I would first like to say that I REALLY enjoyed this book. There was no point where I found myself getting bored or skipping parts because it was dragging on. I think it is such a breath of fresh air when I find a book like this. There are of course some things that made me kind of go “Ok, that was a little out of no where,” or “hey wait a second, now I’m confused,” BUT all in all I would definitely recommend this to all my fellow YA novel lovaaaas. I will be reading the entire series because right now I have a million questions going through my head. Of course she left so many questions unanswered so you HAVE to read the sequels. Clever girl that Maas! Ok so let’s get into it!
This book was recommended to be by a friend who shares a passion for YA novels as well… Oh so I can cross that off my list on the book challenge… SWEET! Right on the front of the book it says that anyone who loves Game of Thrones or The Hunger Games will like this. Now I’ve never read Game of Thrones (I knowww, shame shame) but I have read The Hunger Games (obviously) and I would therefore agree with this statement. I did find the concept quite similar in the sense that there are over 20 competitors and the last one left in competition gets to be the “King’s Champion.” Granted it isn’t a fight to the death but a lot, and I mean a lot, of the competitors die, so there are some similarities in that sense. BUT I would not say that Throne of Glass is similar enough the The Hunger Games to make you feel like you are reading the same story. I actually think that I prefer the main character of Celaena to Katniss. This isn’t going to a comparison though so let’s move away from The Hunger Games.
The character of Celaena Sardothien is extremely well done pretty much due to her complexity. By complexity I mean that she displays so many parts of herself throughout this novel that as a reader you really feel like you get to know her even though there are still so many things that we actually don’t know about her. There are quite a few unanswered questions but you trust that she will reveal them to you in her own time. One of my favourite parts about her is that she has a “girly-girl” side. There are so many female protagonists out there who don’t care about what they look like, who don’t care about fashion or hair, etc. While this is sometimes nice to break those female stereotypes I actually would prefer the embrace of the stereotype along with the strength and the fighting that comes with these novels. I hope I am making sense. What I am trying to say is Celaena is not plain, in any way, like charaters such as Bella from Twilight or Katniss from The Hunger Games are portrayed. In the beginning of the novel Celaena talks about how she has a couple of beautiful features that she loves and that make her average or maybe a little more than that, she then thanks beauty products for helping her make up for things that she is lacking. She stares at herself when she puts on beautiful gowns to go to special events in the castle or if she simply wants to go walking down the hall for a while. There are strong details of what is done do her hair, how pearls and gems are weaved in, how delicate the curls are, etc. Having said that, she has one of the most bad-ass dark sides I’ve ever read in a female protagonist. The dark and vile things that come out of her mouth are what counters all of the feminine things that she loves. Her character is both feminine and bad-ass instead of just being one. She not only competes in the King’s competition but she beats everyone and wins; did I also mention that she is the only girl in over 20 men. Impressive right. Bad-ass and beautiful, one of my favourite combinations.
The story that Maas creates is actually very interesting. I did find some things to be a little strange so I am going to go into those. For the first half of the book we focus on the competition. It is all about her training with Chaol (the captain of the guard) and trying to adjust to being in the castle. There are small mentions of past magic and magical creatures, such as Fae, but not enough for me to think that it would become such a huge part of the novel later. Maybe that is clever but it also threw me off a little. Later in the novel Celaena has a dream of a tomb that you can get to from a secret passageway in her chambers. The first Queen of Adarlan, named Elena, appears and she says that Celaena needs to win the competition and banish the evil in the castle. Elena had never been mentioned in the novel prior to this so even though she is supposed to be very important in the history of the kingdom, she didn’t feel important because nothing about her was explained. I just found that there wasn’t really any leading up to this. There were small things like an attack in the castle but I was just surprised by this scene. Perhaps if we knew a little bit more about Celaena’s background we would understand why Elena was asking Celaena to do these things. I loved the novel but I just found that this turn that the novel took was a little out of blue and there could have been a little bit more transition between the competition and this new task that Celaena was asked to undertake.
The love triangle in the novel is so frustrating, not in a bad way. Love triangles are always frustrating because for some reason you are always routing for the person that isn’t getting the loving!! I am routing for Chaol. I think he is strong and brave, he doesn’t think he is worthy of someone loving him, especially someone of the nobility. I guess he has my sympathy and so I really want him to get the girl. Celaena does care for him and it is so obvious but she also has this strong passion for Dorian, the Crown Prince. Whom I actually don’t like that much, but it’s probably because I love Chaol’s character so much. He is just always looking out for Celaena and always trying to protect her but at the same time he is always challenging her to break her image of being the assassin and just be a person. Chaol has a hard time showing his sensitive side but he let’s his sensitivity slip every once in a while. I’m really interested to read more about his background! So I guess the love triangle is a success in this novel since I feel all caught up in it haha!
At the back of the novel Mass includes a little list of the main characters and terms that are used in the novel. She breaks down the syllables by sound so that we know how things are pronounced. I love when authors do this because in a fantasy novel the names and places are always strangely spelled. It’s kind of a guess as to how you say them and pretty much everyone says it differently. This way we’re all on the same page 🙂
At the end of the day I think this book is great. I would really recommend it to YA novel lovers and people who love those kinds of fantasy books. Oh and people who love bad-ass chicks because Celaena is definitely one of those!