Rating: did not like it
Are you kidding me? What the hell is this shit? How do you screw up your story quite so badly after starting from an INCREDIBLE premise involving the most notorious assassin in the land - now a slave - being offered the chance to win back her freedom, sort of, in a "to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land" [says the back of my book, conveniently forgetting that (a) right before the final duels, the king specifically states that the competitors "can win only by trapping [their] opponent[s] in a position of sure death ... and no further" so to-the-death my foot, and (b) apart from thieves and assassins, a number of the competitors are actually ex-guards and random other criminals, for the most part disposable enough not to warrant names, and I'd only consider a small handful of them to be gifted at anything]? I mean, you really have to be TALENTED to go from all of *that* Exciting Sounding Awesomeness to - well - to Throne of Glass.
After reading the Q & A included in the back of my book, though, it all started to make sense, and I wish I'd known before buying this stupid-ass book that it's inspired by DISNEY'S CINDERELLA, of all things. I know what you're thinking: Where the fridge tart does Cinderella come in? Isn't this story about, like, a TOUGH-AS-NAILS former-assassin-now-slave competing for her life in, like, the most badass tournament ever? Well ... actually, no. And I'm happy to spend the next few hours of my life quoting this most dumbass book if it means AT LEAST ONE PERSON might decide not to waste their money on it, no need to thank me.
'"Wake up." Not surprisingly, it was Chaol.
She shimmied beneath the blankets, pulling them over her head, but he grabbed the covers and threw them to the floor. Her nightgown was wrapped around her thighs. Celaena shivered.
"It's cold," she moaned, holding her knees to her body. She didn't care that she had only a few months to beat the other Champions - she needed sleep. [Nope, this isn't your bratty kid sister, but the most notorious assassin EVAH! You know, the one who - after slaving away in the salt mines for four months - was so desperate to escape that she even tried a mad suicide dash. What the hell, though; they're only offering her her freedom.] It would have been nice if the Crown Prince had considered springing her from Endovier earlier so she could have some time to regain her strength; how long had he known about this competition, anyway? [Sheesh. I know, right? Silly Crown Prince, not considering the feelings of, like, one of the most terrible criminals his men have ever captured. I mean, he gives you large, comfortable living quarters in his castle, a billiards table, a chance to change your life, even a puppy, and - what - he thinks this is enough?!]
"Get up." Chaol ripped the pillows from beneath her head. "Now you're wasting my time." If he noticed how much skin she was showing, he didn't react. [That wasn't irrelevant at all ... ]
Grumbling, Celaena slithered to the edge of the bed, dangling a hand over the edge to touch the floor. "Fetch my slippers," she mumbled. "The floor's like ice." [Yeah, put those servants in their place
From the doorway, Chaol asked, "Why, might I ask, are you so tired?"
She gulped down the rest of the pomegranate juice and wiped her mouth on a napkin. "I was up until four reading," she said.' [Why do you even have to ask, Chaol? It's only the start of the tournament of Celaena's life; of course she stayed up all night reading. SLEEP WHEN YOU'RE DEAD, YO!! If the competition barely merits any page time, why should the competitors actually give a shit about it?!]
'A few minutes later, Celaena frowned at herself as she hurried after the captain into the foyer. "I look ridiculous! These pants are absurd, and this shirt is awful."' [Way to be descriptive
, Cinderella! Generic complaints FTW! It's not like you've been slaving in the salt mines for a year, or anything like that, OF COURSE YOUR CLOTHES MATTER and HOW DARE THEY?! DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN!!?!!?!!]
'"You expect me to use a mace an hour after sunrise?"' [The horror!]
'She bit into an apple. It was tart, with a sweet, honey-like aftertaste. "Oh? And what books do you love?" He named a few, and she blinked. "Well, those are good choices - for the most part. What others?" she asked, and somehow, an hour flew by, carrying them on the wings of conversation.' [Jesus. This paragraph isn't a pointless waste of space at all.]
'There was something girlish about her, too. Oh, he couldn't stand her contradictions!' [INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS!!! Because *my* Chaol doesn't have a va-jay-jay ... ]
'Celaena bit down her laugh. Archery? It was an archery contest?' [Yeah, that was my reaction, too ... ]
'Pelor, the gangly assassin, wasn't yet strong enough to manage a longbow, and barely made any shots. When he finished, his eyes gleaming with resentment, the Champions sniggered, and Cain laughed the loudest.
