Let me start by apologising for the serious lack of posts at the moment. Sadly it’s that time of year when things at school start heating up, what with exams and coursework and revision etc, so I haven’t had the time to write an awful lot of reviews lately. Things will unfortunately be a bit slow until exams are over, so bear with me guys!
That’s the boring bit out of the way, now on to the fun stuff…
Throne of Glass is essentially A Game of Thrones for a more young adult readership. We’re talking more romance and less gore – and definitely less sex – but I found it to be equally enjoyable.
Celaena Sardothien has to be one of my all-time favourite protagonists. Despite being set in a fantasy world and literally being the best killer in the entire realm, Maas still manages to make her relatable. Celaena is a total badass, but her ability to kill a man with a hairpin does not diminish her ability to be gentle, empathetic or vulnerable. And the author hasn’t forced her to abandon her ‘girliness’ simply because of her profession. So you want to scale a wall and enjoy wearing pretty dresses? Sure, whatever, go for it! I’ve seen people label Celaena as ‘annoying’ and ‘immature’ but I never picked up on that; if anything I thought that she was confident and smart, with the added bonus of being able to kick ass when needed. Alright, so she can be vain and narcissistic, but no-one is ever perfect in real life or in fiction, and these traits merely serve to allow for character growth later in the series.
The romance is there, and yes, there are the beginnings of a love triangle, but all the lovey dovey stuff is played down just enough that it doesn’t have to matter if you don’t want it to. And actually, the beauty of this book in particular is that Celaena chooses not to drop everything for some guy she’s just met. In her eyes her freedom is more important, and I thought that was great, because we’re so used to the trope in YA fiction that the women must sacrifice everything for love, and it was refreshing to see the opposite: characters who strive to take control of their own lives should definitely be celebrated.
And now we come to the world building. In my personal experience, a solid bit of word building can make or break a novel. I’m pleased to report that Sarah J. Maas has constructed a great fantasy realm that is complex enough to intrigue you, yet simple enough to follow easily. Of course, including that map didn’t hurt. I do love a good map!
Okay, so by now you know my feelings on love triangles pretty well. Oddly enough, this one wasn’t as awful as I thought it was going to be, but it still caused me to cringe in places. This wasn’t because either of Celaena’s suitors were badly written characters or anything, (although some might argue that Dorian is a bit dull), only that sometimes the romance felt a tad forced, which led to some cheesy lines of dialogue which then made me roll my eyes.
Oh, and parts of the actual plot were teetering on the edge of predictable. I don’t blame Maas for this though, because at this point how can any book be genuinely one hundred percent fresh? The originality came from Celaena and from the world she inhabited as opposed to the actual big plot twists. There was one exception, but that would push us into major spoiler territory!
I’ll be giving Throne of Glass four and a half out of five stars, because I thought that it was, quite frankly, awesome. The supporting characters, particularly Nehemia and Nox, were interesting and likeable additions to the story, and had their own plotlines that were well developed and clever. I think the series can only get better from here, and hopefully that will push it in a direction that highlights its individuality. I’d recommend this one to fans of fantasy and strong female characters; it’s definitely worth a shot.