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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (edition 2012)

by Sarah J. Maas

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1,1141237,413 (3.96)39
Title:Throne of Glass
Authors:Sarah J. Maas
Info:Bloomsbury USA Childrens (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:arc, 2012, reviewed, best of 2012

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  1. 40
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (luna_lovegood)
    luna_lovegood: Exactly as kazhout said "strong, beautiful, intelligent, and sassy." Plus, badass and good heart.
  2. 40
    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (foggidawn)
  3. 10
    The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (becksdakex)
  4. 10
    The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas (Lpaddycake)
    Lpaddycake: This prequel to Throne of Glass explains more of Celaena's past and her love for Sam.

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“How long was I asleep?" she whispered. He didn't respond.
"How long was I asleep?" she asked again, and noticed a hint of red in his cheeks.
"You were asleep, too?"
"Until you began drooling on my shoulder.”

I can hear my friends screaming, "WHAT IS THAT RATING?!"

*ducks flying objects*

Just hear me out, okay?

When I added ToG to my currently-reading list, it occurred to me that I should probably check the reviews of my fellow Goodreaders. What assaulted my eyes was a barrage of 1-2 stars and, since I've been having a pretty awful run with books lately, I instinctively thought I was going to hate it.

But then I met Chaol.

Pretty biased, I know. But, whatever.

I can sincerely say Throne of Glass was not what I was expecting. As Litchick said in her review, this is "assassin fail". I have no qualms admitting that Celaena, whilst boasting being Adarlan's Assassin, and being ruthless, doesn't do much to prove so. In fact, she does everything but what an assassin, who has been given a chance to redeem herself by taking part in a competition to become the "King's Champion", should do. Instead of practising and getting herself back to the top, she reads and daydreams, plays the piano and makes out with the prince. Sure, she KNOWS she'll win the competition but... you've been starved and made to work in the mines for a year. Your strength isn't what it used to be, so surely you'd make sure to work out as hard as possible, just in case?

Hmmm. Interrrresting.

Yes, this should have been a deal-breaker for me, but it wasn't. The relationships Celaena cultivated in the castle, the obsessive way she looked for the truth behind the gruesome murders of her competitors and her sassiness really brought this book to life. For the first time in a long time, I found myself rooting for the characters, hoping that something good may come out of every situation.

I admit, the Tests were pathetic. Really. I mean, you're trying to pick the best person to take the job as King's Champion. So I expected this:

But instead, we got this:

Which was beyond disappointing. I imagined "to the death" not "best monkey swing". Of course, this completely ruined the ending for me because who wouldn't pass those tests? Of course Celaena was going to make it to the finale. Of course.

The Characters

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's great assassin. For the past year, she's been slaving in a salt mine in Endovier, paying off her crimes. The story begins with an offer she can't refuse: by competing against other criminals for the title of King's Champion, and winning, after four years, Celaena will finally taste freedom -- her name will be cleared and she would be set free. With no strings attached.

Because she's not an idiot, Celaena accepts and is taken to the King's castle, where the competition will be held. She's escorted by the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, and the Prince himself -- Dorian Havilliard.

I absolutely loved how Celaena has a true no-shit attitude. She throws out the best one liners...

My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me.

And really doesn't take any shit from anyone...

“You’ll be sweating when I skin you alive and squish your eyeballs beneath my feet,” she muttered, picking up the rapier.
“That’s the spirit.”

Not to mention Chaol. Oh, how my heart SINGS!

Captain of the Guard, he's in charge of looking after Celaena and making sure she doesn't decided to slit Dorian's throat. They build a friendship and the banter is absolutely priceless.

“How long was I asleep?" she whispered. He didn't respond.
"How long was I asleep?" she asked again, and noticed a hint of red in his cheeks.
"You were asleep, too?"
"Until you began drooling on my shoulder.”

But we can't say they're best friends...

“I'm not ill like that," she groaned. He sat on her bed, peeling back the blanket. A servant entered, frowning at the mess on the floor, and shouted for help.
"Then it what way?"
“I,uh..." Her face was so hot she thought it would melt onto the floor. Oh you idiot. "My monthly cycles finally came back!"
His face suddenly matched hers and he stepped away, dragging his hand through his short hair. "I-if...Then I'll take my leave," he stammered, and bowed. Celaena raised an eyebrow, and then, despite herself, smiled as he left the room as quick as his feet could go without running, tripping slightly in the doorway as he staggered into the rooms beyond.”

Throughout the competition though, they're each other's support. Chaol, no matter how hard he tries to keep a barrier up between them, can't help but seeing her as a friend... if not more...

“Celaena," Chaol said gently. And then she heard the scraping noise as his hand came into view, sliding across the flagstones. His fingertips stopped just at the edge of the white line. "Celaena," he breathed, his voice laced with pain--and hope. This was all she had left--his outstretched hand, and the promise of hope, of something better waiting on the other side of the line.”

Then, there's Prince Dorian... *insert major eye-roll here*

I didn't like him. Although Maas tried to make him sound deep, thoughtful and caring, he came across as childish, spoilt and a bit of a brat. It irked me that, although Chaol is supposed to be his best friend, he doesn't think twice about practically stabbing him in the back.

