Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is the first installment of the Bestselling YA Fantasy series!
This review contains SPOILERS!
“In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, 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. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
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.“
The second page almost had me in tears:
“I will not be afraid.”
– Celaena Sardothien, pg 2
I don’t know about you, but just remembering Sam is a heart break in and of itself. But Celaena is back and as sassy as ever!
We are brought into this fantasy world where she is being released from slavery and sanctioned to be in this competition to win her freedom. With seeing no better option, the notorious assassin takes on the secret identity. And you can tell right away that she is going to take every advantage from it.
Her interactions with Dorian and Chaol were one of my favorite parts in this book. They play off each other in their snarkiness, and it’s fun to see her creep under their skins.
The competition brings a dark, professional atmosphere to the story. Watching her trying to be incognito was hilarious because she knew she wanted to put on a show, but in order to advance with minimal damage to her body, she would have to lay low. But, that didn’t stop her from trying to be everyone’s pain.
Try as she might, her year-long stay at Endovier took a physical toll on her body, so training was her way of breaking through the barriers and show herself what she is made of. It even left me inspired.
Celaena is a character who not only is the tough girl, but she enjoys the exquisite things in life such as pretty dresses, beauty products, and even classical music. She is fun to read, and the author does a great job in slowly uncovering her inner struggles. She begins to see each scar not as a defeat, but a way to prove to herself that she can be stronger and make it to the top.
With her sly assassin skills, she is able to uncover more and more secrets of the castle while also introducing the history of the forbidden magic. All while trying to beat the kingdom’s most dangerous men. It still chuckles me when people figure out the nasty killer is really a pretty girl.
And then, murders begin to drop throughout the competition. So not only does this book have feisty assassins there’s also a phantom murderer on the loose within the castle. BONUS! It even gets a little gory at times, so if you love a good, gut-spilling murder, this book will make you one happy lil’ reader!
Then the romance between her and Dorian begin to blossom. Yes, this dark story even has a softer side. He’s such the sweet guy who just wants to find someone to whisk him away from the political agenda with his title. And guys, he’s a reader.. with his own personal library! Like how do you top that as a prince?? Which makes the midnight book-exchanges a fun scene to read.
And then he goes out and saves the puppy for her! Like how much nicer can this guy be? But then the forbidden reality of their love boat being in the middle of a treacherous sea begins to take effect. You just want them to be happy.
Her and Nehemia’s friendship. The long-lost common tongue between them made it perfect for their strong, independent personalities to pop through. She’s like Celaena with her sarcasm and mischievous ways. And after the mess from the Desert novella, it’s fun to finally see her connect with another girl. But there was always something about her that I couldn’t put my finger on..
I really liked how she befriended the thief whom she graciously saves in the competition. When he figures out who she really is, he instantly knows to be frightened of her, but still respects her title. When she warns him of what she plans to do, he doesn’t hesitate. I think he’s the smartest of all the characters as he leaves the castle in the dead of night, but not without saying one of my favorite lines in the whole book:
“Do me a favor, Celaena . . . [r]ip Cain’s head off”
– Nox, pg 332
Dark creatures begin to pop up thanks to the oh-so-wonderful Cain. The end-scene in the competition was both epic and terrifying. All I wanted to do was yell for someone to help her.
And then Chaol rushes in to help save the day. You could tell throughout the plot that Celaena and Chaol had something fishy going on. And then you realize at the end that maybe they really do; the slow burn makes you want to constantly egg him towards her.
The King is like a character straight from Game of Thrones. He’s ruthless and powerful and isn’t afraid to chop peoples’ heads off. He’s the character you will absolutely hate, and wish someone would just take him out. Ugh.
Even though this book is all about the competition, we get to read more into what the King’s kingdom entails and the darkness that is reaching through. The underground nature of the castle was both creepy and mysterious. Every time she went down there, only more questions would come back up with her.
This book is about strength and her journey becoming a champion, proving to the kingdom that she is the best, and all without anyone knowing that she is Celaena.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. Even though this is a re-read, I felt like I was reading it for the first time, minus the few major plot points that I remembered. I even uncovered a few things that I must’ve missed in the first pass such as the significance of Nehemia’s words and the role of the Wyrdmarks.
So far, this series is one that will suck you in and not let go. I quickly becomes emotionally invested in the characters and wanted to know more about the uncovered magical system. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend giving this one a go!
“You could rattle the stars”
– Elena, pg 399
- Chapter 1 – Let it Burn by ZZ Ward
- Chapter 4 – Hummed Low by Odessa
- Chapter 13 – Get Free by Whissell
Published: 7 May 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
How I Read It: Paperback
Want to join in on finishing the Throne of Glass series?
Currently, we are reading Empire of Storms (#5) and moving onto Tower of Dawn (#6) starting this next Sunday!
Have you read my review of The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5)?
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Until next time..