Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published: 02 August 2012
Bloomsbury, Paperback, 420 pages
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?
After having read Dee’s review on Throne of Glass earlier this year, I honestly didn’t have high expectations for it. I thought I might even end up hating it. But what do you know! I actually want to run around hugging and kissing it right now. Throne of Glass was absolutely engrossing on so many levels!
Although the start was slightly slow for me and the romance between Dorian and Celaena seemed kind of… insta-love-ish, the mystery, intrigue, action and witty dialogues were just too amazing to make me ponder much about the tiny issues that bugged me.
Firstly, Celaena. I would admit I was confused by her personality at the start. Was she lethal, girly, or smart? Somehow, I had the mentality that she should have an ‘assassin’ attitude and personality. However, I understood her better as the story progressed. Being ‘Adarlan’s Assassin’ was simply a skill of Celaena’s that she was forced to hone to perfection. I honestly doubt she would’ve chosen to be an assassin if she hadn’t been forced into the trade.
That was exactly what I loved about Celaena. She didn’t let her ‘career’ define her. The fact that she’s multi-faceted made her so realistic because honestly, who on Earth ever have a definite personality that can be labelled so neatly? I found myself relating to Celaena a lot – my love for reading, girly stuff, sarcasm and badass-ness – and it’s really admirable, how Sarah J. Maas dared to defy the mainstream ‘lethal heroines can’t be girly and sassy’ cliché. I understand some people might not be used to such a colorful character and become puzzled with Celaena’s personality, like I did in the beginning, but in the end, I undoubtedly feel Sarah J. Maas created a wonderfully life-like protagonist here.
As for the romance, I was sort of expecting something along the lines of a ‘pick-me-and-hate-him’ love triangle. I feel a little bad at the low expectations I had for Throne of Glass because actually, Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, and Dorian, the Crown Prince, were childhood friends and amazing individuals. Although I had issues with the insta-love involved in Dolaena, I utterly loved Chaolaena. Their relationship was so subtle and adorable. Moreover, the witty banter involved in both relationships are simply hilarious and shipping FEELS inducing.
Which do I ship? Well, I like both guys but I would say I lean a little more towards Chaol. Dorian’s awesome, but Chaol just seem to have this masculine aura that girls like me can’t resist. ;)
Moving on to the plot and storyline, it was wholly enjoyable and had me on the edge of my seat. The whole thing going on with Wyrdmarks was extremely fascinating to me and although I could predict the characters involved in the murder of the other Champions, it was fun just following along with everything. Another aspect of the book which I loved was Sarah J. Maas’s ability to bring a fantasy world to life. The whole atmosphere in the palace was so hauntingly well done, I can still picture the corridors and rooms in my head. Little mundane things in life were also brought in, making it so much easier to relate and step into the fantasy world.
Overall, I’m just enamored with Throne of Glass. Fantastically written with realistic and imperfect characters (Celaena did admit to using makeup to enhance her blander features before being sent to Endovier), a beautifully brutal world and impeccable pacing, Throne of Glass is one of the best YA fantasies I’ve read to date. It has got everything I would like in a fantasy novel – action, world-building, a kickass protagonist, fun romance, evil, intrigue and a fascinating plot. If you could see me right now, I would be jumping and yelling at you to pick up this book now!
P.S. Here a pronunciation guide for the world of Throne of Glass I found on Sarah J. Maas’s website!