Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: August 7th 2012
Pages: 404 (Hardcover)
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
“Two men love her.
The whole land fears her.
Only she can save them all . . .!”
This, my dear internet friend, is not the right way to promote a book if you ever want me to read it. Quite the opposite, actually. “Two men love her.” is probably the most effective sentence if you want me to put it back down on the shelf for all eternity without a second glance (wow, that’s a really positive way to start a review, Beatrice, way to go). Seriously, I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly sick I am of love triangles, and yes, it’s great that they’re honest about it having one, but I think they should have put way more focus on the Celaena is a freaking assassin, how cool isn’t that-aspect. Honestly, if you tell me that there will be two hotties fighting over the heroine’s heart, that’ll be all I hear, and I will most likely be gone faster than you can say the word drama.
It might be harsh and unfair, and I know that I’m probably missing out on some great books, but that’s just the way it is.
Anyway, for the very reason mentioned above, I was really hesitant toward this book before picking it up, but after reading so many raving reviews by people whose judgement has never betrayed me before, I decided to give it a chance. After all, there are some good and entertaining books containing love triangles out there, I can’t deny that, and luckily, this ended up being one of them. But we’ll get more into that in a sec.
First, let’s talk about miss Adarlan’s Assassin, Celaena. Admittedly, I wasn’t too sure about her in the beginning. I found her vain, attention seeking, arrogant, and selfish…but instead of my initial irritation, I sort of found myself enjoying it more and more as the story progressed. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a female protagonist who was so sure of herself, and it was really refreshing. Also, while there were lots of times when I disapproved of, or found her behaviour tiresome, I could still definitely see and understand where she was coming from. Plus, I loved her sass, funny comebacks, and, don’t forget, talent of being a complete badass! ;D So, overall, thumbs up for an enjoyable and cool main character. :)
“And how old are you?”
“Eighteen.” But he said nothing,
“I know,” she continued. “It is impressive that I accomplished so much at such an early age.”
When it comes to the two hot boys at her side, I have to say that I really liked them as well, and what I think made this particular love triangle work, is the fact that I only have a vague hunch when it comes to who she’s going to pick. I really despise love triangles where everybody and their mother knows exactly who’s going to “win”, except maybe the “other” boy who, sad and alone, almost always have to shuffle away at the end of the book (poor bastard). But this time, I’m as close to clueless as I can be considering it’s a YA novel we’re talking about (don’t get me wrong, I love YA more than anything, but it can be a bit predictable sometimes).
So, will it be Dorian, the charming, funny womanizer of a prince….
“There!” Dorian said. “A reaction — thank the gods I’ve amused her.”
….or Chaol, the more drawn back, dutiful and mysterious, yet caring, captain of the guard?
“As my friend, you should either bring me along, or keep me company.”
“Friend?” he asked.
She blushed. “Well, ‘scowling escort’ is a better description. Or ‘reluctant acquaintance’, if you prefer.” To her surprise, he smiled.”
Personally I belive Celaena would be better of with Chaol (how on earth are you supposed to pronounce his name?) as a romantic interest, and Dorian as a friend (is it even possible for an attractive male and female to be just friends in YA?), but all we can do at this point is wait and see. ;) (There will be six books, after all)
Sadly, though, Throne of Glass wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for me, and now we’ve come to the point where I have to bring up some of the details that were more on the negative side of things.
First of all, while I found the world interesting, I think it lacked something extra, something to make it stand out. Sure, it had some of that extra spice, but I would have wanted a better explanation of it. I didn’t really get everything about the world of Erilea, like its history, religion, how the king gained power, or how/why the magic disappeared, etc. Hopefully, though, these things will be dealt with more further on in the series. :)
Then we have the fact that, though I liked the writing for the greater part of the book, it still felt a bit unpolished at times. Some conversations just felt unnatural and weird, and more than once I had to read a sentence twice to really grasp what the characters were trying to say. I think Maas handled the change of PoV pretty well, though, (the book is told in third person and mostly follows Celaena, but occasionally switches to other people), and I never really felt like there was a question of who we were currently following, so that’s a plus. :)
One last negative thing, the one that bothered me the most, is that I would have wanted there to be more focus on the competition and the tests themselves. We spent far too much time in the library with Celaena, and I just thought there were more talk than action when it came to her abilities.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. The pace was pretty fast, and it was easy to slip into the story. The humour was great, the main character kick-ass, and the love interests dreamy. Despite the few negative things I had to say, I think it has a lot potential, and I’m definitely going to continue on with the series. :)
“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”
“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”
I didn’t get on very well with this book. All that hype, but personally I found it severely lacking. I can see why people like it, but it just wasn’t for me. I am totally with you on that ‘turn off’. Reading ‘two men love her’ nearly sent me running for the matches (burn! burn!), and even though I tried to preserver, it was a DNF. And I rarely put a book down half way through, with no ambitions of going back to it.
Great review here though! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it.
Oh, sucks that you didn’t like it, but I can understand why.
Thank you :)
I know! I really wanted to like it. But alas… ;)