Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on August 2, 2012
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.
I was really terrified to read Throne of Glass after reading – and not really enjoying – The Assassin’s Blade, the compilation of all the prequel novellas. While I don’t regret reading The Assassin’s Blade first, I don’t think it was necessary to do so and I think I would have enjoyed reading Throne of Glass with or without it. It was certainly intriguing knowing some of Celaena’s background and knowing about a certain fellow assassin. But otherwise, I feel like I actually missed out on some important references in the novellas by reading them first. Someone on Twitter told me Celaena meets Dorian and Chaol in one of the novellas and, had I read Throne of Glass first, I would have picked up on that.
That being said, I really did love Throne of Glass. My fear kept me from picking it up for about a day and a half after finishing The Assassins Blade, but once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down! I basically read it in two days! I loved the way the book started (it was a nice tie-in to The Assassin’s Blade), I loved the plot and I loved the characters. And, as mentioned in my review of The Assassin’s Blade, I love Maas’s writing and world-building skills.
Celaena is still a kick-ass bitch in Throne of Glass, though she feels a bit defeated in the beginning. It was hard seeing her that way, knowing how fierce she was in The Assassin’s Blade (one of the perks/draw-backs of reading The Assassin’s Blade first). I knew Celaena could be strong-willed, knew she could take care of herself. But I also knew she had been betrayed many times before and was scarred from those betrayals. She didn’t trust easily and was convinced her fate was sealed – that she was doomed. She picks herself up, though, and pushes forward, accepting that whatever will be, will be. She knows how to pick and choose her battles.
Though there was a love triangle and some insta-love (two things I’m not crazy about, though I don’t let them ruin the story for me), I truly loved this love triangle and everyone involved, so it was hard to be upset by it. In fact, I’m still torn on which team I’m on! There were moments, unfortunately, where the love triangle was very predictable, though..
Dorian was hilarious and kind, casually flirting back-and-forth with Celaena. He was a bit stereotypical, in that he was intimidating, as the crown prince, yet also laid back in his demeanor and not as scary as he seemed. As is typical of YA lit, he also despised his father and the things his father stood for – the things his father did. And though I liked Dorian already, something he did about halfway through the book changed my whole opinion about him and made me like him even more.
Chaol was so serious and proper in the beginning. I loved the way Celaena got under his skin so easily! They had a wonderful rapport, though, and I liked them together. Chaol is so sweet and protective – in a slightly brooding way. Kinda like Angel! Except, not so tortured.. I had heard truly swoony things about Chaol, but I wasn’t entirely convinced in the beginning. He was very guarded and distant for the first half (maybe less) of the book, so it took me awhile to really get to know him and like him.
I really liked Nehemia. She was a good, kind friend, though I definitely had my suspicions about her at times. And we’re definitely led to believe that we SHOULD be suspicious of her.. I kept praying that she wouldn’t turn out to be a back-stabber, the way a certain character was in one of the novellas. For Celaena’s sake, I just kept hoping it wasn’t true… And, well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out what happened with her!
Another secondary character I liked a lot was Nox. In another life, I think he could have been an amazing friend and ally to Celaena. I really hope we see him in future books. Also, the whole storyline with Elena was intriguing and I’m SURE it will play a bigger role in future books.
Characters I despised (for obvious reasons) and wanted to bitch slap were the King, Perrington, Cain and basically every single champion that aligned themselves with Cain. I can’t talk about Kaltain without MAJOR spoilers.. But omg I wanted to bitch slap her!!! And then I also felt bad for her at the same time.. Kind of confusing! But again, this is spoiler territory… So, yeah..
The ending was pretty insane and crazy and HOLY CRAP. There were several things that happened that I didn’t expect at all, but there were also some things that happened that I could see a mile away. It made for an interesting mix of surprise and intrigue. I’m definitely glad I didn’t give up on this series after reading The Assassin’s Blade. I’m very eager to read Crown of Midnight – and I’ve heard epic, ridiculous, insane things about Heir of Fire that make me terrified to pick it up (But not in the way I was terrified to pick Throne of Glass up).
Despite one not-so-great read (The Assassin’s Blade) and thanks to one amazing read (Throne of Glass), I can say with absolute certainty that this series is amazing, I’m sorry I didn’t read it sooner and I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s a must-read!