Review: Throne of Glass. Throne of Glass 1 by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of GlassThrone_of_Glass_UK

432 pages
Bloomsbury
published in 2012

1. Throne of Glass
2. Crown of Midnight
3. Heir of Fire
4. Queen of Shadows
5. Empire of Storms (2016)
6. ???

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I read lots and lots of exciting reviews about this series and after one of my friends couldn’t stop talking about it I thought it might be worth a try. In the end I am almost sure that I won’t continue reading.

The story takes place in a typical fantasy world and follows the 18-year-old assassin Calaena Sardothien who has to face a lifetime of suffering in the salt mines of Endovier. Luckily she gets out of there pretty early in the book and gets thrown into a setting that can be compared to that of the Hunger Games. The king of Adarlan decided to give some good fighters, mostly assassins, thieves, murderers etc. the chance to redeem themselves in a competition. Whoever proves to be the best will be serving the kingdom for a couple of years and will be free to go after that. Calaena agrees to be the crown prince’s champion and compete in order to gain her freedom.

First of all I let you know about the things I liked. I think the the style of writing is very good and easy to follow. The dialogues are always very lively and well-written and I mostly enjoyed reading them. We don’t know so much about the world yet but bits and pieces concerning the history, different wars as well as rivalries and mysteries are revealed. Magic exists as well but is not a major factor until the end. I suppose the next books will deal with it some more. I liked the set-up of the competition as it promised action and drama as well as lots of scheming and betrayal.

The characters are well written. All the major ones are distinctive and even go through some changes. That doesn’t alter the fact though that I did not like most of them. Let’s start with Caelena. She is the stereotypical badass assassin, sassy and arrogant, very beautiful (of course…) and the best at what she’s doing, stronger than everyone, better with a sword and bow and everything else. Sorry, but this is ridiculous. And even more so the fact that she built up her reputation before she was 18. That means she also was like that when she was in her early teens. I didn’t buy it and didn’t like it. She doesn’t actually have any bad characteristics which made her a not very likeable character to me. And all the hints at her mysterious past are not making it better.

The prince is just an annoying jerk who apparently doesn’t know what to do with his time apart from fooling around with beautiful assassins. Oh, and he’s amazing looking as well. Boring.

I liked Captain Westfall though as he is more someone who has his good and bad qualities. He has his morals but finds himself questioning his beliefs.

Also it has a love triangle that’s not as in your face as in other books ( I am talking to you, Kiss of Deception! 😀 ), but still gets on my nerves.. I want more story, more interesting twists and actions, more epic scenes and no lovestruck teenagers who can’t decide what they want.

Lots of things you expect to happen will happen and there are not too many surprises to be honest. Because of that the tension is lacking as well.. It has more potential I think but the characters definitely need more flaws and stop being so powerful.

3 comments

  1. Exactly. Everything you said = how I felt about this book. How can an 18 year old be the best and most feared assassin? And that’s despite years wasting away in prison. The love triangle also irritated me me, and it sounds like it just gets more irritating as the story spins on. I did enjoy Chaol and the actions scenes, but I quit the series after book II due to these issues. I just kept feeling unsatisfied by the end, even though I flew through the books each time. The writing itself is pretty strong. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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