Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throneofglassreview


16034235Title: Throne of Glass (ToG #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: eBook
Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

5STARRATINGBNM


Once again I’m kicking myself over the fact that I put off reading a book that I ended up completely falling in love with. Throne of Glass had been sitting on my TBR for a while and was a book I kept putting off simply for the fact that I was worried I wouldn’t like it. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things, mainly about the first book not being that strong. Because of that, I went into this one with very low expectations. Let me tell you, Sarah J. Maas, once again, completely blew the roof off of my expectations! Full of flawed characters, rich history, incredible fantasy elements, and a mystery that I wasn’t at all expecting, Throne of Glass lived up to every bit of the hype that had me worried in the first place.

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s Assassin, is serving a life sentence in Endovier’s salt mines for her crimes against the crown, a sentence she doesn’t have much chance of surviving for long. That is until one day she’s hauled from the mines by the Captain of the Guard and put before the Crown Prince of Adarlan who offers her a bargain that could not only save her life but ultimately give her the freedom she craves. The bargain? Compete in a competition to become the King’s Champion and if she wins she’ll serve the King for four years and then have her freedom. Such a competition should be simple for Adarlan’s Assassin so she agrees. However, things become more complicated than she ever imagined whenever the other competitors start being mysteriously and grotesquely murder by something that is lurking within the castle walls. Murders which seem connected to strange symbols called wyrdmarks that shouldn’t exist given that magic is not only illegal but vanished from their world years ago. Throne of Glass has a perfect mixture of fantasy and mystery that will leave you turning the pages as fast as you can to figure what’s going to happen next.

“The leaves dangled like jewels – tiny droplets of ruby, pearl, topaz, amethyst, emerald, and garnet; and a carpet of such riches coated the forest floor around them. Despite the ravages of conquest, this part of Oakwald Forest remained untouched. It still echoed with the remnants of the power that had once given these tress such unnatural beauty.”

I shouldn’t even be surprised by this given that it’s been the same with all of the other books I’ve read by this author but once again the world building completely drew me into the story. I was enthralled by it. There’s just something about a book world that has layer upon layer of its own history that never fails to capture my attention. Throne of Glass has a lot of rich, dark history full of war and rebellion and slaughter at the hands of an empire that’s led by a terrible king. History that I feel we haven’t even completely scratched the surface of yet. Not only that, it’s also full of monsters, tales of magic and faeries that have seemingly vanished, assassins, criminals, and ghosts. There’s a part in the beginning where Celaena wakes up in her tent to find tiny footprints and white flowers, I was sold from that point on. I’m eagerly anticipating seeing how this world develops even more as I move into the other books in the series.

Something else I shouldn’t at all be surprised about; I completely fell in love with the characters. Throne of Glass solidified the fact that Sarah J. Maas is flawless at creating incredibly complex and flawed characters that you can’t help but love. Although, there are quite a few in this one that you’ll despise as well. I mean we’ve gotta have our well written villains, right? She definitely delivered on that front as well.

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

Celaena Sardothien is the world’s most notorious assassin. Everyone knows about her, a lot of people fear her and she isn’t exactly unaware of that. In fact, Celaena is very arrogant and knows she’s a great assassin. She’s clever, confident, defiant, fierce, stubborn, and has a lot of snark. She isn’t perfect and not always likable but oddly enough I loved that about her. She also gave me some serious Lila Bard feels at times, which won me over. However, underneath all of that, she has a huge heart and happens to love books, clothes, and chocolate. And she definitely seems to have some secrets up her sleeves that I can’t wait to find out as I venture into the rest of the books. Another new favorite female character? I think so!

Dorian Havilliard is the Crown Prince of Adarlan and he chooses Celaena as his champion for his father competition, believing right away that she’ll win it all. He gave off some serious mischievous flirt vibes at first with his charming personality, however, we quickly learn he’s also the complete opposite of his father who is the definition of an evil king. In fact, Dorian completely disagrees with everything his father has done and mouths off about it every now and then. He definitely had a rebellious air coming off of him at times that I hope is explored more.

“With each day he felt the barriers melting. He let them melt. Because of her genuine laugh, because he caught her one afternoon sleeping with her face in the middle of a book, because he knew that she would win.”

