- The cover, and this was billed as “Game of Thrones” for YA.
Summary from GoodReads:
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
I was excited to pick up Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas for two reasons: 1. It’s fantasy, and I love me a good fantasy, and 2. It was referred to in several places as “Game of Thrones for Teens.”
I’m here to tell you right now, if you are picking up this book for the latter reason, please be warned that this is not the case. George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy is filled with complex writing, relationships, and world-building and, although I understand that Sarah Maas tried hard to create a solid, strong female lead, she’s nothing like those in GRRM’s books. Rather, this book is very, very “Fantasy-lite.”
What do I mean by that term? I’ve used it before to refer to a few books and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means that the world is easy to grasp, there are no strange terms, that the characters seem a lot like people we would know in real life, and that the magic concepts (if any) are very simplistic. This is fantasy for people who have never read fantasy before. Like I said, not a bad thing – but definitely not what I expected after being told it was like GRRM’s books.. which are hardcore fantasy.
Now, all that aside, there were a few other issues I had with Throne of Glass. The main character, Celaena, was beyond cocky. One of the most important things I’ve learned in writing courses (which seems to be the basic rule of writing) is to show and not tell things. Sarah Maas did an awful lot of telling and, as a result, Celaena came off as cocky, proud, and generally unlikeable. I was confused by the love triangle, but I think a lot of that was because I was confused by Celaena herself. I wanted to like her, but she was so off-putting that I just couldn’t get myself to care that much.
Was I entertained? Sure – the story is filled with action, moves at a fast pace, and had a bit of a mystery that I wanted to get to the bottom of – but the potential was there for so much more. In fact, this book reminded me a lot of a sub-par Poison Study (by Maria V. Snyder). I just wish that Celaena could have gotten her butt handed to her a few times to teach her some humility.
Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what these bloggers say!
- The publisher provided this review copy via NetGalley.