Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

23599075  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?

5 stars

Every reader has one.

You know – that one series that never fails to utterly captivate you. The one you could re-read over and over and never, ever tire, always picking up a new little nugget of gold you missed the first fifty times. That one whose characters you absolutely love to pieces.

Well ‘Throne of Glass’; an epic, sweeping High Fantasy saga by Miss Sarah J. Maas (my reigning queen of fantasy) is mine. It’s one unpredictable ride packed with badassery, dungeons, castles, secret tunnels, swoonful, swashbuckling men and awesome characters. The beautifully detailed world of Erilea, so expertly crafted by Maas is one I love to escape to – an frequently do! In anticipation for ‘Tower of Dawn’ the sixth (or seventh? – if we’re counting ‘The Assassin’s Blade’ that is) installment of the highly acclaimed saga I figured it was time to finally roll up my sleeves and try to do justice to this modern masterpiece.

Now before I dive into the review I do just want to mention ‘The Assassin’s Blade’ quickly. While ‘Throne of Glass’ (now referring to as ToG because I’m lazy AF) is the first book of the series I always recommend reading ‘The Assassin’s Blade’, the bind up of prequel novellas first (See my review here). Miss Maas herself has stated that “While [her readers] can read it at any time, [she] likes to think of it as book zero and recommends reading it before Throne of Glass.”. So that’s just something to think about if you’er still A ToG virgin and are deciding whether or not to take the plunge into this truly freaking epic series.

While this is an expansive saga involving over the course of the seven installments weaving intricate character arcs and multiple perspectives our main protagonist of the series is our girl Celaena Sardothien. Celaena is Adarlan’s Assassin. An eighteen-year-old girl with a heart of ice and a will of steel a complete and utter bad ass with a pretty face and a sharp tongue. Not only was Celaena trained at the Assassin’s Guild by Arobyn Hamel – the King of Assassin’s himself but she was sent of Endovier, one of Erilea’s death camps at the age of seventeen. This is where we find her at the beginning of ToG; reduced to a frail slave worker in the salt mines where she has survived for a year when she is offered the deal that will set her on a course to “rattling the stars”.

Now many critics have criticized Celaena’s character. In ToG we are presented with a this rather arrogant assassin who many see as childish and selfish. Yes, Celaena is all these things and more but she’s the character you love to hate. This is the very reason for  my recommending ‘The Assassin’s Blade’. Celaena is a product of her past and through ‘The Assassin’s Blade’ we learn how she was made that way. This brings readers an extensive and required insight to her character and the events leading up to her sentence to Endovier. To me though, Celaena Sardothien is inspired. This is a girl who has been to hell and back and still has the courage to laugh, to love. She is flawed but it’s because of these flaws that we love her; because beneath that arrogant, icy exterior lies a heart of gold.

Though Celaena is our protagonist don’t assume that our secondary characters aren’t just as courageous and beloved. Our sexy love interests; Dorian Havilliard and Chaol Westfall are just as memorable and we have an abundance of badassery in the form of Nehemia, the rebel princess. Whether your #Teamdorian or #Teamchaol I think I speak for most when I say I can seriously appreciate both men. Dorian is the Crown Prince but a complete and utter cinnamon roll. He is sassy and adorable and I adore him even if I never shipped his relationship. Then there’s Chaol Westfall –  Captain Chaol Westfall at that. Chaol stole my heart from page one (even if boy is making some huge mistakes in the later installments). He is honorable and handsome with a heart torn between protecting his best friend, the crown and his burning feelings for the assassin. I loved his journey throughout ToG and the hilarious banter between him and Celaena.

Another great thing about ToG and the entire saga is Sarah J. Maas’ awesome worldbuilding and writing style. Yes, the plot is rather confined to the walls of the Glass Castle in ToG but the mythology of Erilea and it’s unique and diverse characters help to paint a canvas of a vast and incredible land to be explored and developed in later installments. This is a world that completely sweeps you away through the beautifully descriptive prose leaving you laughing out loud and weeping with it’s characters. Sarah is my go to fantasy author not only because of her amazing story telling but her ability to paint with words. Whether she’s describing a characters current emotional position, detailing the rules of her world or spurting witty banter she never fails to surprise and captivate.

Reading ToG for a second time, however had really opened my eyes to the extensive amount of planning and foreshadowing within it’s pages. I’ve picked up some much that Miss Maas has so expertly weaved into the dialogue and world that hints at what’s to come in terms of the Big Bad and outcome of later novels. While ToG seems small when compared to the scope and length of the later installments such as ‘Heir of Fire’ and ‘Empire of Storms’ it’s all there, hidden beneath the story. Looking back, the characters and Sarah’s skills have evolved, becoming more complex.

What started out as a story about one assassin’s struggle to becoming the kings champion has twisted into something more – something truly epic that I am so honored to have been apart of. It these aspects which made ‘Throne of Glass one of my hands-down-all-time-favorite series awarding it 5 stars. Highly recommend guys!

Lexie footnote


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