So I know there are 4 books in this series already, but I am shamelessly jumping in late and am very excited to read the rest of this series! I have heard many wonderful things about the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Most people have also told me that the first book is a bit slow and hard to get through. I sincerely disagree. When it comes to the first book in a series, there is usually more world building than action and by the second book people find that they enjoy the book more because world building is out-of-the-way. I recognize that this is a thing, but I also cannot recall feeling this way about many series. I enjoy good writing, so when I find a well written book, it doesn’t matter if there is world building as long as the story flows and intrigues. Throne of Glass is one of those books that, even through the small details, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was constantly riveted, especially as I reached the middle of the book, and just overall enjoyed reading it despite what people told me beforehand.
*This review does contain spoilers. If you have yet to ready Throne of Glass, kindly go and do that now, and come back as soon as you finish.*
Celaena Sardothien is quite a mysterious girl at the start of the story, but aside from that, Celaena is a widely known assassin who was sent to Endovier for life as her punishment. Celaena is tracked down by the crown prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard, so that she can compete as his champion in the Kings contest for the title of Adarlan’s Assassin. Whomever wins this title will be at the kings beck and call, meaning they will kill and steal for his personal gain and that of Adarlan. Celaena is a great choice for this position, even if Dorian only chose her to make his father angry (which worked, by the way). Dorian and his best friend/ captain of the King’s guard, Chaol Westfall, work with Celaena throughout the competition. Chaol trains her to be a strong as she can, and Dorian helps keep Celaena’s true identity a secret by accompanying her around the castle and calling her by the name of Lady Lillian Gordiana. Celaena is also told to keep a low profile while the competition is still young so she does not draw too much attention to herself, which naturally frustrates her.
While she is competing, Celaena is allowed to live in large chambers inside the castle, which is much different to the way she lived in Endovier. Luckily, she almost immediately finds a friend in Nehemia, a visiting princess from Eyllwe, because Celaena can speak the girl’s language and otherwise gets along with the princess quite well. Since Celaena can speak Eyllwe with Nehemia, the two of them have plenty of humorous conversations about those around them without the others being able to understand what they say. Nehemia is a strong princess who would do anything to free her people, which is why she is visiting Adarlan to spy on the king, and she is also constantly loyal to Celaena, which comes in handy a few times for the assassin. I like Nehemia, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her in the rest of the series.
It was very smart for Dorian to change Celaena’s identity during the competition, but that also made it all the more frustrating when Cain reveals that he knows who she actually is. Also I loved the moment where Celaena told Nox who she really was because she had really bonded with him (in a weird assassin- nay, jewel thief- to professional thief way), so her bravery in that moment is not to be ignored. She saved Nox on two occasions as well, one of them being after she revealed her true identity to him and told him to run far and fast before the final test because there was no way he would live otherwise. I’m glad that he did trust her enough to save his own life and I actually get the feeling that he will be back in the future of the series as well.
Ugh, Cain. I hate Cain. He’s an evil brute, but of course essential to the story line (every story needs a mortal enemy), and with a name like Cain, he couldn’t be anything but pure evil. There was a moment of wonderfully tangible joy when Chaol stabbed him through the heart because at least we know he’s not coming back to seek vengeance against Celaena. At least that’s one possible threat taken care of. The final duel between Cain and Celaena is incredibly long and superhuman not only because of the magic involved, but because Celaena could actually pick herself up after being beaten so badly and still end up winning! *Major round of applause for that alone*
Some of the sweetest moments in the book were between Dorian and Celaena. Dorian is so perfect (*heart eyes*). The first obviously being when he finds Celaena playing the piano in her chambers and coaxes out the first emotion from Celaena’s past about her lost assassin love Sam. Then he gives her the puppy and oh goodness, the way to a girl’s heart is definitely through puppies (and food, and chocolate, and many other things, BUT DORIAN DOES ALL THE THINGS). He’s basically the perfect boyfriend so it’s sad that Celaena breaks if off at the end because she knows she shouldn’t make any serious attachments if she ever wants to leave the castle and live the life she yearns for. Chaol has his moments to, like when he inspires Celaena when she’s on the ground at his feet in the final test, or that hug they share toward the end before Dorian interrupts them. OOH and the night of the Yulemas thingy where he brings her the ring as a gift, that was pretty darn cute. The problem with Chaol is that he thinks too much. He knows he shouldn’t fall for Celaena, so he refuses to let himself acknowledge that he has feeling for her and he also doesn’t want to get in the way of what she and Dorian have, because he’s just too nice of a guy to steal a girl from his best friend. Either way, I’m currently rooting for Dorian in this love triangle, if you couldn’t tell, but I think Chaol has the potential to stir things up as the series progresses.
Another character I think everyone can agree on hating is Kaltain. She is mean and nasty from the second we meet her and she is constantly plotting again Celaena for different reasons from the assassins competitors. Kaltain believes Celaena is in the castle because she is Dorian’s current plaything and of course that makes Kaltian very jealous of the beautiful assassin. On top of that Celaena steals the job of leading Nehemia around and just seems to have all attention (especially Dorian’s) on her. Not to mention the evilness Kaltain shows she is willing to use when she agrees to put the poison into Celaena’s goblet after she finds out the truth. All is fair in lust for power and war right?
Then there’s the mysterious, all-powerful Queen Elena who basically saves Celaena on multiple occasions. The first Queen of Adarlan tells Celaena that she must become the king’s champion and helps the assassin by removing the poison from her during the duel. She’s just really confusing at this point but obviously there is still evil in the castle, so Queen Elena will most definitely be back soon, hopefully making more sense.
I think it’s time (after nearly 1300 words!) to bring this to a close… I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this book. Eventually I will get to the rest of this series, but for now I am a broke-almost-college-student who needs to save her money for things that adult life requires. Thanks for stopping by on this fine day (whatever day it happens to be) and until next time…