Throne of Glass is the first in a series by Sarah J Maas following the assassin Celaena Sardothien (I think that’s a pretty great surname to be honest). Celaena has been doing her time in the salt mines after being caught doing her assassin thing (doing what precisely, we don’t know). It’s a horrendous place – basically a death camp – but she is “rescued” by Captain Westfall and Dorian Havillard, aka the Crown Prince. Dorian and Chaol Westfall take Celaena back to the city of Adarlan to perform in a series of tests in order to become the King’s Champion. If she wins, after four years of work for the king, she will be set free.
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t necessarily my type of thing, because a lot of deaths and stuff, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!
One of the main niggles was that Celaena didn’t seem to show much badassery (totally a word). She was the most notorious assassin, other assassins cowering in her name and she had so many guards, but she seemed pretty shaken by a lot of things and whilst this made her very human and very 3D and very “hey I want to be your friend” – it didn’t make her the cold hearted assassin people seemed to fear her for. Sure, she was human and kind and this made her stand out, I guess, from the other stereotypical assassins (can you have a stereotypical assassin?!) but I didn’t quite get the memo that she was the most badass of badasses. I’m assuming (hoping?) that this is shown more in the following books, however!
The plot seemed very similar to Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, and I really wish I had read Throne of Glass first because I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It wasn’t a school for assassins in TOG, but much of it was similar. The plot was interesting, with many complex layers attached to it, and even the love triangle wasn’t cringey to read about! (Actually, scrap that, it was totally cringey, but it didn’t end being cringey so there’s that!)
The other SJM books I’ve read are A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, her latest series, and her writing style in those books were definitely more advanced than in Throne of Glass. Apparently she was a teenager when she started this series (and wrote on FictionPress!) so it’s understandable and it didn’t make it bad writing at all; just less advanced and well learned in the craft than her later works. There were some great one liners for example, and I really couldn’t stop reading.
“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared.”
So overall, I’ve given this book 4/5. Celaena just didn’t seem to live up to her title everyone else seemed to hold her in renown for, and because the plot was close to Nevernight I kept comparing it to that (though I haven’t knocked anything off for that because it wasn’t TOG’s fault). It was also rather predictable, I thought, but that might’ve been me (but .5 was knocked off for that. How did Celaena not know who it was grrr). I’m thinking of picking up The Assassin’s Blade soon because I’m sure that this’ll offer so much insight into Celaena and her life and therefore I might see why she has the title ‘Adarlan’s Assassin’! I can’t wait to tuck into book 2 and see what it has to offer.
TITLE: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
AUTHOR: Sarah J. Maas
GENRE: High fantasy/adventure/YA
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: Bloomsbury//2012
NUMBER OF PAGES: 404
PERSONAL SOURCE: Bought in paperback (From H&M if you were curious)
RATING: 4/5 🙂