August 10, 2014

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

written by Sarah J Maas
published on August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA
book #1 of Throne of Glass series
Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance
404 pages


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.

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me.”   

Throne of Glass is definitely that book which makes you seriously question yourself with the sentence: "Why didn't I read this sooner?!" It's an immensely entertaining high fantasy with a strong, badass, remarkable female main character that everyone who's looking for a good quality YA fantasy should look up to. Thank you, everyone out there, who feels like they haven't praised the book enough. You got me read this one.

Celaena Sardothien, a young asassin in the country of Erilea, was thrown into a salt mine prison after getting caught three years ago. For a long time she became a slave in that mine, but she endured it. Now the Crown Prince, Dorian Havilliard, offers to grant Celaena her freedom, if only she could become the Kings' Champion and prove that she, indeed, is the best. To get the title, though, Celaena has to beat other strong opponents in a deadly competition. Things get confusing when one by one, Celaena's opponents are found dead in dreadful conditions. Who might be the killer and what's the motivation behind the killings?

In this debut fantasy novel by Sarah J Maas, she writes a thorougly convincing and enjoyable high but light fantasy. There's something about the way she writes that makes us, as readers, believe in her words. The strong characterization of Celaena is one proof of it. (By the way, isn't the girl's name one of the best YA literary name, ever? I mean, CELAENA SARDOTHIEN. So much swag in two words. I really appreciate the author's ability to come up with some quite epic names that acually fits for her characters) As the best (and probably the youngest) assassin in Erilea, she has this harsh and powerful side of her, with so much badassery contained in one body. [The swordfighting scene with Chaol actually took my breath away!] Celaena knows not merely how to fight, but how to fight hard. This girl values herself because she knows that she's good at killing, that she deseves a high amount of respect for what she has accomplished in such a young age. Her self-boastness is something to be expected.  What I didn't expect was the girlish, teenagery side of her that surfaces every now and then. Like any other normal 18 years old girls out there, Celaena is still excited over the thought of parties, ballgowns, and other feminine matters which I admit, makes her not only so overly CUTE, but also lovable! She's like this ferocious, grumpy cat that will turn into a fluffy kitten when offered candies. This girl also has so much snark and fun-ness in oneself! I really really enjoyed every smartypants, wit-filled conversations that she exhanged with Chaol (and other characters as well) throughout the book. As if all of that are not enough, Sarah J Maas coerced me to love this girl even more when her passion toward literature and libraries is revealed. That way I started to believe that Celaena is truly powerful, strong, and unbeatable, but she's also a normal 18 years old girl who still wants to enjoy life as it is.

“Over a million? A million books?” Her heart leapt and danced, and she cracked a smile. “I’d die before I even got through half of that!” 
“You like to read?” 
She raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you?”   
“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

The plot line flows seamlessly, alternating between scenes where Celaena is happily enjoying herself being showered by the luxury of palace life after three years living in a salt mine, the training, the get-to-know-you parts between her and other characters (Dorian, Chaol, Lady Nehemia, Nox, and others. I'm happy to say that it's clear Sarah J Maas put a lot of attentions to her side characters, because even Nehemia is a well complicatedly written character who actually holds an important role in the book), and the competition itself. There's a few letdown of the book, though, for the synopsis somehow created this quite high expectation that the 'competition' parts would be more like Hunger Games-y, while actually it's not that bad. Arrow shooting, running, one-on-one fight, identifying poisoned liquid, and all that. If I have to be honest, this book needs more action. More brutal fights, more mess. I want the assassin side of Celaena to be given lights more often. Show us, Sarah J Maas, SHOW US. Also, I am never a fan of love triangle, and while Throne of Glass' romance does not really qualify as love triangle, the somehow grey-ish relationship between Celaena, Prince Dorian, and Chaol got me torn for a while. I know clearly who I'm rooting for (CHAOL WESTFALL, of course. You have to read the book to grasp this INTENSE attraction between him and Celaena, which is like, the best thing ever. They're so special), I could not help but to enjoy all her moments with the other boy, too. These two boys can't help it but to get blown away by Celaena's astonishing charms, ha ha.

All in all, I would suggest this series to any of you who's currently looking for a good quality Young Adult series, especially for fantasy maniacs! Eventhough the turn of events might seem predictable at times, the story is supported by some well-crafted qualities such as good characterization, good dialogs, emotions play, and also filled with beautiful lines here and there. The series is set for six books (three books already out so far, which I will completely devour soon!) along half of dozen novellas that you can enjoy in between. 

A glimpse of awesomeness to Throne of Glass:

“Would you like to dance with me?”
He laughed. “With you? No.”
She looked at the marble floor, her chest tight. “You needn’t be so cruel.”
“Cruel? Celaena, Perrington is just over there. I’m sure he’s not happy about you being here, so I wouldn’t risk drawing his attention any more than necessary.”
Chaol’s eyes softened. “If he weren’t here, I would have said yes.” 
“Anyway,” Chaol added, jerking his chin at Dorian, “I think you have far more attractive suitors vying for your attention. I’m boring company to keep.”
“I don’t mind being here with you.”
“I’m sure you don’t,” Chaol said dryly, though he met her stare.
“I mean it. Why aren’t you dancing with anyone? Aren’t there ladies whom you like?”
“I’m the Captain of the Guard—I’m not exactly a catch for any of them.” There was some sorrow in his eyes, though it was well concealed.
“Are you mad? You’re better than everyone in here. And you’re—you’re very handsome,” she said, taking his hand in her free one. There was beauty in Chaol’s face—and strength, and honor, and loyalty. She stopped hearing the crowd, and her mouth became dry as he stared at her. How had she missed it for so long?
“You think so?” he said after a moment, looking at their clasped hands.
She tightened her grasp. “Why, if I wasn’t—”


“Right," Chaol said. "So you're just... memorizing that information now?"
"If you're suggesting that I have no reason to be here and to leave, then tell me to go." 
"I'm just trying to figure out what's so boring that you dozed off 10 minutes ago."
She propped herself up onto her elbows. "I did not!"
His eyebrows rose. "I heard you snoring."
"You're a liar, Chaol Westfall." She threw her paper at him at ploppedback on the couch. "I only closed my eyes for a minute."
He shook his head again and went back to work.
Celaena blushed. "I didn't really snore, did I?"
His face was utterly serious as he said, "Like a bear.”   


You could be great. You could rattle the stars. You could do anything if only you dared.”

What are you reading lately? Are you having a lot of fun this weekend? I hope August is treating you well so far. If you have read the book and you love it, tell me!
If you're convinced to read the book after reading this review and you love it, tell me as well! It will seriously make my day. :)

Have fun and read some more!


  1. Hi Tiria!
    I loooved Throne of Glass! I can't wait for Book 3, Heir of Fire!
    BTW, I love your blog! :D
    ~Carissa Bookworm @ The Bookworm Insider

  2. "Why didn't I read this sooner" is exactly the question I was asking myself about 3 weeks ago, hah. And you know, of the first 3 (which I read in 3 days, by the way), this one was actually my least favorite, so I think you have AWESOME things ahead of you with CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE. And then we get HEIR OF FIRE! So much excitement. :) I'm glad you loved it!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Your comment made my day because YAY! I'm sooo ready to read the next installments \:D/


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