Book Review: ‘Throne of Glass’ by Sarah J. Maas

The new, emerging trend in YA lit is assassins. So what book is better to try out this new trend, then the highly-buzzed-about Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Throne of Glass was originally published online under the title, Queen of Glass. It gained a massive following, which led to Bloomsbury picking up the book to formally publish it. Bloomsbury was nice to send me a copy to read and review.

Throne of Glass is an intriguing story with a kickass lead character. But what makes it any different than other good books? While it has elements that are reminiscent of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, Throne of Glass still manages to be such an original and refreshing read. It follows famed assassin, Celaena Sardothien. Taught and trained as a child, Celaena was one of the best assassins ever known. Until the day she is betrayed and sent to prison. After months of trying to survive the brutal Endovier prison, she’s released by the Crown Prince himself. He offers her a deal, which is for her to represent him in a competition. If she can defeat the twenty-three other killers in the competition, she will be named the King’s Champion, and after four years in his service, she will win back her freedom. Despite how much Celaena despises the King, having freedom means the world to her; so she agrees to the Prince’s offer. As Celaena prepares and begins the tournament, she begins to learn that she may be destined to fight for something more than herself.

Throne of Glass starts off a little slow, which is what I expected. When it comes to fantasy, quite a bit of set-up is needed. It usually takes a while to get the names of people and places sorted out. Once I did, just a few chapters in, it was all smooth sailing. We really get to know Celaena, and she ends up being someone you want to know. She’s smart, brave, and interesting. She’s also charming and resilient. There was never any doubt that I would want to stop reading about her. She pulls you into the story, and you become invested in her and all the other characters.

Going in, I knew that this story was going to have a love triangle, and I couldn’t help but groan at that. Frankly, I’m sick of love triangles. In so many cases, they aren’t even REAL love triangles; you already know who’s going to end up together, so why bother with all the dumb conflict? I was taken by surprise by how Maas played out the romance in the story. First off, it didn’t have as much romance as I expected. The story and Celaena is more focused on the competition and other important things. There is romance threaded through out though. As for the love triangle, it isn’t glaringly obvious who Celaena will end up with. In fact, I’m not even sure if she will end up with either of them. Both guys are admirable and interesting in their own ways. Maas created complex supporting characters, which were actually fascinating to read. It wasn’t just two hot guys going after the girl. It left me curious about how the supporting characters will progress as the story goes on, in addition to Celaena.

This is the first of a series, I believe. It’s a great start, but I’m really looking forward to see Celaena the assassin. Assassins are killers. There’s no way of getting around that, even if they only kill bad people. We don’t really see Celaena be an assassin in this book, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the author tackles that whole dynamic of “being a good person,” but “killing people for a living.” That whole notion is the most fascinating thing about this new YA assassin trend. I can see a lot of writers shying away from making their assassin characters that complex, in order to keep them likable. From Throne of Glass alone, I don’t see Sarah J. Maas shying from that.

Rating: 8.5/10 ★★★★★★★★☆

Throne of Glass hits bookstores Tuesday, August 7th. You can pre-order the book at our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.

Keep a look on this site on Monday. We’ll have a special Throne of Glass Blog Tour post and giveaway! You really won’t want to miss it.


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