9.7.14

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas



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?


Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: Yes
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Please give you a huge welcome to Arianne who will now be guest reviewing on the blog every two weeks! 


Throne of Glass is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read all year. It’s an electrifying, detailed and unputdownable read. It’s book I’ll never forget; I was hooked by the first page. Brimming with plot and simmering with secrets, it tells the story of Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin and ruthless killer. One fatal mistake landed her in the notorious slave mines of Endovier, where she’s spent the last year being slowly, excruciatingly worked to death. So when Prince Dorian and the captain of his guard Chaol approach her with a proposition that may lead to earning her freedom, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. And with such a fantastic premise, it’s no wonder that Sarah J. Maas is being hailed as a gifted new voice for high fantasy fiction: Throne of Glass exceeds all expectation in its brilliance and flair. I loved it.

Set in a magnificent world of vast, stunning landscapes and towering royal cities, Throne of Glass has all the makings of a classic high fantasy novel. Sarah J. Maas, however, refuses to rely on what we think we know about the genre and instead hints at the importance of themes and warring kingdoms yet to be explored. From the depths of Endovier to the poverty-stricken backstreets to the lavish suites of the palace, nothing is ever as it seems – least of our heroine.

Celaena is beautiful, resolute and absolutely lethal. She’s arrogant and she wants the world to know it. She’s defensive and fuelled by revenge. She flaunts her talents and she knows exactly what she wants. We’re so used to seeing female characters in YA apologise for being passionate, angry or talented but Celaena’s not afraid of anything, let alone showing her innate resilience or letting loose her formidable reputation. This book is more about winning her freedom than actual assassination, but then Throne of Glass is a surprisingly self-contained adventure. Think of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: a brilliant but relatively short and almost confined story which sets in motion far more epic and complex events, the scale of which we can hardly even begin to imagine.

The book’s extended cast are equally as vibrant. There are of course typical bad guys of the tournament in which Celaena must compete, brutish thugs and petty criminals who are definitely more brawn than brain. They are Celaena’s most obvious enemies, but it’s clear they’re just foot soldiers. There’s inevitable gore and violence here, but it’s the higher powers you really have to be wary of in Celaena’s world. She’s not even sure if she can trust Dorian and Chaol – and they don’t know if they can trust her, either. Educated and sophisticated though she may be, Celaena is still a trained killer - but Dorian and Chaol aren’t exactly lacking in talent either. Chaol is elusive, military and stoic. Dorian is more emotional, kind-hearted yet conflicted. The romance of Throne of Glass is neatly compartmentalised, a distinct flash of relief against a murky backdrop of intrigue and danger, and it’s not a love triangle in the traditional sense, so it really works. It enhances the story but rarely takes over. In all the best ways, it leaves you wanting more.

I didn’t like some of the secondary characters as much as I loved the leading trio – I particularly felt that Kaltain’s scheming could have been revealed in a way that was less intrusive on the real story of Celaena’s struggle – but I was so wrapped up in the whispers of history and magic that I let it slide. Maas cleverly raises more questions than answers when it comes to Celaena’s backstory and it’s clear that this is a novel built on series potential. Six books are planned – Crown of Midnight hit shelves last year and Heir of Fire releases in September – and I cannot wait to read every single one of them. 

In short: Throne of Glass is a mesmerising new addition to the YA fantasy shelf. Defined by fearlessness, romance and an outstanding female lead, it's a story that takes no prisoners and keeps you hooked from the first page. One of my favourite reads of 2014 by far.

Don't forget to check out the review of Crown of Midnight!


 

36 comments:

  1. This is a really great, thoughtful review. THRONE OF GLASS is seriously one of my favourite books that I read last year--and I read a lot of books! As fantasy is my favourite genre, especially high/epic fantasy, I was really hesitant about reading it as I was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations, you know? But luckily, it did. Celaena is definitely one of my favourite protagonists, too!

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  2. YES. I agree with you 100%. Sarah J. Maas is a genius!! Waiting for Heir of Fire is making me crazy.

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  3. I loved this one, but wait till you read the novellas (which you MUST!!) and Crown of Midnight!! COM gave me the most massive book hangover of last year!! Celaena is a fantastic character and I love her to bits! She's unapologetic and full of contrasts and that makes her so real!
    Great review!

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  4. I completely agree!! I loved this book so much. And Crown of Midnight is even better! I can't wait for HEIR OF FIRE!

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  5. I've heard so many great things about Throne of Glass, but have yet to read it! I feel like it'd be one of those series I want to binge read. I'll wait until Heir of Fire comes out.

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  6. I'm addicted to checking my stats, too. It's a pretty bad habit of mine. I'm also one that it jealous of other blogs' content. I feel like mine is so basic. I rarely ever post discussions, or unique things. I stick to the basic memes and of course reviews. Thanks for spilling your confessions! :)

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  7. I just found your blog and I love ir!
    Thank you so much for the giveaway! It is son hard to find giveaways that are open internationally.

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  8. It seems like everywhere I go people are talking about this book. I found your review really intereting and it made me read it even more.

