When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.
Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.
And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.
But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.
I originally picked this book up last summer after hearing about how great the series was as a whole. I got about a hundred pages in before it had to go back to the library and I just wasn’t feeling it. Flash forward to last month, I see it at the library and decide it’s high time I pick it up again. Though the problems I had with it on the initial attempt were still an issue, I powered through and found myself really enjoying this book and will be reading the rest of the series.
What really sells this book for me is the main character Celaena. She is smart, she is strong, she is snarky. My only concern is she’s a little too perfect, though she does have her flaws as well. She doesn’t trust others and, y’know, she’s a cold-blooded killer. I just loved seeing what she thought and seeing the world through her eyes. The brief tidbits we got about her backstory before she was in the mines was also fascinating- I hope we get to learn more about her.
Another thing that really impressed me about this book was how the world was well developed. A lot of times in the first book of a series like this, you either get too much world building and nothing happens or you don’t get any and you’re stuck thinking, “How does this world even function?” Maas has the perfect balance, you learn about the world as you go and get a sense of all the different cultures that exist within. Though I did struggle somewhat in remembering exactly where everyone was from, there was a map in the front of my copy, which helped me figure out where everything was geographically.
What really held this book back for me was the perspective jumps. There were some good ones- one at the end got me particularly excited to continue on with the series. Bur for the most part shifting between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol was more annoying. It’s not that I don’t care about Dorian and Chaol, it’s more that their perspectives didn’t really bring anything to the table, in my opinion. There’s also the fact that from the beginning to the middle of the book, I couldn’t really tell them apart, perspective or otherwise. That might just be me though. I also didn’t really buy the friendship between the two of them- we get the backstory, but we don’t really see it in novel. I also wasn’t super big on the love triangle between them-thankfully, it wasn’t really the focal point of this book. I’m confident though these will get straightened out in the upcoming books.
The plot itself was good. The summary itself kinda gives you the bare bones of what happens but it is so much more than that. While there is the mystery of who’s killing the competitors and the competition itself, Throne of Glass is also about the politics and relationships that come with royal societies. It very much feels like a real kingdom. The plot progresses at a decent pace as well after a slow start. The beginning really focuses on character building and really understanding how Celaena feels about the kingdom as a whole. Once the competition gets started, it rapidly picks up the pace to the point that I couldn’t stop reading.
Overall, I would recommend checking out this book if you love amazing female heroines and well-constructed fantasy novels. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing how these characters progress. I am so happy I decided to give this book a second chance.
Bookstore Rec Blurb: “Throne of Glass is a book all about an amazing female heroine in a well-constructed fantasy world. Maas paints this world beautifully and by the end of the book, you’re left wanting more. Perfect for the fantasy lover in your life.”
Have you read Throne of Glass? What did you think of it? If not, would you read it? Let me know in the comments!