Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass, #1

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release Date: August 2nd 2012


Four Stars

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?

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

It took me a while to get around to finally reading this book, even longer when you consider I added it to my to-read list before it was even released, and now that I have read it all I can think is why didn’t I start this series sooner. I’d seen mixed reviews for Throne of Glass, a lot of people say the  series gets so much better with the second book, well if that’s the case the next book is going to be amazing. My expectations were low for Throne of Glass and when I started this book I was completely blown away.

Celaena Sardothien made a name for herself as Adarlan’s greatest assassin, but she was caught and is serving a life sentence in the mines of Endovier. Until she is summed by the captain of the guards and brought before the crown prince. There Celaena is offered a bargain; complete in a competition to become the King’s champion, his assassin, and if she wins after four years of service she will have her freedom. With no other choice but death she agrees, and so begins her journey back to Rifthold to face some of the best and cruellest men around and win her place as champion.

“You’re going to keep a low profile throughout the entire competition…You’re going to stay solidly in the middle, where no one will look your way, because you’re not a threat, because they’ll think that you’ll be eliminated sooner or later, and they should focus their attention on getting rid of bigger, stronger, faster champions like Cain.”
“But you’re going to outlast them,” Chaol continued. “And when they wake up the morning of the final duel and find that you are their opponent, and that you have beaten them, the look on their faces will make all of the insults and lack of attention worthwhile.”

Celaena doesn’t doubt that she can win the competition, even hiding her true name and who she really is under a fake past. She stays firmly in the middle of the competition but there is one competitor, Cain, whom she cannot stand, and at times she lets her anger and her emotions get the better of her.

But while Celaena is training day in and day out and facing trials that could kill her, and do kill other competitors, there is something more sinister at play in the castle. The champions are being slaughtered by a beast who tears them apart and takes their organs, one by one if they’re not eliminated in the trails they face elimination by death. But with the Ellywe princess trying to build relations who has secrets of her own, the secret passage Celaena finds which leads her to an ancient Fae Queen’s tomb, and the strange wyrdmarks which seem to be appearing everywhere Celaena looks, winning the competition is not her only problem.

…The Characters

“She was a criminal – a prodigy at killing, a Queen of the Underworld – and yet…yet she was just a girl, sent at seventeen to Endovier.”

Celaena is supposed to be Adarlan’s greatest assassin but I honestly didn’t see that in her, most times she appeared immature and arrogant. She doesn’t know when someone is sitting right besides her until he starts talking, she seems to care more about clothes than anything else, and she hates not getting the recognition she feels she deserves. She hates Chaol’s plan, a good plan to keep her under the radar of the other competitors, simply because she doesn’t like making herself seem weak in front of them. However she is strong and smart; she didn’t break in the mines and even managed to nearly escape, getting further than any other slave before her.

“It made him sick every time he thought about it. He’d been training with the guards at seventeen, but he’d still lived here, still had a roof over his head and good food and friends.”

Chaol as captain of the guards is unfailingly loyal to the King and to Dorian. Even though his feelings for Celaena are becoming more than friendship he doesn’t act on them, or even let them show, because he sees how Dorian looks at her. He spends a lot of time training with Celaena and I really enjoyed their interactions. Where Celaena seems rash and hot-tempered Chaol is more cool, he comes up with the plan to make the other competitors underestimate her, but there is still a lot about him we don’t know. In spite of being told his past he still has a lot of potential as a character and I’m interested to see where Maas takes him.

“Dorian had been in the middle of courting Rosamund when he was that age, not caring about anything.”

Dorian is the crown prince of Rifthold and a very powerful ally for Celaena to have. Each of the Dukes have a champion in the upcoming trials and Dorian picks Celaena, retrieving her from Endovier and offering her the chance to compete himself. He is pretty much the opposite of his father whom Dorian seems a little cowed by. Like Chaol Dorian could do with some more development because he seems like a typical YA prince; compassionate, kind, good-looking, charming, smart. I’d like to see more of him but also to see his character develop into something different from the norm. His relationship with Celaena felt the same, a little too typical and polished.

“But she – at seventeen – had gone to a death camp. And survived.”

I’d heard a lot about this book having a love triangle, possibly one of the reasons I put off reading it for so long, ad although there were hints of it it didn’t take anything away from the plot. If anything, while Celaena’s feelings for Dorian grew, she remained friends with Chaol for most of the story as he helped her train. There were hints of the growing love triangle but it was really well written and honestly, I wouldn’t have even said there was a love triangle in this book at all. I wasn’t a fan of Celaena’s relationship with Dorian, like I said earlier it didn’t feel real, but I am interested to see where her relationship with Chaol leads.

There are so many amazing secondary characters in this book as well, the story isn’t just about Celaena, Chaol and Dorian. I loved Nehemia who becomes a true friend to Celaena. Nehemia is loyal to her people, struggling to help the rebels and free them from the slavery they are being put under. She is an incredibly interesting character and I loved her friendship with Celaena. I even liked the characterisation of the Duke Perrington, Kalrain, and the King. They were not nice characters but they were well developed and their actions and motivations felt real.

