Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - August '21 Review
If you're a fantasy buff, this one's for you. Like most YA fantasy fiction, Maas' world-building doesn't skip a beat; from banished magic and secret tunnels, to heart-pounding fights and magnificent castles, Throne of Glass scratches the tip of the iceberg of a world you can't wait to uncover. With themes of love, loss, and resilience, the fantasy backdrop still rings true with a real-world focus on what truly matters.
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, Celaena, an assassin, is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
Our Favourite Quote:
"We all bear scars... mine just happen to be more visible than most."
We're giving Throne of Glass 3.5/5. It fits seamlessly into the genre, and is highly enjoyable to read - we struggled to put it down, and hurried to find out what happens next with every turn of the page. Throne of Glass captures the imagination, and touches on the power we all hold within ourselves (whether we're magical assassins or not) to fight for what we believe, and what we deserve.
Romantic storylines are purely down to personal taste, and if you're into romance, this book does it well. With more than enough leads to fall in love with, Maas is an expert at nailing desire without getting too sappy or detracting from the overall storyline, and Throne of Glass leaves you breathless in a way that only star-crossed lovers do.
If you're being picky, this novel has a couple of drawbacks. A flawless lead is one few people can relate to, and whilst Celaena Sardothien demonstrates admirable - and almost otherworldly - courage and resilience, her positioning as near-superhuman can leave the reader feeling as if the show of strength you read about is unattainable in the real world. The pace of the novel is excellent throughout, but in a bid to get you hooked onto the next instalment in the series, it seems as though Maas opted to throw in a number of cliffhangers in the last few chapters, which for those of us wanting a great book in and of itself, can be a little grating.
If you're willing to look past two pernickety points - don't give Throne of Glass a miss, especially if this genre is up your street. It's thoroughly enjoyable, and leaves you wanting more.