Despite herself, Celaena felt badly for the boy. His shots hadn't been that bad.' [Yeesh! If barely making any shots isn't *that* bad, I can see how CINDERBRAT is the world's scariest assassin.]
'"Why would she kill me? I think she likes being pampered. [*snort*] If she hasn't attempted to escape or kill anyone, then why would she do it now?" He patted his friend on the shoulder. "You worry too much."' [ZOMG! U NVR HERD OF BIDING UR TIME B4? This Crown Prince is clearly not the brightest crayon in the box.]
'Sam. What would he make of all this?' [Since he's never been mentioned before, I really can't say. Sorry.]
'Dorian peeled himself from the wall. For all her assassinating experience, she didn't notice him until he sat down on the bench beside her.' [Yeah, I can see why she's Most Baddest Assassinator EVAH! And who glued you to the wall, anyway, Crown Douche Bag?]
'"No. I can survive well enough on my own - if given proper reading material."
He looked at the fire, trying not to think about where she'd been only weeks before - and what that kind of loneliness might have felt like. There were no books in Endovier.' [I find it hard to believe that loneliness is your biggest problem when you're a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl slaving away in a salt mine, but ... what do I know? A BOOK!! A BOOK!! MY KINGDOM FOR A BOOK!!!!]
'It wasn't until later that Philippa brought the news. The Champion who hadn't shown up for the Test had been found dead in a servant's stairwell, brutally mauled and dismembered.
The new murder cast a pall over the next two weeks, and the two Tests they brought with them. Celaena passed the Tests - stealth and tracking - without drawing much attention to herself or risking her neck to save anyone.' [When your plot's so boring that you're summarizing it all, you've got a problem ... ]
'He remained in the doorway, fearful that she'd wake up if he took another step. Some assassin. She hadn't even bothered to stir.' [I know, right? Also, you're a stalking stalker, Crown Douche Bag!]
'She smiled at the young chevaliers they passed - and smirked at the court women who eyed her pink-and-white gown. She couldn't blame them; the dress was spectacular. And she was spectacular in it.' [Bloody hell, you'd think a year of slavery would knock the vanity right out of a girl ... ]
'The assassin pivoted around the table and took aim again. She missed. Gritting her teeth, she considered snapping the cue in half across her knee. But she'd been attempting to play for only an hour. She'd be incredible by midnight! She'd master this ridiculous game or she'd turn the table into firewood.' [Now, now, CINDERBRAT. Temper tantrums are, like, so unbecoming.]
'"For the world's greatest assassin, this is pathetic," said Dorian, stepping from the doorway.' [Because assassins are widely known to be proficient at billiards. What, you didn't know??]
'She had often wished for adventure.' [If you spend seven years as an assassin and somehow manage not to stumble headfirst into all sorts of adventures, you're probably not doing it right.]
'So she'd cheated a little, but she'd won.' [LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS; WE'VE JUST HAD OUR FIRST GLIMPSE OF CELAENA ACTUALLY BEHAVING REMOTELY LIKE AN ASSASSIN!!!! And it's only page 240 ... ]
'It had been over three weeks since her last encounter with Elena, and she hadn't seen or heard her at all, despite the three Tests she'd had, the most exciting of which being an obstacle course, which she passed with only a few minor scratches and bruises. Unfortunately, Pelor hadn't done so well, and had been sent home at long last. But he'd been lucky: three other competitors had died. All found in forgotten [well, obviously not that forgotten] hallways; all mutilated beyond recognition.' [The plot overload! It's ... it's ... positively ... unbearable ... ]
'Amidst her worrying, another Test passed without incident or embarrassment - though she couldn't say the same for the soldier who'd been sent home - and she kept up her intense training with Chaol and the other Champions.' [WOW: So Much Story! How can I process it all?]
'"Candy!" A large paper bag sat on a pillow, and she found that it was filled with all sorts of confectionary goodies. There was no note, not even a name scribbled on the bag. With a shrug and glowing eyes, Celaena pulled out a handful of sweets. Oh, how she adored candy!
Celaena issued a jolly laugh and crammed some of the candy into her mouth.
