Throne of Glass is one of those novels where I did the ultimate sin and judged it by its cover… And I'm very glad I did.
It is a great fantasy story about the prodigy assassin Celaena Sardothien, who is dragged out of a prison camp to compete to be the champion of the man who put her there (the King of Adarlan) by the Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian. The book follows Celaena as she tries to overcome the struggles of spending a year in a prison camp as she competes against assassins, soldiers and criminals to win a contract that will ultimately gain her freedom.
While there is little doubt between Celaena, Dorian and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, that she will win the competition Celaena's confidence is shaken when the bodies of her competitors start being found around the castle with their organs missing and strange marks written in blood on the walls. What at first seems to be a straight forward story about competing assassins soon becomes a magical mystery as Celaena and Chaol try and figure out - what is killing these competitors?
While this is a young adult book there was so much about it that I loved and enjoyed. It is rare for me to find a book where I like all the leads equally but this managed it. Celaena is an annoyingly likeable character, as are Dorian and Chaol. Celaena's youthful love of life is a stark contrast to what she is trained to do and her interactions with the flirtatious Dorian and the scowling Chaol usually seem quite natural.
Celaena actually reminds me quite a lot of Yelena from Maria V Snyder's Study series, and the whole book made me think of a weird amalgamation of the Study series, the Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix and the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. When pushed to describe it I will just say it is the Hunger Games for assassins.
If I had one gripe about the story it's that I wasn't a huge fan of the romance in it but that's more for personal reasons. I just didn't like the couple that appeared in this book. Unlike many stories it didn't overshadow the main plot and offered some nice light relief and gentle teasing between the characters. The romance feels a little forced at times and did irritate me a little that the characters I wanted to be together never got together.
All in all though, I really did enjoy it, especially when the story really picked up. It is light hearted, has a good story and is suitable reading for adults as well as a great story for young adults. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good read for all ages.
Anna Sheldrick, 7/10
Young adult fantasy comes in a number of styles – some are enjoyable to read for everyone, while others are specifically written for the hormonally-charged 16-year old, full of lingering looks into the eyes of a cute guy or the sudden realisation that you no longer think she is as annoying as you once did.
Needless to say, the latter does not necessarily appeal overly to me, but I can deal with it in small doses.
Which is why I really liked ‘Throne of Glass’ by Sarah J Maas.
Released last year, Throne of Glass popped up in my search for similar titles to fill out my New Year reading marathon. The blurb was enticing, as I’m always a sucker for female assassins, and the book has received constantly good ratings across Amazon and Goodreads.
The book is most definitely written for the young adult (which is just a nice way of saying teenager). The pacing is fast and the emotions run high, but apart from the semi-regular passages detailing the main character’s growing affection for her two male counterparts, the book doesn’t suffer from the flippancy of other young adult novels.
There is a suspicious ‘Hunger Games’ quality to the opening half of the book, which does take you out of the story somewhat, but it is surrounded so thickly by an engaging story and hidden threats that – if you allow yourself – you can remain submerged in this world. I found myself making parallels between Throne of Glass and Joel Shepherd’s ‘A Trial of Blood and Steel’ series and Kristin Cashore’s ‘Graceling Realm’ series – strong female leads, young, and with those same emotions that make them all gooey over the cute guy, but pushing past the teenager-mentality and into a mature adult understanding of the world around them.
First in a series, Throne of Glass really makes me long for more in the same world – always a bonus achievement for a book. A lot has been hinted at, and the bad guys have been revealed to us (though not to the main characters), and I can see things going pear-shaped for at least one character who has been spurned.
It might not be the height of literary achievement, but if you’re looking for a fun and quick read over these opening weeks of 2014, then you really can’t go past Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas.
Joshua S Hill, 7/10
4 positive reader review(s) for Throne of Glass
4 positive reader review(s) in total for the Throne of Glass series
Taneisha from Australia
Yhe Throne of Glass series is a thrilling, engaging, page-turning and adventurous novel. I highly recommend this series as it not only has amazing characters and an overall engaging plot, the series also portrays a realistic perspective on love and friendship. The main protagonist 'Celaena Sardothien' is an engaging, loveable, relatable character who (even though being an assassin) is often fond of relating and teaching readers on the hardships of life. I read the series when I was around 13 and fell in love with it, I am 15 and this series is still my clear favourite and I highly recommend to people who love fantasy, action and adventure and reading about strong female characters.
