Over-emphasis on romance; downplayed the fantasy the synopsis offered
I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about Throne of Glass. Some readers loved it, while some downright detested the story, so I went into it cautiously, but hoping for the better.
The story starts off with Celaena dragged out from the salt mines where she worked as a slave, and brought before Prince Dorian who asks her to be his champion in the competition for a royal assassin. If she wins, she can serve as the royal assassin for a number of years and be set free, her previous charges for assassination pardoned and she can go free. She then works towards her training to become the one to come out on top in the competition. And her competitions start dying off, one by one, of mysterious causes. Since she could be next, she sets off to find the killer.
The setting wasn't bad. It was in a world of fantasy, not unlike that of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Poison Study, and Graceling. It was described in immense detailed, and while that gave me a very good idea of Celaena's surroundings, it got to a point where it was all too much. I mean, I don't really think that a page-long description of the throne room is necessary.
The plot line especially focused around her love triangle with the Chaol and Dorian, with some interjections of her gossip-sessions with Nehemia, the foreign princess. This played down the part of the suspicious deaths of her competitions, and in the end when it was resolved, I didn't feel a lot of emotions because of the lack of focus on the conflict. It also played down the fantasy bit and made it into a big-time romance. Not my favourite of all genres, but it could work for some people. Popping around the place was bits of magic, including the late queen Elena's ghost. If the story gave a bit more information about the magical background of Celaena's world, I think it'd be a bit easier for myself to digest and not as random. While I thought that the plot was downright unbearable at first, it did get a bit better, but I didn't feel a lot of emotion throughout the book.
Celaena's supposed to be a very strong, and hardened assassin. Personally, I like my heroines strong, and just a bit hardened so that I can see how she opens up to her friends and progresses into a kind person. Unfortunately, she's strong, or rather, obstinate to the point where I saw her as very rude. She's supposed to be wary of the world around her because of her experience in the salt mines, but she immediately starts hitting on Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall as soon as she's out of her slavery. Her actions and attitude doesn't really fit that historical time period. Besides, I can only read "He's so handsome" so many times before I want to rip my hair out. Honestly, is that all she sees in her two love interests?
Usually, there's a best friend thrown in the story to be a character's conscience, or even to see the contrast between the protagonist and her sidekick. In this case, Nehemia's personality was so much like Celaena's that I didn't really see anything special in her. I genuinely find her also very rude, putting down ladies of the Endovier court because she found them to be a very chatty. Yes, chattiness can be an irritant, but gossip doesn't really solve much in that field.
As a conclusion, I think that Throne of Glass had a very inviting synopsis, with a very interesting idea of a competition for the spot as a royal assassin, but was over-shadowed by romance and characters that I really didn't like. If you're looking for a very fantastical book, this isn't it. If you'd like to read a romance, you can go take this for a spin.
Hunger Games Meets Grave Mercy? UMMM, YES!
Guys! This book was SO perfect for me. Like, seriously, how did I not read this sooner, because it is made of awesomeness. Believe that I don't say this lightly: Throne of Glass is like The Hunger Games meets Grave Mercy. As with both of those delightful books, Throne of Glass features a powerful heroine, lots of action and some delightful, non-instalove romance.
The opening of Throne of Glass finds Celaena in the salt mines, where, after having been captured, she has been sentenced to work until she dies. Lucky for her, she now has another option: she can serve as the Crown Prince's contestant in a competition to decide the new King's Champion, aka personal assassin. An eighteen year old girl might seem an odd entrant, but Celeana Sardothien is actually the most feared assassin in the country.
I expected to have some trouble believing in Celeana as such an epically intense assassin, especially since she had quite the reputation by the time she was 17. However, Maas totally sold it. At every turn, Celaena strategizes possible escapes and considers the various ways that she could murder or maim the people around her. Her thoughts are bloody and focused. She has been raised to be an assassin since childhood, and she does it well.
Trust does not come particularly easily to Celaena, but she is still capable of humor and caring. In fact, if I had any issue with the book at all, it was that she seemed almost too quick to re-humanize after what happened in the salt mines. However, I want to believe that she could bounce back like that; it's part of why she is so strong. Celaena has power mentally and physically, and, despite being a trained assassin, she's a genuinely nice person, rarely mean out of spite.