"Someone," she said in between chews, "is very good to me."' [I just ... oh God ... I have no words! :D Cookie Monster strikes again?]
'"Of course I want her," Celaena said, then realized what the implications would be. "But I want her trained. I don't want her urinating on everything and chewing on furniture and shoes and books. And I want her to sit when I tell her to and lay down and roll over and whatever it is that dogs do. And I want her to run - run with the other dogs when they're practicing. I want her to put those long legs to use."
Dorian crossed his arms as Celaena scooped up the dog. "That's a long list of demands. Perhaps I should have bought you jewelry after all." [Hold your puppies, Dorian, CINDERDIVA STILL isn't done.]
"When I'm training" - she kissed the pup's soft head, and the dog nestled her cold nose against Celaena's neck - "I want her in the kennels, training as well. When I return in the afternoon, she may be brought to me. I'll keep her in the night." Celaena held the dog at eye level. The dog kicked her legs in the air. "If you ruin any of my shoes," she said to the pup, "I'll turn you into a pair of slippers. Understood?"' [Jesus Christ. Is it bad that what *I* want is for someone to rend Celaena limb from limb? And why does she have a bunch of shoes, anyway? Am I the only one who remembers that she's a fucking FORMER-ASSASSIN-NOW-SLAVE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!]
'Philippa huffed. "Just don't tell them I helped you when you get dragged back here."' [Sure, because if Celaena says nothing, they'll probably assume it was one of her other, non-existent maids who helped her navigate her way into her dress.]
'Frowning, Chaol watched his friend dance with the assassin. He wouldn't have danced with her, anyway. And he was glad he hadn't worked up the nerve to ask her, not after seeing the color that Duke Perrington's face turned upon discovering the pair.' [WTF is
the author Chaol talking about? What actually happens five minutes prior to this is that Celaena asks him to dance and he says no. Also, this guy's kind of a wussy-with-a-"p" for a Captain of the Guard. He's never even killed anyone before. Yeesh. Captain of the Guard, my foot.]
' ... Cain was little more than a pawn in a game to amuse the king ... ' [That's what they keep saying, but the king isn't even present in the castle for the majority of the competition, so ... ]
Oh, one more thing: THE NAMES! How the heck do you pronounce Chaol? Kale? Like the cabbage? And Kaltain Rompier has to be one of the stupidest names I've EVER come across. It makes me think of frolicking unicorns, or ... something. As for the main character, well, I don't even know what to call her. Selena? Kay-lay-na? (that's the one I eventually settled on, after spending half the book mentally mumbling her name) I mean, what in Erilea kind of a name is Celaena? Is it really any wonder that Nehemia eventually renames her?! Other people get normal enough names, such as Dorian and Grave and Sam and Elena and Xavier and Cain and Philippa and Verin and Ned; simple names, really. I guess the special snowflake needs a special name to go with her very special personality impairment. Don't even try to get me started on the place names, because I tuned them out after Eyllwe, so I have no idea how these countries / lands / coffee beans relate to one another, but I'll probably live.
And what is even the point of the glass castle? Or the non-existent throne of glass that the book's apparently named after? Thinly-veiled CINDERELLA references FTW!!!! If you ask me, the author should have gone for Cinderella in Candyfloss Land!, because you certainly don't get much more than that. I don't even know what Celaena spends most of the second half of the book doing. The tournament trials and murders are mentioned in passing here and there (Yesterday we threw knives! Another three people were eaten over the past three weeks!) and the book focuses on - I don't know what - Celaena sitting in her room, Celaena fawning over herself in front of one mirror or another, Celaena boasting about her amazing assassin skills that you'd otherwise never know she had, Celaena going for walks, Celaena admiring pouffalicious dresses,
Cinderella Celaena wishing someone would invite her to the ball, Celaena eating sweets, Evil King being evil, and Frolicking Unicorn being high. It's ... exciting stuff. Really.
Also, since when do slaves have possessions? Why does some random slave (who immediately gets murdered by some random people, so yay for the Drama Llama) have enough salve to pass around as required? Who makes this salve? From what? Who are these slaves allowed to associate with that they can procure salve? What do they trade for this salve? Their bodies? Their hair? Salt they've squirrelled away from the mines? Yeesh! Explain yourself, Sarah J. Maas!
