Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Date of Publication: May 7, 2013 (first published on August 2, 2012)

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you not for everyone who has shoved this book to me. I didn't know this was a six-book series and I am not happy to be reading a six-book series. I hate commitment! Haha, what am I even saying?

I never had plans to read this book. EVER. I am not into fantasy and Shadow and Bone was probably the only YA fantasy I've read. But then everyone seems to love it and has read it and I feel SOOOO out of the loop not knowing who the heck Celaena is and Chaol and Dorian. And to not understand all the love for Sarah J. Maas. So I bought a pre-loved copy but never touched it. Then Sab told me she was going to read ToG for real this time (we moody readers tend to not read books we say we'll read) so I told her to give me updates if it's as good as everyone tells us. And she thought it wasn't. That it was overhyped. I got curious, alright. What will I think of this novel? So I read it too, maybe a week after Sab did. And sorry guys, but I agree with her.

The great thing about Throne of Glass is its readability. I stay away from fantasy because I suck at visualizing completely new things and thought-up places, which is why I prefer my dystopia and anything grounded in today's reality. But I was so surprised with ToG because it didn't read like fantasy. It was easy to read and my nose wasn't bleeding from the court stuff. Not only that but it was addicting. Heck, obviously, I didn't love the book and found too many flaws by my standards, but I couldn't stop reading. I was like, oh, I'll just read more, I need more Chaol, THEN I WAS DONE. How did that happen? I think Sarah J. Maas cast a spell on ToG. And I haven't even mentioned the most surprising part yet. It was written in a third person point-of-view, which I really find hard to read. I stay away from third person POV unless it's one of my favorite authors. So, really, how Sarah J. Maas made me read ToG that quick was a feat in itself.

Sadly, that's pretty much what I liked about the novel. Oh, and Chaol. But later on that. For now, I'll be listing the things that didn't fly with me and why so.

1. Celaena's apparent badassery. Everyone and their mother kept on saying that Celaena was a strong and a kickass heroine. Uhm, sorry to say I didn't catch the note showing that. Because that's what happened for me. We're constantly told in the novel that she's badass but when was it exactly shown? Sure, she's THE assassin everyone fears but it felt like I was just constantly reminded of that but it was not clearly demonstrated. She thought of all the ways she can escape or how she can incapacitate anyone who's within reach? Please, THE most feared assassin can do better than that. I'm not saying one should be emotionless or unfeeling if she's the best assassin because I actually appreciated how human and vulnerable Celaena is. But I thought there wasn't much enough evidence for her cred to ring true to me. I mean, come on. You're an assassin and you claim to have been in tight situations and all that but you are grossed out by your wet feet? Celaena's characterization just doesn't compute in my opinion. And that's a fatal flaw for me in a book. You need to make sense as a person!

2. How obvious and early the romance angle was introduced. By the second chapter, Celaena was checking Dorian, the Crown Prince, out. Uhm, shouldn't we first establish how badass Celaena supposedly is than drooling over guys? Fine, most readers loved that Celaena was "such a girl" with her love for dresses and pretty things but it was so blatantly obvious that the author was building up the romance angle from the second chapter. FROM THE SECOND CHAPTER. Pretty much turned me off right there and then. In fact, I stopped reading, rolled my eyes, and texted Sab before I plowed on. Because, really? REALLY?

3. Action scenes (or the lack thereof). For an assassin as the main character, this book pretty much didn't have action at all. Except at the end, which was still so short and uninspired in my opinion. And honestly? The tournaments were lame. You'd thought that elaborate and tricky challenges would be up ahead for those battling to be the King's Assassin but archery? Which wasn't even described as anything remotely exciting or hard? And some others not described at all? Celaena's dresses got more description than the tournaments! Than the battle itself. The world building was fine, it was described but not completely, but that's fine because it's the first novel and we've barely scratched the surface. I'm sure there will be more world building in the next books. But seriously. For an action fan like me, I am certainly not impressed with the supposed action in here. Which cycles back to my first point, in which, nah, not much badassery and kickassery around here.

4. That thing at the end to keep both ships afloat. I want to talk about this deeply but then spoilers! If you want, we can chat up at the comments section or on Twitter. In short, I know Celaena won't be choosing a guy early in the series but it just felt rushed to me how the author resolved to keep Celaena single in the end. COME ON.

