Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

by Sarah J. Maas

3.99 of 5 stars 112 ratings • 49 reviews • 162 shelved
Book cover for Throne of Glass

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Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

by Sarah J. Maas

3.99 of 5 stars 112 ratings • 49 reviews • 162 shelved
The book that started the phenomenon. Sarah J. Maas's global #1 bestselling THRONE OF GLASS series has taken the world by storm.

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?
  • ISBN10 1619630346
  • ISBN13 9781619630345
  • Publish Date 7 May 2013 (first published 2 August 2012)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Imprint Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
  • Format Paperback (US Trade)
  • Pages 432
  • Language English

Reviews

Avatar for booklovinmamas

I first read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas back in 2015. Thanks to my local library, I was able to read it. Now I have all the books in my home library. I’ve decided it’s time for a re-read (in 2021) since I have the last two books that I never read. I’m determined to read them finally. 

Storyline: Celaena Sardothien is an 18-year-old assassin who is about to gain her freedom from the salt mines of Endovier, but there is a catch to it. Prince Dorian wants her to be his champion in a competition that her father, the King, has created. She’s forced to go through a competition with other assassins, warriors, and thieves to find the next royal assassin for the King. Unfortunately, most of the other competitors are being killed off, and Celaena is afraid she will be next. She’s a strong female character that knows how to handle herself and what is out there. She ends up becoming friends with a princess in the castle and something else entirely trying to help her, which Celaena doesn’t think she should trust at first.

My Thoughts: Throne of Glass is one Young Adult fantasy that had me continuously turning the pages to find out what will happen next. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this book, and I loved how Sarah introduced the characters in this book. It was even better reading Throne of Glass a second time after I read the novellas. The novellas help me realize why Celaena was the way she was in this book. It takes a while for her character to grow on you, but she has been through a lot. 

Celaena is my favorite type of character with her kick-butt abilities and her will to help others. (She assists Nox and Nehemia in this book in different ways.) Although, her kick-butt qualities don’t come out in this book much, which is why I recommend reading the novellas first before diving into this book. You will find out how Celaena was before she went to the Salt Mines and was put into a competition.

Poor Celaena is not only having to deal with what is happening to the competitors, but she is also dealing with two guys that have an interest in her. Yes, there is a love triangle in this book. One of the guys will not admit he has feelings, but the other already made his attentions clear to Celaena. 

I’m actually rooting for her to hook up with one particular character, but I already know what’s going to happen. I read the first few books already, but I’m not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read this book or series.

The King is one ruthless King, who definitely is not my favorite. I’m kind of cautious of what he has planned. I can’t trust a character who goes out and kills without remorse, and this King is just like that on killing without remorse. It’s like he has no soul.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I give this book 4.5 stars and look forward to diving into the second book very soon (again for my re-read). If you are a fan of Young Adult fantasy, then I would recommend this book/series. Some readers may not like the first book, but I promise it gets better. (I do recommend reading the novellas first before diving into Throne of Glass.) 

 I’m so glad I was introduced to Sarah’s books because I’ve found a new author I’ve placed on my auto-buy list. 🙂 (I mean, I do own ALL of her books now.) 

Avatar for pamela

pamela 4 of 5 stars
Reading Throne of Glass immediately on the back of The Assassin's Blade made it a 4-star book. I think I would have rated it lower had I read it as the first book in the series. Caleana's character felt a lot more fleshed out having read the prequel novella's first than she would have if I'd not done so. Let's be honest, she's not exactly the deepest character to grace the page - in execution or personality.

Throne of Glass was a trashy, fun-filled, fast-paced, action-packed romp. It read like a guilty pleasure, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It doesn't have any pretences, and revels in all its silly, fantasy-filled glory. Caleana's a bit of a Mary Sue in this novel, which is why I'm glad that I read The Assassin's Blade first. There is very little back story or development of her character, and I definitely felt like her time in Endovier needed more exploration, but none of that detracted from the fact that Throne of Glass was just a fun book to read.

Does Throne of Glass include almost every YA trope under the sun? Absolutely. But it's well written, so I didn't care. It's not trying to re-invent the wheel. Want some sexy people doing badass things, and then making out occasionally? Then this book is for you!

Avatar for sstaley

sstaley 4 of 5 stars
I really liked this first book in the Throne of Glass series. I've waited a long time to read this and i wasn't disappointed. I've been looking online to see what order I should read the rest of the series and there are a few options. I'm so glad I finally read this and now I'm hooked.

