ARC Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

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.


I was so incredibly excited for Throne of Glass. The blurb sounded fantastic and I even liked the cover—that little knife strapped to her arm? Total. Badass.  But as I started reading, something happened. The first few chapters had an extreme overuse of exclamation points and I felt like Celaena’s voice wasn’t all that genuine—in fact, it was kind of bland.  Celaena is known not only for her skilful kills, but her beauty. So I came in obviously expecting some of the many male characters to fall to their knees in love. And some especially did. Despite her extremely big ego, I felt excited to read her point of view (ironically because I wanted to see if that big ego would get her into any trouble).
However, I think it was those first few chapters where everything went a little astray for me. None of the characters really matched their personalities as we read further on the book and that hindered my ability to really connect and enjoy.
Another thing I found tiring was the romance. I like Dorian, but the blurb of Throne of Glass has one sentence that mentions romance and the rest is focused on the trials and murders. While the plot was formed very quickly, I got rather annoyed with the lack of trials and action. A lot of Throne of Glass was spent on the developing romance which in the end will lead nowhere in particular. I think all up there were three or four of the trials and not all of them got much spotlight, chapter wise. (I remember one trail getting a sentence recap and that was it).

But there was something exciting about Throne of Glass. Something that had me reading on and even though I complained about it before here it is: the romance. The blurb hints romance with the Captain, but I didn’t feel anything more than a respectful friendship. The other romantic lead certainly had my attention, however. The chemistry between Dorian and Celaena was interesting and I could definitely understand the attraction, despite the fact that Dorian’s reputation is a popular YA cliché: the amazingly gorgeous, yet-sleeps-with-everybody-but-doesn’t-really-guy.
Throne of Glass definitely has all the elements and set-up for a fantastic series. Assassins, murders, and the forbidden romance. I was definitely annoyed at the lack of actual action, but I think Throne of Glass definitely has the potential to be something quite exciting and endearing.

Review: 3 stars
Date Published: August 7th 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Source: publisher
Format: ebook
Date Read: June 2011
Page Count: 404
Series/Stand Alone: Throne of Glass #1


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