Welcome to Celaena-mania! | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass

[Insert some tired quip about how I’m reluctant to read the books everyone else is raving about because more often than not I’m left feeling disappointed]

But then Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas happened, and I’m sad that I didn’t read it sooner. Sad that I didn’t get to anticipate the release of the next books in the series with everyone else. Sad that I wasn’t swept up in Celaena-mania. Why do I have to be so stubborn? This was such a good book! (Oh, PS. SPOILERS)

 

I wasn’t immediately smitten with this book

I don’t know if I was too distracted while reading or if I was approaching Throne of Glass with an excessively critical eye, but for the first 100 pages or so, I wasn’t certain if I was going to make it to the end or not. It seemed like an awful long time passed before anything truly excited me (ie. when the first test happened). Plus, there were a couple of chapters right at the very beginning where Celaena and Co. had to travel from the mines of Endovier to Adarlan, and travel scenes never fare well with me.

But then I realized, Celaena is the character I dream of being

I admit this seems silly, especially since I am 27, but sometimes I day-dream that I’m a person capable of heroic feats. A CIA sleeper agent? That’s me. The leader of a group surviving a zombie apocalypse? That’s me. An assassin fighting her way out of the mines of Endovier and against competitors to become the kings champion? That’s me.

Celaena is just the powerhouse that I want to embody. She’s smart and witty. She’s stunning in a formal gown but terrifying in her assassin’s garb assuming you could even catch a glimpse of her as she slinks through the shadows. She’s so aware of everything that is going on around her, socially and politically. I’m expecting revolution in later books, and I’m expecting her to play a leading role in that.

Finally, there is a love triangle that makes sense

I find myself, for once, drawn to both of Celaena’s potential love interests. First, there is Dorian, prince of Adarlan. I was reluctant to like him at first because I suspected he would act like a spoiled brat, but I was surprised to find he has so much more substance than that. He has enough wit to keep up with Celaena, and he has a passion for books over leading armies and manipulating political powers. I find myself intrigued by him. But then there is Chaol, a member of the king’s guard. He acts stoic, but sometimes when he is around Celaena, the stony exterior crumbles, and he is warm and compassionate. He supports Celaena, he trains with her so she has a better chance of becoming the king’s champion so she doesn’t get sent back to the mines in Endovier, and I think he genuinely believes in her abilities.

But best of all, after the fight, Celaena is finally given the opportunity to pursue one of the love interests, but she chooses not to. She has important matters to attend to, one the will require her undivided attention, and a relationship would distract her. I was impressed by this because it’s not something I often read about in young adult literature.

Of course, there are villainous villains

First, there is Cain, one of the competitors, who defies nature and calls upon the supernatural for support and strength. It’s easy to hate him because he is blatantly vicious and a cheater. But, there is also a subtle type of villainy brewing among the king and his court– one of strategic manipulation not unlike the happenings in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series. It’s vile. But I love it.

The world is complex, and for the most part I love it

The tides of war are lapping at the shores of Erilea, and I cannot wait to see what unfolds. Adarlan has launched a surprise attack on Eyllwe; this has created tension in the king’s court. Celaena, who already believes the king to be a tyrant, wants to foil his future plans. But, what of Nehemia Ytger, the princess of Eyllwe and perhaps the most intriguing character in the story so far, who is visiting Adarlan. Will she infiltrate the regime to vindicate her people?!

We were also introduced to the existence of magic in Throne of Glass. Or perhaps the banishment of magic is more appropriate. Why does the king hate it so? What are wyrdmarks, and why has one branded itself onto Celaena? Who are the fae and how are they involved in all of this? I need to know!

Where the world building lost my interest though was the holidays that closely resembled the ones that exist in our own world. Samhuinn is clearly Halloween(esque) and Yulemas is clearly Christmas. I was momentarily transported back to reality during these scenes.