Avatar for leahrosereads

Meh. So, I looked at some spoilers and realized this is pretty much going to be Celaena's story, and I just don't know if I have it in me to read through all of that. She is easily one of my least favorite MC's. Celaena's narcissistic and petty and talks a big game, but she felt incredibly incompetent here. What the hell am I missing? And while this is a 2012 novel when love triangles were all the rage, but dear god did it feel unnecessary here. I just don't know.

I wish this was about Nehemia. Now she was an interesting character.

Avatar for sa090

sa090 2 of 5 stars
Finally did it, this book or rather reading something by the author was one of my goals for 2018 and now I can finally say that I have read one of the books SJM has written. Overall though, I’ll say that while it has some good things, there are some glaring problems that I simply can’t ignore.

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I know that I she wrote this when she was supposedly 16, but any editor should have been able to rectify some of the problems and more importantly, her supposed decade on working on this (which I’m assuming makes her 26 at the time of publishing) should’ve also given her enough time to revise it. But I guess the problems with this book are only from my perspective since so far this book has the most notes/bookmarks I’ve given a book while reading, ever. Over 20+ of them filled with examples of why some things would not possible work, but since they’re spoiler filled I’ll be leaving them for the comments section below where I can go all out without fear of spoiling the series for anyone.

I enjoy assassins, the stealth, the cunning and the needed darkness in the world alongside the pretty awesome physical abilities makes me very giddy inside. So when I chose this instead of her other series I thought that I’ll be in for the ride of a life time, which I haven’t really gotten just yet. It’s not that the premise in itself is bad, it’s not 100% unique that’s for sure but that will never stop me from giving a work the chance it deserves. The issues in this book lies in the execution of its events and the bigger issues lies with the characters and the characterization. I for one always love to see a competition, and I hoped for something as blood thirsty as the Hunger Games given the “Champion’s” supposed future duties, but I was disappointed to see that the competition was practically child’s play in that regard.

Furthermore, almost all of the characters that she focused on were unlikable one way or another, save for one; which to someone like me who needs characters to care about to care about the plot line was a con no matter how I look at it. Like I said earlier, I will be discussing this in further details in the comment section below to hide the spoilers, but as a small preview of how that is going to go, I can only say that SJM seemingly forgot who she was writing about and under what premise. The eventual romance that has to come in YA was ehhh to say the least, reminded me a lot of the romance in the Grisha series which was also not a fun thing to read about. I could say that the one in the Grisha verse had some basis if I squint, but in this one, it’s just because. Even more so when it has my second absolutely loathed romance trope ever in the romance genre.

That being said, I definitely enjoyed the mystery that she brought on in the series. The complexity of it didn’t make it impossible to solve on my own (there were only ever two possible culprits in my opinion), but the way she brought it on was actually pretty fun for me, even more so when the signs and such became a big thing in the series. I truly hoped for some more exploration of those, but that’s surely to come later on. Thing is, I’m not sure I actually want to continue this series. I finished this book with a so so opinion, but once I started thinking about it and the issues I had with it, I’m not really in the mood to go through something like that again. Maybe I should wait for the TV series? If it was good, I don’t see how that wouldn’t rekindle the interest if it was good enough.

Final rating: 2.5/5

Avatar for stacey_is_sassy

It was OK...

I just didn't feel a connection with any of the characters. This was definitely not a romance...but that could be a...YET. There were some lusty thoughts flying around but I never felt like they were true feelings.

Everyone is a baddie, no one I felt was truly heroic. There was a brief time I thought the heroine acted a little selflessly towards another character, but it was fleeting. I don't really want to fight the good cause with any of the characters because deep down, the cause doesn't seem very noble.

The narrator does a good enough job. No problems telling the characters apart.

A little too expensive to go on in a series that I wasn't completely sucked into. Unless a humungous sale has them all for under $5.00 each, I think the Throne of Glass series ends here with me.

Avatar for girlinthepages

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

This Review was Originally Posted at Girl in the Pages


This may be more of a rant than a review. Not necessarily a bad one, but definitely an impassioned one. Because Throne of Glass and I have perhaps the most love-hate relationship I've had with a book all year.

So there were some high expectations I had for this going in, based on the plethora of rave reviews I've read:

A) A kick-butt, take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred, assassin protagonist

B) A well done love triangle

C) A creative fantasy world with good world-building


I can say after finishing the novel that b & c were pretty well accomplished, but part of me just can't get over expectation A, which is what drew me to the novel in the first place.

