Book Review – Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Oooookay, so I’ve been putting off writing this series of reviews for about a year. And then until about the last minute this week too. I can’t figure out how I’m going to write these, so here we go. Mess and all.

Why am I so conflicted? Because these books are PROBLEMATIC, y’all. This first one isn’t so bad, but they get steadily worse as the series goes on. But it’s so well-loved in the book community that stans come after people who are critical of SJM and the books, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that when I first read them. But I’m ready now.

I’m so ready.

So here we go.

Throne of Glass starts in the salt mines, where Celaena Sardothien is being held prisoner and forced to do hard labor. But she’s rescued by Prince Dorian of Adarlan and his captain of the palace guard, Chaol Westfall. They have a deal for her – if she agrees to participate in a competition in the palace as Dorian’s champion, she gets to leave the salt mines and live in the palace. This competition will be dangerous and potentially deadly and all that stuff. But Celaena agrees. She’s an assassin, after all.

The competition starts out fairly banal, but it starts getting weird when other champions start winding up murdered. Celaena, who is relatively bored by palace life, starts to investigate. But as she digs deeper, she finds that there is a lot more to this mystery than meets the eye.

Oh, and there’s a love triangle. Yippee.

tog


3 Things I Loved

  1. Celaena. She’s sarcastic and bratty and I kind of loved it. She’s also bookish and has done more in her 18 years than most characters in books I’ve read. She was strong for me in this book, and I loved her a lot. (That changes as the series goes on, but you’ll see.)
  2. Nehemia. Holy crap, I loved Nehemia. She starts out seeming a little stuck up, but that quickly changed for me. When she and Celaena started to become friends, I was about it. I honestly thought the book could have more Nehemia.
  3. The competition. This book’s plotline reminded me some of the Harry Potter books in that it took place over a defined period of time and things happened in the book that weren’t related to the main plot. And that was okay. This competition plotline was really fun, and I loved that Celaena kept beating out the men. I need more of that in books.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

This first book isn’t as bad as the rest of the series (like I said, you’ll see what I mean as we keep going), but there were still some problems. The writing was pretty weak in places, to the point where I remember rolling my eyes and doing a little bit of skimming. And the cast was very very white – I think Nehemia is the only character coded as anything other than white until like… book 4? It’s not great. I’m really sick of women in books (especially fantasy) who are praised and exalted for their white blonde hair. Like, come on. DIVERSIFY A LITTLE, PEOPLE.

This section of the reviews is going to steadily get longer as I dive further into the series, so be warned about that.


Rating

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

Aside from being a little boring in parts, the first book in this series was pretty strong, and it definitely made me want to keep reading. So, Throne of Glass gets a GREEN rating. Good, but not great. A solid first book.

What did y’all think of this book?

Happy reading!

-A.

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