My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Throne of Glass is a book that was heavily recommended to me, and, after YALC, I knew I had to read it. There was just so much love for this book series, evident in the enormous queues to meet the author, and the brilliant cosplays at the event.
Whilst shopping for my reading holiday on Amazon, I picked up a copy in the 3 for £10 deal, although the kindle edition is currently available for just 98p (an absolute bargain).
Throne of Glass starts with Celaena Sardothien, a deadly trained assassin who was caught and forced to slave away in the salt mines of Endovier, seemingly for the rest of her life. After a year in the mines, 18-year-old Celaena is offered a deal – she can fight in a tournament to win the chance to be the King’s Champion, but if she loses, she will return to Endovier. If she wins, she will win her freedom (after four years of service). Unsurprisingly, Celaena accepts the deal, and so enters the King’s court and competes in a series of challenges against other deadly folk, although other, mysterious things are going on…
I’d say there are four main characters in the book – Celaena (obviously), Chaol Westfall (Captain of the Guard), Dorian (the Prince, who has chosen her as Champion), and Nehemia, princess of the Eyllwe. Nehemia is one of my favourite characters – she’s a POC with a really interesting back story, and finally we have a strong friendship in a YA novel. However, the other characters succumb to a classic YA love triangle, which is a little disappointing – although I did enjoy how it was done, and it did leave me wanting to read on to find out what happens to the characters.
The basic premise of the book is a little too much Hunger Games, but where HG glossed over the love triangle sideplot, here it is very much the forefront of the book, with the whole tournament-to-the-death plot sidelined, and even skipped over. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but readers looking for a deadly badass assassin may be disheartened to find a very pretty, very talented, love interest in her place. I was disappointed to find that this assassin does no actual killing (which is an internal struggle I would love to see played out).
Another YA cliche is that Celaena loves to read. There are way more montages of her reading than there are of her training, fighting, or generally being an assassin. Yes, it’s a sure-fire way of connecting with the reader, but can we have a YA heroine for once who doesn’t have time to laze around reading classics because she’s too busy kicking ass?
I read most of this book whilst waiting for a delayed plane in an airport, and so I found this book actually quite difficult to read – I felt that if I skipped over a few words or sentences I wouldn’t really understand what was going on. For a book sold as fantasy, there is little world building (although what world is built is a solid foundation for further exploration).
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this book, and I do plan on reading the sequel, Crown of Midnight, in the future. I just hope that the sequels develop our main characters past their cliches, and we see A LOT more assassin behaviour.
Have you read Throne of Glass? How did you find it? Comment below or tweet me at @annalisebooks 🙂