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Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

59 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

Filled with fleshed out characters and intrigue this is sure to make my top ten list for 2012.

The tale begins when we meet eighteen year old Celaena Sardothien. She is Ardarlan’s most feared Assassin. The world is at war, and Celaena has spent the past year in the deadly salt mines of Endovier. Known for being a brutal prison; most do not last more than a few mo...
The tale begins when we meet eighteen year old Celaena Sardothien. She is Ardarlan’s most feared Assassin. The world is at war, and Celaena has spent the past year in the deadly salt mines of Endovier. Known for being a brutal prison; most do not last more than a few months. Starved and scarred she is summoned and assumes it is for her death. Prince Dorian Havilliard of Adarlan makes her an offer. If she wins the king’s competition for a royal assassin she can gain her freedom. Despite her hatred for the king, she readily accepts the prince’s offer. At Rifthold Castle she trains, makes friends and discovers secrets about herself and the castle. The tale that unfolds kept me riveted. Filled with romance, mystery and danger, I devoured this novel in two evenings. The characters were all fascinating from the cruel and power hungry king to the mysterious Princess Nehemia. Celaena has to be one of my all time favorite protagonists. She is smart, fearless and charming. She can be snarky, quick witted and utterly delightful. Trained from the age of eight she is a deadly weapon and yet she can be completely feminine. Her conversations with the main characters had me laughing aloud. She is complex and I loved seeing all the different sides of her. The novel hints at things to come with Celaena and I cannot wait to see her growth in this series. The Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, is assigned to watch, train, and guard Celaena. He doesn’t trust her in the beginning but their relationship grows. I really connected with him and found him to be noble, sensitive and loyal. The Crown Prince, Dorian Havilliard hasn’t yet learned to stand up to his father. I felt sorry for this quite, sensitive man. Celaena draws him out and allows Maas to reveal the many facets of this would be king. The elements of a love triangle are in place, and I waivered back and forth between the two men. Other characters added to the intrigue, suspense and mystery. Some I adored like Nox and some I loathed like Cain and Lady Kaltain. I seriously wanted to scratch her eyes out more than once..LOL. The world building was fantastic, brilliant and spell-bounding. Maas breathed life into the glass castle, the characters and the world of Adarlan. In a world filled with Fae, witches and magic, the mortal king has outlawed all forms of magic. Celaena is well versed in the Fae and has a healthly fear of them. When she discovers Wyrdmarks around the castle she is intrigued and sets out to learn their meaning. I became swept up in the mystery of these marks and the discoveries she made. Something is brutally killing off the competitors and it doesn’t appear to be human. This adds a great deal of suspense to the tale. I loved the competitions the champions had to endure. I found myself on the edge of my seat as Celaena completed each phase. Maas has done an incredible job of weaving many different plots into a tale that is rich with well fleshed out characters. While this tale doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger, Maas leaves us with enough unanswered questions and suspense to have this reader itching to read book two. I want to thank Bloomsbury Publishing and netGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

posted by kimba88 on July 23, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Lots and lots of mixed feelings about this book! Okay, let me

Lots and lots of mixed feelings about this book!


Okay, let me start of by saying I love the story line of this book.  There was something about the building of this world that I could see so clearly, especially at the start with the opening scene being at a salt mine....
Lots and lots of mixed feelings about this book!


Okay, let me start of by saying I love the story line of this book.  There was something about the building of this world that I could see so clearly, especially at the start with the opening scene being at a salt mine.  It gave the aura of oppression and of a story just ready to be told.


The whole journey and the events in the castle itself kept me riveted and the pace kept me alert and interested in what was happening around me, especially when the killings started happening.  I liked the whole mythical side to the story and how it was brought out in the plot.  


However, reading Throne of Glass was somewhat bittersweet.  I had an extreme love/hate relationship with all the characters.


Most of all with Celaena  - She was proud of who she was and there was no denying that, but at the same time she was narcissistic and totally full of herself.  Now I know that wasn’t the way she was meant to come across, but every now and then she said something or thought something that made me, well, want to slap her.  Haha, never mind that she could possibly kill me with my own fingernail.  While she was virtually fuming because she couldn’t tell the whole world who she was, I was silently thinking, ‘Don’t be too proud because you’re nothing more a glorified hitman.’  And, what’s really weird is that I didn’t feel that way at all about Ismae from 'Grave Mercy'.  


I think I questioned some of her wisdom too.  Within certain situations of the book, I could see why something was being done and I thought it was pretty smart, but not Celeana.  Because she didn't have anyone going 'ooh I scared.  I am in the presence of a great and powerful murderess...' -cough-'assassin.'  I think the reason I couldn't relate to her was because I didn't know enough of her back story.  I felt that only minimal information was given to the reader and so didn't help with my overall impression of her.


But, there were moments when I could have liked her.  In certain scenes within the book, I saw her softer side and that was the side that made me warm up to her.  She wasn't being selfish or shallow in those times.  She cared about things – like her dog and the princess.    She got hurt easily especially when she felt she had been betrayed.  Maybe she was just a complex character, but I've read other complex characters and they didn't leave me feeling like this.


The guys weren't quite as bad, but they were bad enough.  I hated how they seemed to lose a sense of themselves with Celaena.  Can't we have one book, just one, where ALL characters remain true to themselves?  And why do we have to have these love triangles?!  Why can't a girl just be left alone, or have the relationship develop over time - to ONE boy?  You can build romantic tension with just one boy.  You don't need two.  I think another thing that got to me was I never even got a sense on why each boy fell for Celaena.  No legit reason!  None! 


