Tuesday, January 5, 2016

[Review] Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Throne of Glass
Sarah J. Maas
[Throne of Glass #1]
YA, Fantasy, Romance
Published: May 2013 (Bloomsbury)
Format: digital
Pages: 404
Rating: ★★★★☆
 
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.

Warning: spoilers!

I have tried to start this book so many times and I regret it taking so long. I wasn't completely blown away, but I figure this is a pretty good start to a series. It set up well for future books that I can't wait to dive into!

First off, we have the characters, whom I really liked. They are all rather distinct, though could use some more fleshing out.

Celaena is a really sweet character and I like that she's feminine while still being strong willed and an individual. At times she can be very pretentious and arrogant, but I can see the reasoning. I like that she thinks of herself as beautiful because we need more people like that. The only problem I had was that, though she was stated as being the best assassin in the world, I have no clue how she got that status. The way she acts is not cautious enough for her title. She ate candy from a mystery person without a thought. She said she was a light sleeper and would wake up if someone approached her, but multiple times, that was not the case. I think if we had more backstory on her and her thoughts on her targets in the past, this wouldn't have bothered me as much. If the author showed me the person Celaena is said to be and not just told me about it, that would have been lovely.

Also, I hope that she can learn to like females more. At one point she said that she had learned to dislike them because of their actions. She has a variety of interactions with men and a few of them are not the best, so I don't understand why she wouldn't dislike men as well. She does a little bashing on other females and, outside of Nehemia, she doesn't interact with them often. I think she is judging them too quickly. The other females usually dislike her automatically because she is pretty and with the prince. I hate that trope.

Dorian is a bit on the cliche side of being a prince, but when we see his thoughts, he is more loveable. He is very flirty and charming, which I like as a foil to his father. He's easy to like, but I hope to see more uniqueness come from him. His relationship with his father is the best thing coming from him and I hope that the king can influence him in some interesting ways.

Chaol is more mysterious than Dorian and his thoughts are usually hidden. I like that he tries to keep his distance from Celaena and does his best to protect Dorian. I want to see more interactions between the two boys, to show off their relationship. I like what I've been given so far! Bonding between friends is one of my favorite things to read. I wish it happened more in YA books.

Nehemia is a really strong character and her voice came through really well even though we never read from her PoV. She is interesting and witty. I can't wait to read more about her.

There is a love triangle, which I thought was handled rather well. It wasn't sudden. There was a nice simmering of feelings, but even so, I still wish it hadn't happened. I liked it as I read it, but now that I'm finished, I wish it could have been put off for awhile. There are more books in the series and to focus so much on love already is disappointing. It is common, though, so I will overlook it, especially since I enjoyed the slow build.

The story itself was interesting. I didn't expect it to take a mystery turn, even though I didn't think it was that hard to figure out. I wished there was more focus on the Tests and that they were harder, but I get that the Champion-to-be was supposed to display their skills. The writing was very nice. It flowed easily and was pretty without being purple, which fit best for this sort of story. I also prefer 3rd person, so I always enjoy that. The world building was pretty good without being info dumpy, so that's a plus! I felt that most background information was relevant.

TL;DR

Good:
+ plot and mystery
+ variety of characters
+ world buiding
+ writing and detailing
+ subplot

Neutral:
/ love triangle (slow build)

Bad:
- Celaena's character needs revamping
- not enough focus on being an assassin

Final Rating:
★★★★☆