Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
Throne of Glass is engaging and thrilling, but not altogether flawless. The beginning is a cliché, typical assassin story… then everything changes. The plot picks up, the writing style improves and becomes more original, Celaena’s character suddenly grows up, the love triangle intensifies, and you can’t rip your eyes from the pages.
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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 three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. 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.
Throne of Glass is engaging and thrilling, but not altogether flawless. The beginning is a cliché, typical assassin story. Celaena Sardothien (one of the many hard to pronounce names in this story) is continuously described as a tough, unbeatable assassin girl, who just happens to be stunningly beautiful and extremely arrogant. The author’s writing style is very amateurish and the plot is really predictable.
After suffering through about one hundred pages of Celaena and her cocky attitude, everything suddenly changes. The plot picks up, the writing style improves and becomes more original, Celaena’s character suddenly grows up, the love triangle intensifies, and the mysteries become more peculiar.
Sarah J. Maas wrote the first draft of this book when she was sixteen, which is very clear in the first quarter of the book, but I do have to acknowledge that there were many things she did very well. For example, the scenes and settings were so well described that Celaena’s world came to life before my eyes, and the occasional changes of perspective were not confusing at all and helped clarify certain events and characters’ emotions.
Throne of Glass tells an unbelievable story that I will never tire of reading again and again, but only because I now know that the initial wait is worth it. I would not recommend this book to impatient readers, lovers of literature, or haters of arrogant characters, but this is a must read if you enjoy assassins, Hunger Games-like competitions, magic, romance, court, or murder mysteries.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Poison Study, The Assassin’s Curse, Graceling, The False Prince, Grave Mercy and Shadow and Bone are all similar in genre and age group, and lovers of any of these books are sure to enjoy Throne of Glass.