Review of “Throne of Glass” (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Maas, Sarah J. Throne of Glass. New York: Bloomsbury, 2012. 

Hardcover | $17.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1599906959 | 406 pages | YA Fantasy 

3 stars

Despte falling in love with Sarah J. Maas with her Court of Thorns and Roses series, I had previously tried this book when she was fairly new to publishing when Throne of Glass first came out, and then once again in between one of the ACOTAR books. Both times, I DNFed the book. But now, with the upcoming publication of the final book in that series, and the promotional read-along of all the previous books going on (I did read The Asssassin’s Blade, but did not find it substantial enough to merit a review) I finally finished it, and while I liked it much more this time around, although it is hardly up to the standards of any of the ACOTAR books.

There are some good things about this book, however. The world building is great, and I think Maas does a great job of introducing concepts that will play a role in later books in the series, like the disappearance of magic at the hands of the King, and its resurgence through Celaena. And while I wish it was a greater presence in the book, I liked getting a sense of the political landscape, especially as the premise revolves around a competition among criminals to become the King’s Champion.

However, the characters lacked substance. With the secondary  characters I didn’t really get the sense they were really anything beyond what their role demanded that they be, so there was nothing really unexpected, despite some semblance of a mystery surrounding the competition. And my main issue, like many other people’s, is with Celaena herself. While I don’t hate her as a character, there was no reason to root for her either. She is built up to be this awesome assassin, but there really is no sense of that conveyed in this book. I enjoyed the attempt to diversify her interest by giving her an interest in reading, but it wasn’t enough to compel me to take an interest in her. However. having heard that the series improves, I do plan to continue with it, as Maas has proved with her later work that she is more than capable of writing a good book.

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