Chaol Westfall is the Captain of the Guard and where both Celaena and Dorian are a bit more outspoken he has a stillness and seriousness about him. I would go as far as to call him brooding at times. That aside, he’s also beyond loyal to Dorian and an incredible friend. He’s also the one who trains Celaena, or gets her back in shape, for the competition. Honestly, I adored pretty much all of his scenes with Celaena. Hands down, Chaol won me over more than any of them. I loved him.

Now onto the romance, or lack thereof. Something I heard about a lot before reading this book was the fact that there was a love triangle, which may have been another reason I put off reading it. I’m disputing that claim right now because while there is somewhat of a triangle I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a love triangle. Possibly an attraction triangle but not a love triangle. In fact, the romance, if you can call it that, is barely focused on in this book. I found that extremely refreshing. None of the character’s growing feelings for each other took away from them or the story. I ended up enjoying the triangle. I seriously couldn’t even figure out who I shipped Celaena with until it neared the end. Which, I won’t reveal who because I refuse to spoil anything. I will say that the hints of a triangle and romance were incredibly well written. I was pleasantly surprised by that fact.

Beyond those three there are so many other characters introduced within the pages of this book. Some you’ll love, some you’ll hate. One of them in particular, Nehemia, became one of my favorites and I adored her growing friendship with Celaena.

“Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

All in all, I completely loved this book. I went into it not expecting much and what I got was surprising in the best way possible. The ending was solid and had that feeling of being the beginning to an incredible series. Also, I’m pretty sure loving Throne of Glass just officially gave Sarah J. Maas auto-buy author status for me. So, yeah, I highly recommend this one to all of my fellow fantasy lovers out there. Now I’m off to dive into Crown of Midnight!


Have you read Throne of Glass? What did you think? If not is it on your TBR?

spsig

 

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34 thoughts on “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  1. Such a great review, Melissa! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this book so much. I haven’t read it – or anything by Sarah J. Maas yet, because well…there is so much hype around her books, also so many mixed reviews, that I am a bit scared to get into them for now ahah 🙂 However I know I can always trust your recommendations and I think I’ll feel a bit less anxious picking that one up now…someday, ahah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Marie!! 😁 That’s exactly how I felt about her books before I picked them up. So much hype and so many mixed things that I was scared to pick them up lol. But so far I’ve loved all of her books. I hope whenever/if you do give them a read that you end up enjoying them! 😊💕

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  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I liked it when I read it but I didn’t end up loving it. I think my expectations were too high tbh. I’ve carried on with the series though, I’m reading heir of fire at the minute (very slowly 😂)! Great review ❤️

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    • Thanks so much, Kirsty!! I ended up going in with such low expectations because almost everyone I know either only found the first book okay or didn’t enjoy it. 🙈 I think setting the bar low worked in my favor lol. I actually finished Crown of Midnight last night and loved it even more than the this one so I can see why the first book wasn’t as good to a lot of people. 😊
      Question since you’re on Heir of Fire – Have you read The Assassin’s Blade yet? I know it’s prequel novellas but I’m not sure if I should go ahead and read it now or if I can just continue with the series without reading it and understand everything. (Part of me really just wants to dive into Heir of Fire after Crown of Midnight’s ending. 😂)

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  3. Great review for this book Melissa, and I am so thrilled to see you enjoyed this one. I really can’t wait for you to get around to the other books currently released because if you loved this one that means you’re pretty much guaranteed to adore the rest. I think this is a series that gets better and better with each book so you really do still have the best yet to come! 😀
    I was a bit hesitant about starting this book, because of the reasons you mentioned in your review, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised as well. I guess this just goes to show sometimes going into books with low expectations can really end up being the best thing because they surprise you in great ways. The love triangle is hinted at more than anything in this book but even in the other books I wouldn’t say it’s a love triangle either, it’s more relationships developing as Celaena’s character develops.
    I can’t wait for you to read more of the series, there is so much I need to talk to you about! I’ve pretty much got five books worth of conversation, theories and spoilers saved up for when you’re up to date with this series! 😀 ❤

