Steph Sinclair's Reviews > Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
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Aug 22, 14

bookshelves: fantasy, 2012-release, young-adult, fairy-tales, netgalley, e-arc, ebook, bloomsbury, 2012-reads, action-packed, ass-kickin-heroine, girls-rule-and-boys-drool, i-really-enjoyed-it, i-totally-saw-that-coming, original-and-creative, smart-heroine, strong-heroine, triangle-of-love, i-own-it, bea-2013
Recommended for: Those who are looking for a fantasy novel with strong female characters
Read from June 19 to 29, 2012, read count: 1


Actual rating 3.5 stars

Thorne of Glass has a lot going for it. It's packed full of action, mystery, likable characters and fun dialogue. On the flip side, it also has a few tropes that I usually make me want to rip my hair out strand by strand: the love triangle, semi-insta love and predictable plot twists. That by no means makes this a bad book, because despite those annoyances, I was fully engrossed in Throne of Glass.

The Plot and Writing:

While the synopsis may come off feeling a little Hunger Game-esque, let me calm your fears now. It's not. Celaena is a young assassin who begins the book being dragged from her prison in Endovier, a salt mine prison for criminals. She's given a choice to become the king's champion (or lackey) for four years in exchange for her freedom at the end of her service. The catch is she must compete for the "honor" against other criminals. Sounds easy, right? Of course. Then people start dying, ahem, mysteriously!

With that small description the plot sounds like a winner, but I found it to be very predictable. I knew who the villain was and the foreshadowing was not subtle at all. At one point, Maas does try to steer the reader in another direction, but I knew it was just that, a distraction. But regardless, I couldn't deny that it was an exciting read. It's kinda like this: I knew how things probably would end, but I still ended up having fun along the way.

Even with it being a little over 400 pages long, it certainly doesn't read like that. The narration is set at a good pace and flows very nicely. The only thing I have to say about the writing style was that at times it felt a wee bit cheesy. There were a few lines like "Oh and she simply adored..." or "Oh how she loved candy!" that made me cock an eyebrow, but thankfully they were few and far between.

Characters:

There's nothing I love more than a strong female character who speaks her mind and gives an entire male cast of characters a run for their hard-earned, cash money. Throne of Glass is being marketed as the teen girl version of Game of Thrones. Now, I've never read the books or seen the TV show, but I've heard enough about the depiction and treatment of woman in that series to say it's probably not for me. However, this is where Throne of Glass excels. Not only does it present a strong female MC, but a another secondary character, Nehemia, who also happens to be a person of color. Oh, yes, you read that right. No, ridiculous, over stereotyped, token character here! Because you know, if there is one thing that irritates me the most, it's misrepresentation in YA novels. But that didn't happen here. Nehemia is strong, incredibly smart and underestimated (of course) by everyone at court because of her nationality. Their mistake! I pity the fool who finds their self on the other end of her staff. It won't be pretty. Beautiful chaos. I'm hoping we get to see a lot more of her in the series. ;D

As for Celaena, well, she and I had this love/hate relationship going on. I find it really interesting and smart for Maas to create a character who is almost the opposite from what her society expects of her. They expect a proper lady, who never swears, has proper manners, reads poetry, quiet, ect. But Celaena is none of those things.  Early on it's established that she dislikes the social expectations and makes it a point to use profanity and to embarrass the man folk with her readings of "Sunset's Passions". Seriously, she was owning these guys left and right.
"By the Wyrd! Do you actually read this rubbish? What happened to Symbols and Power and Eyllwe Customs and Culture?"
She finished her drink, the ginger tea easing her stomach.
"You may borrow it when I'm done. If you read it, your literary experience will be complete. And," she added with a coy smile, "it will give you some creative ideas of things to do with your lady friends."

I mean, can we all say, "In YO face."
"Here's a lesson for you, Weapons Master," she said, stalking past him. "Give me real men to fight. Then maybe I'll bother trying."



