Throne of Glass is a young adult novel by Sarah J. Mass that tells the story of young Celaena Sardothien, also known as Adarlan’s Assassin.
Celaena is young, beautiful, and deadly. Raised to be the best, Celaena is the most infamous assassin in all of Erilea. The story starts off in the slave mines of Endovier, where young Celaena is imprisoned until the handsome yet arrogant Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard, appears, giving her a chance at freedom. Celaena is to join Dorian in the Glass Castle and be the Crown Prince’s Champion in a competition to become the King’s Assassin. But as the competition becomes more heated, a series of mysterious and brutal events start to haunt the castle, and Celaena encounters things beyond her imagination. Will she become the Champion of a man that destroyed everything she had ever loved? Or will the enigmas surrounding the Glass Castle get to her before any of the other Champions can?
I started reading this book due to a recommendation from a friend. She said there’s a lot of romance packed into it, and honestly, that was a substantial part of the reason I started reading this book. Before buying it on Amazon, I read the reviews, and while some of them praised the book, others booed at it, so I started this book trying to not tilt in either direction.
So I’ll start with that I liked about this book. I liked how different relationships tangled with each other throughout the story. It was interesting to see the strain in the relationships between people that sought power, love, freedom, among many other things. The plot was quite satisfactory too, and I did not feel like the story progressed neither too fast nor too slow in any part of the novel. Maas set good foundations for every plot point that she made, and I could easily find the flags for whatever major event would happen, so at no moment I was left thinking “why the heck would that happen?” And I also really like stories where the character is really strong and can overcome whatever is put in her way; it’s kinda unrealistic, but sometimes I just feel like reading a book in which the character is strong as is.
What I didn’t like so much about the book is how shallow some of the characters and relationships were. Previously I said that I liked how the relationships tangled, but that pertains to all characters except for Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Royal Guard. I deeply enjoyed how Celaena and Nehemia (another key character in the book), Princess of Eyllwe bonded and became friends, and I was entranced by how some characters became warped versions of themselves as they lusted after something. But when it comes to the relationship between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol, I felt like Maas dipped her toe into a romantic relationship between each of the men and quickly took it out.
All throughout the book, there is ridiculous romantic tension between Dorian and Celaena and between Chaol and Celaena. But at the end of the day, I kept getting the feeling that she was staying in the middle, swaying towards each side just a little bit. It was just a massive flirtfest all over. I kinda want to say it was almost like the famous Twilight love triangle, but this was worse because in Twilight, the main character actually does love one side more than other. In Throne of Glass, Celaena maintains a quite frustrating balance.
And about the shallowness of the characters – this might be because this is only the first book in a series, but I feel like I did not learn enough about Celaena to really love her as a character. I discovered things about her past, but never truly understood her as a person. And I also feel like after all the madness that she went through in the book, she had not really changed too much at the end.
So in conclusion, I did enjoy this book. The story was decent, and I love reading about “Chosen One”s, which I am assuming that Celaena is, in a way. But I feel like this was more light reading than anything since I did not become really absorbed into the story and each of the characters. And so while I think the money I spent when buying this book was definitely worth it, I am not so sure whether or not I want to buy the next book.
If you’d like a light, fun read, which a kick-ass character and some dabbling in romance, I would recommend you read this book.
Also known as Hey June.