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    • Thanks so much, Beth!! 😁💕 It was such an incredible book! I feel like I worried for nothing because I honestly didn’t know if I was going to like it after all of the mixed things I heard. Mainly because I know of a lot of people who have loved ACOTAR but don’t care for ToG. So, yeah, the fact that I ended up loving it so much has me really happy. And I actually finished Crown of Midnight last night and loved it even more than this one. It was so good! Sadly, I already knew who Celaena actually was because it’s impossible to avoid spoilers for this series and SJM foreshadowing is obvious but even with that it didn’t ruin how much I enjoyed it. I’m now contemplating between going ahead and reading The Assassin’s Blade now or just jumping into Heir of Fire. 😂
      It really does! I think whenever it comes to books with a lot of hype that you’re worried about reading for whatever reason going into them with low expectations can sometimes mean the book completely surprises you. Which is exactly what ToG did. I loved it way more than I thought I would for sure. I agree, I wouldn’t say it’s a love triangle at all. I mean yeah there were several possible love interest but it never turned into a love triangle situation. And you’re right it’s more of the relationships developing as her character develops which is really realistic and I love that SJM does that. If all possible “love triangles” were done that way then I wouldn’t have a problem with them ever lol.
      And I’ll let you know the second I get finished with all of the books! Actually, I’ll probably come to you freaking out after every book once I finish it because I’ll need to freak out. I’m most likely not writing reviews for the other books at the moment but I’ll let you know it comments and such. Which, again, I finished Crown of Midnight last night and THE ENDING even though I knew it was coming. BUT I didn’t see everything with Nehemia coming and Dorian and the magic. Also, my heart broke when she said goodbye to Fleetfoot. I swear I was more sad over her parting with her dog than anything. 🙈

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      • That’s all right, and yeah I felt the same after I’d finished this book. It wasn’t a five star read for me but it was nowhere as bad as I’d thought it would be. Ahh, see I’m one of the people who’ve loved both ACOTAR and ToG so you’re like me in that case. 🙂
        Ohh, that’s great to hear, I’ll keep an eye out for your review in that case Melissa! 😀 That’s a shame about the spoilers, but at least it didn’t spoil yours enjoyment of the book in general.
        Maybe that’s something we should do more with hyped books. I mean a lot of the hyped books I’ve reads I’ve loved but how much more would I have loved them if I’d gone in with slightly lowered expectations! Still at least that worked for both of us with ToG.
        Yeah it’s one thing I love about SJM’s books, there are what you could call love triangles in them but they never actually are love triangles they way you think they will be. Celeana is never interested in two guys at the same time, instead her relationships change as she does.
        Oh god the ending for Crown of a Midnight was a game changer for me! I didn’t see any of it coming, even the reveal with who Celaena really is. These books really do read out your heart in completely unexpected ways don’t they? 🙂 ❤️

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      • I’m definitely one of those people who love ACOTAR and ToG too. I think I’ll just love anything SJM writes no matter what at this point. Though I do have to admit that the minor world building similarities threw me off in the beginning. And even now going into Empire of Storms. The High Priestesses, the mentions of the Mother, and Bloodbane. Then I figured out Maeve’s powers straight away because it’s like Rhys’s and Lorcan even sort of has power similarities with him. There’s these little connections that make me wonder, you know? Though I have seen somewhere where SJM said they were different world within the same multiverse or something, like alternate universes.
        Anyway! Definitely a shame about the spoilers but as I’m finding out there’s a lot that wasn’t spoiled for me too so I’m happy about that. 😊
        I’m thinking we should! I mean I’m a huge hype reader and end up loving the books more often than not but going in with lower expectations could definitely end with me loving a book even more than I would had I gone in with higher expectations.
        Same and all of that goes to show how incredible she is at developing her characters. Not only that but in a realistic sense as well. They change and their relationships with the other characters change. And when it comes to romance those changes never fall into being an actual love triangle. I remember we talked about it before and it feeling more like a second romance than anything. Which I have to admit that I absolutely despised Rowan at first. I went in thinking I wouldn’t but I did. And then I loved him and sat there staring at the book wondering how SJM can make me hate a character and then love them all in one book. Not that I should be surprised given she did that in ACOMAF but still.
        It was for me too! And then even more so the ending for Heir of Fire. I didn’t see any of it coming at all. Then Queen of Shadows! I can’t believe I’m already on Empire of Storms. I’m not ready to wait for the last book. 🙈 And as soon as I finish Empire of Storms we’re going to have to talk about whatever theories you have!