…The Setting

“The late afternoon sun, trapped beneath a wall of pewter, stained the clouds a yellowish gray, making the sky unusually bright. It felt surreal, as if the horizon had disappeared beyond the hills. She was stranded in a world of glass.”

While the world Throne of Glass was set in doesn’t really stand out much from a lot of other fantasy YA books I’ve read recently I adored the history; we learnt all about the different countries which were slowly being eroded as the King conquered everything in his path. There were hints dropped about Celaena’s history, and the life she lost in Terrasen, which were not fully explored. We also learnt about magic, the way it had disappeared from the land, and the wyrdmarks, which seemed to appear everywhere in the castle but which had a language that was complex and hard to pick up for Celaena. I also loved the way the Fae and their history was built on with Elena’s tomb and Elena herself. I had no faults with the setting itself; I loved the idea of the glass castle and I really loved the introduction of the secret passages hidden there. I just felt that the actual world-building was so much better and deserves a lot more praise.

This is one of those books, and I feel it’s going to be one of those series, where I kick myself for not having started it sooner. Yes there were some issues with the character development but if the reviews I’ve seen are to be believed the rest of the series gets a lot better and I cannot wait to find out how when I start the second book.

What did you think of Throne of Glass? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

22 thoughts on “Throne of Glass

  1. Love this review! Definitely agree about the romance with Dorian being a little too typical. I, too, get extremely wary when I see love triangles, especially in YA novels. I personally find myself leaning a little more toward Chaol because I love an underdog (and he is, of some sort), but only time will tell as I read the rest of this series!
    I also like the formatting of your reviews. When I’m writing mine, I always struggle to talk about the plots and the characters and the quality of writing in a couple of jumbled paragraphs (hence my username haha). Yours is very clean cut and easy to read!
    Keep on reading and writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!
      Yeah there were times when I felt like if you changed the characters names it could be any other YA romance but the character development and the relationships definitely improve as the series goes on. I wouldn’t really say I was rooting for anyone (and honestly after four books I’m still not sure who I’m rooting for!) but of all the books with love triangles I’ve read this one is definitely one of the best. I’m like you I’m not a fan of love triangles in YA books.
      I really hope you like the rest of the series too, in my opinion you’ve got the best books to come 😀
      Also I’m glad you like my reviews so much. Yeah I like having a format for things, it helps me when I write if I think first I focus on the plot then the characters and so on.


  2. Thank you so much for this great review, I was eagerly waiting for it, as you know, ahah! I’m even more intrigued about this book, now, even if it’s really outside of my usual reading list. I heard there was some kind of love triangle, too, but I’m really glad you said it’s not that obvious,because I really get annoyed with this trope at times. I’m really eager to get to that one now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marie 🙂 and yep, I remembered you were waiting when I posted this, I’m glad you liked it. It is a good book, and I think because I’d heard some negative things about it my expectations were low so I enjoyed it more. The second and what I’ve read of the third are so much better so I have high expectations for the fourth!
      I was worried about the love triangle but it was really well done, it didn’t take away from the plot and it wasn’t a major thing at all. I would have really said it was a love triangle, just that there were two potential love interests.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well it’s better to go in with low expectations, this way you can only be pleasantly surprised, I think! But with that review, and seeing how you loved it, it makes me, well, very impatient! 🙂 And I’m glad to hear the love triangle isn’t a major thing, at all. it’s better this way, I think 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly, I always love it when that happens, a book I haven’t heard great things about but ended up loving just because my expectations were low!
        I was nervous about the love triangle but yeah it didn’t really come into play in the first book. Celaena never really spent time thinking ‘oh, who should I pick between these two great guys’ and the plot was brilliant as well, there were just a few issues I had with the character development but other than that it was great! I hope you’ll love it as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m really glad to hear that. I think what annoys me THE MOST in the love-triangle situation, is where the “who should I end up with” completely shadows over the plot / there’s no plot, there’s just that crazy annoying undecided character. I’m really glad to hear that’s not the case here, ahah. I’ll let you know when I read it 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Urgh it’s the same for me. When most of the book is the main character trying to choose which love interest to pick I just get irritated and bored with the story. Honestly with Throne of Glass it isn’t even an aspect, and the plot is definitely the main focus over the romance aspect.
        Yay! I hope you really like it as well, you’ll have to let me know what you think when you’ve finished it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I did enjoy it but I agree wholeheartedly with your criticisms especially regarding Celaena’s character and her relationship with Dorian.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It’s the start, but Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire are much better. It’s when things start to get really interesting 🙂 I echo Jorelene’s comment above, I hope you stick with the series because there is so much adventure ahead in the next books.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve already finished Crown of Midnight and am about three quarters of the way through Heir of Fire and I definitely definitely agree with you when you say the series gets much better. I have high hopes for the fourth book now! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank so much Jorelene! I really enjoyed this book, which was a little surprising as based on reviews I read a lot of people didn’t like this one, maybe because my expectations were so low. I’ve already finished the second and am about three quarters of the way through the third and I definitely agree with you, the series is getting better and better!

      Liked by 1 person

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