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throne of glassWhat: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Who: Bloomsbury

When: August 2nd 2012

How: Purchased

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

2cats2Throne of Glass is one of those books that every single person I know has read and loved. I was hesitant to read it because of this reason. Everyone was raving about the world, and Celaena, and which boy of the fetid love triangle they wanted to win her heart. Everyone darn loves this book.

Me? Eh, not so much.

My two main problems with this novel were Celaena herself, and the plot.

Celaena is supposed to be Adarlan’s Assassin. A badass bitch who has killed heaps of people, and who the PRINCE thought was amazing enough to go and drag her out of some apparently abhorrent mine prison. I didn’t see this. It was all tell, and no show. We didn’t get any back-story of how she trained, we didn’t hear about any of her previous accomplishments as the apparently amazing assassin that she is. We were just told that she was freaking fantastic, and we were supposed to accept it. I couldn’t accept it. Not at all.

For one, she acted like an insolent child. She was eighteen in the novel, and she acted like a fourteen year old (no offense against fourteen year olds). She was ridiculously self-involved, narcissistic, egotistic, and petulant. I did not warm to her character at all. And with all her childish antics, I had an extremely hard time imagining her to be filled with stealth and cunning as we had been told. It was simply unbelievable, especially with no evidence as to her apparent infamy as an assassin.

I swear I keep hearing things about amazing heroines in books, and when I finally get around to reading about them they are not amazing, and I am left bereft and still in search of said amazing heroine.

The plot was slow. It really was. I don’t mind slow plots, but the entire novel focussed on one event. One event. People vying to be the king’s Champion. That’s it. Add in some superfluous ‘gore’ and ‘magic’, and that’s it. We get told about the horrid conditions that Celaena somehow survived in even though she was only seventeen at the time, but we don’t see the place. We hear about Celaena’s training, but aren’t all that privy to it. Addition of pointless love triangle between Celaena, prince and guard, and some dead people, and some more dead people, and voila. There you have it. I was disappointed, to say the least.

The ‘big reveal’ was completely foreseeable, and I was just waiting for literally hundreds of pages for Celaena to be cunning and intuitive as we had been told, and figure it the damn out. But no, she was shocked at the reveal.

There were also some random points of view that were added into the story that I didn’t think were necessary. The majority of the novel is from Celaena’s third person view, and then randomly there would be a chapter from Dorian, Chaol, that wench that I can’t remember the name of, and then a random lone one from the king. I am not a big fan of character hopping, and I didn’t really think these ‘insights’ into the extra characters in the novel added anything to the story.

I will not go into much detail of the love triangle except that it was ridiculously evident from the first chapter, and that it tired me when reading it. Love triangles have been used to death, and I am simply sick of their entire existence.

All in all, I went in expecting this novel to be as amazing as everyone said it was. Of course, I try to go in with no expectation but when everyone around you is practically screaming about how fantastic a book is, it’s hard not to enter with some kind of expectation. Sadly, Throne of Glass didn’t live up to the hype that it has received.

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: April 11, 2014 • By: Chiara

23 Responses to Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  1. Annie says:

    thank you. I don’t like to be negative about books but it’s so nice that someone else didn’t love this book. I like the premise of it a lot – but I completely agree with you. It was all tell and so very little show that I never engaged with the characters the way other readers seemed to.

    It’s so nice not to be alone in a blogosphere that’s loves this series so much :)

    • Chiara says:

      Haha, I was a little afraid about posting this review, to be honest. I have only ever read two other mediocre reviews, and it seems as if everyone loves this story.
      But like we both said, it was very tell and no show, and unfortunately that impeded my enjoyment very much.

  2. Erin says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Chiara! I had a lot of the same issues with this one – if I hadn’t read the novellas beforehand, I wouldn’t have known that Celaena could actually be a competent (and pretty badass) assassin. Great review! :)

  3. Grace says:

    So glad that you wrote a review on this! I bought Throne of Glass awhile ago and have been meaning to read it. I’ve been trying to figure out what to read after finishing Fangirl (kind of excited to see your review for that one!), so I think I’ll start Throne of Glass. For some reason, whenever I read a review about how an overhyped book didn’t live up to its hype, it makes me want to read it more!

    • Chiara says:

      Glad to have helped, Grace!
      Ohmygosh yessss Fangirl. My review is going to be a little alternate, and I shall tweet you or something so you don’t miss out, haha :D
      Sadly, it was definitely over-hyped for me, but I am interested to see what you think now!