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      • I’m the same, I think she’s a brilliant author and if someone asked me to choose which I loved better, ACOTAR or ToG I wouldn’t be able to choose. I’m sure anything else she releases will be the same. Honestly I haven’t read the two series side by side in ages so I didn’t make any of the connections you have, but I have heard others saying things like that about the world building. I know they’re not set in the same world, I’ve seen SJM say that as well, but yeah there are definite similarities in both series. Still different enough to make it clear they’re very different worlds and stories.
        I guess you must have discovered some small spoilers but not a lot of the bigger ones.
        There’s a book I’ve been really excited for that I’ve heard some less than amazing things about so I’ll be going into that one with lowered expectations, I’ll let you know if that works out for me and if it does I dunno, may be worth lowering my expectations for more books being released I can’t wait for. It’s always better to enjoy a book more than you think you will than have it be the other way around right? Yeah when it comes to character and romance development I don’t think there’s another author who can quite meet SJM. It’s great to read. Yeah Rowan was a character it took me a while to warm up to, kind of like it did Celaena. 😀
        In that case let me know as soon as you finish Empire of Storms, I feel you’re going to need someone to talk to once you’ve finished that book! 😀

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  4. Great review, Melissa. I’ve read the first four in the series and book five has been sitting on my shelf unread for a while now. I just haven’t been able to completely fall in love with this series the way a lot of other people have and I’m still unsure why. I thought it might be that SJM just isn’t the writer for me but then I read ACOMAF which I absolutely adored so who knows?

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    • Thanks so much!! 😊💕 I have a feeling that Throne of Glass is a series that people either love or they just don’t care for. I know several people who adore ACOTAR but don’t care for this one at all. But speaking of ACOMAF I have to say that I completely love that one too. Even more so than this or any other book SJM has written. 😂🙈 I do think the characters are stronger in that series in general than this one so far.

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  5. I’ve literally been putting this book off for so long because I really don’t know if I’m going to vibe with it ??? It’s definitely a bit more reassuring to see that you enjoyed it so much though!! I just need to pick it up already 😂 Great review, Melissa!!

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    • You should so give it a try, Lauren!! You never know lol. But I have to admit I’ve noticed it’s a series people either love or don’t. I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it so I was shocked when I did. 😂 I hope you end up enjoying whenever/if you do decide to give it a read. Thanks so much!! 😊💕

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  6. So glad to hear you enjoyed this Melissa! I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of this series, especially since Celaena really seemed forced to me and I couldn’t connect with her at all! However, I may be re-reading this another time later this year so maybe my opinions will have changed?? But who knows!

    Thanks for the review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Anisha!! 😊💕
      Sorry it’s one that you didn’t really enjoy. I’ve noticed a lot either love it or don’t care for it at all. That’s what had me worried before I picked it up. If you do end up rereading it sometime this year I hope it goes better the second time around. 💕

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  7. This series has been on my TBR for the longest time! I’m so glad to see your 5 stars rating. I know I will love it then 🙂 This series is long though.. so have a fun ride! Excellent review as always!

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    • It’s been on mine for a long time too. After having loved ACOWAR I wanted to read more books by SJM so it seemed like the perfect time to binge read them lol. I hope you enjoy them whenever you get around to reading them. Thanks so much, Jasmine!! 😊💕

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  8. Great Review! This book is still sat on my bookshelf waiting to be picked up, I only have the first one in the series waiting so far do you think I should get the second book as well before I start it in-case I adore it and need it straight away? I think I will end up loving it because ACOTAR is one of my major loves.

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    • Thanks so much!! 😊 I would say read the first book before buying the second because from what I’ve seen ToG seems to be people either love or don’t care for. But at the same time if you do love it you’ll want Crown of Midnight straight away so… 😂 I hope you enjoy it whenever you get to reading it!! 😊💕

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  9. Nice review! Throne of Glass has been on my radar for a long time, but I just added it to my TBR after ACOWAR. I’m not sure I’ll like this series as much as the ACOTAR series, but I do want to at least give the first book a try because I just can’t wait a whole year for more Sarah J. Maas. This review makes me so much more enthused about finally picking up Throne of Glass!

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    • Thanks so much!! 😊 Surprisingly I’ve loved this one just as much as ACOTAR so far. It’s really good and exactly what I expect from SJM after having read that series. I hope you end up enjoying it whenever you pick it up! And funny enough not being able to wait a whole year for more SJM is what led to me picking these up now. 😂

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  10. I was a bit meh about this, but I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! I’m curious to see what you think of the rest of the series. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I totally agree!! Everything about this book is just perfect in every area!! (I also loved Chaol, i’ve been seeing people who hate his character, which I just don’t understand,
    becaus​e​ in my opinion h​e​’s perfect!)

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