Books Review

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

July 2, 2013

I’ve had a copy of Throne of Glass since 2012 when I received a copy at BEA, where it was one of the most anticipated ARCs at the show. I was rather excited about it due to the Game of Thrones comparisons and the suggested romance. For some reason, though, I never got around to reading it despite hearing fantastic things about it. Well, a year later, I’ve finally read it and I am so sorry I waited so long. Sarah J. Maas has written an enthralling debut and with Throne of Glass she has established herself as a force to be reckoned with, one that will forever be a sought after voice in the industry.

When legendary assassin Celaena Sardothien is offered the chance of freedom from her life in prison by competing in a competition to become the new royal assassin, she finds herself in even more danger as an ancient evil is summoned, threatening the entire kingdom. Between training for the competition, discovering feelings for the kind-hearted Crown Prince, and befriending a foreign princess who may not be all she appears, Celaena has her work cut out for her. But will she succeed in stopping this new threat before it’s too late? 

Sarah J. Maas’s writing is clear, unique, and utterly engaging. Despite the third person narration, she pulls the reader right into the story and up close and personal with the characters. Celaena has an incredible voice and her intelligence, wit, and sorrow all come across successfully and make her a heroine worth rooting for. My favorite aspect of Celaena’s story is her relationship with the people she befriends at court. Her banter with Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, is hilarious; her sisterly bond with Princess Nehemia is endearing; and her growing relationship with Prince Dorian is sweet. And despite the romantic connections between Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian, their relationships are all rooted in friendship, which is a nice change from many YA relationships that are seeped in romance.

Speaking of Chaol—I am in love with him! I love that there’s this quiet, conflicted, and endearing nature to him that reveals itself in perfect moments of characterization. It’s not that I don’t like Dorian, I just think Chaol is more relatable and, to be frank, more interesting. He and Celaena make wonderful strides in their friendship by the end of the book and I can’t wait to see where they end up in Crown of Midnight!

Another element of the story that I love is the setting. Maas’ descriptions of her fantasy world are clear, beautiful, and she really brings Erilea to life. The world is so colorful and dark and enchanting that you can’t help but want to live there. Despite this more medieval setting, Maas has given her world a modern touch that brings a uniqueness to it and makes it accessible for readers who may not be fantasy-junkies.

Overall, this is one book you will fall in love with from the start. With stunning prose, a sweepingly epic setting, and authentic characters, Throne of Glass is an absolute masterpiece and a fine example of expert storytelling.

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