The other characters are just as vibrant, if a bit black or white. I really appreciated Celaena's friendship with Nehemiah. What made it so delightful was that they seemed to bond over real things, not their situation or boys. Instead, they found common ground in both being powerful women forced into lives that don't especially suit them. Also, they both hate Lady Kaltain, who fills the classic money-grubbing, evil bitch role perfectly.
Then we have the boys. Yes, Throne of Glass has a love triangle. Weep not, though, because this is a tolerable one. Interestingly, from what I've heard, the story didn't have one initially, which is curious. However, it's here now and I deem it acceptable. I really like both guys, even though there's only one I would allow to guard my heart. Ahem. Crown Prince Dorian is sweet and passionate, definitely a bit of hopeless romantic, who's undoubtedly going to have to choose between the crown and his heart. Chaol is gruff and obnoxious at first, but entirely loyal and wonderful on further acquaintance. He's also definitely the kind of guy to encourage strength in a woman, rather than trying to protect her.
I thought the world building was fascinating, although I definitely think we've only barely reached the surface. There's so much more going on here than has been described yet. I anticipate faeries and alternate universes, as well as more to be made of this glass castle. Still, I'm really liking the foundations that Maas has laid here. The world thus far is fairly typical fantasy, but well-written and with excellent action scenes.
Speaking of action, I haven't explained the comparison to The Hunger Games yet. Well, the competition between the various assassins, thieves and soldiers is very reminiscent of the arena. There are definitely differences, but the similarities are stark. The training room scenes definitely reminded me of the ones in THG, as well as the fact that there were 24 competitors. Oh yeah, and some grisly deaths!
If you love fantasy novels like I do, you will most definitely not want to miss out on Throne of Glass. It comes out on August 7, so go get yourself a copy ASAP!
Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
A heart of ice. A will of steel. Meet the assassin.
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 kings 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 exhilirating. 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 received Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas from Bloomsbury for review, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading! My favourite character was Celaena, because of her brashness, determination and wit. I loved reading about the diverse variety of characters in Throne Of Glass! From the vicious, sly competitors to the manipulative King, and the seemingly naive Court. I really enjoyed reading about the new twist on magic / Fae in this book as well! (Although at times it was a bit hard to keep up with). I prefer my ARC cover of Throne Of Glass to either of the mass market covers, because it’s much more interesting (and inkeeping), since it only shows the mysterious silhouette of Celaena.
I wasn't sure what to expect going in. I loved the concept and some people I really trust loved it. But some people I really trust also hated it.
Celaena....oh this girl. She had a lot going for her and she was an interesting read but...she was basically perfect. Beautiful, talented, clever, witty, had all the guys falling for her. Her only real "flaw" was her arrogance. It wasn't something I really minded while reading, but when I was done, I noticed it. And I know it was the big problem for a lot of people I know that didn't like this book. But she was complex and interesting and not what you'd expect an assassin to be. I thought she was pretty badass and strong.
The story itself was really intriguing. I mean, a bunch of criminals fighting to become the ultimate assassin? Then they start getting killed off? It was an awesome story filled with insane twists and things they don't explain in the summary. There was so much action and drama, but it never felt like too much or too made up for the sake of drama. I honestly loved this story.
Now....I think Lanna described the romance portion best in her review (basically, I agree with the whole thing, honestly). This is another one of those rare cases of love triangles done right. Dorian and Celaena were so adorable and cute together and slhgaedgjlnsgs. But...Chaol and Celaena were so adorable and cute together and sflgsnjfhgfsn. I just...I don't know guys. They were so perfect and lovely and I would like the three of them to make something work.
There were a lot of characters in this book and not all of them got a ton of page-time, but most of them were super well developed. I really felt like I knew most of these characters, I understood them as well as Celaena did. There's this one character that we only actually meet like three times, but Sarah manages to convey him so well in those brief meetings.
Which brings me to the writing. Sarah's totally earned her Author Badge. She earned all of the fame she had from FictionPress and she definitely made a good decision in deciding to publish it. The writing is brilliant and engaging and rich. Celaena's voice was never too heavy or too light, it was distinctive. Sarah tells an incredibly brilliant, complicated story as well as some of the veteran writers.
I just...I loved this book, guys. No it wasn't perfect, but I loved it anyway. And I'm so glad I still have all but one of the prologue stories to read because I don't want to just be done with this world and I definitely don't want to wait another year to read book 2.
If you love fantasy, subtle-but-awesome romances, and really well built characters, you should be heading to your nearest bookstore now. Or clicking a "Buy Now" button if you don't want to/can't get to a bookstore.
