Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review : Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  • Release Date : August 7th 2012
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Pages: 416

Synopsis: 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.

I was very excited to read Throne of Glass after learning the story originally gained a large following as Queen of Glass on I think it's great when an author has a built in fandom e.g. Amanda Hocking, Marissa Meyer and Cassandra Clare.  How could you go wrong with a  story and character that enthralled many before it had an official publication ?

The first few pages of the novel throws readers into the salt mine prison of Endovier in the magic stripped land of Ardalan. Here Celaena Sardothien a.k.a Ardalan's Assassin, the country's most dangerous assassin, is being released into the custody of the crown prince to fight for her freedom in a competition to win the title of the King's assassin.

The novel starts off strong, but overall the story feels watered down. It seemed like there was supposed to be this fierce competition but it was just really boring. I mean there was very little action involved  and  the other competitors where throwaway characters.

The real star of this novel is Caelana. I mean come on, she is an eighteen year old assassin and I wished the story would have been more focused on her, than on a competition that was more than a little predictable.

When inside the King's Castle, Celaena must compete in a series of test over the 
course of a few months. This leaves  time in-between  test  for two other mini story lines; including foreign princess staying at court and the ancient queen of Ardalan. Although they seemed more like distractions than storylines

Another character I like in the series was Kaltain. I suppose you could call her an antagonist. She is a young girl at  court who schemes to get the attention of the prince. I sometimes wonder if it's a good thing when I find myself more interested in the antagonist than the protagonist.

From what I understand from interviews, the novel originally featured  flashbacks that were edited out of the finished copy. I think that is where much of the disconnect comes from. Everyone in the novel knows who Celaena is and her past; they know why she is feared; but the readers don't. All we know of Ardalan's Assasin is what we learn from Caelna's POV.

This novel also features a love triangle between Celaena, Prince Dorian and the Captain Of The Guard. I really didn't understand why these two men are smitten with Caelena, I just didn't get the connection. To be honest I had a hard time telling Chaol and Prince Dorian apart.  I mean I guess Dorian was more open than Chaol but when it came to Chaol/Celaena/Prince Dorian it just bored me.

Much like in The Goddess Test what didn't work in the novel was the isolated setting. We hardly ever leave the castle.

There seems to be a running complaint in YA assassin books that the assassins don't get to assassinate enough,I think this is also one of the downfalls of this books. I'm sure the four novellas released add more padding and depth to the story, however as introductory novel this book left me disappointed.

I wish had the opportunity to read  Throne of Glass in its original incarnation.I would  be really interested to see how the two compare.

Throne Of Glass is an epic fantasy with a few good characters and a storyline tilting more towards love and loyalty than assassination and action. If you are going to read this book I would highly suggest reading the four prequel novellas first. A decent debut novel, but a bit to claustrophobic for my liking.

* ARC Received for review from BookExpo America


  1. I think, with this book, you either completely love it or you don't. I fall into the former - I really enjoyed it! Though I think there are many things that can be worked on, I thought it was a solid debut :)

  2. I think that's another part of the reason I didn't like Wither, no setting change. Sorry this one disappointed you. I see it making the rounds, and I think I might have the same issues you did. But it will be interesting to see what other think about it.

  3. I agree with you 100% about this one, though I'm sorry to say it!

  4. I actually didn't mind it in Wither because it was the first book I'd ever read with a situation like that. So far others seem to enjoy it. I guess it wasn't what I expected.

  5. I really liked the concept of it, I think there is a lot that can be done with the rest of series so I haven't given up on it. Glad you liked it.

  6. Sorry to hear that this didn't live up to your expectations... it looks so good! I'll just have to see myself, and I'll definitely take your advice on reading the prequels :) Great review and I'm a new follower!!

  7. I'm sorry to say it too. I still want to read the next one !!

  8. The reviews sound really awesome. There are a few reviews on them online.

  9. I really agree although I liked the book more than you. The problem was that they kept calling Celaena a great assassin but she just seemed a little too sweet and nice. Her skills were showed off while but I just couldn't see how she would be the one to kill somebody. If Maas wanted her to be formidable they should have made her a little colder. Not this girl every guy drools over. It would have been more interesting had Celaena not been so likable then have the two guys fall for her.

    And I completely agree that almost nothing happens. I just finished the Goddess Test (I remember you talking about it at the party) and in it too the competition is like set up but not a part of the plot. It's like the author couldn't think of any challenges so it just became background.

    I hope it gets better because it has a lot of potential. I shouldn't have to read four novellas to get a sense of why people are so scared of the main character.

  10. I really think Thrones of Glass has a lot of potential and I think the e-books are on sale so I may read one or two. This was more of an "Origins" story so I'm actually really excited to see how things fair in the next book. I can see why the guys might be interested in her but I think I needed more contrast between Celaena and how normal girls in this world act.

  11. I don't love OR hate it. I thought it better than I was expecting, but had some issues with it, such as the heroine's spectacular beauty. She'd be way too noticeable in a crowd, which would make it kind of hard to do her job. Real word assassins are generally not easy to spot. They stab someone with a poisoned umbrella or whatever and move on before anyone notices them. I also thought the contest for King's Champion among a bunch of convicted criminals a bit hard to swallow. Surely King's Champion would be a job for a great warrior, a knight? But this is girls' teen fantasy. :-)


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