Throne of Glass is the enticing first book in its fantasy series, written by Sarah J. Maas.
After enduring a year of hard labour and torture in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is offered her freedom by the Crown Prince on one condition. Calaena must act as his Champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin to work for the king. Her opponents are assassins and thieves and warriors from all across the empire, and each one is sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats all of her opponents in a series of challenges and eliminations, she’ll be granted her freedom after serving her kingdom for three years.
Training with the captain of the guard, Westfall, is challenging and exhilarating while Celaena finds the court life extremely boring. Things start to get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her, but she knows it’s Captain Westfall who seems to know her best. But as the contestants start turning up dead, Celaena realises she must find out who the killer is before she becomes one of the victims. As the young assassin investigates, her search leads to greater discoveries than she ever imagined.
I desperately wanted to fall in love with Throne of Glass. I had heard so many amazing things about this series and perhaps my expectations were set at unimaginable heights before I even opened the book, but I felt like I was let down. I expected to fall in love with the characters and adore the setting and feel emotionally invested in the storyline, but I just didn’t. Promised of a kick-ass heroine, I jumped right into this book as soon as I had my hands on it. But within the first fifty pages, I knew this book wouldn’t be as amazing as it was stacked up to be. The setting felt underdeveloped and I would really have liked some more background information. And remember that kick-ass heroine I was promised? Well, I don’t know where she went after about a hundred pages.
One of the things that annoyed me most about this book was just how confusing it was at times. We had so much going on a lot of the time and I just couldn’t seem to keep up. It would have been alright if we had just been focussed on the competition or solving the magical problems, but both? And then the love triangle on top of all that made it even more complicated. This story would have been interesting enough without all these extra and unnecessary things, perhaps even more so. This book felt tiring to read just because of how much was going on. I physically had to force myself to get to the end of this book and I literally read four other books in between reading this one. At times, this book felt slow paced, even with everything going on. Maybe it was because I wasn’t into this book. Maybe this book just isn’t for me.
Celaena really annoyed me from time to time. I loved her in the beginning and how she was determined not to let the death camp take her courage and her will to live. She still had that fighting spirit in her that a lot of people would have lost by her point. The death camp hadn’t broken her and that was kind of inspiring to see what people are capable of when they want something badly enough. But there were a lot of points to her that I didn’t like. Firstly, some of the things she did were really frustrating. For example, there was a killer on the loose in the castle and then she finds a bag of candy and doesn’t even stop to question who sent them to her before eating them? Being the deadliest assassin, I would have thought she would have taken a bit more care to ensure she lived to the next day.
This assassin was always talking big about what she could do and how she could kill someone in a heartbeat, but we never really saw any of that. She was always going on about how great she was, which really got on my nerves. The fact that she was smart and talented and athletic and beautiful while also being fluent in lots of languages and being able to play music made me feel like Celaena was annoyingly perfect. Sure, she’s an assassin and she’s had a pretty terrible life, but it felt like the author was trying too hard to make me like Celaena. And for an assassin who’s just been tortured and almost starved to death at a camp, she complained an awful lot about some of the silliest things. Like how tight and uncomfortable her corset was. How she wasn’t allowed to sleep in. How she wasn’t allowed to go to the ball. I understand that she might want some of the finer things in life from being treated so badly, but I couldn’t believe an assassin could be so prissy at times. It frustrated me beyond belief.
The love triangle in this book really made me cringe. I wasn’t expecting it and I was kind of thrown off by it, and not in a good way. Honestly, it felt like the only reason Celaena was liked by one certain character and liked him back was because they were both attractive, and annoyingly so. Some love triangles I really enjoy reading about, but this definitely wasn’t one of them. I hardly felt attracted to either of the love interests and I couldn’t care less about who Celaena got with. Both of the love interests were similar in personality and I didn’t really favour one over the other. I would have liked to either love them both so much that I was undecided who I wanted Celaena to be with, or being adamant in believing who Celaena was meant to be with. A lot of the time, the relationship between one love interest and Celaena seemed unrealistic. How long does it take for you to stop hating someone and fall in love with them instead? I’m thinking that it takes more time than it did here. But I’ll go along with it for the sake of the story. However, I think me going along with this story ends here, because I don’t feel compelled to read the second book.
I would have liked to feel a bit more suspense in this book. To me, the ending was really obvious and it was easy to see who the main bad person was. This book also didn’t really feel like it got started until a couple of hundred pages in. There was a lot of unnecessary things in this book, the love triangle being the majority. I really wished I felt more connected to the characters and more emotionally invested in this book, but the harsh reality is, I didn’t. I wanted to love this book and I tried to, I really did, it just didn’t agree with me. I’d give Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas a score of 6 out of 10. If you’ve read this book, please let me know if you felt the same way as I did or if I’m alone on this one. And to all of you who’ve read the second book, please please please tell me what you thought of it because I’m willing to give this series one more chance if you all promise me the second is better than the first!