Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas -- Book Review

In Sarah J. Maasdebut novel, she creates a unique fantasy world and a snarky but lovable protagonist but lacks page-turning action.


Adarlan’s most notorious assassin has just been released from the slave mines after getting caught doing what she does best: killing. But her freedom won’t come easy. Celaena is to be the Crown Prince’s champion in a competition to become the nefarious King of Adarlan’s Champion. Fighting alongside the continents most dangerous criminals and mercenaries, she must put her training to the test if she ever wants to be free again. Soon proving her skills becomes the least of her worries as danger and death stalk about the castle.

From the very first page, readers are dumped into the exciting world of Erilea, where Adarlan’s King is slowly conquering countries and throwing rebels into slave camps. Maas builds a world that rings true high fantasy lovers. With kings and court politics, eligible and handsome princes, and assassin protagonists that know how to talk back, Erilea is intriguing and well thought out. I am so glad that Throne of Glass is the first in a series because I can’t wait to spend more time in this world.

Celaena is one of my favorite type of character to read: sassy, strong, and knows how to kill things. Celaena develops nicely throughout the story and her emotions ring true. She is headstrong and tends to keep to herself. It will be interesting to see how she continues to grow in the series because there are certainly opportunities that will arise.

So as much as I’ve raved about this book, there was one big issue: Throne of Glass lacks action-packed momentum to drive the novel. There were several spots in the book where action was slow and I just wanted to skip ahead to a more exciting part. I think this issue really stemmed from knowing the trajectory of the book from the beginning. We know the story will end at the conclusion of the King’s Champion Competition. Though there are surprises, though there are action-y scenes along the way, readers know a bit about how the story is going to end and therefore lose some motivation to turn the pages.

All that being said there are several reasons why you should push through, if you too find the pace a bit slow: First, you will be surprised by how things turn out. Second, Celaena continues to be a really awesome heroine. Third, the second book, Crown of Midnight, is absolute worth pushing through. I am already halfway in (look for a rave session review next week) and I cannot put it down.

Overall, as a debut, Throne of Glass has some kinks. But as the beginning of a series it has serious potential and is well worth the time.

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