UGH! Terrible, terrible, horrendous. Nonsensical, stupid, pointless. Fluffy, pathetic, ridiculous. Need I say more? Really? Need I?
Throne of Glass tries to emulate Poison Study ... and fails ... spectacularly. Save yourself the torture and go straight for Poison Study. If you've already read Posion Study, read it again. Or try Graceling. Just ... don't say I didn't warn you.
Rating: really liked it
Meet Celaena. She’s the world’s best assassin. Or so we’re told. She’s very, very talented. Very talented. And famous. She’s also really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, *takes a deep breath* really pretty.
It was true that she had been attractive once, beautiful even.
She looked at her rags and stained skin, and she couldn’t suppress the twinge of shame. What a miserable state for a girl of former beauty!
But it was her golden hair that caught the attention of most, hair that still maintained a glimmer of its glory. In short, Celaena Sardothien was blessed with a handful of attractive features that compensated for the majority of average ones; and, by early adolescence, she’d discovered that with the help of cosmetics, these average features could easily match the extraordinary assets.
“What remarkable eyes you have!”
The prince’s eyes shone with amusement at her brashness but lingered a bit too long on her body.
No, he had to remember that she was an assassin with the blessing of a pretty face […]
He found her beautiful. […] It was something in the way her eyes sparked when she looked at something lovely in the landscape. […] Through a clearing in the swirling mass, a cluster of stars could be seen. He couldn’t help thinking that they gazed down at her. [...] A lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back.
She looked spectacular. Utterly and completely spectacular.
Though she may look pleasant, […]
“Beautiful ladies are always associated with the Crown Prince – you should be flattered that you’re attractive enough to be considered his lover.”
“Your face is much more pretty when you smile.”
She smiled at the guards outside her door, and her smile burst into a grin at their exchanged approving glances.
“You look rather pretty today.”
An expression of surprise crossed his features when he beheld her in her finery […]
“[…] it would be hard to pass off someone so pretty as your sister.”
“I bet they won’t expect to be trounced by a beautiful lady.”
His dark eyes snaked along her body, […]
Her disgust didn’t improve when Grave ran an eye over her body.
Her turquoise eyes glittered as she stared at his hand, and his heart quickened when her gaze rose to his face. Yes, sweaty as she was, she was beautiful.
Rating: did not like it
What I was expecting:
What I got:
Assassin fail. Annoying heroine win. Maybe I could buy this chick as a badass had she not been:
- Emotionally unstable
- Obsessed with appearances
- Ruled by her hubris
- In love with exclamation points!!!!!!!!
- An open book, expression wise
- About as subtle as a rhinoceros
- Incapable of hitting a slow moving target with a flower pot
This might just be a case of “It’s not you, it’s me”. You see, I’ve read quite a few high fantasy books with legitimate badass assassins. Ones that are so creepy, so deviously manipulative and intelligent that they make this chick look like a vacuous nitwit in comparison. Maybe my expectations were too high. Then again…maybe not.
So, this Celaena chick was apparently the realm’s most feared and reviled assassin at the ripe old age of seventeen. She ends up getting caught though, and enslaved. A year later she’s pulled from the salt mines by the crown prince and put into a competition to determine the most badass of the badass. She's been doing nothing but hauling salt for a year so you think that she’d be busting her butt to get prepared for this assassin competition that she knows nothing about, right? Maybe practice her aim, do some push-ups or sit-ups, stretch, meditate, etc?
Instead, she wanders her rooms, admires her pretty dress in the mirror, contemplates playing the piano, daydreams about the library she just visited and then finally, she sends the crown prince a letter begging for something to read. Yup, she spends the night before a competition that could free her if she wins, or send her back to slavery and death if she loses, READING.
FYI, I made it a hundred and fifty pages and these are only the beginning of my complaints. So I’m sorry, I can’t with this fucking idiot. I’ve heard that the second book is much better so maybe I’ll come back to this when I have more patience. But for now: DNF.
And because I get asked at least once a week what I'd rec for books with assassins or assassin like characters:
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
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Rating: it was amazing
First cover: "Yeah, don't I look badass in this? Wait, hold on, does my hair and makeup look okay? I think I need to pose like this, so I look all strong and tough."
Second cover: "Fuck off or I'll end you."
