Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Skinny: When given the opportunity to compete for her freedom, Celaena Sardothien, an 18-year-old assassin who has spent the past year in the prison mines of Endovier, jumps at her chance. She is chosen as the champion of Prince Dorian and will compete against 23 men – thieves, assassins and warriors from across the country. The winner will serve as the King’s personal assassin and then be granted freedom. The losers will return to their previous lives or prisons. Celaena begins her training with the captain of the guard, Chaol, who seems to despise her, and soon begins the competition, being tested on various skills. One by one the contestants begin dropping, but not from the contest. They are found dead in the castle, seeming to be mutilated by some type of beast. Celaena, worried she could be next at any moment, begins to investigate, searching for the killer before he, or it, finds her.
BFF?: Y’all (you know I’m about to get real when I start out with y’all) I loved the PANTS off of Celaena! It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a character as much as I enjoyed her. She was freakin hilarious in a witty, sneaky way. There were sometimes when I thought “omg that comeback was PERFECT!” I’m not trying to brag or be like “okay I’m awesome” but she kind of reminded me of myself in some ways. Personality, of course. Clearly I’m not an assassin. Speaking of… with being the deadliest assassin in the land, you’d think Celaena would be hard and ruthless. She was not! She was actually pretty girly – enjoyed pretty dresses and getting fancied up; was kind of flirtatious with people; had a big heart and was generally friendly. She also took things with ease. Me, if I’d been surrounded by armed guards with crossbows pointing at me every time I sneezed I’d be terrified. Celaena on the other hand basically shrugs and gives them a wave before going about her day. So now that I’ve basically fangirled about her for way longer than I meant to, lemme just say this: I want Celaena Sardothien as my BFF!!!!!
Readability: At first I wasn’t too sure about the readability of this one. It seemed kind of… I don’t know… underdeveloped? Lacking something? That feeling didn’t last long though. The more I got into it, the more I realized it wasn’t your typical fantasy writing. This was fresh, easy, fun fantasy reading. The kind that hesitant fantasy readers, like myself, can easily get into.
Crush Level: 8s
So you know how everyone thinks a love triangle works and adds some pizazz to a story, even though you clearly know which one the girl will end up with? Lemme start out by saying they usually don’t add pizazz. However, the love triangle in Throne of Glass is quite honestly one of the best ones I’ve come across because I’m literally left scratching my head over which guy I like best!
First there’s Prince Dorian. At first you think “oh, he’s egotistical, snobby, full of himself.” Then you get to know him and yeah, he is kind of like that… but there’s so much more to him! Sure, he’s dated the entire kingdom, but that doesn’t mean he can’t love! What I loved best about Dorian was that while on the outside he seemed like just another stuffed-shirt royal, he really was not. He cared about his country, his people, and breaking away from his tyrant of a father. And his and Celaena’s interactions reminded me of my BGFF’s and my interactions… you know, minus the kissings because we don’t kiss (yet ).
Then there’s Chaol, the more obvious choice for Celaena. There was something about him that kind of grows on you. At first he’s kind of gruff, quiet, doesn’t play around with Celaena. Overall, he’s kind of boring. But then he slooooowly starts to loosen up, starts doing these tiny sweet things for Celaena, and you kind of think “hmm… maybe you are special…”
At first you’ll probably think “I bet that is one sweet castle!” but then you start to think about it: glass walls. Exactly how are you supposed to get some private nookie time? And hotttttt? All that sun coming in? I’m sure it’s scorching inside! But it’s still pretty…
Normally I don’t get too into descriptions of clothing, nor do I go on about it in my own writing, because I’m sure my visions are nothing like the visions of the writers, and vice versa for readers of my own writing. But I simply loved the descriptions of the clothing in Throne of Glass! The details were beautiful and I loved picturing all the beautiful dresses!
Don’t know what this means? You probably haven’t seen Merlin! The king and Dorian remind me so much of Uther and Arthur from Merlin. Like Uther, the king in this book (sorry, forgot his name) has eradicated all magic and magical beings, as well as conquered the entire land. Dorian, on the other hand, is a little bit hesitant to adopt his father’s ruthless ways. I loved this dynamic and kept comparing their relationship to the relationship of Uther and Arthur!
Sarah J. Mass
Pretty sure I’ve never had an author as a bonus point… After I finished Throne of Glass I got on Goodreads to add it to my “read” list and perused some of the reviews (which were fairly good, btw). I noticed someone had written that she’d read it before when it was called “Queen of Glass.” So after googling this, I found out that Mass had published this book previously on fictionpress.com once upon a time! I mean, how cool is that? And even in her acknowledgements pages she thanks her readers on fictionpress.com. I love this!
Commencement Speech: I got the opportunity to participate in an ARC Blog Tour, hosted by Southern Book Bloggers, for Throne of Glass and lemme tell you: I am BEYOND excited about getting to participate! Although it wasn’t one of my most anticipated reads, it was definitely anticipated. As I mentioned above, Throne of Glass, for me, was a great version of fantasy. I’m often hesitant about starting fantasy novels because I find them hard to get into. Not so with this one! There wasn’t a lot of world-building. Instead we’re given facts periodically so it’s not overwhelming, which I like.
But what truly makes this book great are the characters. Sure, the action is there, the mystery and intrigue, but it’s the characters that shine through everything. They’re well-developed, dimensional and honest. Their interactions and relationships are realistic. Never once did I think “Okay, this character needs to go away” and think I wish he or she wasn’t in the story. Although there were many characters I hated, they were very well-written so that I’m sure you were supposed to hate them.
I’m highly impressed with Mass’s debut novel and if I knew her I’d give her a big high-five for all the hard work she’s put into it. Not that other writers don’t work hard… but I just feel Throne of Glass deserves a big high five! Am so excited for this book and want nothing but good things for it!
Yearbook Quote:No quote because it was an ARC… but I’m sure I could find a good one for you when it comes out!
Superlatives – Best. Fantasy. For Me.
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