  4. My sister’s reading this at the moment. I guess I’ll see what she thinks before reading it :)

  5. Ouch, thanks for your brutal honesty! I think in this case the overhyping may have made you expect more. I’ve heard similar views about Celaena’s behaviour, but she definitely improves throughout the course of the series (the novellas and the next book). I hope you’ll be reading Crown of Midnight, because it’s definitely a great improvement. Lovely honest review, Chiara!

    • Chiara says:

      It was a bit brutal, but honesty is the only way for me :D That’s why I am so not a fan of hype. Like, I get the excitement and it can be great but .. it just raises the bar too high. Especially when it comes to someone like me, who won’t just jump on the hype train because everyone else has, you know?
      I have read Crown of Midnight, and actually posted my review today. It WAS a great improvement, and actually got four stars from me! I don’t think that has ever happened before. I am glad I gave it a go, though, because now I am really excited about the third book. I cannot wait to see this author grow more and more.
      I really want to read the novellas, just so we can get that background information that was missing from this novel.
      Thank you, Jeann :D

  6. I need a moment right now. *deep breath* I will control myself.

    As a objective reader of your blog: I think the novellas have more of what you’re looking for. Celaena is 100% badass in those! And in Crown of Midnight as well, to be honest. Throne of Glass is the weakest of the three, so I really recommend giving the other books a chance!

    As your wifey: WHYYYYYYYYY *cries forever*

    • Chiara says:

      But, like … why wasn’t she badass in this one? Why do we need the novellas to really get to know her, you know? I think that’s shifty >.>
      I have read Crown of Midnight, and posted the review today :D I really liked it, and I’m glad I continued with the series.

      HAHA. We may differ sometimes, but were still soulmates <3

  7. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one! I actually purchased it a few months ago because every review I’ve watched/read said it was fantastic. When my time comes to read it, I’m probably going to go in with high expectations, too. Oh, well. I guess I’ll have to see how I like it for myself!

    • Chiara says:

      Me, too! If you end up not liking it so much, I definitely recommend sticking with the sequel I enjoyed it a lot more than this book!
      Unfortunately hype can sometimes influence a book in a not so great way. :(

  8. Genevieve says:

    I’m not sure I made it more than two or so chapters into the book – I just couldn’t see what it was that made so many people fall in love with this story either. I definitely thought were was too much telling of Celaena’s amazing assassin skills without showing to us why it was true. I also didn’t like how she was repeatedly refer to as “the assassin” or whatever, like I was going to forget her awesomeness if not being reminded. I’ve heard some good things about her, like how she’s a badass but also likes things like dresses and such, which is something I completely approve of, but I just couldn’t get into her story.

    Reading the chapter-by-chapter snarks from Reading With a Vengeance was pretty entertaining, though – you might want to check that out if you haven’t! I’m sure you’ll find plenty of things to agree with.

    • Chiara says:

      So you know how I felt, Genevieve! I also felt like the excessive reminders of how fantastic she is were a bit annoying, as well. How about we get to SEE how fantastic she is, and we can make our own minds up about it. I guess I did appreciate the fact that she was supposed to be badass and girly, but the execution REALLY did not work well for me, at all.
      Hmm, I may just check that out. Thank you :D

  9. Whhhaaaaa

    I love this book, it is one of my favorites. However, I respect your opinion, because I totally get the “what is everyone talking about this is not good” vibe. Also, hype ruins soooo many books. I still haven’t finished 5th Wave for that very reason.

  10. Jen says:

    I felt the same way about Clockwork Angel. I am not too excited about continuing the trilogy, but I still try to stay away from the spoilers. (People these days aren’t really mindful about them, and I think Tumblr is mostly to blame.)

    The biggest problem I have with this–these books are the covers. I really am disappointed that they changed them because I think they’re horrid. It’s one of the reasons why I won’t pick it up.

    • Chiara says:

      Spoilers on Tumblr are THE WORST. I haven’t even started The Infernal Devices and I already know it ends =.=

      Awh, no! I love these covers, even if she has white hair (in the books she has golden hair).

  11. Jessica says:

    Throne of Glass has been one of the books on my hate list. This book is probably one of the big reason that I become hesitant reading fantasy YA. And seeing so many people hyping and calling this book the best fantasy book makes me angry. There are many better books with more developed characters, complex world, and better romance than this book. It’s always nice to see people that doesn’t share the hype.

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