I still stand by my opinions on the covers. I never liked the first cover, and am infinitely grateful that they changed them for the sequels. But as far as how Celaena herself is? I would say she's a bit of both. I feel like these covers portray two very different extremes, and Celaena seemed to possess a quality from each of them. That's actually what I loved about her. She's fast becoming one of my all-time favorite YA heroines.
I'll admit that a long while ago, I hadn't expected the book to be this good. But as soon as I read the prequels, I fell in love, and I definitely have high hopes for this series.
Rating: it was amazing
Caleana Sardothien, young woman assassin, is betrayed and sentenced to the salt mines of Endovier. After a year, however, she is given an opportunity: If she wins a contest to become the king's champion, she will be granted a four-year contract, working as an assassin for the empire she hates, at the end of which time she will be freed. After reading the premise of the book, I thought, "Sign me up!" After the first chapter, I knew I was in good hands. This book has plenty of mystery, magic, humor and romance -- a perfect brew for fans of good YA fantasy. If you liked Graceling, Grave Mercy, Shadow and Bone or other fantasies featuring strong female protagonists with scary good skills, I think you'll enjoy this quite a lot. And it's the first of a series!
Rating: liked it
3.5-4 stars? I CAN'T DECIDE JUST YET!
I decided to reread this book, as I am about to continue on with the series, finally!
I did really enjoy this the second time round, but found myself a little more critical of a few things. I will be doing a full video review of this soon, so look forward to more of my thoughts then :)
Rating: it was amazing
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CELAENA be all like:
Leaving me like:
Let me just clear things up. People are rating this book low because they don't "like" Celaena, saying she's "arrogant" or "self-centred" or "over-confident," first of all, if Celaena were a guy, you'd be head-over-heels for her. But she's a girl and now her story is being over-looked because, instead of drowning in self-pity, she decides to stand up, throw her hair over her shoulder and say "screw the world, I'm gonna survive."
I admire her for not letting her time in Endovier break her. How many books have you read with an author spending a dominant part of the plot trying to pry away the pity in the heart of her damaged characters, yeah, that's right, almost every time. They're usually so engrossed with whatever they did or whatever they went through, they bury themselves in their past and drown themselves in their own sympathy that it's actually ridiculous.
But Celaena isn't like that and she's getting hate for it.
Celaena aside, Dorian was okay, I've got no rotten points to divulge about him. I would, however, like to see his character develop further, because right now he's;
[x] Not what he seems
[x] Doesn't like being a prince
[x] Insanely good-looking
[x] Has daddy issues. (never forget the daddy issues)
And these are such stereotypical characteristics of a YA Prince. Dorian is charming in a boyish non-arrogant way. He makes Celaena smile and is an all-around good guy. And he loves books. Those are always plus points in my book.
I don't really know what to think about Chaol, at this point, he's still a raw character, not entirely cooked enough to be eaten (what?). Sometimes he's so frustrating, other times he's so adorable I want to hug him.
Right now, I've already read The Assasin's Blade and Crown of Midnight, I'm also halfway through an ARC of Heir of Fire and I can confidently say that if you give this series a fair shot (and Celaena too) then you'll see what I love so much about it.
Just so you know: I've never completely disregarded major negative points in a series before, so much so that I still gave it 5 stars. and I am not going to deny that Throne of Glass deserves its varied ratings. But I love Throne of Glass for reasons of my own, I'm not reviewing this for some publisher, so I'm letting you know now, my views are biased. I empathise with Celaena on so many levels, it's almost like we're the same person when I read the books, so with that, I've grown attached to the series as well.
Rating: it was amazing
I DID IT!!! OMFFFFFFG!
What is even going on, how did i not read this sooner! I am now onto Crown Of Midnight and DYING!
LOVE LOVE LOVE
I FINALLY READ IT PEOPLE!
Rating: did not like it
Once again, it seems like I'm in the minority for this book because I didn't like it. It's such a shame too because I'd heard a lot of good stuff about it. Oh well, maybe it's just me...or maybe because this book just plain sucks.
Let's start off with our protagonist, Celaena who's the "greatest assassin in the world."
Okay, I'm cool with that. But it'd be nice if she could actually prove it because from what I've seen, she's once hell of a crappy assassin. People walk in and out of her room all the time when she's sleeping and she just keeps on snoring. Hello, aren't you supposed to spring awake like a ninja and hold a knife to that person's throat?
