Jan 31, 2014

Review--Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass was the hot new read when it released! So many people were talking about it and then my friend got it for me for Christmas, so I decided to finally read it. And while it was a good read, I just didn't find myself entranced with it as many of the other readers were.

Celaena is an assassin, unfortunately she was thrown into prison and then one day the king's son offers her a deal, compete in a competition against other fierce fighters, murderers and criminals in order to become the king's champion and she can have her freedom in four years. Celaena sees this as an opportunity she cannot afford to pass up. She was after all a most feared assassin in the lands before her capture.

Then once the competition gets rolling, some of the contestants are being murdered in the most gruesome of ways. Something is tearing these people apart, not necessarily, someone. Celaena doesn't make it her mission to solve the mystery, but she ends up stumbling upon the answer.

I'm not sure why I didn't truly enjoy this one. It had a lot going for it. Engaging and interesting characters, a well thought-out plot, a good dose of action, a heroine with wit and who doesn't drive me crazy and even some budding romance. What went wrong? I'm still not sure. Perhaps it was a bit of the world-building. It's not that I didn't like it, I guess I had trouble understanding it and that is always a scary factor when it comes to me reading fantasies. Will I be able to understand the world the author created? And for the most part, I did get it, but I felt like I didn't know the whys behind all the reasons that magic was banned. I think this is where I struggled the most and then comes in a history lesson that just kind of randomly pops up.

Soon we're given information about a past queen and then it moves further into dwelling in some sort of magic with Wyrdmarks or something like that and what different kinds of creatures live in the shadows. It just felt sudden and rushed and I had no clue what was going on with this part of the world!

But as I said, it was still a good read. The pacing might have dragged a bit a times, more than I like it to. The actual competition didn't start until nearly 100 pages in. It was just shy of the 100 mark really. Another thing that bugged me was wondering why the king, the one who is having this competition to find himself a Champion--basically one who will do his dirty work, like that of an assassin--isn't there until the near end of the competition! I mean, where are you dude? This is your shindig you're running and you just leave?

The characters were good though. I enjoyed Celaena's wit. She was quite strong for a young girl. She knew how to take care of herself and wasn't at all deterred about being the only female in the competition. The princess Nehemia that she befriends was a nice addition, although it's not until the near end that I finally understood the purpose of her character. And sadly, there was a bit of a love triangle going on. That between our heroine and Dorian--the prince who brought her into the competition and is basically his "champion", for the royals and nobles are all the sponsors and they each sponsor a criminal or whoever to be in the competition--and Chaol, the Captain of the Guards.

Although, one of the two men does try to fight the attraction, while the other one doesn't try nearly as hard. But it's obvious that they both care for Celaena. What will remain to be seen is who she chooses. As there always has to be a choice made.

I can't say that I will be reading further into this series. While this read was a decent enough one, I just wasn't wowed by it. But it is a highly recommend read for all fans of fantasy where you escape to worlds away from our own and magic exists...or is banned, but still exists! 

Overall Rating 3/5 stars


  1. Hmm, I'm not a huge fan of fantasies that are set in completely made up worlds either. Maybe I will wait for the ebook goes on sale to try out this one.

  2. sad to see that you gave it 3 stars. :( I still haven't read it yet so we'll see!:D

  3. I know contemporary/urban fantasy is more your thing but I'm glad you tried this one! It's a favorite of mine but I have a soft spot for fantasy ;)

  4. I read Throne of Glass a few days ago. I haven't read many fantasy books before but after seeing so many positive comments on this book I had to try it. I liked it a lot, but sometimes I was a bit bored and thought it was dragged out. But it's a great book.

  5. I love fantasy and I didn't really care for this one. I actually gave it 3.5 stars because I thought it was kind of enjoyable but the more I think about it, and then reading the second one, I don't feel like continuing. I might catch up on them when it's all finished. Also, I don't see why the king wouldn't just hire many assassins and kill more people. Why would he need just one? Anyway, you're not alone! I'm glad you gave it a shot and enjoyed some of it, though!

  6. It's really hard sometimes to read a book that seems to be loved by everybody! First of all, (at least for me) expectations are high, and second of all, I think I am a little more nit-picking when I sit down with a hyped-up story.

    I will still keep Throne of Glass on my TBR, though, as I love fantasy, and hopefully, I'll enjoy it more than you did :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews


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