And her witty lines only get better and better from there. But of course, with all the pwning going on, she had her faults with being arrogant. Very, very arrogant. And that is where the hate comes into play. She was just too good and from the very beginning I knew Celaena would triumph because she is depicted as slightly Mary-Sueish. She's a well known assassin that can seemingly not be defeated and all man-folk fawn over her left and right. And that bothered me because it felt like there was so much more to her.

The Triangle of Love:

I was warned that this book contained a love triangle and this alone is enough to make me cringe. There are very few love triangles that I love and unfortunately this isn't one of them.  When Celaena arrives at Rifthold she is drawn to both the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, and the Crowned Prince, Dorian Havillard. Oddly, it's not because the characters aren't likable enough together and it's not even the fact of one of the love interests treating her wrongly. The problem I had was Dorian and Celaena's attraction. Most of the time it felt forced, awkward and contrived. I couldn't understand where they had the time to get to know each other long enough for her to stop hating him BEFORE she started liking him. There was even a scene where Dorian promises Celaena that he won't kill one of his new pups that he deemed untrainable. And she goes, "You'd do that for me?" I swear I could FEEL her eyelashes batting at him at that very moment. I think that was supposed to make me like Dorian, but all I could do was roll my eyes.

Contrastingly, Chaol's seemed like a much more developed and realistic relationship, if you even want to call it that. But their feelings felt more organic. Side note: I don't know if this is even considered a love triangle yet. It reminds me of the whole Jacob vs. Edward. We all knew Bella would pick Edward in the end. Was Jake ever a real contender? I think not. But from what I hear from readers of the original story on Fiction Press, Celaena had quite a few suiters. It'll be interesting to see how Throne of Glass deviates from its roots. So, I suppose we will just have to wait for future installments to find out.

All in all, though it was not what I was expecting, I still enjoyed Throne of Glass. I really believe it will appeal to many young girls and I'm happy to see great examples of strong female characters in a YA novel. It feels like the sequel can only get better from here based on that ending (no cliffhanger, thank goodness!) and I, like many others, eagerly await book two.

ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 120) (120 new)


message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I can tell you the original book was AMAZING!!!!! Hoping the changes made this book even better :-)


Steph Sinclair Rachel wrote: "I can tell you the original book was AMAZING!!!!! Hoping the changes made this book even better :-)"

Super jealous! I can't wait to read it! :)


Sandy It's on NetGalley, Stephanie. =)


Steph Sinclair Sandy wrote: "It's on NetGalley, Stephanie. =)"

Thank you so much , Sandy!


Steph Sinclair Oh, I hope I get approved.


Sandy Bloomsbury hasn't been particularly friendly on Netgalley, so I'm not getting my hopes up. (Carrie Jones' Endure, anyone?)

Ummm, maybe I should go write reviews for those 20 books I read for Netgalley and never wrote about.


Katie I've had this on my to read list forever. Publish it already, Bloomsbury!


Steph Sinclair Sandy wrote: "Bloomsbury hasn't been particularly friendly on Netgalley, so I'm not getting my hopes up. (Carrie Jones' Endure, anyone?)

Ummm, maybe I should go write reviews for those 20 books I read for Netga..."


Lol! I know! Bloomsbury almost never approves me. *sigh* I was kind of bummed about Endure. :(


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Can someone explain to me what NetGalley is?


Steph Sinclair NetGalley is a site where bloggers, reviewers, book store workers, librarians, ect. can request digital e-galleys before publication day in exchange for reviews.

http://netgalley.com/


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Stephanie. I'm new to blogging so this is all new to me.


Steph Sinclair Rachel wrote: "Thanks, Stephanie. I'm new to blogging so this is all new to me."

No problem. :)


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

(view spoiler) sighhhh


Steph Sinclair Rachel wrote: "[spoilers removed] sighhhh"

Oh, no. I hope it's still as good as you remember!


Amanda The Book Slayer Thanks for posting that this was on netgalley. Just got it.


Steph Sinclair Mommaseymour wrote: "Thanks for posting that this was on netgalley. Just got it."

You got approved? :)


Amanda The Book Slayer yup! Came in today!


