on October 10, 2012
I've read this twice. The first time, I started with good intentions, then ended up not finishing it and gladly giving Throne of Glass one big fat star.
The second time; I was practically forced by my friends who loved it. They continuously told me that I had to read it again, that the first time I just didn't understand it. That I had to read it, start to finish. (I actually stopped reading it, but my friends bullied me into reading the last few pages. Mean, I know.)
And here I am.
Throne of Glass was filled with great potential, really it was. From the blurb, I knew the Hunger Games somehow merged with A Game of Thrones with assassin-sprinkles on top. And with the fantastic buzz, the raving reviews that were practically farting rainbows with positivity, and the movie surrounding it, it seemed to me that Sarah Maas had made the greatest thing since the slice pan.
Oh how wrong was I.
Straight off the bat, I hated Celaena. This was possibly the biggest of issues - because you shouldn't wish the main character to be eaten by a monster, or fall off the castle wall and splatter on the ground below like a squashed pumpkin. The so called Ardalan's greatest Assassin has the ego the size of America. Practically in every freaking page she was prancing around saying "Oh, look at how great I am. I am Ardalan's Assassin. I have trained with the Silent Assassins of the Red Desert and can defeat anyone with literally my glace and did I mention how ugly I am but I'm actually stunning? And look what I've accomplished and I'm only 19 years old and I'm so tough and lasers can shot from the cheeks of my butt -"
Girl, stop. Stop before I force myself into this book and kill you with my hands. You know what, Celeana? Show us. Show us that your the Greatest Assassin in the world. Show us what you made of. GIVE US PROOF.
Yes, you've read that right; we never see what the great Assassin's made of. She is all talk and no bite. Every time she went running, she threw up or felt the urge to throw up.
Ooo, it's Celeana! She's running towards me! Better slo-mo run away before she kills me with her vomit! Come on, pasty face! Come `get me while I'm nice and hot!
By the way, you'd really think that Ardalan's greatest Assassin wouldn't be constantly shocked when someone sneaked up on her. I'm just saying.
In the first few pages, we meet both Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall. In an instant, Celeana is dazzled by the Prince's looks and charms, and is very interested in Captain Westfall.
But the flirting the Prince and Celeana! Dear God it was never ending. Then as soon as she became the King's Assassin (oh come on - that is not a spoiler. It's just too predictable to be a spoiler) she dropped him like a hot potato. I predict that in the next instalment, she will be moving to Westfall, which is upsetting since I quite liked him.
Oh, and one more thing - CAN THEY SAY "NO" TO THE GIRL? I swear, she was spoiled rotten! Getting books, getting sweets, getting the best of care, ect. Um, hello? She's an assassin! You greatest assassin, apparently, and your treating her like a princess!
I don't know anymore.
So predictable. I swear, I knew everything that happened - which is not a lot.
May I ask, how did Celeana not guess that [her mortal enemy, a guy who's built like a tank and getting bigger throughout the competition, was the one sucking the champion's life-force? Instead, she thought that her best friend did it. Seriously? Princess Nehemi was a lovely, strong character, who protected you through thick and thin, and you suspected her?
Again, I don't know. But hey, all logic has been thrown out the window by now, what's wrong with a little more?
But I will say this, Sarah writes very well - it has this slight bounce to it - and can come up with some seriously great quotes. But I'm afraid that little positive cannot help the rest of this mess.
What a shame.
on August 7, 2012
There are few beautiful things in this world. This is one of them.
That right there was my ONLY Goodreads status update over more than 400 pages of reading. I read this in one day, in nearly one sitting. (It would have been one sitting if my dad hadn't interrupted with things supposedly more important. There is nothing more important than this.) This book was impossible to put down right from the get-go.
The main character of Celaena is initially very stiff. For the first few pages, I was wondering if I was going to like her at all. Then she opens her mouth to speak and the snark pours out and I decided I wanted to be her best friend. I found it wonderful how her character unfolds over the course of the novel, and you find out more and more about her as the pages go past. Even in the end of the book, you're finding out a few more things that add loads of depth to her character and yet add more questions that need to be answered. Despite having no idea what it would be like to live her life, I found myself connecting with her all the same.
Originally, I wasn't very excited by the idea of a love triangle forming between Celaena, Dorian and Chaol (or Captain Westfall, as the blurb names him). After all, you know how I feel about love triangles. (Hint: I hate them.) However, this one wasn't badly done. Celaena is absolutely NOT a air-headed girl, and the guys played it out nicely. There was no brooding testosterone match. Plus, the love triangle was hardly the focus of the book AND it ended interestingly. So yes, believe it or not, I have found a love triangle I approve of.
