Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Pages: 404 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Kindle ebook
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Amazon)
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.
Thoughts on Throne of Glass
So, I've never been a big fantasy reader, but I'm finding more and more to enjoy about the genre since I started blogging. I remember seeing tons of reviews around the blogosphere when Throne of Glass was first published. I noticed that many of them raved about the book, but there were also a number of bloggers who found issues with Celaena's character and other aspects of the book. To be honest, I really wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one. The summary didn't really appeal to me, but I was intrigued enough to buy a copy for my Kindle. And, as is always the case, it just sat there for almost a year.
After seeing Alexa and Kelly rave about this series, I finally decided it was time to take the plunge. Did I mention that at this point Crown of Midnight had been released AND I'd pre-ordered it? Oh yeah, I decided to go ahead and buy the second book without even reading the first. I know, sometimes I have to shake my head at my own crazy. Now that I've read Throne of Glass, I can't believe I waited so long!
Four Things I Loved In This Book:
1. The World Building
Most of the fantasy I've read takes a while to get into the action. The beginning is usually bogged down by the world-building. But not Throne of Glass! This book starts off with a bang, and it just gets better from there. I loved that we're immediately thrown into the story because it kept me from feeling bored or overloaded with information. I was interested and invested in Celaena from the very beginning.
The world and the setting felt so real to me! I could imagine each different part of this place, which is something I really appreciated about this book. My biggest problem with most fantasy books is that world feels so foreign that I become disconnected from the story. Even though this was clearly an imaginary world, I still felt like I "knew" it, in a way.
The only weakness for me here was that the magic element didn't feel fully fleshed out. I know it's important to the story, but I didn't feel like I completely understood why magic had been banned and how it was being used within the world. It wasn't a huge issue - just something that felt like it needed a little more development in order for me to fully get how it fit into the book.
2. The Characters
I can see why not everyone will love these characters. Celaena is arrogant, self-absorbed and somewhat ruthless. She also loves clothing and is prone to dramatics. So, I get that she won't be everyone's cup of tea. But dang, y'all, I loved her! Something about her just won me over right from the start. I loved that she loved to read, that she could fight like nobody's business and that there's something a little off-putting about her.
I did want a little more information about her backstory, but I think I could have gotten it if I'd read the novellas. So, that little hole likely wouldn't bother me if I'd taken the time to read those prequels first.
3. The Romance
There's a love triangle in this one, which is something that can be hit-or-miss. For some reason, this one just worked for me. I don't think it's a perfect triangle, but I still loved the romance. I obviously had a favorite (Chaol! DUH!), but it made me excited to see how this element develops in the later books. I don't think this will be something that everyone will like, but I definitely didn't feel like it detracted from my enjoyment of the story. In some ways, it just enhanced it because I thought both boys were well-developed and intriguing.
4. The Plot
There's so much more to the story than the romance in this one. I really loved the idea of the challenge to become the king's assassin. The competition was intense! I don't want to say much more about the plot, but I really was so caught up in what was happening. From training for the competition to the evil lurking in the castle, there was no way I was going to be able to put this book down once I started.
I did feel like the book would have been a little stronger if there had been a little more attention paid to the competition. There were a few times that I wanted to know more about what was going on - feeling like I didn't get to see the full picture of what was happening. In some ways, there's so much more that could have been told about these events. But, at the same time, I also understand that Maas can only focus on so much without this book getting bogged down in too much detail.
It did take me forever to finally read this book, but I absolutely enjoyed it once I did. There were a few minor things that kept me from rating this as a "loved" - but it came pretty dang close. From the engaging story to the interesting characters, I found a lot to love in Throne of Glass. As soon as I'd finished this one, I immediately started reading Crown of Midnight. I had to know what was going to happen next!
"Library were full of ideas - perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons."