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Review: Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas

August 7, 2012


Series: Throne of Glass #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: August 2012
Links: Amazon   Book Depository

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.


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas received some pretty spectacular reviews prior to its recent release. Based upon these reviews, I went out and purchased a paper copy of the book, something I rarely do as I usually purchasing ebooks. My bookshelves are reserved for keepers and based upon the reviews I figured Throne of Glass would be a keeper. Unfortunately Throne of Glass didn’t live up to the hype. Whilst it wasn’t a bad book or anything like that, I was disappointed.

Throne of Glass tells the story of Celaena Sardothien a master assassin who has been imprisoned as a slave in a salt mine following a betrayal. Celaena has survived for a year in the brutal environment of the salt-mine where the average life expectancy is1 month. Her life is pretty bleak when the crown prince of Adarlan offers her a chance of freedom. If she competes and wins a competition to become the Kings Champion, she will eventually gain pardon and her freedom. The stinger is, should she fail, she will be returned to the salt-mines, plus her competition are the most gifted thieves and assassins in Adarlan.

My biggest gripe with Throne of Glass was the inconsistencies with both the world and the characters. Celaena was a mass of contradictions. She’s billed as a master assassin with a heart of ice and a will of steel but I found her to be a teenager girl fixated on the cute guys surrounding her instead of her rather awful situation. Yes, she’s a kick-ass fighter but she’s also pretty soft hearted. According to the story, she has lived a difficult life but IMO I thought it had little impact on her – she opens up emotionally to those who have imprisoned her quite easily and wants to believe the best of her friends. Surely, such a difficult life would affect Celaena’s ability to trust.

The lack of chemistry between the leads disappointed me. And to honest, I didn’t particularly like the prince. He’s almost like a spoilt child. I don’t like to ruin plot details for readers, so I won’t go into specifics but I thought he was weak. Also a pretty one dimensional villain didn’t help.

All in all, I loved the premise of the story but I was disappointed with the execution. I’ve previously read some pretty brilliant books that are somewhat similar, so perhaps these spoilt me.

My Rating: 6/10

Edited: Thanks shinnysinsin for pointing out my little error with the title – now corrected 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2012 6:09 am

    Great review! I haven’t read it, but I have heard nearly identical gripes about this book. I almost want to read it just to see if I agree (which I probably would). LOL.


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