5. Characters. I like both Chaol and Dorian but they were unsurprisingly, two-dimensional. One's a guard who knows Celaena is bad news but can't help liking her anyway. One's a prince who knows Celaena is bad news but can't help liking her anyway. They are best friends. Because, of course, raise the stakes in here! They're best friends! I hate it when a girl/boy gets between a friendship.Because, I usually love both and I want them both to be happy and I end up hating the subject of their affection because he/she is driving a wedge in their friendship! Which is obviously happening to me with ToG. 

And this puts me in yet another minority because people loved Princess Nehemia but I was irritated at her at times. Sure, she's assertive and a go-getter but stop saying you can do whatever you want because you're a princess. Uhm, that's bratty for me.

However, I did like the banter. ALL OF THE BANTER AMONG ALL THE CHARACTERS. And I'm one of those people who can get by and read a novel just because of the banter. So maybe that's what happened.

Fiiiiine, this review sounds like I hated the book. I didn't really. I gave it three stars. But with ToG, I seriously just enjoyed it enough to warrant a three but it's still piled under the I-could-have-done-without-reading-this-book. I know the world loves this series but Throne of Glass failed to impress me. However, I am putting a lot of hope to what all those people who didn't love Throne of Glass but loved Crown of Midnight said that it gets infinitely better. In fact, I am buddy reading CoM with Sab this November and I'm trying to not expect but I am definitely expecting a much better installment than this.

And fine, for all my rants about this book, I still have strong feelings about it. Know why? It starts with a C and ends with HAOL. CHAOL. What is it with military men and I? I know, it's the usual quiet guy but whatever, I just inexplicably love Chaol and I will be in this ship whatever happens. CHAOL. Chaoooooollll. Just ask Ly, my Chaol spazz buddy, how much we just WANT Chaol.

So, have you read Throne of Glass? Did you love it? Did you not love it? Don't worry for those who don't. This is a safe haven for us. Come out and let's discuss!

About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Heir of Fire, Book 3, will be out in September 2014). Starting in Spring 2015, her New Adult Fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, will be published by Bloomsbury as well. 

Sarah lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the California coastline with her husband.


  1. I'm so happy to see this review. I thought it was just me. I'm read this now, and have been for several months. Like probably 6. It's ok. That's all. I have no undeniable urge to read it ever, so I just read a little now and then. I also don't read a lot of fantasy because I too have trouble picturing it all. And the names are so weird I can never follow them all! I've thought about DNF'ing this one so many times, but I'm really trying to get through it. I'm so relieved to see I'm not alone in my ehh feeling of this book. :)

    1. After I finished the book, I immediately went to Goodreads and looked for people who didn't love this book too and I realized I'm not alone! I chatted some up because I was still disappointed and a bit bewildered with what is wrong with me since I didn't like it and talking about it made me realize that yeah, it's not just me. Haha! I'm still reading the second book though because even though I didn't like it, I am already invested. Gah. Thank you Lisa for dropping by! <3

  2. I have so many book friends who loved this. I was planning on bumping it up my TBR because they are pressuring me to read this, haha. So glad I saw your review! I'm not much of a reader of fantasy and I avoid third person POV too! I think I'll be putting off reading this.

    1. But still give it a try! Who knows, you might like it. I seem to be in the minority. And like I said, for a fantasy, this was so easy to read! That wasn't my problem. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. HI i have read ur review first over at GR...but i understand not all would end up loving this one...but again since fantasy is one genre i have grown to really really love and i do love badass heroine and how flawed they are at the same time...i had no problem falling in love with this one. the thing about fantasy based series is that they do take time to develop if done right. I have read the four books that are out for this series and i love them all and now i am looking forward to the next installment next year :) still thanks for ur review for this :)

    1. I'm so sorry! I just replied to your GR comment now. Anyway, yes, I guess my not being a fantasy person compounded on me not loving this. I hoped I'll love this but then I didn't. Still, there's still hope for the next book so who knows? I might spazz with you soon enough. And even though you had opposing views regarding ToG, thank you for still commenting, Laila!

  4. ohhhh thanks for this review! Now I'd know what to ''kinda'' expect when I pick this book up! :)

    1. Maybe you'll enjoy the book more because you have lowered expectations. :> Thanks for dropping by, Raffy!

  5. I haven't read this one either, and it has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I do plan to read it but the over-hyped books tend to scare me. And this one has definitely been over-hyped. IT doesn't sound like it is perfect by any means, but the readability of it intrigues. WE shall see, I suppose!

    1. Hype kills a book! I won't pressure you into starting it asap obviously but yes, you might end up loving it. We'll see!


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