My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Throne of Glass tells the story of Celaena Sardothien – the land’s most feared and known assassin, who was thrown into the mines of Endovier after being captured, a place where no man or woman is known to survive whilst they serve out their sentence. An unexpected visit from Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Guard, throws Celaena’s life upside down: the King’s son, Dorian, has chosen her to be a champion in a tournament against skilled thieves and assassins and there’s a sought after reward for the sole winner: to become the King’s champion and most importantly: freedom. As Celaena accepts the challenge, she soon realizes that there are way too many dangers at court – and that’s not even counting the death match itself.
My, oh my – people certainly did not exaggerate when they told me about Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass. It was a rollercoaster ride, as I so often like to call them – and this time, it was the good kind! The story started off relatively slow and for a moment I thought we were going to get a story more similar to something like a Miss World pageant, what with all the fancy dresses, but I was proven wrong. Throne of Glass takes an assassin with sublime skill into a world entirely new to her and expects her to survive – and she does. Sort of.
Like I said, the story started slow and I was afraid it was going to stay at the same pace, but it picked up eventually which I was happy about. Celaena was a witty, sassy main character to follow and I’m always very embracing of those (never enough sass!). Chaol was an absolute delight. I’m not sure how Maas managed to do this but she has successfully created a male character that I think is impossible to hate. He was lovely to read about and although his thoughts and attitude towards people and situations in the story changed considerably over the course of time, he remained true to his character as was presented at the beginning. Prince Dorian I also enjoyed reading about, though certain moments his personality and corresponding actions bothered me a little (the one moment that comes to mind I mentioned here).
The side characters, Nehemia, Cain, Nox and Kaltain were all interesting in their own right. I actually did sway from one side to the other at some point as I wondered who was the ‘bad guy’ in all of this. I especially liked Kaltain and I can’t quite pinpoint why – I’ll just blame it on my incessant love for characters who have strong and overall bad motives – they’re so real and raw and go to extremes to get what they want and that usually helps to drive a story. I just love characters who are downright mean little bastards, what can I say?
The writing style in Throne of Glass was fine, very descriptive at times and allowed the reader to be submerged in this alternate world, which was nice. I did, however, grow really irritated with the use of exclamation points throughout the story – if I got money for every time one was present, I’d be quite a bit richer than I was before I started reading. I mostly feel exclamation points aren’t necessary in storytelling, and if they are used, then at least in a small amount, but Maas used them a lot and so it became very bothersome. In fact, it was so annoying I deducted a whole star (mostly) because of that. Oops. Another thing that contributed to the star deduction was that I found the end to be a bit confusing – it might’ve just been me, but I had a hard time staying on top of what was happening.
All in all a four out of five star rating for Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass – I will be reading the sequels, if only to clench my Chaol thirst, but also because I want to see what happens next. For lovers of YA fantasy books, Throne of Glass is the first in a series you do not want to pass up on.