When I first read the blurb for this book I was so excited for it! I was lucky enough to win an ARC from the Throne of Glass Facebook page (Thank you Throne of Glass Facebook!!!) and within a few days it arrived in the mail. Gosh, I cannot say how much I loved this book even the cover looks amazing. Like really, its that good! Sarah is so creative with her words that it just makes you want to be a part of that world. And c'mon! A glass castle? How awesome is that??? This book is one of the best books I've read this summer. There's action, romance, mystery, and humor all within one book. The action was good enough that it just makes you wish you were as kick-ass like Celaena. The romance was adorable and sweet that it slowly creeps up on you. The mystery was so intense that it keeps you on your toes, wondering who's the bad guy. The humor in this book literally had me laughing out loud at certain parts and with that, I received weird looks from my sisters. I just gave them the *No I'm not crazy look*
Celaena is SO AWESOME! She never backs down from any challenge and that's what I admire about her. I like how she's a tough chick, but yet we also get to see the girly side of her. Oh and she loves to read! =) She's very sassy, kick-ass, arrogant, adventurous, and confident, and has the right to be because she really is that good at everything. Dorian, the prince, I thought he was an interesting character but I feel like he's not stepping up to the plate. His character is the funny and flirty type but also immature. He chose Celaena as his champion only because he knows his father doesn't like her. To me it seems like he never really speak up for himself and defends for what he wants. I hope that in the next coming book, we will get a chance to see Dorian change and take control of his life. Now Chaol, Ahhh! I just love him! This guy is honest, loyal, and reserved but can be romantically awkward at times.*which is so adorable!!!* I feel like his relationship with Celaena is more of an understanding, slow attraction. Where as Celaena and Dorian was more of lust, you look handsome and I just want to kiss you. It can pretty much go either way, but I'm rooting for Chaol!!!
I really really love this book! This is a definitely must read for everyone.This high fantasy book is amazing! One thing I recommend first is reading the 4 e-novellas first. That was one mistake I did, not reading those e-novellas. I was a bit confused at the beginning until I realized a lot of the answers can be found in those. So yes, definitely read those before reading the main book. It will make more sense. =) Can't wait for the next book in the series!
Strong female character? Yes please!
Where do I start? Throne of Glass is such a stunning whole package that I'm not even entirely certain how to put my feelings into words. Does "omg-that-was-so-amazing-swoon" count as a coherent statement? Didn't think so. Suffice it to say that this is one of my absolute favorite books of the year, and probably of forever! Let the fangirlish rambling ensue.
First off, I absolutely adored Celaena. It's completely fair to say that she makes the book. She is the epitome of everything that I love in my female characters! Raised as an assassin, and condemned to the salt mines, it's more than accurate to say that Celaena is a bit rough around the edges. She's strong, cunning, and as charismatic as they come. Gorgeous, and yet completely capable of killing you in an instant. However underneath her gorgeous, yet rough, exterior beats the heart of a loving person. Celaena has a soul, and it makes her that much easier to love.
If it wasn't enough that I was enamored with the main character, my love for Throne of Glass was cemented when I met the rest of the characters who surround her. From a feisty young warrior princess, to a love struck Captain who tries to play gruff, right down to the spoiled Prince. Every single one of Sarah J. Maas' characters are expertly written. They have vivid and unique personalities. It's like you can see them moving around on the page. This is what I want when I read! Characters to believe in. Characters who keep me coming back.
Setting this book on maximum overload, and thus fully earning my full five star rating, is the gorgeous world that Maas builds for her characters. Her descriptive writing is spot on and never overdone. Sweeping plains, desolate mines where workers go to die, and castles made of glass that stretch to the heavens. Reading Throne of Glass is like watching a movie. It all flows together into something more perfect than I have words for. It's all too much and, yet, just enough.
Let's get one thing straight. I love Fantasy. I love well-written characters. This book has both of those elements, and so much more. There is no doubt in my mind that Throne of Glass will be my favorite book of the year. Nor that I'll have a copy that I read incessantly until it falls apart. It's that good. Get this please, and for the love of everything bookish will someone please make a movie? If you are looking for a book that will taunt you, begging you to read just one more page, you need Throne of Glass.
Amazing world building.
Where did this come from!?!?!?
Need "Crown of Midnight" now!
