.
The Romances and Shockingly Okay Love Triangle:
Okay. I told you I’d talk about the love triangle. Get comfortable, because now’s the time.
The players: Celaena. Dorian. Chaol.
The roles: Assassin. Crown Prince. Captain of the Guard.
The objective: Try not to fall in love with Celaena.
The outcome: Failure. (Yes, even Celaena falls in love with herself.)
This was an interesting triangle to read about, if I’m honest, because it’s the only one I’ve read where we have every character’s perspective on it. We can see that some characters are more reluctant to fall in love than others and try to fight it, that some characters are more desperate and impulsive than others when it comes to love, and that still others have past experiences overshadowing the new ones. IT WAS JUST SO COOL TO SEE ALL THOSE POVS, OKAY?
But yeah. Insta-love… I’ll admit it’s there.*
And if you’re wondering… I’m Team Chaol. It’s not even close. Dorian can buzz off. (Although I’m interested to see how/if my stance changes in the future??? See, there are fun parts to a love triangle! *hides from your inevitable wrath*)
*BUT I PROMISE YOU IT ISN’T THAT BAD. I promiseeeeeeeeee
Throne of Glass was a blast to read, even though the writing didn’t particularly impress me. I had so much fun laughing over the characters and I loved how light the world felt.
It was super entertaining, and was the perfect book to pick up relative to what point I was at with my life. (But really, humor is great for every occasion AMIRIGHT?) I can’t wait to continue the series and see where the story goes!
And what happens to my precious trio. (Read: Chaol)
Is it okay for me to read?
Language • • • • •
Some mild profanity.
Violence • • • • •
The main protagonist is an assassin, so she undergoes many violent circumstances, including some gruesome deaths and murders. A few fight scenes and some swordplay.
Sensuality • • • • •
The Crown Prince has a players’ reputation. There’s some kissing and innuendo aimed at Celaena.
Substances • • • • •
Characters drink (very) infrequently.
For more about my content ratings and what they mean, click here.