Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Length: 416 pages
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 exhilarating. 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.
I decided to read Throne of Glass on a whim; I had remembered hearing one of my favorite BookTubers rave about it and decided to give it a try. I was really excited to read it once I read the sypnosis- I’m a huge lover of fantasy, and the premises sounded amazing (an assassin pitched in a competition against other assassins in order for a chance at freedom? Nice).
Packaging: 3.5/5 Stars. It has a nice cover; I personally really like the dagger that’s strapped to Celaena’s arm. It’s just not one of my personal favorites. I don’t have a physical copy of the book, so I can’t comment on the quality of the physical packaging.
(edit 3/23/15: the cover has been remade to match those of Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire, and that cover is definitely a 4.5/5!
Writing Style: 4/5 Stars. Sarah J. Maas definitely showed herself to be a talented writer in this book- however, I often felt as if more could have been done, such as more world building. However, Sarah J. Maas writes very well, keeping her writing well paced and enjoyable.
Characters: 4/5 Stars. Personally, I really liked her characters. I liked Celaena a lot, as well as Nehemia, Chaol, and Dorian. I really enjoyed how Celaena was so tough and badass, but also loved dresses and being pampered, and basically had a lot of ‘feminine’ interests. I feel that it’s really important for authors to recognize that a female character doesn’t need to reject ‘feminine’ qualities in order to be badass- in doing this, many authors are implying that a female character can only be badass if they only possess ‘masculine’ traits and interests. Sarah J. Maas wrote Celaena to have plenty of ‘feminine’ qualities, but to also be completely kickass, and that’s something that I really appreciated. I really loved Nehemia as well- she’s spirited, passionate, and as sharp as a knife. Chaol is another favorite; I can’t exactly put my finger on why I love him so much, but I do. Dorian is precious and must be protected at all costs. However, despite all this, I couldn’t find myself completely connecting with Celaena. I felt as if something was missing that kept me from establishing that reader-character bond, which disappointed me.
Plot: 4/5 Stars. It sounds as if the book would be very fast paced and full of action, however, Throne of Glass left me a bit underwhelmed regarding action. The book wasn’t exactly slow paced, but it wasn’t as fast paced as I had hoped. It also didn’t do very much regarding world building- I was left with a lot of questions about the fantasy world that were never answered or addressed.
Overall: 4/5 Stars. Throne of Glass was an enjoyable read- however, I was disappointed at its lack of world building and lack of action. I didn’t find myself utterly captivated. But despite its faults, Throne of Glass builds a strong premise with its strong set of character and intriguing world.
Note: At the time in which I’m writing this review, I have already finished the series + novellas. Throne of Glass is definitely the weakest book in the Throne of Glass series- the other books will absolutely blow you away, I promise. Just stick through this book and get your hands on the sequel as quickly as possible!