I must seem like I'm ranting and I guess I am in a way.  But, I was just so disappointed in a story that could have been so much better than what it was.  That's not to say that I won't go on to read the sequel, because I will.  I want to see what happens in the world Sarah J. Maas created.  I want to know more about Celaena and what drives her.  I want to see what happens to the Rulers, the princess and the people, including Elena's purpose. 


Overall, I thought the book was okay.  I didn't hate the book, but I didn't like it that much either.  It was just okay.  I would recommend this to anyone who likes action, love triangles, female assassins and fantasy.  


Book review by Sandy from Magical Manuscripts.

posted by sandyemerson on January 24, 2013

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Lots and lots of mixed feelings about this book! Okay, let me

    Lots and lots of mixed feelings about this book!


    Okay, let me start of by saying I love the story line of this book.  There was something about the building of this world that I could see so clearly, especially at the start with the opening scene being at a salt mine.  It gave the aura of oppression and of a story just ready to be told.


    The whole journey and the events in the castle itself kept me riveted and the pace kept me alert and interested in what was happening around me, especially when the killings started happening.  I liked the whole mythical side to the story and how it was brought out in the plot.  


    However, reading Throne of Glass was somewhat bittersweet.  I had an extreme love/hate relationship with all the characters.


    Most of all with Celaena  - She was proud of who she was and there was no denying that, but at the same time she was narcissistic and totally full of herself.  Now I know that wasn’t the way she was meant to come across, but every now and then she said something or thought something that made me, well, want to slap her.  Haha, never mind that she could possibly kill me with my own fingernail.  While she was virtually fuming because she couldn’t tell the whole world who she was, I was silently thinking, ‘Don’t be too proud because you’re nothing more a glorified hitman.’  And, what’s really weird is that I didn’t feel that way at all about Ismae from 'Grave Mercy'.  


    I think I questioned some of her wisdom too.  Within certain situations of the book, I could see why something was being done and I thought it was pretty smart, but not Celeana.  Because she didn't have anyone going 'ooh I scared.  I am in the presence of a great and powerful murderess...' -cough-'assassin.'  I think the reason I couldn't relate to her was because I didn't know enough of her back story.  I felt that only minimal information was given to the reader and so didn't help with my overall impression of her.


    But, there were moments when I could have liked her.  In certain scenes within the book, I saw her softer side and that was the side that made me warm up to her.  She wasn't being selfish or shallow in those times.  She cared about things – like her dog and the princess.    She got hurt easily especially when she felt she had been betrayed.  Maybe she was just a complex character, but I've read other complex characters and they didn't leave me feeling like this.


    The guys weren't quite as bad, but they were bad enough.  I hated how they seemed to lose a sense of themselves with Celaena.  Can't we have one book, just one, where ALL characters remain true to themselves?  And why do we have to have these love triangles?!  Why can't a girl just be left alone, or have the relationship develop over time - to ONE boy?  You can build romantic tension with just one boy.  You don't need two.  I think another thing that got to me was I never even got a sense on why each boy fell for Celaena.  No legit reason!  None! 


    I must seem like I'm ranting and I guess I am in a way.  But, I was just so disappointed in a story that could have been so much better than what it was.  That's not to say that I won't go on to read the sequel, because I will.  I want to see what happens in the world Sarah J. Maas created.  I want to know more about Celaena and what drives her.  I want to see what happens to the Rulers, the princess and the people, including Elena's purpose. 


    Overall, I thought the book was okay.  I didn't hate the book, but I didn't like it that much either.  It was just okay.  I would recommend this to anyone who likes action, love triangles, female assassins and fantasy.  


    Book review by Sandy from Magical Manuscripts.

    17 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Celaena is a wonderful character. Despite being an assassin, her

    Celaena is a wonderful character. Despite being an assassin, her heart hasn't died. She helps out her fellow laborers in Endovier, and she loves life. She is also snarky, witty, and extremely talented in her craft. The book is told from various perspectives as needed to build the plot, so we get to see through the prince's and Captain Westfall's minds in addition to others (for lesser amounts of time). As such, I knew almost immediately that I would love Westfall, an honorable and kind man, while I didn't approve of the prince, a player and a selfish man who takes interest in Celaena mostly because she is different and without regard to his position and duties to the land.

    Still, there were elements that I found hard to believe. Celaena was trained as an assassin from a young age, and she spent a year in Endovier, a notorious hard labor camp where workers typically die out quickly. So then why is it so easy for Celaena to relax in the castle of the king she hates? And how does she fall for a poison trap so easily (happens towards the end)? The synopsis suggests that there is a love triangle, but Celaena shows little interest in Captain Westfall other than her initial note that he's pretty goodlooking. Mostly, she take interest in the prince, which was a bit odd to me. Celaena has something against his house, and she also seems to understand how court life works. She knows that a romance with a prince will lead nowhere, yet she continues to get involved with him to the last chapter of this book.

    There are series of prequels available online that tell how Celaena came to work in the salt mines. I don't plan on buying these as I didn't like Throne of Glass that much, though I have this nagging feeling these prequels may be necessary to understand Throne of Glass itself. The story doesn't reveal much about Celaena's past, and it doesn't fully build her world and how much of the lands came under the king's tyrannic rule. So while I have an idea of Celaena's vendetta against the king, I don't know specifically what she has against him and his house. And I have no idea who exactly is this Sam she misses so much and what happened to him.

    For all the flaws, I did enjoy this book, though it isn't one that I would buy or reread. I am intrigued by Celaena's roots and what the evil king has in store for her. There is so much potential to this world. The Throne of Glass has a shaky foundation, and I'm hoping to see the story fleshed out. Consequently, I'll probably be reading book two.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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