I do not ship the Dorian & Celaena boat. Nuh-uh.

The Love Triangle

I am not a fan of the triangle of amour. It usually comes off as unnecessary and a bit of a plot filler. So when I saw the love hearts oozing from the pores of Dorian and Chaol... I facepalmed quite a bit.

BUT for some reason, I enjoyed reading about this particular triangle. maybe because all the characters involved are completely different and unpredictable, or maybe because I'm a sucker for Chaol and happily ever afters... needless to say, it didn't bother me as much.

The writing

It's not exceptional. It doesn't make me want to write ballads about how lyrical the prose is, but it worked well within the context of the story. I love how Maas didn't info-dump every other pages, unlike SOME books... I'm looking at you Queen of the Tearling!

Overall, a solid three stars, and the second book is already on my wish-list. Huzzah!
( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
I'll continue with this series because I liked it just enough to keep going. There were so many problems though. The biggest one being not enough action. The book says over and over and over again how Celaena is "The World's Greatest Assassin" "Queen of the Underworld" etc. etc. and yet I would say 90% of this book is about boys and dresses. The most exciting parts are when Celaena is showing her skills which is why I don't get why there were only 3 or 4 fight scenes. The tests that the champions go through are extremely lame (obstacle course?!). The murder mystery is ridiculously easy to solve which makes it boring to see the characters struggle to figure it out. Also, for an assassin Celaena sure gets snuck up on a lot!

I like that Celaena is tough. I like that she likes dresses and books and isn't above "girly" things. I like that ultimately she puts herself above boys. And I like that she has a close female friend. My criticisms of her character stem from the fact that there was a lot of talk about Celaena being a bad-ass with very little of her actually showing it. Since she is an assassin who has killed a lot of people I expected her character to be morally gray. She wasn't dark enough and that made it hard to empathize with all the trauma she'd been through and understand all the bad things she'd done. I just finished reading another book with a cool heroine: "The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa and in that book you see a truly tough heroine. Toughness that is demonstrated in action. She is a dark character that also has a great sense of humor. I wish Celaena was a little more like her. It also annoyed me how much Celaena blushed. You have killed people! Why should a boy make you blush!

I'm mostly continuing because there is a lot of potential here for a pretty cool series. I'm hoping that the next book won't be as slow moving as this one. Please please please give me more action scenes! ( )
  krystalwhatsername | Dec 28, 2014 |
This book was better than I thought it would be. It was the book cover that made me try the book and I've been burned multiple times before where I hoped for a great book because of the cover art. There's a reason that so many people saw to not judge a book by it's cover and I know the truth of it. So I wasn't expecting much. However it surprised me. It's not a phenomenal book but it was entertaining. I think I can see a love triangle forming and Celaena seemed out of character sometimes but otherwise I enjoyed "listening" to this book. I've already added the next book in the series to my TBR list. ( )
  Kassilem | Dec 27, 2014 |
This is clearly YA, and readers should keep it in mind before picking this up. Also, it's partial to the romance side of things (not to mention, everyone looks beautiful and always "awfully young". No self-respecting character here deigns to be above the better side of twenty, unless absolutely necessary - and having aged well besides....).
This said, I enjoyed it even if I'm not of an age with Caelena and the rest. The pace is enjoyable, the characters nice, the dialogue funny and witty, the situations improbable and juicy. The tropes, well, don't we all love them? Nice read, supported by the novellas read before the Throne of Glass. I highly recommend the chronological order and reading all the novellas together, since the last two are more compelling. Enjoy this series, it's wonderful YA, very appealing to (my) girl sensibilities. ( )
  Alissa- | Nov 27, 2014 |
This will undoubtedly turn up somewhere in my top 10 books of 2013. Holy crap, this was awesome. I read it in one day with barely any breaks, except the period in which the sun came up and my body decided to tell me it was tired.

Celaena was such a well-rounded character! I loved that she could not only kick ass, but love the finer things in life like beautiful dresses, food and the like was just so unbelievably amazing. I've never encountered any female protagonist like her.

Also, in the book, it is not only mentioned that she gets her period, but it's shown. After she escapes emaciation and becomes healthy, she gets her period back. I thought that was a pretty great addition to the book for however many pages it was mentioned in (I think maybe like five).

My one gripe is that she shows more interest in Dorian than Chaol. Chaol was such a good match for her. They're both snarky as fuck, kicks some ass, and like to tease each other. Dorian? "Oh, Celaena looks pretty!" and that's it. That's pretty much it for them.

The mystery in the book was well written. I fucking loved every moment in this book. I'm barely coherent. GAH.

I have Crown of Midnight on my shelf right now but I'm hesitant to read it because I'll finish it too quick and then I have a long wait until the next book. I WENT THROUGH THIS WITH SHERLOCK, OKAY? I WATCHED SEASON 1 AND 2 TOO QUICKLY AND NOW I'M JUST AN INCOHERENT MESS WAITING FOR THE 3RD. I've learned my lesson the hard way. ( )
  Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
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"Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin."
To all my readers from FictionPress - for being with me at the beginning and staying long after the end. Thank you for everything.
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After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.
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After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.… (more)

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