Bonus! From my Reading Chair – Throne of Glass

Here it is – a bonus book review this week. A bit earlier than I expected as the kiddo’s school canceled classes and we’re now at home relaxing and waiting for the ice storm to hit. I know I’m late jumping on the Sarah J. Mass train, but better late than never! PS – Throne of Glass was initially released in 2012, so the story is almost five years old. How have I managed to avoid the spoilers?!?!?!

Throne of Glass is the story of Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s Assassin. When the story opens, we find Celaena in a death camp. Celaena was betrayed and caught and is now returning to the capital city to fight to be the King’s Champion.

Celaena is “rescued” by the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, and the Prince, Dorian. And you’ve guessed it, here’s our love triangle. She befriends a rival country’s princess, Nehemia. All three of the support and help Celaena through the tournament to become the champion and figuring out the mystery of what’s killing the champions, other than the competition tasks that is.

This book lays an excellent foundation for a vibrant world. Set on a backdrop of a country not allowed to perform magic and add fantasy elements of fae, witches, and oppressed people, Sarah is building a classic fantasy tale. Sarah’s placed several mysteries for us, one being who is it that betrayed Celaena? We were only introduced in name only to two other members of the assassins guild and with Celaena’s skill set, it would’ve had to have been another great killer. I’m sure I’ll learn more about this mystery in the upcoming stories. On this one, I’m not willing to wager a guess yet – what I think feels too easy to be, and I want at least one more book under my belt before I wager a “true” guess. I will say, I do suspect it was by someone she knows.

However, who the bad guys are was a bit obvious – however, I will add that I think there’s something bigger pulling strings. So, I’m not 100% convinced that who it appears is driving the crazy train is the real master.

Again, as in Heartless, I feel the love connections aren’t as strong as I would like them to be. However, with this being the first book, I’m hoping more will build. What I do appreciate is that Sarah has given both Dorian and Chaol attributes that Celaena is connected to, not making it a clear pick for Celaena’s heart, nor one that’s easy to guess. I will let you in on the fact that I’m a Team Chaol. The main reason is the scene from the final task – what Chaol does both during and after the task is what shows the sacrifice that loving Celaena is going to take. When Celaena is down, and he’s there, it brought me to tears. I’m also keeping in mind that this was the first book Sarah J. Maas published and again, I’m sure the love story will get better.

What I most appreciated about Celaena is that she is self-driven and doesn’t feel sorry for herself. She works and knows she can figure out a mystery. Sarah also lets us see her struggles as she works through problems and if she is making the right decision. I have also found that even though she is an assassin, she is a fantastic judge of character and does have an ethical code.

While many of the blurbs compare the story to Game of Thrones or for Hunger Games fans, Throne of Glass had more of a Lord of the Rings vibe for me. I didn’t get the feel that there is an actual name for where Celaena goes when she sees the monsters (we do learn you can open portals to other worlds), it has a definite feel and vibe of the wraith world that one enters when wearing the One Ring. Sarah is building a history that combines with magical lore and that, to me, feels like Tolkien (insert caveat, I have NOT read Game of Thrones). Some of the connections to this past she is making for Celaena are relatively evident and guessable, so I’m hoping that Sarah will add in some twists in future books.

My Goodreads rating was a 4 of 5 stars. My actual rating is more a 3.8 – I did enjoy the book immensely, but I want a stronger romantic connection and a few more twists and turns.

Should you buy the book – yes! They are now in trade paperback, and mine was under $10. All of the covers are beautiful, and the read is quick. It will be one that after all the reading is caught up (yeah right!), I’ll go back and re-read. Am I happy I jumped on the Sarah J. Maas train?  Why yes, yes I am.

PS – Celaena looks’ like she’d be an easy cosplay character – do you have a recommendation for someone who’s done her as a cosplay? Instagram, here I come!

PPS – I took this shot at my favorite bookstore, Bluebird Books, in Hutchinson, KS!

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