As a fan of Sarah J Maas, it was time for me to read her first series, Throne of Glass. I did a series review with zero spoilers that you can read here. This is the Throne of Glass book review, it will likely contain some spoilers, just so you are aware.
“We all bear scars, mine just happen to be more visible than most.”Sarah J Maas, Throne of Glass
I find myself moving away from young adult fantasy series more and more these days. I had to make an exception for this series. Though when I first started reading this book I actually stopped reading it because it didn’t hook me at all.
It wasn’t until I had found out from other reviewers that the series didn’t actually get great until the third book. If it were not for the promise that it would absolutely be worth the read I would have likely given up on this book and series pretty quickly.
Since we don’t always get trigger warnings on books I like to give trigger warnings in my reviews. This can help people avoid certain triggers that could hurt their mental well being.
Possible Triggers in this book are:
For a list of the triggers I look for you can check out this link here.
Synopsis and Author
Celaena Sardothien has done a year of slavery in the salt mines of Endovier when the crowned prince of Adarlan and the captain of the guard pull her from the mines and offer her a deal she can’t refuse. She is to fight in a competition to become the King’s Assassin. If she wins and serves four years she will earn her freedom.
Her competition ranges from other assassins to thieves to soldiers. She must hide her identity as Ardalans Assassin, win this competition, and gain her freedom. It’s not just her competition she needs to worry about though when people start showing up brutally murdered.
Sarah J Maas builds an amazing world with Throne of Glass. Chapters for this book were originally posted online and over 10 years later were picked up to be published. It was interesting to me to see an author take something that was 10 years old and turn it into what would become an epic fantasy series.
Throne of Class Reading Experience
The main setting for Throne of Glass takes place in a modified castle that has the original stone section and then a glass castle that looms over the town of Rifthold. Our main character made comments about how the glass part of the castle scares her to walk through because you can see everything.
She’s grateful to have a room in the stone portion of the castle with a large bathing chamber and a balcony that overlooks gardens. Even though she is heavily guarded due to the fact that she is one of the greatest assassins of Adarlan, Celaena finds there are secret passages inside her room. These passages lead to a crypt that holds Elena and Gavin Havilliard, the original king and queen of Adarlan.
Sarah J Maas has always been fantastic at world building and that starts here in Throne of Glass. She makes this powerful castle come to life with excellent descriptions that make it easy to get lost in.
Our main character is Celaena Sardothien and the entire book is through her point of view. Maas really brings Celaena to life and even though she is a skilled killer, you fall in love with this flawed character.
Sadly though, with such a great character and a fantastic setting the plot was incredibly predictable. There is a love triangle that just doesn’t make any sense and no real dealing with trauma of being a slave for a year. However, there are friendships and some mysteries that start here and proceed throughout the series.
The book is 416 pages, with 55 chapters and took me about a week to get through, mainly because I just wasn’t that interested in the story. I don’t really care for Assassin type stories but I knew the series wasn’t always going to be this way so I tried to push through by committing a few hours every night to reading it.
The writing style reads very new. While the world building was fantastic some of the dialogue between characters seemed off. Additionally, the drama between characters was petty and awful at times.
This book was not at all what I was used to reading from Sarah J Maas in ACOTAR or Crescent City. Though I was glad to see that the chapters were similar and shorter like what we see in her other books.
Throne of Glass Book Review
Once you get past some of the newness of the writing style, Throne of Glass is pretty good. I really believe that the story is just too young for me so I had a hard time getting through it.
My favorite characters are Celaena and Nox. I felt their friendship was very natural, I was afraid that due to the nature of the competition that Nox would end up dead.
I also liked Nehemia, however, while she seemingly wants to get close to Celaena she also wants to keep her at a distance. So while I liked the candid conversations between the princess and the assassin I wasn’t totally feeling it.
I hated Kaltain, absolutely hated her. She’s petty, horrible, and willing to do awful things to get ahead. I didn’t feel she was ever genuine, however, her ending did make me feel a bit awful for her.
Cain was an egotistical macho douche and there is nothing more I can say about that character.
I hope Chaol and Dorian grow on me more. It’s not that I didn’t like them, I just didn’t really feel anything for them at all. The weird love triangle just did not make sense to me. Now, I was hoping that Chaol and Dorian would have ended up together because they are absolutely loyal and have love for each other.
I loved the world building and Celaena is a great main character. The love triangle was odd, the plot was a bit predictable, and the writing style just felt like a new author to me. I know it’s not going to stay this way though.
I make this recommendation on the entire series because this first book is not at all indicative of where the series goes. If you like flawed characters, the fae, mate type romance, rebel and revolution stories, this series might be good for you.
Before I rate this book I want to give you a bit of background about what my rankings mean. I typically read books that I check out through the Libby app with my local library or through Kindle Unlimited.
I rarely buy ebooks unless they are cheaply priced or on sale. I also very rarely buy physical copies of books. I’m a bit of a minimalist so I have to absolutely adore a book to buy a physical copy that will be proudly displayed in my home.
So my ranking system is as follows:
- 5 Stars equals I am buying a physical copy of this book. I will read this book at least 10 more times, it is the best ever.
- 4 stars equals a great book. I might buy an ebook version when it’s on sale so that I can re-read it at least one more time.
- 3 stars equals a good book. I likely won’t read again but I appreciate the story.
- 2 stars equals “Meh.” I will not read this book again, it had a lot of problems and I did not care for it.
- 1 star equals a bad book. I barely finished this book and I will never recommend anyone waste valuable book reading time on this book.
- 0 stars is a did not finish book. I will never finish that book and it is banished.
Throne of Glass gets a 3. It was good, I appreciate the story, I might skip this book if I were to re-read the series again in the future.
- The characters.
- The world.
- The magic related portions.
- The predictable plot.
- The love triangle between Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian.
- How young this book felt when reading it.
Final Thoughts on Throne of Glass
I personally would have liked to see no love triangle at all in this book. It was out of place and neither of the men were right for Celaena. I would have liked to see a more natural and unlikely friendship grow instead of a romance of some kind.
This was the first book Sarah J Maas had published. I almost expected that she would need time to find her groove. At this point I knew I loved everything else she’s done and she is known for having her second book being better than the first.
Have you read Throne of Glass? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite book boards.