Book Review: Throne of Glass

3star

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J Maas

Ratings: 2.5/5 stars

Series: Yes, 1 of 7

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Book Review, Read at Midnight

Celaena Sardothien, named Ardalan’s most lethal assassin, has been imprisoned in the slave camp Endovier since she was 17.  One year after her enslavement, Dorian, Crown Prince of Ardalan, frees her on one condition: she must represent him in a dangerous contest to become the King’s Champion.

I really wanted to love this one.  I read the novellas before the first book came out a couple of years back and really enjoyed them.  However, I feel like the book was not as strong as the novella, both in terms of characterisation and plot. Oh man, this was such a disappointment.

I feel like I’m going to get booed off the internet for for this, but… I don’t feel the Celaena love. I get that the author is trying to show that a girl can kill and loves shiny dresses/puppies/candy, though Calaena honestly reads like a bit of a bimbo.  She’s got to be the world’s most ineffective assassin.  For all her talk, her body count in this book? 0 (well, 1 if you include the beast thing Cain conjured).  Ability to be inconspicuous?  ZILCH.  Amount of candy consumed? Approximately 10kg.  Number of times she gushes over how beautiful she is? Too numerous to count.  Also, if I see one more exclamation mark I will throw something!!!!!! Here’s some examples into the minds of Ardalan’s most feared assassin:

“Candy!” A large paper bag sat on a pillow, and she found that it was filled with all sorts of confectionary goodies. There was no note, not even a name scribbled on the bag. With a shrug and glowing eyes, Celaena pulled out a handful of sweets. Oh, how she adored candy!

*facepalm* This is right in the midst of champions being killed left and right by an unknown person/force, you’d think a famed assassin would take a bit more precaution before gorging herself on lollies.  I think I was meant to find this endearing…

She threw her hands in the air. “You know, I actually felt guilty. Just a little guilty. And now I remember why I shouldn’t have. I hate sitting around, locked in my room, bored out of my senses. I hate all these guards and nonsense; I hate you telling me to hold back when Brullo sings Cain’s praises and I’m just there, boring and unnoticed in the middle. I hate being told what I can’t do. And I hate you most of all!”

Our great assassin throwing a teenage tantrum about not getting enough attention.

Now, this would all be great if the author was trying to subvert a trope, attempting to show us that the person behind the legend is not all-powerful but a flawed human being. However, I think we are genuinely meant to believe she’s an awesome assassin, as the book keeps reminding us every other page.  But urgh, as shown in above examples, I don’t buy it.

My other issue is that for someone who’s been enslaved in a death camp for one year, Celaena shows very little emotional trauma from it. She’s smirking at princes and picking at her nails the moment she walks out from Endovier.  For such a harrowing experience, I would expect it to have more impact on the character, ya know?  Why bother having her be a slave for one year if it doesn’t have any bearing on her characterisation whatsoever?

For a fantasy, this world is paper thin.  Aside from a neat description of the glass castle, I know little else about Ardalan and the rest of the empire. Why did the king kill off magic? What were the other nations like? Who are their gods and goddesses? What is the magic that’s actually outlawed? We don’t know much of anything, now I know that it’s only the first book so these things will be revealed in time… but Philosopher’s Stone was the first book in the series and Harry’s world was significantly more well-realised.

I don’t have much to say about the other characters either.  I’m neither Team Chaol or Team Dorian, I felt both love interest were quite bland, I did not understand their fascination with Celaena – who basically acted like a spoiled brat around them 90% of the time.

There are some good points i) Celaena and Nehemia’s friendship, yay for the relative lack of ‘mean girls’ and ii) the writing made for a fun and easy read.  Nonetheless, it wasn’t enough to save this book for me.  I have the second book, but for the moment I have 0 interest in reading it.

14 thoughts on “Book Review: Throne of Glass

  1. Hey loving your blog name there xD

    I wasn’t a huge fan of ToG either, girl! I couldn’t see how Celaena was the most feared assassin either. Not badass enough imo <.< Though I do suggest reading on with book 2! I ended up LOVING that one because Celaena gets so much better and YES NEHEMIA IS AMAZING.

    Great review, Aentee! <33

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, one week after I started blogging I found your beautiful website and its name and immediately wished I did my research before picking a blog name. I can’t compete with you girls and your shiny blog! Haha.

      Oh I’m glad to hear that the 2nd book gets better. I really want ToG fever, I do!

      Thanks for your comment ❤

      Like

  2. Honestly, I agree with a lot of what you said. I really wanted to like this book because there was so much hype surrounding it, but I definitely didn’t love it, and actually had a hard time finishing it. I didn’t get attached to any of the characters – I think the author was trying to build the world and the characters and the same time, and it was really distracting. I think I might continue the series up to the third book and see if I’m still not liking it by that point – every seems to say that the third book is the best book out so far. Sorry you didn’t like it, but nice review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting! I’m glad I’m not the only one with issues with it, I felt so alone looking at bookstagram and its love for the series! I will try read the second one at some point as Melanie above promises it gets better haha. Fingers crossed for us both.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually enjoyed this one but I definitely see your points. I liked it but I didn’t like it as much as everyone else. Celaena did read as a mary sue a lot but I really enjoyed the plot and how it sort of kept me guessing. I’ll definitely read the next book because EVERYONE says that by Heir of Fire, it’s perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Nova.

      I don’t mind Mary Sues and Gary Stus, but unfortunately, I never connected with Celaena D: I hope you’re right, I’ll try reading the second book and hope for improvement haha.

      Like

  4. I am surprised! I think this is the first review of this book that isn’t so… pretty. Haha! Everybody seems to love it. Well, I haven’t read this one and tbh I’m not sure I will. At least, not yet. When the time comes, I wish I enjoy it more than you did =)) Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely in the minority here, so I hope you’ll enjoy the books when you read them, too! I really want to join in on the fandom as fans of the series are so passionate and creative. Maybe I’ll give the 2nd one a go haha.

      Like

    • I really hope you like it! I’ve been promised multiple times that the series improves so I will stick around for the pretty covers lol *shallow*

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it will be read as next month’s TBR! Thanks for encouraging me ahaha I need it for this series 🙂

      Like

  5. I have to say that Throne of Glass disappointed me after reading the novellas. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped. Crown of Midnight is a lot better I think, the series goes in a different direction and I think it is for the better.

    I also get the Celaena dislike. I really liked her in the novellas because she is such a strong character and when I first read them, I hadn’t been reading very many books about physically strong heroines so that appealed to me. She’s very jaded so it can get a little monotonous to read from her perspective all the time. She really started to grate on my nerves in Heir of Fire so I’m hoping for a good shift in the next book.

    Like

    • I have Crown of Midnight so I’m interested to continue on. And I want to know who this Rowan twitter and tumblr is so obsessed with haha. I just think Celaena’s a bit too much of a Mary Sue- i usually have no problems with them tbh but her thinking and childishness irritates me. Glad to hear someone else feels the same ☺️💖

      Liked by 1 person

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