After reading this Throne of Glass review you’ll know exactly why everyone raves about the Throne of Glass series by S J Maas. She’s now one of the reigning queens of young adult fantasy and for good reason. Keep reading for my full Throne of Glass book review!
Throne of Glass Summary
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 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.
Throne of Glass Review
The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas is undoubtedly one of the most popular YA fantasy series out there at the moment. After the release of book five in the Throne of Glass series, with each book more hyped than the last, I thought it was finally time to give in and see what all the fuss is about.
I thought that there was no way this book could ever live up to the hype that surrounds it – but it did, and then some.
Throne of Glass follows the story of protagonist Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s most famous and most dangerous assassin. Sent to the deplorable prison Endovier to pay for her crimes, she is then tracked down by the Crown Prince, who offers her a deal she cannot say no to.
Dorian, the Prince, nominates Celaena as his champion in a gruelling competition to fight for the title of the King’s Champion – but more importantly, her freedom. Should she win the competition, she will be forced to serve the king for four years before being granted her freedom again.
The champions are made up of soldiers, criminals or noblemen, but they all have one thing in common – they are the best at what they do. For most, that means fighting and killing so Celaena must keep her wits about her.
I loved Throne of Glass for a multitude of reasons but number one has to be Celaena herself. It’s been a while since I have been so in awe of a character and so desperately wanted to be them/their friend/THEIR SERVANT. When people ask which character you’d most want to meet in real life, I often struggle to think of someone from my recent reads, but not anymore.
Celaena is a strong female lead, and pretty much instantly became my favourite female protagonist. She’s intelligent, headstrong, witty and fierce; everything you’d want from your story’s heroine. She is not just fighting for her freedom but also her life but she isn’t the sort of person who’ll tear down anyone in her path.
Underneath her tough exterior she is kind and compassionate. There is a warm heart underneath all her frosty layers and we see often see it come out when her friends or love interests are around.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a young adult romance and not cringed. I haven’t added any new book boyfriends to my list in what is probably years and yet I now have two new additions thanks to Sarah J Maas.
The biggest question running through my head when reading this was: Dorian or Chaol? DORIAN OR CHAOL? Dorian is the Crown Prince and Chaol is Captain of the King’s Guard. Best friends, but very different people. Both of them are smitten with Caelena but to harbour emotions for a known criminal and assassin, hated by the King, is a very dangerous game.
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What’s great is that the romance doesn’t take over the whole plot and is still very much a side story. Celaena’s number one goal is to win this competition for herself and she doesn’t get sidetracked by charming princes or muscular captains. She knows what she wants in life and she enjoys herself along the way, but these men don’t have a hold over and she’s still fiercely independent.
In addition to the champions competition and the side romances, there’s also an element of fantasy and mystery. A terrible monster lurking in the castle and champions keep turning up dead. At first people think that the champions are slyly killing off each other outside of the arena.
But after just one look at the mangled bodies of the victims and you’ll see that there’s actually something much scarier out there. Celaena tries her hardest to focus on the competition at hand but magic calls to her and she has to try and figure out what other plans are in motion behind the scenes.
To conclude, this debut novel is practically flawless and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of fantasy. This story has romance, adventure, magic, duels – all that you could want from a book really. There’s an element of realism to Throne of Glass that a lot of young adult stories lack and that sets this book far above the rest.
You’ll fall in love with Celaena from page one and find yourself tirelessly rooting for this young and admirable assassin. If you don’t also fall for either Chaol or Dorian (maybe both?) then you obviously don’t have a heart. In short, don’t miss out on this phenomenal young adult series.
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[This post was first published in 2016 and updated in 2020]