No, pigs are not flying. Yet.
I had heard this world likened to that of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones, and I can certainly see why. For one, I'm pretty sure there is only a handful of names in either books that I am actually sure how to pronounce. Another is that you have to try to keep track of a lot of country and character names. (Throne of Glass, however, is nowhere near as bad as Game of Thrones in that regard.) Also, to mention layers again, there are SO MANY. In a time when YA world-building is sometimes circumspect at best, Maas blows it out of the water with rock solid skill and precision.
All and all, I basically have no idea why you haven't already pre-ordered this book. High fantasy seems to be an abandoned realm in YA fiction sometimes, yet Maas clearly shows that it is possible to have amazing world building, big character casts and countries and still keep it YA. The romance is wonderfully written, and it hardly takes over the novel. There's a little bit of magic, a lot of snark and a whole bunch of utterly fantastic fight scenes. There are few times that NetGalley makes me ridiculously upset because I don't own a print copy of this book, and this is one of them. I could lose myself in this world again and again and never get bored.
on July 8, 2014
THRONE OF GLASS has been a book that I've been wanting to read for so long. But for whatever reason I always kept putting it off. So when I recently discovered how much I loved audiobooks, I decided it was finally time to jump into it and give it a shot. But, I was surprised to find a totally different book then what I imagined!! It was still a good book, BUT... it just didn't turn out to be what I thought it would be! It didn't have the action and adventure that I hoped for. Through almost the whole book we heard about how much of a bad-a** Celaena Sardothien was. How much she could cut through anything or anyone. But it's not until the very end that we really see her strip-down and show what she's really about. And even then, it was tainted, and not the full wrath of what she is "supposedly" capable of.
There was a lot of magical elements that I was not expecting. Honestly, I wasn't excepting any, because that's what synopsis says,
" In a land without magic."
But, even though it was a surprise, I found myself engaged and intrigued as the story unfolded into a mysterious world where magic, lies, fear, evil, and a murderous king rules with an iron fist, and will cut though anyone to clear his path to complete control!
Even with it's flaws, THRONE OF GLASS was still pretty amazing! I am so eager to see where this series goes, because it could take so many different routes and still make sense and be amazing. And I love that when an author can end a book and is able to have you guessing where the series will go. Some books you just know how it's all going to end without having to read it. But Sarah Maas has created a series that will forever keep me second guessing myself!! Mad props to Ms Mass for that!!!!
In a kingdom ruled by a vicious king, who slaughter all who appose him, a kingdom lay in despair and submission as the lesser citizens live cowering to their king. As the nobility live in a luxurious life full of wealth and riches, and power.
Celaena Sardothien was raised to be a killer. She was brought up with blood on her hands. Killing has become as easy as breathing for Celaena. Because she kills with precise and precision, she kills to keep breathing, she kills because she is the best, she kills because she's Ardalan's best assassin, and everyone knows it, and fears it!!
Celaena is paying for her crimes in the salt mines of Endovier, forever cursed to the hard labor of the mines and cruelty of the guards, until her dying day. Until one day, Celaena is given a choice, an opportunity to get out of the mines and become the kings lackey. But she'll be free of the certain death that the salt mines are sure to bring. Free of watching all the endless deaths of those around her. Free after 5 years of killing for the king. But it won't come easy, and she'll have to prove her worth against other killers just like herself!
Celaena is offered the chance to become the kings champion. But with it come a price... The title is not given to her, she will have to prove worthy of the title in a battle with other killers, thieves, assassins, and the lowest of the low. But she's Celaena Sardothien, so just how much trouble could that be? Well she's about to find out!!!
Celaena is not prepared for what she finds out of the salt mines and with a taste of free air. She is not ready for what secrets lie hidden within the castle, long since forgotten and abandoned. Buried beneath centuries of secrets, lies, and forbidden magic that was outlawed by the king himself. Secrets in which the king would kill anyone who possess, even his future champion.
Celaena will come face to face with the truths of what the kingdom is really built on, terrible secrets that could not only get her killed, but bring whole kingdoms to their knees. She will have to battle her way through the unthinkable to get to the top, but once she's there, she will have to make the ultimate choice of where her loyalties lie, and who she can really trust! But she'll have to stay alive long enough to make it there!!!
