By: Melanie | July 10, 2013 | (29) Comments

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Release Date: August 2, 2012
Genres: Action, Fantasy, YA
Pages: 420
Source: Bought it
Goodreads | Purchase

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?

That feeling of ice-cold water being splashed onto your face is a pretty horrible feeling. Throne of Glass is a bit like that, symbolically, I was ready for nice warmth, but I was shocked with the harsh cold that pushed me over. Disappointed and dismayed could be a way to put it. However, that did not mean I detested this novel, for a debut in a worn and wrung out genre, Maas accomplished with some great results, yet the hype had already traveled to me and I instantly had high expectations.

Like the synopsis states, female assassin, Celaena Sardothien is given two choices from Captain Westfall while serving her life sentence; Continue to roll in the filthy vicinity of Endovier, or fight for a freedom by competing against world’s greatest assassins and thieves to become the King’s Champion. Immediately choosing a brutal fight for freedom, Celaena faces something she never perceived.

Celaena was not the kick-ass assassin I found in the end of Throne of Glass. But she does hold some relatively likeable personalities. Wittiness, defiance and dynamic contrasts in behaviour. While not glaringly obvious, Celaena has some serious mood swings and dramatic rises and falls of temperament. Definitely an arduous character to warm up to and admire, but her humour created a fantastic balance between the writing tone and setting. Which I shall elaborate more on soon. Continuing on, Celaena’s most vexing point was her level of kicking-ass- or lack thereof. Her arrogance was no supporting feature to create a supposedly wickedly awesome character with wits. The absence of actual action is hugely obvious and greatly needed. Which leads to my next point.

There’s no point in bending the truth, I was bored. Not only was there lack of intense ass kicking, but also the plot line was lacking. A seemingly intricate plot surprisingly did not really have much drive or motion in it, a backing plot or more complexity would’ve made Throne of Glass more attentive for readers. That being said, there was a minuscule suspenseful mystery that was carefully injected in, but a greater contribution of it would have been better in so many aspects.

The writing and tone implemented into Throne of Glass was somewhat fascinating. With marvellous additions like Celaena’s burlesque remarks and setting of a dark world, I was immersed into this novel despite the bumps of motionless extracts. However. However, (isn’t there always?) I’d like to ask one question, just one. Where is the world building. Minutely present, there were tiny titbits of elaboration of this world Maas illustrated but there was not further remarkable signs of development. Therefore, my imagination could not expand to what I would’ve liked and had a narrow pathway to follow and venture through.

The major element that I enjoyed from the get-go was the romance. Utterly sweet, we have a love triangle. WAIT. Before you run away and scream, let me inform you that this was no typical one, not overly forced, the two love interests here were great additions compared to Celaena and Chaol simply won my heart over. A little instant lovey, but very very swoony. There’s Dorian the charmer but a touch too trite and Chaol the quite but kick ass guy in the corner.

All in all, Throne of Glass wasn’t sheer brilliance yet no means drop dead terrible. More plot, world building and relatability (not that that’s a word) of main character would be muh appreciated. But the bright side was the romance and idea.

3 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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29 Responses to Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  1. I’ve heard such mixed reviews of this and decided not to read it, particularly since the MC was supposed to be awesome but apparently wasn’t – just as you described!

  2. Book Blather says:

    I read an interview with the author ages ago, saying she was convinced by her publisher/editor to change what was once one book into a trilogy because she’d overstuffed her book with story. Sounds like they took it too far in the opposite direction, but hopefully that means the next book will be action packed! 🙂

  3. Ariella Lee says:

    This book was certainly really hyped up. There wasn’t ass-kicking going on, it was more about the romance I think. I liked the romance so I thought it was fine. But definitely need more fighting scenes! Great review, Melanie 🙂

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  4. I think you and I felt quite similarly about this one, Melanie. I thought that with a premise like that, there was no way it could let me down. Unfortunately, I felt it was very “tell, don’t show,” and that just drives me nuts! I almost wish she’d packed more detail in. Blergh. Not bad…just blah. Great honest review!

  5. Jasprit says:

    I’m really glad you were able to enjoy this somewhat despite some issues Melanie. I was totally transfixed by this world, but can understand the issues you had. At least the romance won you over though, I remember being completely torn by Chaol and Dorian in this one! Fab review! 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    I haven’t read this because of all the hype. I mean, it’s not a typical read for me anyways, but it does sound good. I think I might get the audiobook of it.

  7. Hype is so dangerous!
    Somehow I thought this was supposed to be like Game of Thrones but then I read that it was inspired by Cinderella, which makes a lot more sense. I read this a year ago, so I’m relying on my (admittedly poor) memory, but I think what I liked about the book was a) the story world, which was intriguing, though I wanted more details, b) the friendship between Celaena and Nehemia (I’m sure I spelled at least one of their names wrong) and c) the very interesting love triangle.
    What I liked less: the trials which Celaena and the other competitors are put through, which I remember as less than thrilling – perhaps part of the reason why you didn’t find Celaena as fearsome as you’d hoped.
    Great review –thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics
    PS Team Chaol

  8. Aneeqah says:

    Yes! Halleljuah! Finally someone that feels similarly to me about this book. I’ve seen so much hype and love about this book (not to mention half-crazed Tweets about getting the sequel), which all left me wondering if I was the only person who didn’t love Throne of Glass. I agree with basically everything you said. While Celaena was an interesting character, I was left wondering where he kick-butt-ness was for a large portion of the book. The plot is also pretty slow, but I did feel as if some of that was made up by the fact that the world was so intriguing. Also, Chaol FTW! The romance definitely was a tad insta-lovey, but I enjoyed the relationships nonetheless.

    Lovely review as always, Mel! <3

  9. Yeah I know everyone is in love with this book but I have really tried not to get my hopes up because it just doesn’t sound THAT great to me. I’m not even sure if I really want to read it…

  10. Rachel says:

    It’s unfortunate to pick up a book after massive hype and then have it not meet expectations. I don’t like lengthy or detailed world building, just enough to make sense, so this may not be a point of disappointment to me. I might wait until all the books are out to pick this series up. Glad to hear the love triangle is not typical. Wonderful review, Melanie! 🙂

  11. selkiereads says:

    I -liked- this book, but yeah it did have it’s boring parts. Most of the supposed ‘action scenes’ were filled with empty verbs. I was so excited for this after it was blurbed as “GoT for teens”, but it really wasn’t as good as I expected it to be.

    – Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  12. I suppose I’m the only person left on the planet who has yet to read book 1, but the reviews I’ve seen didn’t seem promising and I was never really tempted.
    BUT, that’s not to say I won’t reconsider. I have more time on my hands now, and I’m looking to find new series to love. I’ll just approach it with caution after reading your review.

  13. Lyn Kaye says:


    I am so much happier with this cover. I still need to read this one!

  14. Kris says:

    I agree. There could have been so much more world building and action. Despite being a notorious assassin, Celaena didn’t seem to have the attitude and skills that I’d expect of one. Maybe I was expecting too much because of the hype surrounding Throne of Glass, but it didn’t come through for me.

    Kris @Imaginary Reads

  15. meena says:

    Yes, yes and yes. I could not have put it so elaborately. well done. great review
    meena recently posted…An Ember in the Ashes…Sequal?My Profile

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