- Series: Throne of Glass
- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 7, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1619630346
- ISBN-13: 978-1619630345
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,619 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Throne of Glass Paperback – May 7, 2013
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Amazon Best Teen Book of the Month, August 2012: Adarlan’s Assassin was the most feared killer in the world--until she was captured and sent to a prison labor camp to rot. But when the Prince needs a skilled fighter to battle in the royal court and become the King’s Champion, he pulls the assassin out of prison only to find she is a blonde 18-year-old girl. Celaena is as beautiful as she is deadly and she jumps at the chance to earn her freedom. Her mission seems straightforward: be the last (wo)man standing at the end of the competition. What she doesn’t expect is to develop feelings for the two men protecting her and to make an unlikely ally in a princess. Sarah J. Maas’ debut is stunning from beginning to end. Throne of Glass stands-out because of its memorable setting (there is actually a castle made of glass), strong characters, and continuous heart-stopping action sequences. Celaena is a heroine as memorable for her fighting abilities as she is for her quick wit and large heart and I can’t wait to see her grow and change throughout this exciting new series. --Caley Anderson--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Celaena Sardothien may be young in years, but she has seen more than most men twice her age. She was raised to be an assassin and until her capture and imprisonment in the salt mines of Endovier, she was known as the Assassin of Adarlan and feared the world over. No one lasts long in the mines, and when she is offered the possibility of release in exchange for a mandatory, four-year conscription as a hired assassin to the king who conquered and enslaved her people, she has no choice but to comply and play a brutal game to win back the chance at freedom. In order to succeed she needs to outfight, outplay, and outlast 23 men in a competition that many would not survive. There are other forces at work as well: an ancient and outlawed magic that she doesn't understand; fellow competitors turning up murdered; and the three very different men who are attracted to her and frightened by her. Maas has created a strong and sympathetic character in Celaena, who is able to best men in a fight but is laid low by the return of her monthly cycle. The world-building is complex, as is the political intrigue. Fans of Tamora Pierce will find a lot to love here and will wait eagerly for the next installment.-Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
I mean, I can see why fantasy fans would like it. I saw comparisons made to Kristen Cashore and Leigh Bardugo, etc. I can see that comparison (strong magic-wielding female assassin as the hero, love conflict, kingdoms in the balance, etc).
But Cashore's Katsa is intensely both more physically believable and conflicted from the outset. Bardugo's Alina is definitely a bit younger in voice, much like Maas' Celaena, but where Bardugo's pseudo-Tsarist Russian world is dark and pessimistic, and has cool fey that is a bit apart from the mainstream, Maas' world names and fey-use is straightforward mainstream. There's no new twist.
It's kind of like girl-power fantasy light, if you know what I mean.
So it's a fine read, but it's like the white-bread version of this genre. If you want emotional angst flavor (Cashore) or non-mainstream Western folk tale flavor (Bardugo) this won't cut it for you. However, it is mostly PG rated in terms of kissing and the fight scenes are cool where Celaena has to prove herself in champion tests to become the King's champion. But sometimes these tests are skipped over, and so where I wanted to live through the tension of her facing off bigger, male opponents, I mostly got summaries of how she felt about it.
I read Maas' later book (retelling of Beauty & Beast) first, and can definitely see how her writing has matured. I'd skip ahead to Court of Thorn and Roses if I were you.
At the start of the book, there was plenty of promise: a stone-cold, no-bullshit protagonist with a big reputation emerging from the land's most deadly prison, to take on the opportunity for freedom. Sounds great, right?
As one might expect from many rising YA novels, the story quickly developed from an action-survival to a light romance novel. I felt that midway through, the story became a flop with a tone that was far too lighthearted and filled with romance to match the plot of a dangerous and strenuous competition, with a raging hellbeast massacring the contestants one-by-one. Halfway through, I started to see many instances of, "You say they found a man in the hall with his innards removed? What a shame.......hey, i wonder what (boy crush #1) is up to."
Another slightly annoying detail of the story is the constant reference to the protagonist as "the assassin." It starts to lose its "umph" after reading it a thousand times, especially when "the assassin" is more of "the sort-of-assassin, on hiatus." We get it, you say she's an assassin. So show us some assassinating!