Even though THRONE OF GLASS was not what I excepted it to be, it was still pretty epic on so many levels. I just finished reading the second book and loved that one sooo much more. I plan on jumping into the third book sometime very soon!! It's an amazing series with layers upon layers that have to be dug through and peeled back to comprehend the full wrath of what lies beneath this series. The best way to describe this series would be by saying "There is more, WAY more then what meets the eye"
I think this is a series that everyone should read, no matter what your genres or reading level is. It's one of those series that stays with you long after its over. Not just because of the characters and action. But because of what these people go through. Of so many people brought to their knees in front of one man. For the determination and struggles that these people had to go through. And for the loss that they continue to go through with each book. It's so complex, and a must read for so many reasons!!!!
Overall, THRONE OF GLASS was a great start to an amazing series that I know is going to be EPIC by the time it's complete! I'm eager to see how it all turns out!! I would definitely recommend it and will be eagerly continuing this series!!
on August 25, 2012
Thone of Glass has been advertised here in reviews as another Graceling or Hunger Games. It's definitely not in the same class as those fantastically written books. The main character, Celaena, has supposedly been an active assassin since at least the age of ten and has been imprisoned in the salt mines (cliche much?) for the last year. Yet, as soon as Prince Dorien brings her to his kingdom to be his "Champion" (by fighting 23 other assassins/thieves/murderers, etc. to the death for the job), Celaena is all sunshine, light, and catty remarks about other girls' clothing. Bizarre.
Aside from obvious plot inconsistencies, the writing is stilted and the pacing is ridiculously slow. This book is definitely not worth the accolades from the reviewers here, and is surely not worth the money to purchase.
on August 22, 2012
I really tried to give this book a chance, but after getting 3/4 of the way through I just couldn't handle any more. There are very few books I just can't get through to find out what happens, but by this point I just didn't care any more. The characters were not likeable, their motivation and character seemed to change every chapter, and more than once I wanted to shout at them to get some backbone. The main character as an assasin was utterly laughable, and even when trying to leave any sense of her as the toughest chick in the land aside, she came across as shallow, flighty, and unfocused. The scene where they take a break from the medeival setting to play pool was utterly ridiculous. It feels as though the author had a bunch of partially written ideas sitting around and tried to cram them all into one novel. Very disappointed that the book was not at all as advertised - the fluff to tough ratio was way off for me.
on September 25, 2012
I've never reviewed a book on Amazon before but just had to express my frustration with this one. it was a struggle getting through the middle part, I mean this girl is supposed to be an assassin but acts like a giggly teenager. How are people sneaking in and giving the "queen of the underworld" CANDY?! Not to mention how many times Dorian comes into her room and she doesn't notice. I was expecting a badass female character, not this silly girl who gets excited over freakin candy and a wimpy prince. Think I'll reread the Wolfwalker series to wash the stupidity of this book out of my brain
I read a lot of books and write a lot of reviews, and sometimes books provoke such strong emotions in me that I either write one long, gushing review about how awesome it is or one long, ranting review about how terrible I thought it was. I'm afraid this book falls into the latter category, for multiple reasons. Fair warning: I may use a lot of spoilers in this review.
I feel like I should preface this by saying that I find fantasy a problematic genre in general. I either seem to really like the fantasy books I read or to vehemently dislike them. I think this is because fantasy is a genre that's prone to falling into some traps that other genres seem to avoid more easily. Throne of Glass, I'm afraid, falls into one of the biggest fantasy traps of all: the Mary Sue.
The first chapter of this book excited me, really excited me. I was sure I was onto something. A notorious female assassin who refuses to be intimidated by her captors? Sign me up! I was excited to find out all about what makes Celaena awesome. The problem? I never did find out. Oh, Celaena was sure to brag on and on and on about how great she was, but never once did she bring it and prove that what she said had any modicum of truth. Lady, next time at least have the tact to humblebrag, will ya? It didn't take long for me to actively dislike Celaena, and making a reader actively dislike the protagonist is not good unless you've made your character terribly flawed on purpose. This, sadly, is not the case with Celaena. It didn't matter that she had the nastiest manners imaginable, that she was downright mean to other characters at times, that she acted like everyone in the story existed to see to her every whim, I was supposed to root for her. No. And the scene where she has a temper tantrum while attempting to learn to play pool? I have a hard time imagining that any human being would find that amusing or sexy but, amazingly, Dorian seems to find it both. Me, I thought it made her seem like a spoiled three-year-old. I guess it takes all kinds. But this episode illustrates a major flaw of the book: Celaena is beautiful, awesome, and awesomely beautiful, so everyone loves her no matter what she does, because she is Celaena--except the bad guys, and that's because they're bad guys.