Celaena. There are so many things to like about her. She's sassy (SO much sass between her and Dorian especially). She's intelligent. She refuses to be talked to as a second class citizen because she's a female. She can be a feminist and still like feminine things (not all progressive women have to be tomboys!). I loved all these things about her, but the thing I could not reconcile with her character was that she was supposed to be an assassin (and not just any assassin, but the most dangerous assassin in the entire kingdom). There were multiple times when she gets startled or surprised, bumping into tables, jumping in the air, etc: "A door shut somewhere inside her rooms, and Celaena jumped, the book flying from her hands" (267). And OK, maybe she was just rusty on training from being in Endovier, but I just couldn't forgive the scene during Yulemas (basically a Christmas-type celebration) when she wakes up in the morning and finds an UNMARKED bag filled with candy lying on her pillow, and then proceeds to stuff her face with it. Now I am all for stuffing one's face with treats, but this is problematic for me as a reader because 1) How are people always sneaking into her chambers in the middle of the night without her noticing? and 2) If you are an assassin aren't you supposed to be concerned about an UNMARKED, MYSTERIOUS bag of candy being potentially poisoned? (This was my first assumption when she discovered it! I was sure it was going to make her violently ill). I mean, not eating candy from strangers is like Halloween lesson 101 for little kids. Where are her assassin-y survival instincts?

So basically I really like Celaena in every aspect except the assassin bit. Which is problematic, because, you know, the plot.

Anyways, I think the love triangle was indeed well done, if subtle. The romance is much more in the background and less involved in the plot than most YA, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your preference (I prefer more predominant romances myself). Both love interests were equal contenders, and neither felt like they were "thrown in" just to create conflict for the "obvious" choice, and I can honestly say I don't really have a preference for one over the other because I think Maas wrote Chaol and Dorian as equally strong contenders. Both men are intriguing with hints of deeper back stories, and there's not so much of the good-guy-bad-guy dichotomy that's often in love triangles. I loved Dorian's sass, but I think there's a lot more to see about Chaol beneath the surface that's going to be really fascinating.

The world building was done well too, there wasn't really any "info-dumping" and I felt like details about the geography, monarchy, class systems, etc were well-paced in the time that they were revealed. I will say I found a lot of influence from The Song of Ice and Fire series (especially with the structure of the geography and the monarchies). There's a handy map at the beginning of the book which I loved looking at because it shows the depth to which Maas has gone to build her world, as it's very detailed.

My love affair with this book really began in the last third of the novel, when magical and supernatural elements (some of my favorite things in YA) came into play. Not only did it give the novel a darker tone but it introduced a lot of interesting lore and I'm really curious to see how it fits in with the religion (which is really awesome-sounding and matriarchal-seeming, with a main Goddess who bore a lot of demi-gods/saints). There's good magic and bad magic at play, and Celaena is trapped in between, and it's hinted at that she herself has some connection to the supernatural (which was banned in the kingdom about a decade ago). The last 50 or so pages really sucked me in, as Celaena really started to show her assassin training and the pacing of the novel picked up with action-packed battles, shocking political revelations, and the promise of a much more nefarious plot and political intrigue in the next book.

I also feel like I need to again address that Maas, while writing a protagonist that hasn't quite convinced me that she's an assassin, does a really great job at writing strong female characters (Celaena included). Nehemia was a favorite of mine, a foreign princess with her own agenda and kingdom to look after who knows she's Orientalized and uses it to her advantage. I also really liked Kaltain- I know she's supposed to be Celaena's antithesis, but whatever her behavior it's driven by an ambitious will that has me really curious to learn more about her as a character, as she has that aura of a femme fatale. Maas just writes females in a way that convinces me that they're as active agents in the storytelling as the plot itself. These women drive the plot, rather than letting the plot steer them.

Favorite Quote:

“We all bear scars... Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”

Overall: Throne of Glass began as an over-hyped novel that struggled with slow pacing for the first half. Yet the many strong female characters coupled with an action-packed last few chapters reeled me in to the point where I will without a doubt be reading the sequel. If you're a fan of fantasy and want female characters with agency and cunning this series may well be for you, but beware that Celaena may seem more like your spunky best friend rather than Ardalan's most feared assassin.

