Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: August 2, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 2 stars
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“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”My Thoughts
― Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass
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. (Goodreads)
Given the hype surrounding this series, I went into Throne of Glass with high expectations. As you most likely know by now, I am a huge fan of anything fantasy, so I thought this book was a perfect Courtney read. I mean, how could it not be? There’s magic, court scandals, assassins and so many elements that should make for a wonderful fantasy! Unfortunately, it did not impress. I think if I had gone into this expecting nothing, I would have enjoyed it more, but, alas, that was not the case. Throne of Glass was a fast-paced, entertaining read, and I was never bored, but it was just way too dramatic for my tastes.
First off, there’s our protagonist, Caleana Sardothien. I really wanted to like Celeana, and I will say that she did eventually grow on me, and there were times when her snappy comebacks made me smile. Yet, for the most part, I found her conceited, prideful, and melodramatic. She was constantly worried about her appearance and obsessing over whether or not the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, or the Crown Prince, Dorian, found her attractive. I found it hard to believe that after spending a year enslaved and working in the mines, you’d be that concerned about how filthy you looked or that there’s dirt under your nails right after your release. I figure you’d be more concerned about gaining your freedom, which she does worry about but not nearly enough. I liked that she could be a warrior while also loving dresses and frills, showing you can be both kickass and feminine, but she would often lose sight of the important issues like hey, someone’s trying to kill all the Champions, including me. I should probably be more on my guard instead of dancing all night at a ball.
Another aspect of Throne of Glass that really got to me is that Caleana is supposed to be this badass assassin, the Adarlan’s Assassin. She gained this title at a very young age, and we are constantly reminded of the fact that she is a skilled fighter and has killed many people on command. Yet I found that hard to believe when we see very little evidence of her skills throughout Throne of Glass. Not only does she not assassinate anyone in this book, but there are several instances where she has no idea that Dorian or Chaol have entered the room. In fact, she is startled when she realizes they are there. How could such a famous assassin be taken unawares?
If Throne of Glass had concentrated more on the history of Erilea, on Caleana’s past and her transformation from assassin to prisoner to contestant, I think I would have enjoyed it so much more. But the romance overshadowed everything. Despite her precarious situation, Caleana can’t help but think how much she’d love to kiss Dorian, and she goes on about how handsome he is at the same time she says he’s infuriating. What’s even more infuriating is the slow beginnings of what can only be a love triangle. Yes, there are gruesome murders going on, and a stressful competition, but nevertheless, two men are infatuated with Caleana and constantly think of her. This is made all the more readily apparent by the shifting of POV from Caleana to Dorian to Chaol. Dorian and Chaol’s POVs offer little to the development of this story, except to inform us of what we already know, that these two are utterly besotted with the assassin. They repeatedly say that she is untrustworthy, that she is hard-edged and a flight risk, yet they still give her their trust way too easily and she captures their hearts far too quickly. I can only hope that this love triangle disappears, and the romance is put on a back burner in the later books.
While I had many qualms with Throne of Glass, I still plan on reading Crown of Midnight because 1) I've heard the series gets dramatically better and 2) I'm hoping to go to a book signing in September and Susan J. Maas will be there! So I'd really like to read all of the books currently released in this series before the event. I'm hoping that Crown of Midnight delivers where Throne of Glass did not. I can see why Throne of Glass may appeal to some, but it's just not for me.