I felt like this book cheated me out of the chance to see a supposedly elite assassin in action. It promised me a thrilling read about Celaena's struggle in the competition, and then the entirety of that competition took place over the space of maybe a dozen pages. I wanted to read the book that was described in the blurb, not the imposter that I found on my Kindle screen. If the author acts like the competition itself isn't important, how am I, as the reader, supposed to feel any sense of tension with regard to that competition? There are literally passages in the book that go a little something like this: "the next two tests were stealth and tracking, and she did well on both." I'm paraphrasing, but that happens in the book. For real. The reader is told at the beginning that these tests are, like, uber important, and that failing them may more or less be a death sentence for the participants. And then the tests are described in this manner. Yeah. Oh, and I wouldn't want to forget my favorite moment in the book: when the "elite" assassin wakes up on Yulemas morning, finds a bag of candy on her bed and, without knowing who gave it to her or worrying about how they managed to sneak it into her room without waking her (probably should mention here that there's a murderer loose in the castle at this point in the action), she starts eating it! I'm not an elite assassin and even I know you don't do that, especially when people have already tried to kill you--and failed because they're apparently even worse at what they do than you are, if that's possible.
Next up, Dorian. You know what? I don't really even want to talk about Dorian. He barely exists as a character, other than to slaver over Celaena and think of how very purty she looks while he gives her puppies. He supposedly goes through some sort of epiphany in the end, when he realizes his daddy is evil with a capital e, and he decides maybe he should exert himself to be bothered by the genocide his father has been committing rather than focusing on acting like a spoiled boy annoying dad just for the heck of it. I mean, good for him that he decides to take a stand, but I was so appalled by his watching atrocity after atrocity unfurl before his sense of morality kicks in. It's possible to do that sort of thing convincingly in a novel, but Dorian has no depth, so there's no sense that he's gone through some major transformation. Instead, this transformation happens because he's afraid of what his dad might do to Celaena and, well, he thinks she's hot and he's kinda convinced he might love her. Sorry, all you nameless citizens whose deaths have evoked no sympathy from Dorian whatsoever.
The only character I really liked was Chaol, and boy did I not want to see him with Celaena because he definitely deserves better. And I know he's young, but he's Captain of the Guard of a mustache-twirlingly evil king and he's never killed anyone. Say what? That makes no sense in any universe. What would have been much more interesting would be to see him have a crisis of conscience at carrying out the orders of a king who is so obviously corrupt and evil. Still, at least he does feel like a real person, and at least I felt like I could understand why Celaena might pique his interest, even if I do question his taste in women.
Plot twist? Nope, saw that one coming from a mile away. It's painfully obvious who the villain is in this book, even though the author tries to throw out a few red herrings. This is because there is no nuance whatsoever in this book, none. Some of the characters--like Nehemia, for instance--give the illusion of depth, but there is no real depth to any of them. They have backstories and hopes and fears, but it's obvious who's the good guy and who's the bad guy. When good character do something bad or are indifferent, they're provided with excuses. I'd rather see shades of gray.
By the end, I kept on reading this book because I thought it was so bad that I just had to know how it ended. So, even though I stuck with it, I will not be coming along for the ride in installment two.
on August 28, 2012
My main problem with Throne of Glass is the deceiving blurb that promises wonderful things, yet never fully delivered. I was promised an exhilarating, intriguing plot, similar to that of Poison Study, I was promised a kick-butt heroine likened to Katsa and Katniss Everdeen. The premise claimed that Throne of Glass is Game of Thrones for the teenage set. Unfortunately, for such a big-premise novel, Throne of Glass was a massive disappointment.
Like Grave Mercy, a recent 2012 read that I did not enjoy at all, Throne of Glass had the same level of superficiality and flavorless, juvenile writing. Certain sentences were formed awkwardly, and when in correspondence with uncomplicated prose, I received the overall impression that this novel was geared towards the "Y" of Young Adult.
I will admit that the plot was entertaining, and for the most part filled with thrilling games and fights, animating dialogue and character interactions. However, this book lacked intricate world-building, and variegated, sophisticated writing to make this a memorable read. As it was, Throne of Glass was only substantial. It didn't help that the plot was extremely predictable and I got the whole mystery solved 30% of the way through as well.
Along with passable world-building and writing, there was an overall fluffiness to this book that I found very unappealing. Action scenes, political intrigue, and you know, assassinating were grossly outweighed by the descriptions of gorgeous gowns, physical beauty, and handsome men. Again, this will attract many but I didn't bargain for a fantasy-lite, a term I've stolen from Tatiana after she's been using this exact phrase for quite a few YA fantasy novels published this year.
