Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is a YA fantasy book with an interesting cover.
The story follows the tale of Celaena Sardothien, the world’s most renown assassin as she gets out of her life-sentence of digging in salt mines (why is it always salt mines?) The Crown Prince has pardoned her under the stipulation that she enter the competition for the King’s Champion under his patronage. The King and the Prince don’t get along because the King is corrupt and the Prince is beautiful and royal. Celaena is trained by the Prince’s best friend, the Captain of the Guards who is also handsome and she eventually becomes the King’s Champion amidst magical intrigue and regular political intrigue.
There were a few things I didn’t like and very few things that I did like, but first, here is a picture of the author, just to compare it to the main character shown on the cover.
So onto the spoilers:
Some things that I liked in the story was the main character’s random thoughts, and the reference to many kinds of different weaponry and skills.
Some things I didn’t like were the many different (seemingly incompatible) story lines, the random love triangle, and the mary-sue aspect of the main character.
Celaena would often, throughout the story, be irritated with various individuals. When she was, she would ‘show’ her assassin abilities by picturing how she could injure/maim/kill them. It was a constant presence in the book and was forever amusing how this petite, blonde, pretty girl would somehow skin people bare handed or punch their teeth out.
There are a vast array of weaponry shown and skills tested in the King’s Champion trials. From Javelins to staves, one needed to be able to utilize all things equally well if this contest was any indication. There were a few, like rock climbing and poison recognition, that seemed odd for a ‘King’s Champion’ to know, but hey, who am I to argue with fiction.
Now, onto the things that I didn’t like.
There were about five different stories smashed into one. Not only was the main character a world renown assassin, but she was also a scholar, a girl who liked parties, savior of the world from evil, and knew something about the fey that was never brought up again in the book. Oh, and don’t forget that she was good at absolutely everything. We’ll get into that with the Mary Sue.
The love triangle was expected because on the back cover, it says that two dudes love her. But it was so out of place amongst the events that were happening. The prince happens to fall in love with her just because she’s pretty and stuff, I guess. But then the King had previously done unforgivable things to the girl and she says she would rather tear out her heart than fall in love with the Prince, then the next few chapters down, she’s literally making out with his face. Then the Captain of the Guards also falls in love with her even though he knows he shouldn’t and stuff but who cares, teen hormones I guess.
And let me tell you, she’s absolutely perfect in every way. Not only can she take down guys way bigger and older than her, she has to forcibly hold herself back when doing things. She can handle both a dagger and sword and bow and arrow. She can read and write and kill people at the drop of a hat. She makes weapons and has life training on everything pretty much. And everyone who is obviously a friend likes her. This is a typical Mary Sue element — perfect in every way — which is also enhanced by the fact that the mc on the cover looks exactly like the author.
All in all, I had a hard time reading the book through because every time it seemed like the author went out of her way to avoid writing about the most interesting aspect of the book — the King’s Champion trials — and focused on the inane, the balls, the interim, and the books. Most of the trials were skipped over entirely!
I give this book a one out of five potatoes, because why. Why would you write this book like that. And it’s part of a series. That I bought the second book for on accident. Why.