Throne of Glass is written by Sarah J. Maas. It was published in 2012 by Bloomsbury. Maas’s website can be found here.
“When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison
Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.
And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.
But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.”
So, I must admit that at first I had some slight reservations about this book. For one, the blurb isn’t all that great. For another, this novel originated on Fictionpress, which made me worry about the quality (I’m sure there are great stories on Fictionpress, but it (and its sister site Fanfiction.net) also has about 90% worth of unoriginal, clichéd, poorly written stories).
However, once I got past the first few chapters, I did start to enjoy the novel more. I immensely enjoyed the relationship between Celaena and Chaol because theirs is the sort of relationship I adore to see as a budding romance. Chaol is just a great character in general.
I think I would have liked the book more without the Fae element to it, but the magic aspect of it did make for some interesting—and creepy—situations and dilemmas for the characters. I also liked the hints that even though the king is more of a background character, he may in fact be the Biggest Bad of the series.
As much as I loved Celaena and Chaol’s relationship, I hated Celaena and Dorian’s relationship, which was pretty much the exact opposite of the former’s and the standard YA romance formula (love triangle…sigh). Thank goodness that that ship appears to have sailed, at least.
Celaena as a character screams Mary Sue (and apparently it gets even worse in the sequel) and as a result I found that I enjoyed the secondary characters much more. It also didn’t help that I wanted to scream at her for her colossal misinterpretation of facts and her overall apathy towards everything (flaws of a sort, but not enough to counter her Mary Sue-vibe).
As a side note, I didn’t much like the Fae element because I’ve read too many bad fanfictions where the main character is half-Fae (or half-fairy, half-demon, half-angel, whatever). It reminded me too much of the book’s origins, which, as I said, isn’t necessarily bad, but casts a shadow on the book’s quality, in my opinion.
Recommended Age Range: 14+
Warnings: Violence, supernatural elements
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
“Something to remember when fighting me, Sardothien,” he panted. The sun caught in his golden-brown eyes.
“Hmm?” she grunted, lunging to deflect his newest attack.
“I don’t lose.” He grinned at her, and before she could comprehend the words, something cut into her feet and—
She had the sickening feeling of falling. She gasped as her spine collided with marble, the rapier flying from her hand. Chaol pointed his blade at her heat. “I win,” he breathed.
She pushed herself onto her elbows. “You had to resort to tripping me. That’s hardly winning at all.”
“I’m not the one with the sword at my heart.”
Something shifted in the reflection of the window, and she whirled as she beheld the man standing behind her.
But Cain didn’t smile at her, not in that mocking way. Instead, he panted, his mouth opening and closing like a fish wrenched from water. His dark eyes were wide, and he had a hand around his enormous throat. Hopefully, he was choking to death.
“Is something wrong?” she asked sweetly, leaning against the wall. He glanced from side to side, at the guards, at the window, before his eyes snapped to hers. His grip on his throat tightened, as if to silence the words that fought to come out, and the ebony ring on his finger gleamed dully. Even though it should have been impossible, he seemed to have packed on an additional ten pounds of muscle in the past few days. In fact, every time she saw him, Cain seemed bigger and bigger.
Throne of Glass was more enjoyable than I thought it would be, with a cast of secondary characters that I loved and a relationship that was a refreshing break from fireworks/sparks/aches. Celaena is a bit too perfect and awesome for me to really like her as a character, but she does some cool things. The Fae element is also a bit much for me. The book’s not as bad as I thought it would be, but not all that great, either.
You can buy this here: Throne of Glass