Celaena Sardothien was a very frustrating character who often left me conflicted. On one hand, I appreciated how Ms.Maas had created such a self-reliant, ballsy protagonist with snarky comments you could sense from a mile away. She was certainly a far cry from being a pathetic, sniveling damsel in distress who needed saving. On the contrary, Celaena was a complete Mary Sue and made sure that everyone was aware of that. Not only was she breathtakingly beautiful and intelligent and witty and strong, she easily attracted two handsome men, Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol Westfall.
Which obviously leads me to the most irritating component of this book-the love triangle. I suppose the author recalled at some point whence formulating her novel that this is for teens and thus requires a love-triangle. Both love interests had personalities thinner than the paper this book was written on, especially Prince Dorian. His adoration for Celaena was tiresome and redundant; his character the product of the same personality replayed over and over again in various novels. If however, you're a fan of forbidden romances with insta- love included into the mix, Throne of Glass is the perfect book for you.
Mostly all the secondary characters were two dimensional and poorly constructed, hence I had difficulty investing any emotions in the characters and their relationships, with the exception of one- Nehemia. I will admit that she and Celaena had a very interesting correspondence, and that's probably because she was the only multilayered, realistic character in this entire book.
There are indeed many readers who will love this and gush about it with other readers who equally adore it, but please, give me something with quality, with depth and substance. Serviceable, but I'm ready to move onto something else.
on September 8, 2012
I was so pumped for Throne of Glass when I found out that it was going to be at BEA. I spend the preceding weeks talking to Maas on Twitter and just being excited in general for the book. When I first read about the book, what first got my interest was that it was being toted as Cinderella as an assassin. How cool does that sound?
The more I looked into it, the more I found out about it. Like the fact that there are some prequel novella's out there. Anyway, I was really excited for this book, and it didn't let me down. Not at all, I loved Celaena, but I think thats because I knew who she was from the novella's.
The whole time it seemed to be Westfall and Dorian going for her hand, but I wasn't partial to either one of them for her. That could also be because I read the novella's and I prefered the love interest in them. I liked her being alone, and a kick ass girlie girl. She had sass and she was okay with being alone. She was all about the high end dresses and high end weapons and that was my favorite.
I sort of expected it to be sort of like the Hunger Games when she talked about the challenges, which it did seem to be, but we didn't get to see all that many challenges. I'm hoping that the future books provide us with a more steady look into what Celaena is capable of and what more of her back story is.
Maas hinted at quite a few facts about Celeana's upbringing during the book, but we don't know precisely what happened, and I can't wait to find out more about what happened in her life to make her the way that she was. I loved that we also had details from the novella's mentioned within the book.
All in all, I can't wait for the rest of this series to be out and in my hands!
on October 27, 2014
**Originally posted on Goodreads January 2, 2014**
At first I thought I was cringing because I had just read Seraphina (which is amazing, btw) but it soon became painfully clear that while the premise was promising (imprisoned female assassin given a chance to win her freedom in a Hunger Games style competition) the author failed to rise to the potential.
The writing is really bad.
"...cold sweat sliding down her back and pooling in the hollow between her mouth and chin."
What? I mean, I know what the author was trying to do there, but that horribly constructed sentence had me trying to picture how sweat can slide down your back and end up in... what hollow? between a mouth and chin... her neck? No? Oh wait, she means the indentation under a bottom lip? Whaaaa? Yeah, too much thinking to sort out one sentence.
On one page we had this:
"Why had they chosen such a long and inconvenient route?"
And then one paragraph later:
"Sooner than she would have liked, [they arrived at their location]"
She's bored! It's taking so long, then just kidding, they arrived super fast? Ugh. It seems like a small thing but the book is full of these. I couldn't take it. Our heroine is supposed to have been the most feared assassin the world has EVAR known. She killed like a frillion people at age 10 or whatever. At seventeen, she's obsessed with her (and others') appearances, her clothes, she wanders around aimlessly, and reads.
I skimmed through the rest and got the general idea. Cannot continue, will not read the second.
p.s. The cover art looks like a vanity illustration of the author.**
p.p.s. I didn't love Grave Mercy, but if you're looking for a female assassin novel, you might like that one better. It was at least well written.
**Update as I'm adding the review to Amazon: The original cover art looked just like the author. The new cover is much better, but misleading - she looks like she's going to be very tough and strong, but isn't those things at all. :( I continue to be amazed by the fan base around this book. Maybe it's like Twilight? I don't know, I liked Twilight okay (though I completely see the problems/complaints), but this? I just could not tolerate the whiny, self absorbed "assassin" who didn't act anything like an assasin. Glad the author has found a loyal fan base, and I do hope she keeps writing & improves as time goes on.**