Publishing Info: August 7, 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Barnes & Noble
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 20, 2014
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)
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 king's 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 first tried to read THRONE OF GLASS almost two years ago when it first came out and for whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into it. I wasn’t a big fantasy reader back then so maybe it was just the wrong time for me, but I eventually let it go back to the library unfinished, knowing I wanted to give it another shot someday. When Bloomsbury introduced their Throne of Glass series read along, I knew that was the perfect time to dive back in and hope I would enjoy it this time around!
As I said in my review for the novellas, I owe Nikki from There Were Books Involved a huge thanks for encouraging me to read the novellas first. Since I was hesitant to get back to THRONE OF GLASS due to my less than exciting first attempt, I really wanted to get to know the world and characters better and I felt like I had a good grip on what this world was really all about when I started THRONE OF GLASS. The only downside to reading the novellas first, I think, was that… well, I actually enjoyed the atmosphere of them a bit more. Well, don’t get me wrong — I really did enjoy ToG too, but there was definitely a different feel, and rightly so. Celaena went through hell and back before ToG even started so when we first see her in the beginning of the novel, she’s already quite a different person in some ways than she was before.
I couldn’t help but make comparisons to THE HUNGER GAMES for some reason. In the novel, Celaena is entered into the competition to become the king’s champion and for whatever reason, I got a real Katniss vibe from her, though I think this easily happens with several strong female characters in similar situations. But this wasn’t a bad thing! I really admired Celaena’s dedication to her friends, her determination to win the competition to better her life, and her flat out talent. The aspect of the whole competition thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of was that it seemed fairly predictable. I guess it can’t really end any other way, but I was hoping for a bigger twist or two, I think.
I think what I enjoyed most is that while this was an enjoyable first book and I felt like it could have used a little more “oomph” here and there, Sarah J. Maas doesn’t rush into cramming all of the twists and surprises and plot elements all at once. It’s a longer series (six books instead of the common trilogy nowadays) so there’s plenty of time to allow plot to develop and for characters to grow. It had a very specific story line that wrapped up nicely for book one and at the same time led in perfectly to book two, and the best part about all of that is that it got me excited for the rest of the series.
THRONE OF GLASS was definitely an interesting read for me and thank goodness it held my attention this time! I think it was just right book but wrong time when I first attempted it and the novellas really did ground me in this world so I didn’t have to discover what it was all about all at once. The book didn’t totally knock me over but I really, really enjoyed it and I’m so excited to continue on with the series. I totally understand why so many people are in love with Sarah J. Maas’ books!
I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
I started this book almost two years ago and just wasn’t in the right place for it. So glad I came back and tried again!!
Celaena Sardothien // Character Obsessions: Freedom, becoming the King’s champion, trust, friendship.
It’s interesting to see the change in Celaena from the novellas to THRONE OF GLASS. She’s definitely not the same person after everything that happened to her and everything she went through in the salt mines… I definitely appreciate reading the novellas first so I was able to see the person that she was before the most terrible things in her life had happened to her, and yet, you can still tell she’s very much the same person in many ways as well. I loved getting to know her better and now the reader gets more of a detailed plot line with more adventure whereas the novellas were more getting to know Celaena and her history.
Chaol Westfall // Character Obsessions: Duty, honor, pride.
Starting to understand the whole Chaol love obsession here! I really enjoyed his character in THRONE OF GLASS and I loved him as one of the main characters. He’s definitely in a precarious position for so many reasons and I loved watching how he handled each delicate situation. It was a bit maddening at times… but in a good way!
Dorian Havilliard // Character Obsessions: Family, friendship, standing up for what is right.
I kind of loved Dorian. He was such a personable character that even when he was painted in, shall we say, not the fondest light, I still loved him. He felt very human and I really connected with him probably even more than I did with Celaena and Chaol. He’s in a tough spot in his family and he wants to do what’s right but at the same time doesn’t always know what that means in his life. Definitely a gem and I love what Sarah J. Maas does with his character.
Kept Me Hooked On: High fantasy. I think I’m pretty much solid on the fact that I really enjoy high fantasy now. I felt like it was important to note because when I first attempted the book, I really didn’t. I was just starting to dip into fantasy and for some reason this book wasn’t catching me… No issues with that now! It’s become one of my favorite things to read.
Left Me Wanting More: Adventure. There are six books in the series so yes, we’re slowing building up the adventure bit by bit. The training and competition scenes for the King’s Champion were… okay. I enjoyed them still but it felt a bit like The Hunger Games in a way. Not in a bad way, but I guess I just expect more glorious adventures in high fantasy… Although not to worry since I’ve already read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and I know things DO pick up!
This is really the start of a great series and I can already tell I’m going to get really into this one. I’ve already read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and I’m toying with starting HEIR OF FIRE ASAP!
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(Click the cover to see my review!)