That's what I expect from someone who just left a death camp. Instead I get this.
The real clincher is what I call the 'Candy Incident'. There's a bag of candy left on Calaena's bed with no note or anything. This is during the period where a murderer is going around killing Champions and a couple have died already. And what does the 'greatest assassin in the world do? She gobbles them up immediately, going Oh, how I adored candies!
Remember that episode in Avatar: the Last Airbender when Sokka drinks cactus juice and gets all high? Then, it wears off and this happens:
Couldn't have said it better myself, Katara. Calaena is the kind of idiot that licks stuff off walls, even without the hallucinatory assistance of cactus juice.
But wait, there's more! Nothing happens to her because she's purrrfect and fabulous, like that song from High School Musical.
In fact, I'm pretty sure she's a Mary Sue. Let's check off her traits, shall we? Tragic past, check. Pretty, check. Amazingly good at something, check. Has more than one love interest, check.
Don't even get me started on the love interests.
There is absolutely no difference between Dorian and Chaol except for the fact that I'm more leery of the name Dorian. Maybe it's because I just recently finished The Picture of Dorian Gray so whenever I see his name, I think of this:
It could be me but then again, you wouldn't name your kid Lolita, would you?
And the ending (view spoiler)[where Calaena breaks up with Dorian because she's the King's Champion and it would be inappropriate? We all know it's a ploy to squeeze in some kissy-kissy time with Chaol in the next book. And by being single, she doesn't look like a cheater.
On a side note, I saw this took 10 years to write because it was originally published on FictionPress.net or something. Seriously? It took George. R. R. Martin to that long to write A Game of Thrones and look what he came up with!
And this is Calaena's world:
My review of Crown of Midnight
My review of Heir of Fire
My review of Queen of Shadows["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Rating: it was ok
Sorry, but it looks like I've been excited for NOTHING. After enticing me with its promises of a reading experience reminiscent of Megan Whalen Turner and George R.R. Martin, Throne of Glass ultimately let me down. Having been excited for this novel for weeks and actually liking the sample I read, I have been brought back to earth now – with a jolt. This YA fantasy is a rather sorry example of its genre.
I have the notion that a big part of this book did not work for me because of its heroine. Celeana is smart, athletic, talented and beautiful. She loves music and reading. She is fluent in different languages. She is great. And she knows it. And rubs it in your face repeatedly. As do her suitors and admirers. I had the feeling that Sarah J. Maas tried everything to make me love her heroine. How do you make readers love someone? Present them with a book lover! But somehow, she accomplished the opposite. I did not loathe Celaena, but she grated on my nerves. I wished someone would tell her off, would for once not grant her every wish; I wished the characters I liked would not fall for her charms and good looks.
The little romance Celaena had (I won't say with whom) was laughable at best and mostly resulted in me rolling my eyes at the fact that the only attraction that existed between those two stemmed from them both being beautiful.
In terms of plot, I cannot deny that there was always a level of suspense present. I did want to know how this story ended, and yes, there were actually parts when I feared the whole thing would not end well – partly because my beloved heroine did not deem it necessary to inform certain people about what she had witnessed in the castle. Overall, though, the story remained a tad too juvenile and simple for me. Important events were mentioned only in passing and the mythology did not go any further than what was important for the main story line. Many things remained unsaid – doubtlessly for the sake of sequels yet to come – but it was not the subtle way of remaining unsaid but hinted at I love in fantasy novels, it felt more like remaining unsaid to lure me into reading on.
There were aspects I liked - Celaena's friendship to Nehemia, the Eyllwe princess, and Chaol, the loyal and fierce captain of the guard – but in the end, there isn't enough to make me interested in reading any sequels.
In short - what I wanted: A less is more mentality. World building that does not only cover what is necessary to follow the main story arc. Subtle romance. Villains in different shades of grey. Assassins that actually assassinate. And do not only sit in their room talking or thinking about clothes and boys. What I got: A vain and mostly unlikeable heroine. Two men absolutely bedazzled by her presence. Hints of a love triangle. Lots and lots of descriptions of clothing. Flimsy world building. An overall poor execution writing-wise. Thank you. Next?
Thanks a lot to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for the review copy.
