Book Review # 43: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Monday, 8 June 2015
Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: August 2nd 2012
Pages: 404
Source: Bought

PurchaseThe Book Depository / Waterstones

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

So Throne of Glass was a re-read for me. I originally fell in love with the series because of their covers - they really stood out to me on the shelves. When Heir of Fire was released last year, I was lucky enough to go to a signing Sarah was doing in Newcastle and snagged a copy a few weeks before the release date. I was ecstatic so I read the first two books immediately but then never got around to the third book. This year I thought I would try it again as the release of book four: Queen of Shadows is coming up in September! The first time I read Throne of Glass I remember absolutely loving it - the plot was really intense and gripping and the characters were badass and rememberable, but besides that there were a few features that my mind had forgotten. Mainly side characters and details about certain objects ect. So what did I think? Well...

This book was an amazing refresher for my memory. I was instantly dragged back into the world that I loved the first time reading it. Even reading scenes where Celaena approaches the glass castle really stuck out in my mind. The most beautiful thing about this book besides the plot and the characters has to be the world building. Sarah's writing is extremely descriptive and vivid, so much so that if I closed my eyes I could picture exactly where everything was. The beauty of having such a fluid writing style means that as readers we can fully immerse ourselves in the world. The only downfall that Sarah's writing fell into in this book was the typical sentence found in Young Adult books of 'I let out the breath I didn't know I was holding.' Its the only downfall to this beautiful, beautiful writing.

As mentioned before, the plot was really gripping and intense. Even from the beginning when we're learning about Celaena in the mines, the suspense had me sitting on the edge of my seat dying to know why she was being released. The idea of a competition had me really intrigued because it sounded a lot like the premise of Divergent in the sense of having to learn to fight and then beat other champions. I also liked the idea that the champions were slowly getting killed off and there was a subplot that ran underneath the entire novel. It really added to the complexity of the book and made the novel more enjoyable to read because I was fully invested in the events that were happening. In my mind the only slight negative I could suggest in terms of the plot was that some of the events were ever so slightly predictable. It could be just because this was a re-read for me, but even so some of the clues that were given to the reader made the ending slightly obvious, and it was annoying to have to understand what was going on when quite often Celaena did not.

Speaking of Celaena lets discuss characters. Celaena was our main protagonist and she was kick ass, feisty, dynamic and at the same time quite delicate. She puts on this facade of being tough when after the events of her past, she's actually quite broken down on the inside. You can definitely see her development in this book as she grows to be the strong assassin we know her to be, and the trials she has to tackle on the way are a way of showing this. However because this is told from a third person perspective, Celaena isn't the only point of view we get to see from. We also get to hear from Dorian and Chaol, our two love interests in this novel. As frustrating as it was to see Celaena flit back and forth between them, it was nice to see that they each had their own individual qualities they could bring to the story. Dorian had his charm, wit and down to earth personality that matches well with Celaena whilst Chaol is more reluctant, reclined a tad blunt and yet he does grow on you as the novel progresses. We also gain an insight into Princess Nehemia whom I'm really coming to love. In the beginning she's introduced as she has been sent to the north by her father to learn the ways of the people. Her reasons behind going to the glass castle are a bit shady but Nehemia fiercely loves her country—and will do anything to ensure the safety and happiness of her people. I really enjoyed the friendship between her and Celaena and even when at times there was other suspected motives, I knew she was going to be an important character in Celaena's future.

So overall this novel was really enjoyable. The plot was dramatic and suspenseful enough to have me gripped and eagerly anticipating the sequel and the characters were bold and loveable. There were a few issues with plot predictability but these are minor and I put them mainly down to the fact that this is a re-read. If you haven't picked up Throne of Glass yet then I seriously suggest you go and do so. I award Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas a 4 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale. A great introduction to the world of this popular young adult fantasy series!

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