Overall though, I was impressed with Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. But, like the Lightning Thief, I’m left feeling disappointed that it too me so long to start reading this series. My reluctance to read popular series has once again left me feeling like I’ve already missed out on all exciting milestones associated with this series and fandom. I suppose, on the bright side, I do get to potentially anticipate the television series along with everyone else though. In the meantime, I have to read of the series to devour still.

If you read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, did you think it lived up to all of the hype?

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

Released: August 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Add to Goodreads
★★★★☆


Synopsis: 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 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 king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. 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.

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12 thoughts on “Welcome to Celaena-mania! | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this book! I was kind of reticent about reading this too because of its popularity (I often find myself disappointed by overhyped books too), but this has quickly become one of my favourite series. I hope you like the rest of the series!

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  2. I read it! I need to write my review as well… you’re on top of it. I am certainly intrigued, but I was left really frustrated with all of the questions. The entire book felt like an intro to me, like the competition was a side note and there were too many things being introduced and not addressed and I was frustrated. I usually love the first book of a series and this one fell really flat for me. That being said, I have high hopes for the rest of the series because I do like the direction it’s heading! P.S. I love your new blog look!! 🙂

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    1. Aw shucks, thank you for the compliment on my blog design 🙂

      This book seemed like an introduction to me too. I was left with a bunch of questions about magic and wyrdmarks and the fae, and I also felt that the scope of the world/world building was really small in this novel (since it only really took place within the castle), but I trust that the author is going to address these questions and give me a rich world to believe in later in the series. I guess instead of falling flat for me, book one just made me really curious to read on in the series.

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  3. I liked Throne of Glass, too. I was wary of starting it because of all the hype, like you – and I didn’t fall in love with Celaena immediately. I did find her to be a refreshingly strong and independent female character but it wasn’t until the third book in the series that I fell in love completely. That book was FANTASTIC (I rated 1 and 2 with reluctant 4 stars but 3 would get 6 if my star-counter went that far). My copy of Queen of Shadows is currently making its way towards me in the mail, which makes me really happy.
    But think of it this way: by waiting a bit and starting the series late, you don’t have to wait for the sequels and you can read them at your own pace 🙂 You can binge on them or space them out in anticipation of Book 5. This is why I didn’t immediately order QoS, I wanted to wait a bit and save it for later.

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    1. Gooosh, that makes me really excited to get to book three then. I mean, if the series only gets better…! Usually, I feel like the opposite happens in the series I’ve had experience with (Harry Potter excluded). Books one and two start out really strong, but then the author drags the story on too long, and everything fizzles out half way through.

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  4. For me this book was the opposite, everyone raved about it, I gave it a try and DNF’d it. It just wasn’t the book for me and everytime I feel like I read a different book than everyone else, which makes me a bit sad as it sounds like such a good series. Who knows maybe I’ll give it another try eventually. Hyped books are always a bit of a hit or miss, sometimes a book is as good as the hype and other times it doesn’t live up to your expectations.

    I like the sound of the love triangle that does make sense, I usually enjoy love triangles whe they are wel done, but those can be hard to find. I did have the same problem as you with the 100 pages, it felt very slow ad nothing much happened. I think I DNF’d it around there, so maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it and it get’s better afterwards. Great review!

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    1. Book hype is definitely hit and miss for me too. On one hand, I appreciate it for putting books on my radar that I may not have been aware of without it, but on the other hand, I feel like there are some books I would have liked more if I didn’t go into reading it with some many expectations demanding to be met. I think I just sort of lucked out with Throne of Glass. I remember when Divergent was released a few years ago and everyone raaaaaved about it. I wished I didn’t finish that one but forced my way to the end. I felt like I was reading an entirely book than every one else was in that instance.

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    1. I’m so happy I’m not the only late starter to the Throne of Glass series. I am also really eager to try to catch myself up in this series. Usually I have to take long breaks between books in a series, but this is the first time that I want to rush out and buy book two!

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