Haley from United States
I was peer pressured into reading this from my friends at the time. I must admit that I fell head over heels for the series AFTER the second book. I didn't care much for Celaena at first but she grew on me as soon as Maas allowed her to be vulnerable via playing the piano and eating a bag of sweets in under ten minutes. I had a few issues with Celaena in that she would drift around Mary Sue territory but never entered it completely and I'm glad that Maas was able to navigate away from poor character writing. Chaol fascinated me at first and he quickly became my favorite character for a time until he seemed to have a complete change later in the series. I love that he was snarky, challenged Celaena, and managed to hold the group together despite being a grouch. Dorian, ah yes. I love him very much as a character. Sweet, flirtatious, humorous, and remarkably clever later on. I adored his interactions with Celaena and he made me laugh out loud a few times. He was a gorgeous contrast to the world around him and he really stuck out to because of that. Maas's world building is something to behold. I felt like I was in Erilea and traveling from Endovier to Rifthold with our main trio. As amazing as the world building is though, there is a fault with the way that Maas writes. Don't get me wrong, she does well with characters, plot, story progression, and building tension but it started to drive me insane when she would use several of the same phrases such as "loosed a breath". That's really my only quarrel with this book though. I just finished the entire series and this may have been my second to least favorite of the series but I blew through the second half with ease. I would argue the series doesn't really start until the third installment but The Assassin's Blade (prequel novellas), Throne of Glass, and Crown of Midnight do their job with setting the stage, establishing characters, creating the world, and all around having us crave more adventure with Celaena leading the way.
Leigh from Australia
Currently reading the series and really enjoying it. I'm a long way past being a teenager, but an avid fantasy series reader. The story in my opinion is able to draw me in, and as mentioned by others, a bit teenage romantic in very small doses, which does not affect the story, and provides some grounding as to who the main character is. Without any emotion the character would have no depth. A very easy series to read, and I will finish the whole series.
Pete from England
As I fantasy lover of all types I decided to give this a go.(Nice cover art in other words...to entice me) Initially with the rescue of the heroine from the nasty salt mines, I loved it.Celaena seemed to be a no shit ,sacastic bite your face off bitch.Definitely my type. However , things ie the writing style after a while quickly degenerated.The characters were so inconsistent and instead of growing up and maturing as time , and book after bloody book went on they became increasingly more juvenile.YES I know it was supposed to be for a young adult audience, and I have recently finished reading Phillip Pullman...superb for any age group. I am 59 and the end made me cry...no shit. Eventually the dialog in Maas's books began to read like a bunch teenagers on twitter,and about as interesting.I mean no offence dear teenagers. the dialog was just same old same old arguments and bickering to no purpose. As the books went on (and on and on) in this many Maas obviously became bored with herself so there was of course only one answer.....SEX and VIOLENCE...Yes its guaranteed to sell..JESUS how f'ing boring and predictable.I A young persons novel does not have to totally reflect the school playground. And I think that the stereotype that Maas portrays young people as is disrespectful and insulting. Enough. It started well and then became typical pulp fantasy.....Good and bad guys ...nasty monsters with big poisonous teeth ...ohhhhh and of course a rift in the time space continuum which must be closed at all costs or even MORE big toothed monsters (and worse) will eat everybody... or enslave the... or worse...FOR EVER and EVER. PS. QUESTION...Why on the back of book 4 or 5 does it say in capital letters NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER READERS ?
Becky from England
Great, engaging characters and the world building is immersive too. I also really liked the main character, the oddly relatable and sarcastic young assassin. Yes, at points it gets a bit too...'teenage romance'...for my liking but rest makes up for it. I will warn you though, if you are going to read this book you need to be pretty committed, as it is part of an 8 book series. However, if you love the first book then definitely read the rest, there are a whole host of new characters you get introduced too and the plot really develops.
Olivia from Australia
I know it's kind of lame to rate a book 10/10 but honestly, it deserves it. TOG is just one of those books that have you sitting in your room and reading for hours straight. The plot twists and amazing characters make it a page turner not easily forgotten. I got 12 people into the series and our world revolves around it. I would recommend it for anyone. Yes person reading this comment. That means you if you haven't already read the series. So yeh basically, ITS THE BEST FLIPPING BOOK SERIES IN THE WHOLE FLIPPING UNIVERSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SARAH J MAAS U R A GODESS THX U SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM SO EXCITED 4 THE TV SERIES OF TOG THATS COMING OUT!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8.3/10 from 7 reviews