Rating: really liked it
DNF at 29%
I'M SORRY. I JUST CAN'T DO IT. I feel like I could have really enjoyed this book... Two years ago. The hype absolutely killed it for me. Celaena is also really annoying so I'm just going to stop reading this.
I know everybody says the books get better later on but I like to enjoy the beginning and the characters before I invest my time in a 6-book series.
Rating: it was amazing
You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog!
“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”
First of all,look at this amazing cover.I also liked the first one but this is a masterpiece.I do have a weakness for awesome covers,that's why I decided to read this.Also a lot of people recommended this to me,and I heard great things and saw great reviews for this one.So I picked this up.It didn't disappoint.
“How long was I asleep?" she whispered. He didn't respond.
"How long was I asleep?" she asked again, and noticed a hint of red in his cheeks.
"You were asleep, too?"
"Until you began drooling on my shoulder.”
This is a fantasy adventure action pack novel.It is the first book in "The Throne of Glass" series.It's full of suspense and thrilling moments,which keeps you turning the pages.The romance and the action collide beautifully together,and the writing style is also perfect.
“You could rattle the stars," she whispered. "You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”
The start was kind of slow.The main character didn't awe me,and in my opinion she was quite annoying(at the beginning).But after that everything got better,everything was perfect.I started to understand the characters,their lives before,and their intentions.The ending was epic.Especially the duel.I could visualize the scene,the people,the action.This book will be an awesome movie ,if it ever gets to be one/p>
“We all bear scars,... Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”
I also liked the sense of humor.It was minor,but it had it's moments.Especially conversations between Celaena and Chaol.And smart talks.You would be surprised how many characters are wise and smart.So it was not predictable.Everyone was hiding something
“No. I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.”
The world the author has created it's brilliant,especially the caste and it's chambers.The big library with a million books,the icy throne and castle,the tomb and the secret tunnel,the gargoyles,everything.
“Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us–to haunt our thoughts long after we've faced them.”
The story follows an assassin named Celaena who is caught and taken to the king's castle.There she finds out that she is there for a reason.They want her to participate in a competition with 23 other fighters,and the winner gets to be the king's Champion,also gets the freedom and money.She has wished her freedom for so long and it was her chance to take,so she took it.Now she has to stay at the castle where the competition is being and there she discovers new things,battles new forces,and finds new people,people she could never think she would care about.
“With each day he felt the barriers melting. He let them melt. Because of her genuine laugh, because he caught her one afternoon sleeping with her face in the middle of a book, because he knew that she would win.”
Calaena is one of my favorite badass heroines.She is funny and awesome and likes teasing.Chaol and Dorian,they both were the same for me,good characters with common and different personalities.
“No matter what happens," she said quietly, "I want to thank you."
Chaol tilted his head to the side. "For what?"
Her eyes stung but she blamed it on the fierce wind and blinked away the dampness. "For making my freedom mean something.”
I highly recommend this book to every reader out there.It's one of my favorites of 2014 and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.So pick it up!
Rating: liked it
It feels like Throne of Glass has been a book I've been thinking about maybe reading for a million years. The reviews and ratings from my GR friends on this book are very mixed and I can easily see why after finishing this entertaining but disappointingly tame and romance-y young adult fantasy. Throne of Glass is like Shadow and Bone round two. The premise is awesome for both: full of hardcore warriors/assassins, royal/noble secrets and scandals, a touch of magic... but each one, though entertaining, quickly hangs up its weapons and becomes far more concerned with dresses, bitchiness and whether or not that sexy dude thinks the MC is hot (he does).
This book is to the fantasy genre what Twilight is to vampires; though I have to stress that it is a fast-paced, compelling read and Maas does tame fantasy as well as it can be done. Despite my frequent eyerolls and disappointment at the romantic turn the story took, the pages seemed to fly by. I tend to read several books at once; I'll spend a few chapters with one and then mix it up by moving on to another, but Throne of Glass managed to hold my attention from start to finish with no time for interference from another book. This, in itself, was quite an achievement.
Celaena Sardothien is the star of this show. A former assassin turned prisoner, she spends every day in the salt mines prison of Endovier. Having given up on hoping for freedom, she wishes only for death. That is, until one day The Crown Prince (Dorian) and his Captain of the Guard (Chaol) arrive with a proposition for her - fight in a competition, win, become the King's Champion for four years, and finally earn her freedom. It's an offer Celaena can't refuse. But, of course, things aren't that simple. Some dark evil is at work inside the King's castle; something that is killing off the competitors one by one. Plus, there's the handsome Prince and moody Captain to deal with too.