But perhaps the most irritatingly shoehorned thing to me was the love triangle, or the details of the love triangle in this book. For example: "I am going to treat this person like scum and insult them incessantly. But now I'm a sad puppy because they don't love me. Why don't they love me yet???" You see a lot of that. And it's aggravating. Because you have these royal figures hunting down a bloodthirsty beast, while acting like giddy little lovesick teenagers.
All of this being said, I couldn't bring myself to give the book just one star, because I felt it proved itself, if only slightly, by the end of the book. The conclusion was slightly satisfying, and there were some interesting plot points near the end.
But the one thought that nagged at me all the while was, "that could've been better." Yes, there's always room for improvement, but with Throne of Glass, it seemed that nearly every element had ample room for improvement.
But sure, go ahead and read it. I don't exactly regret it. But don't let the victorious cover and the promising introduction fool you completely; you may find, like me, that in the world of Calaena Sardothien, there is still much left to be desired.
Needless to say, I had high expectations for this book and for the most part, it delivered. But there were some things I did have problems with.
So the first thing I'll mention is how misleading the blurb is. It claimed that both Chaol and Dorian would love her - but I'm not feeling that yet. Dorian does have feelings for her, but I don't think he's in love juuuust yet. He's beginning to, but he hasn't reached it yet. Chaol is even further away than Dorian is. He cares about Celaena and feels jealousy but has he reached love yet? Definitely not. He doesn't even realize yet that he harbors strong feelings for her. I like how slow the romance progressed because I'm sick of reading unrealistic insta-love, but if you're going to spend so much time building up to it AND put it on the blurb that they were in love with her, I feel like I should have been convinced of their feelings by now. But I'm not.
A part of why I stayed away from the book for so long was because I was disappointed in learning some evil force would be getting rid of champions before the actual competition. I was even more disappointed when I found out that only four would be able to fight in the actual thing and that they weren't allowed to do finishing blows. Twenty three competitors...some KILLED OFF and majority eliminated because of TESTS. I wanted more action, more battles, more death caused by Celaena but I got none of that.
The characters themselves were sort of a problem as well. I loved Celaena and I LOVE Nehemia, but the other characters? Meh. Honestly, I felt more for Nox and Philipa than a good majority of them. It took me a while to like Dorian because although his personality was his saving grace, he was the crown prince and I didn't like the idea of him sitting around, worried about finding a woman to love, while his father was committing such atrocities. Yes, he cares, but I wasn't convinced that worrying about the crimes being committed was his priority. It's the main reason why Celaena liking him so quickly bugged the hell out of me. Celaena, an assassin who has killed the king's people, a girl whose land was conquered and whose parents were killed and therefore has resorted to killing, has grown to like a prince who hasn't shown much interest in rebelling against his father until now. And to make matters worse, Celaena will have to work with this tyrant for FOUR YEARS without putting a dagger in his back. Yes, I understand how desperately she wants her freedom but what I didn't understand was why a strong, arrogant assassin such as herself was more afraid of the king than feeling hatred for him. Maybe it's just my personal feelings about it, but I wanted more hatred from both Dorian and Celaena. It disappointed me not to see that more than I thought it would.
The next problem was Celaena as an assassin. I loved her personality, loved her as a character in general, but she at times was not convincing as an assassin. She was a badass and when I heard how she snapped in Endovier, I was excited. She proved how strong she was with Verin and Grave, as well as the other tests but other than that...if someone were to tell me she was an assassin I don't know if I would have believed them. Her hobbies weren't the problem, is was the amount of times her guard was down and the constant times she was paranoid when, as an assassin, she should be accustomed to it. She should, as an assassin who has lost everything as a child, have distrusted Chaol as much and as long as Chaol distrusted her, and when she found that secret passageway, I was hoping she would have moved further towards that boat. Basically, I saw her act more her age than I saw the assassin part of her and I would have liked to have seen both equally. The book was slow because it dealt with what was killing the champions rather than the competition and I was very much disappointed in the lack of killing Celaena had to do in the entire book. At the start, the excitement she got through killing was unnerving but we never see that kind of excitement again.
The highlights for this book though was the unique and amazing writing, NEHEMIA because she was amazing since the first scene I read about her, Celaena and Dorian's personality and the interesting concept of the ban of magic and power of wyrdmarks. Since this is the first book, I'm hoping there will be more action and character development in the sequels. With that said, I'll be reading the second book some time in the near future :)