Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: August 7th, 2012 by Bloomsbury
Source: Borrowed (also got from Netgalley for review before paper copy came)
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Don’t you just love when you finish a book and you feel all giddy?  Well, that’s how this one made me feel.  

I’m going to start with Celaena.  This is one spitfire, kick ass chick.  She’s gone through a lot.  She’s suffered, and suffered, and suffered some more.  But she’s survived and she’s still got all this strength to continue on.  Even when she’s afraid she doesn’t allow it to blind her or affect her.  She continues on.  She says what she thinks and feels although she’s smart enough to hold her tongue when she must (like when speaking to the king who could hang her at any moment).  I loved Celaena.  She is a character that I truly loved completely.  No annoying habits, no ridiculous behavior, nothing.  There were times when I wish she’d tell someone of these secrets she was figuring out, but I understood why she didn’t, why she couldn’t, tell anyone.  And Celaena might be a trained assassin, but she knows who her friends are and she’ll do what it takes to protect them.  Even if she knows they should be her enemy.

Crown Prince Dorian has this personality that ‘s a bit teasing and him and Celaena have quite entertaining banter.  While he’s a bit of a tease, he’s a gentlemen with Celaena and he’s a friend.  You see that he’s a good person, that he cares about things.  I don’t want to get into it too much because it’s easy to get a bit spoilery.  But I really liked him, he was a fabulous person.  On the same note, I also liked Captain Chaol.  He’s darker, more broody, but he has this kindness inside.  You don’t see it too much, but I liked him a lot as well.  And right away when I started the book I saw that there would be a bit of a love triangle and that concerned me.  It concerned me more as I discovered I really liked them both!  But the way things slowly play out, with each of them growing to care for Celaena as a person and working to protect her while being her friend I really had no idea which way things would go.  I guess I was okay with the triangle, but I’m very torn about things.  And I guess I don’t like that.  I want everyone to win, you know?

I found the story to be pretty fast moving.  While there were periods that were slower, I never found myself bored at all.  I liked the slower parts just as much as the more action’y ones.  And the mystery of who the killer was, was a good one.  I had suspects and even guessed at one point, but I kept going back and forth.  And honestly, I really didn’t figure out all those twists.  I thought it was well done.

Seriously, if you’re a fantasy fan, read this book!  I totally and completely loved it and can’t wait to read more!

Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own, I was not paid or influenced in any way.

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  1. I feel like the odd man out on this one! I think I’m the only person that wasn’t madly in love with this story. Fail. By the end of the book I was really enjoying Celaena, but it took me a long time to start to like her. I thought her arrogance was a bit much at times. Still, the world I thought was super interesting, and I’m looking forward to continuing with the series:)

    Also, I love that you used the word “action-y” :):)

    • You aren’t the only one. I actually saw a few reviews where they felt she was too arrogant. It didn’t bother me at all, or even cross my mind. But once someone said that I ‘got it’. So you aren’t alone. But I’m glad she grew on you!

  2. 5 mushrooms?!?!? Wow now I want to read this book so much more badly!!! As a fantasy fan I think I seriously need to look into this! The characters sound like so much fun and I love a book with surprising twists!! Thanks for the fabulous review Candace!!!


  3. Celaena seems like a really strong and intelligent heroine, always a plus in my book! The love triangle in this book sounds fascinating, and I loved it when you said, “… I really had no idea which way things would go.” Personally, I really like it when you don’t know for sure who the protagonist will change, as it adds to the suspense and curiosity:) Awesome review!

  4. Yes! I love that giddy feeling. It’s the best. And I would hope that with a book of this length, it would be told in a faster pace, but still retain a quality story. Glad to know that is exactly what’s going on here. Celaena sounds like my kind of girl. She’s almost like the first Buffy! LOL

  5. If I had to choose, the Captain is my pick. I liked his steadiness and confidence. Dorian is too much of a playboy for my taste. Great review–I love when a book zings you!

    • I was for the Captain at first but Dorian really seems to care for her and I kind of like his playboy like personality. He’s not someone I would want to date in real life, but for Celaena, I don’t know. I like him. But I do tend to like the underdog and I just feel sorry for Chaol for some reason so I’ll probably end up rooting for him.

  6. Ahh! This is a book I got denied on Netgalley and I seriously want to read it. I have read countless good reviews on it and I hear the world building is awesome. I didn’t know that there was such a good mystery as well. I totally need w good book to get me out of my current reading slump!

    • Oh no! You were denied?! Shoot! If I had a copy I would totally loan it to you!
      And that stinks about the slump! I hope you get out of it soon!

  7. I loved this book, too! I still have to get my review posted, though. But it was a super fun story with a cool setting and characters that I fell in love with. I really like Chaol and I’m completely excited to see how things go down in book two. Have you read the 4 novellas that go with it? I bought them for Kindle and have read the first one, which was fun but lacking I think the same character adoration that I felt while reading the book.

  8. Oh my God I need to read this even MORE now! I’ve heard such fantastic things about Throne of Glass and Celaena sounds like SUCH a strong character! :) I’m really glad the love triangle had you torn, too. I like love triangles, but usually only when the choice is really hard to make. Fantastic review!

  9. I feel like I have seen SO MANY reviews of this one today! It seems to be getting a mixed reaction. I’m so glad you loved this one. Giddy is exactly how I felt after reading this book. I really enjoyed this one, even the love triangle. Great review. <3

  10. I love when a heroine is kickass and easy to root for, and it’s always nice to hear someone gush over a book! I’m glad this one worked for you and love triangles can get annoying, but when BOTH guys work, it makes it better!


  11. Wasn’t this book fantastic? I love love love Celaena. Maas did an great job of making her tough and edgy but at the same time realistic and feminine. I’ve never seen anything like Celaena before. She’s awesome!

    Anyway, yes. Great and excellent review! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Today I have read three different reviews of this book, 1 positive, 1 negative and 1 middle of the road. It’s funny how wildly people’s interpretations of the book vary! I LOVE fantasy, LOVE it, so I’m very excited to read this. And love triangles, while not my favorite, are ok so long as they are done well or are different from the norm. It’s good to see you enjoyed this one Candace, I’m looking forward to weighing in!

  13. I had my eye on this one and I waivered on requesting it from Netgalley. The whole “Game of Thrones” aspect of the book didn’t really appeal to me, but I’m all for a butt-kicking heroine. I think I’ll wait and see if my library has a copy.

  14. Celeana was definitely my favorite part! I loved that she was ruthless and didn’t have a problem doing what had to be done. I was okay with the triangle too, but I might have liked Dorian a little more. :)

  15. I’m already a fan of Celaena after reading the 4 TOG novellas :)
    Candace, thank you for the awesome review! It’s wonderful to know that you feel all giddy after reading it. I’m glad to learn that both Captain Chaol and Prince Dorian are likable characters. Now, I really wanna devour TOG 😉

  16. CHAOL.


    haha Ok so, I’ll not Fangirl in this comment. Just know, I have my hopes and dreams for this series…and hope they come true. LOL 😉

    I really really enjoyed this book and canNOT wait for book2!! Already I’m dying to know what happens…Maas is incredibly teasing!! 😉

    Great review!

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  17. Yay I’m so glad that you ended up really loving this one! Now I’m so happy that I kept one of the copies I got from ALA for myself to read. I think fantasy has been lacking in YA lately and I would love to read something that compairs with my number one fantasy writer of YA, Tamora Pierce. You now set the bar pretty high for this book so I’m expecting a lot!

    Thanks for the awesome review!

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