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  9. Amanda P. @ Of Specs and Books10 July 2014 at 02:53

    I'm so glad that you loved this book! It's my absolute favorite! I love Celaena with all my heart, and I can't wait for Heir of Fire!! I feel like everyone has read it already, and it makes me so jealous! AAHHH! But yay for a new fan! :)

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  10. Can't wait to read these. I have to go back and finish White Hot Kiss.

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  11. Hi!! I commented on your review of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I accidentally clicked the "comment on a post" submit button before finishing my sentence. Sorry! Thanks so much for the giveaway!!! <3

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  12. I LOVE how you said that ToG is one of the best fantasy books you've read all year! I felt the same when I read it and now that I've read the novellas,CoM and Heir of Fire, I feel like the series is one of the best fantasy series I've EVER read. Like in my entire life!! Seriously these books continually blow me and my expectations away.

    I agree with every single thing you brought up in your review: the world building is exquisite AND hints at bigger things to come...I have ALL the love for Celaena and one of the best things about her is how unapologetic she is about herself. We definitely aren't used to female characters being so strong - especially in YA. I ADORE that you compared it to HP because this is one of the few series I think can rightfully be compared to it ♥

    Fantastic review, I am off to read your CoM one now :D

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

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  13. High five! I don't read what I write for blog posts either and I make some of the worst errors since I jump from idea to idea a lot in my mind. People probably hate me for it.


    And I don't know who ever said that you have to post reviews to be a book blog. In surveys, people generally say that they don't read reviews as much, so you definitely have an advantage when entertaining readers! I'm also so jealous that you got to BEA. I would start saving, but I'm in my teens, no hope of going to it any time soon.


    And thank you for all your giveaways! I'd host one but my mother would never allow it and shipping internationally would be so expensive to the point that I could four books with shipping internationally. So I can't give away anything signed, and TBD would need my mother's credit card. What a dilemma.

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  14. I picked up Throne of Glass from my library last year. I read the first page and put it down. Granted, I was in a lousy reading mood at the time, but yeah, it wasn't working for me. I've since read several reviews of the book, and I'm probably in the camp that would be frustrated by the love triangle and the protagonist's arrogance. Yep, probably best I don't read this for the sake of the book's feelings and my sanity. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it, though! It's always great to see more people picking up YA fantasy.

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  15. I'm really excited for this book!! I marathoned the novellas and the first 2 books and can't wait for this one!!

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  16. I was definitely aware of the hype, too - sometimes it can ruin books, but thankfully not with Throne of Glass! Glad you enjoyed the book & review!

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  17. I know, right? I just cannot believe the depth and originality of Celaena's world. I can't wait for Heir of Fire!

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  18. I read the novellas recently (what can I say?! Amazing) but I'm still waiting on Crown of Midnight. Glad you enjoyed the review!

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  19. Thanks for the fantastic comment! I may have to tweet this to Sarah J. Maas, it's great to know so many people are enjoying the series!

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  20. So many people are saying Crownd of Midnight is fantastic, I can't wait to read it either - and of course Heir of Fire after that! Thanks for commenting!

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  21. You should read Throne of Glass right away - it's too good to miss! I hope you enjoy!

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  22. Throne of Glass is definitely a modern classic - it's no wonder people have been desperate to get their hands on ARCs of Heir of Fire! Glad you enjoyed the review as well as the book!

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  23. I'd been waiting for a new fantasy series to come along and astound me, and Throne of Glass does that in so many ways - it's a close to perfect as a book can be. Thanks for (fabulously detailed!) comment, enjoy Jennifer's review of Crown of Midnight!

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  24. I love books with a strong female lead! Great review, can't wait to read this!

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  25. I know what you mean - books can't be loved by everyone, so there are bound to be a few who don't connect with it. Maybe one day you'll give it a second chance! Thanks for commenting!

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  26. Glad you enjoyed the review! Throne of Glass is a fantastic book, and Celaena is one of the best things about it. Thanks for commenting!

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  27. this review just makes me want to read it more!!!

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  28. I'm glad this book was awesome! Best reads of 2014 so far. . . I have to read this. This review gave me everything I've been looking for in a book lately. Great review thanks! I will be reading this very soon!

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  29. I loved how flawed Celaena was. It made her so realistic and easy to connect with. She is such a kick-ass, strong girl and I simply adore her spirit. I also really like the secondary characters (firm Team Chaol team though!). Have you read The assassin's blade? :) It's very good.

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  30. I will be reading this one soon, as I plan to binge read the whole series and have Isla preordered!
    Great review!

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  31. Ahh, man this book was a really fun read. I agree the book was paced really well. The friendships Anna made w/ other were really cool to read. (Esp. that dude from the theater.) Thanks for the review.

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  32. I loved this post!! I don't have a blog but I'm with you on #3. I never read anything I write either. :)

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  33. i just stumble upon your blog and I love your giveaway!

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  34. Hannah Pittman19 July 2014 at 22:01

    I just found your blog and I'm loving it! Thank you for the Heir of Fire giveaway!! I'm definitely entering :)

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  35. sounds like a fun one thanks for the giveaway!

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  36. Hannah Pittman20 July 2014 at 15:53

    I'm currently re-reading the first two novels to try and hold out for Heir of Fire! Thank you so much for the chance to win an early copy. 😍

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