Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (2012)
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance
Reading Time: 13/06/16 – 17/06/16
Throne of Glass is the first book in Sarah J Maas’s first series and wow is there a hype around this book!
We follow the story of Celaena Sardothien, ‘Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for Greatness’. So we have a female lead, who is surely going to be a strong and independent woman right? Well you weren’t entirely wrong, but of course these YA books cannot leave behind the notion of romance. There is a slight love triangle implication in the first book, will this be explored further later on in the series – who knows?
Now, the story. So Celaena is a young assassin who got caught and has spent the past year of her life in an awful and deadly prison — until a Prince chooses her as his champion and she must compete to become the King’s Assassin! This has the making for an interesting series, there are lots of likeable characters and also lots of unlikable ones. If you want something to get stuck into that has a fantasy world, some kick-ass women and some desirable men, then head right into these pages! BUT, heed my warning – this is still a novel that faces the desperate struggle to give the women all of the power. You will notice my choice of words in the Prince choosing Celaena as his champion – he chose her. She did not get a say in this matter and is under constant supervision from men. In a world where a woman can be a dangerous assassin, why can we still not see a female guard? But my feminist rant aside, I did think this book was too hyped up and I was expecting to be blown away by this story. I did enjoy the plot and I will be buying the rest of the series, but this is in the hope that the hype comes later on for me.
I don’t know if I’m the only one to find this, but I have noticed Sarah J Maas tends to write very fast paced narratives. Which is good in the sense that it does not bore the reader, but it is also bad because you sometimes wonder how you go to that point in the story. I read at night a lot and sometimes get quite sleepy, so I find quite a few surprises when I stop giving the story my 100% attention and am suddenly faced with a totally new character or plot development. But I suppose this is my fault – if you read this book make sure you really do read it, otherwise you will get lost.
*From this point on, this review has spoilers dotted left right and centre, you will have your imaginations ripped from within and put on a platter as you are left with no need to ponder on Celaena’s fate in this book*
So, shall we discuss the trials? Celaena is set to face a series of different trials to decide if she is to become the King’s champion. She of course passes all of them, despite having some near misses. Now, I personally would have liked to seen more from these trials. The action was exciting and definitely engaged me in the character’s peril. I had picked my favourites and I wanted them to live, Celaena of course being one of them (I definitely could have done with a pronunciation guide at the back of this book for some of their names though).
So after all of these challenges, Celaena comes out battered and bruised, and probably internally bleeding — but she is the King’s Champion! So why are we not rejoicing? Well because the King is not happy with this and does not want a woman to be his assassin, sexist a-hole. But we the reader would love to know what challenges he is to send her on right? This is what I am hoping the sequel has in store for us!
So of course we must talk about the men in the book too, the conflicting love interests. The Prince and the Guard, two manly icons that can offer Celaena the security she needs, men that can look after her and defender against what is to come… oh wait… I think I am thinking of Nehemia. Nehemia, who provides friendship to our leading lady, and comes to her rescue with awesome magical abilities! I personally would like to propose we start shipping Celaena and Nehemia? They are such sassy and badass women, they make a great team and I would like to see more of this!
So those are my thoughts, I’d be interested to know what you think. I also put a not so detailed thought stream on my YouTube channel if you’d be interested to see.