Avatar for zerisse

Ezrah 4 of 5 stars
I had read this book a year ago and I liked it. In fact, I gave it 4 hearts BUT I did not review it at all, and I also did not binge read the series. To tell you the truth, I have no idea why it took me this long to review it. It does help that I re-read (re-listened) this a few days before the end of the year. I know it’s old news but if you’re like me who doesn’t read books immediately after it comes out, you would want to know what this is about, yeah?

What’s it about?

There’s an assassin, a FEMALE freakin’ kick-ass assassin named Celaena. Imprisoned in the salt mines of Endovier for almost a year, she is made an offer by the Crown Prince of Adarlan that she can’t refuse: be the Royal Assassin in exchange for her freedom. But it’s not just agreeing to be the Royal Assassin, but proving herself to be an amazing fighter by beating the other champions.This review first appread on I Heart Romance & YA

Avatar for ashley

Ashley 5 of 5 stars
booknook — Young Adult book reviews

Okay I need to take a deep breath. Inside a paper bag. Because this book is like.. yeah. This was my single most highly anticipated novel of 2012. I'd been looking forward to it since.. well, maybe not that long compared to some people, but at least before the cover art was released! But the strange thing is, I wasn't worried about the hype. I never worried that the book wouldn't live up to it because I just knew it couldn't be anything short of amazing. Although, that didn't stop my hands from trembling when I turned to the first page! :D

Okay I'll start with Celaena because she is so deliciously and incredibly awesome! I want to be that woman! Imagine you're working as a slave, when all of a sudden some guards pull you out, throw a bag over your head, and start guiding you down various maze-like corridors and staircases. You'd probably be getting dizzy, feeling nauseous, wondering where the heck you're going, mentally going over all your actions to figure out what warranted this... not Celaena. She's too busy memorizing the building's layout, blindly familiarizing herself with her surroundings, and planning a million different escape/murder attempts... just in case. Yeah, she's freakin' awesome. She's so badass that she always has an escape plan. When she enters a room, the first thing she does is find all the exits, mentally calculate how long it would take to incapacitate the guards, and estimating the chance of success. Why the bloody hell can't I do that??

Celaena is a great character because she has such a broad personality. On the one hand she's a super kick-ass, deadly assassin. On the other hand, she's a hardened slave who has faced serious hardship and brutality. On yet another hand she's a sweet bubbly girl who lets a romantic thought slip through, but she never becomes one of the mindless shallow women of the court. I love how she's not just a kick-ass, but cold-hearted assassin. Celaena has depth. She has intense emotions, a past that haunts her, loves and passions... and she can kill you with her bare hands. Gentlemen, you should be swooning over her — doesn't she sound like the perfect woman??

In Throne of Glass we get to read from several different points of view, including: Celaena's, Captain Westfall's, Prince Dorian's, and Kaltain's. It was fabulous seeing through the eyes of all these characters — I actually didn't expect that before starting the book! By 'hearing' from all of them, we get to really understand all their personalities and motives. We have the colourful, slightly arrogant, but charming Prince Dorian; the silent and more withdrawn—but still mysteriously sexy—Captain Westfall; and we have Kaltain — the manipulative, scheming, "pretending to be your friend but actually hating your guts and plotting to humiliate/crush/expose you" woman of court.

This book was often compared to A Game of Thrones, but I wouldn't say that's really true, and I mean that in a positive way. I'm probably in the minority by saying this, but I don't like A Game of Thrones all that much. I love the overall story but find the books to be too slow, drawn out, way too descriptive, and have too many characters that I frankly don't give a shit about. NONE of this was the case in Throne of Glass! Throne of Glass was constantly on the move, with characters that you either adore or love to hate, had incredible world-building that will suck you in and make you want to live in that land, and every moment of reading was pure bliss.

I got completely wrapped up in this book's fascinating world-building, court intrigue, scheming, mystery, action, and romance. Throne of Glass has it all, and it combines all these elements brilliantly. I was never bored, I was never dreading reading from a certain character's point of view, and I got completely invested. I was invested in the characters, the plot, and every single event. When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about the book. I thought about it on my daily walks, in the shower, and before I went to bed. I mulled over the plot in my brain again and again. I made predictions, I thought about the characters, and I replayed my favourite parts of the story. I think I purposely drew out my reading because I wanted to savour and enjoy the experience. I was dreading the last few pages because I didn't want the book to end!

I'm so thrilled that Throne of Glass exceeded every single one of my expectations! I LOVE looking forward to a book and I love it when you finally read it and it goes above and beyond. There is no better feeling in the entire world!