Blythe Damn, they declined me!


Amanda The Book Slayer sorry Blythe. If it makes you feel any better they always decline me for Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series. I cry every time. Man I love those books.


Blythe Mommaseymour wrote: "sorry Blythe. If it makes you feel any better they always decline me for Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series. I cry every time. Man I love those books."

I've been meaning to start that series. And it's okay, I sent in another request, but I don't think it'd make a difference. I could wait until September to read it! I hope you enjoy it!


Steph Sinclair Mommaseymour wrote: "yup! Came in today!"

Awesome!

@Blythe, I'm sorry you got declined. :(


message 22: by Amanda (last edited Apr 17, 2012 12:17PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amanda The Book Slayer @ Blythe Me too.

@ Steph. Sorry about not getting Endure. I actually was lucky to get it but I haven't read it yet. Have you been approved?


Steph Sinclair They just approved me today. I was really surprised!


Amanda The Book Slayer YEA Steph. Sorry I hope you don't mind if I call you Steph. I had a roommate in college with that name and so it is a habit to use the shortened version. But I will put Stephanie if you like. :o)


message 25: by Blythe (last edited Apr 17, 2012 12:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Blythe Stephanie wrote: "Mommaseymour wrote: "yup! Came in today!"

Awesome!

@Blythe, I'm sorry you got declined. :("


Eh, it's okay! I added a few more details on my public bio, so hopefully it'd make a difference.


Steph Sinclair @Mommaseymour, Steph is fine. :)


message 27: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi Vi They declined me :(


Steph Sinclair Vi wrote: "They declined me :("

I'd request again. The first time I requested it was ignored.


message 29: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi Vi I did. OH GOD I'M DESPERATE


message 30: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi Vi Rejected :( Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be...


Amanda The Book Slayer So sorry Vi.


Blythe I was rejected twice, too. Oh well.


Steph Sinclair Aww, I'm sorry ladies! :(


Amanda The Book Slayer Sorry Blythe. That stinks.


Experiment BL626 Book got a cover!


message 36: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi Vi Disappointing cover, kinda....I dunno, I hope they'd go for something a bit more creative than just a pretty blonde girl. Plus, the cover model looks a little too much like the author, lol.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Vi wrote: "Disappointing cover, kinda....I dunno, I hope they'd go for something a bit more creative than just a pretty blonde girl. Plus, the cover model looks a little too much like the author, lol."

THIS


Steph Sinclair Yeah, I actually saw the cover when the book first went up on NetGalley. They took it down a few days later. I guess they added it in error. I'm not too found of the cover, but it's to be expected, I suppose.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Me too Steph... I was hoping it wasn't the final cover but...sighs


Steph Sinclair Rachel wrote: "Me too Steph... I was hoping it wasn't the final cover but...sighs"

Well, I've heard amazing things about the story, so I'm still optimistic! I'm just waiting a little closer to the release date to read so I can just go on and post my review. ;)


curious little beastie The cover model looks SOOO much like the author. o_O


message 42: by Fontaine (new) - added it

Fontaine I agree! When I first saw the cover I was like is that her? But I think Sarah is actually better looking.


Syahira Sharif declined... something about "publisher witheld the title" something... -___-


Amanda The Book Slayer Did you bump this one up on your list? ;0)


Natasha Oooh I was surprised I was approved..(nearly crying) thanks so much Netgalley..most of my requests are rejected


Steph Sinclair Amanda wrote: "Did you bump this one up on your list? ;0)"

I kinda did! Lol. It's now number 2. I usually read a print book during the day and an ebook at night. I can't wait to start it tonight!


message 47: by Rachel B (new) - added it

Rachel B Can't wait for your review!


Amanda The Book Slayer Me either. I had to put it aside because I have two library books due in a few days. But maybe I will just pay the late fee and read this. I really want to know what you think of the beginning.


message 49: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly I can't wait for this one to come out. It looks promising and seems original!


Steph Sinclair So far I like it. It's very easy to get to and I like the main character.


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