*Hope there's a sequel (and more of Chaol)!
A Fierce, Action-Packed Reads!
This is one of my favorites of the year! It is filled with assassins, magical elements, castles, and battles that will keep you turning pages. I loved the story, the characters and everything in this book, please mind my blubbering about how amazing this book is!
We start by following Celeana and what an awesome strong female character to read about - she is fierce! Celeana is one tough chick that has a soft heart and a strong will to live and do anything she sets her mind to. I loved that she is one of the best assassins but so few know that she is a girl! She stood up for herself and I was so proud of her by the end of the book - she made a decision that most wouldn't have the courage to make and it was a great turning point in the book!
I am generally a fan of fantasy and this book is one of my favorite fantasies that I have read. I loved the story of a competition of the world's best criminals along with an underlying mystery surrounding the castle the same time the competition is occurring. This book is packed with action and there is never a dull moment!
I enjoyed the love triangle though I think it's a little heavily influenced on the one side than it is the other. I thought that both of Celeana's love interests, Dorian, the prince and Chaol, her trainer, are both good-looking men offering her completely different attributes and I find it hard to choose between which one I like more. I couldn't get enough of the story surrounding Celeana and her men.
I can't recommend this book enough. A strong book all around with a strong female, strong love and strong story that you won't be able to put down! I loved everything about this one and I'm looking forward to reading the second book, The Crown of Midnight.
A++ Brilliant! Must, MUST be read.
I first heard about THRONE OF GLASS on an agent’s blog and will admit, I wasn’t instantly dying to buy it. Assassin? Eh. Glass Castle? Eh. THANK HEAVENS I DID BUY IT! Want to know just how good it was? When I got to the end, I waited a day and STARTED READING IT A SECOND TIME.
Yeah . . . that level of addiction.
Basically, a young girl is a famed assasin in a fantasy world and she is enslaved in a mining prison. She gets a chance to win her freedom by competing against other killers in a Champion’s Tournament held by a ruthless king. Of course, freedom means that she will become the king’s lead henchman, but still . . . it’s better than the prison. There are two men who start to fall for her: the Captain of the Guard, who acts as her trainer, and the Prince, who seems like a superficial playboy . . . at first.
There is a whole, additional plot line of the evil king, acting as a warlord over the land and conquering countries. The outlawing of magic, a portal to a dark world, a warrior princess who befriends her . . . you get the gist.
Oh yes, and there is something roaming the castle, tearing the other champions apart, eating their brains and gutting their organs. Yup – I would have checked out of Casa De Creature too, but not our assassin. She is determined to win her freedom (and figure out why the other bad-boys are getting filleted. What she is completely thrown by is the love she feels for the Prince and the slowly blooming affection for the Captain.
The boys, as well, seem to have a hard time coming to terms with what they feel for her and what they know she has done in her lifetime. They slowly begin to fear that she may not win and will be sent back to the prison to die.
Truly a kick-butt story and strong, STRONG written voice. Ms. Maas – you’ve earned the right to brag ;)
Our story starts with Celaena being brought before the two guys who will grow to love her. It's easy to tell from the back of the book. The prince gives her the deal of a lifetime - a chance at freedom. She just has to win the competition and serve the king as his champion for four years. The idea, the thought of not having to die in those mines she was sentenced to a year ago, is enough to sway her mind and she agrees.
She's taken to the castle where she will train and pass the tests, hoping to make it to the final duel. But dark and sinister things begin to happen, magical things. In a land where magic is outlawed. When others in the competition start dying, she knows something is wrong. Then when the very first Queen of Adarlan shows herself to our assassin and tells her that she has to save the kingdom, Celaena knows it's something bigger than she thought.
With the help of those close to her, will she be able to save the kingdom? And with two very different and wonderful men after her heart... what is an assassin to do?
This book was so amazing! I think I finally have a second author (no one though can still though Jennifer Armentrout). I always love Sarah's characters, they are strong and different. I also love how she didn't make Celaena some frilly girl who could only think about the boys. She kept her wits and her head on straight. I actually really love this love triangle, what makes it so hard is after reading this book, I don't know which one I like more! Dorian or Chaol? They are both so awesome and worthy of her love.
I have noticed something about Sarah's book though, they start off slowly, guess with all that world building and such. They are so worth it though, amazing. The world building in her books is some of the best I've ever seen. Read this book, I can personally promise that after you finish it, you'll thank me.