I don't think Celaena is in the King's palace for a day before she starts obsessing over her looks, her new dresses and whether or not either or both of the aforementioned men find her attractive. She still manages to have more badassery than Alina in Shadow and Bone and the book is, in my opinion, nowhere near as boring as Grave Mercy. But, still, I couldn't help being like "BUT you said ASSASSIN!" when she's there swanning around in front of the mirror. I like that she's "feminine" (whatever you want to take that to mean) as well as a brutal killer, but there's only so much high school changing rooms behaviour I can take. I think there's an excellent quote, a question that Celaena wonders to herself, that basically sums up what was running through my head for a lot of this novel:
"How had she gone from the most feared prisoner in Endovier to this sappy mess?"
How, indeed. But, that being said, I really enjoyed the banter between her and Chaol. And Dorian wasn't bad either. I've said it before but I'll say it again for the benefit of this review: I actually don't mind love triangles when they're convincing and both candidates for the MC's heart are on equal footing so there's some tension over who they're going to end up with. Though I may have to do all kinds of evil things - like... stomping around my bedroom angrily or letting library books become overdue - if Celaena doesn't end up with Chaol. Ms Maas, you've been warned.
So, yes, I will be reading Crown of Midnight, god help me. I'm hoping it will please me more than the sequel to Shadow and Bone did, but the ending of this does make me think the second book could have more action and nastiness (yes!). I think you can enjoy this book if you go into it knowing exactly what you're letting yourself in for. It isn't high fantasy. It isn't mind-blowing. But it is kinda fun *grins*
Rating: it was ok
This is going to be a rather personal review because Throne of Glass took away a week of my life and my SJM virginity.
I wish I’d let it wine and dine me, first.
At least, I’d still have the good memory of a nice six course dinner.
It’s not like I have a problem with this book, but…I do have a problem with this book.
A couple, actually, and they mainly involve the writing and a certain main character which I won't name for now.
Now, before I start, I must say that I’ve been forewarned by a lot of readers that this is probably the weakest book in the series and that the writing is a bit quirky, because at the time, the author was young and (I suppose) unexperienced. I can see that. I actually could see a writing style development between the first and the second half of the book.
This to say that, since from the beginning, I didn’t expect much.
But since I’m here do discuss books and not to dig into the author’s background, I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of the writing. Too many exclamation points
!!!!!! too much self-indulgence in the characters descriptions and actions, and, definitely, too much walking around the edges.
Sometimes I like it when a book shows its contents rather than shoving them explicitly into the writing as to say “hey, here’s how you’re suppose to interpret said emotion and fact”, and so on.
I don't like that, nuh-uh.
Plus, most of the time, it really looked and felt like a thirteen-year-old fangirl wrote a fanfiction based on scratches of books she's seen her big sister read.
The plot is not bad. There’s magic and princes and the right amount of stabby-stabbing.
Not bad, but not breath-taking, either. I'm not giving up, though, because I trust my fellow readers and I believe it when they say it's gonna get better.
Now, another thing that threw me almost completely off the Throne of Glass Train, was the main character, Celeana Sardothien.
Oh, boy. I had such a hard time with this one.
Not only I didn't connect with her and her way of thinking before the very last chapters, she's also made it into my Top 3 of most annoying characters thanks to her immaturity.
I think only America Singer from The Selection and Zoey Redbird from Marked could top that, and this is saying a lot.
She’s like that popular chick in high school who thinks she’s head and shoulders above the others. She’s like Regina George with daggers and an even snarkier holier-than-thou attitude.
Basically Celeana in every single line ever:
For someone who's supposed to be a deadly assassin, she's pretty weak and dull. I get it that she's a girl who likes being pretty and wearing nice clothes and dating hot boys (I actually love it when a female character can be girly and badass at the same time), but she's just so narcissistic and stubborn, she never (or rarely) speaks without thinking first, that you can't help but put aside her best sides and focus on the tooth-cringing ones. Sometimes, she really lacks tact, not to mention good manners, and, for the most part, she walks around feeling like she invented the concept of being a badass. I’ve got news for you, Cece. You still have a lot of road ahead.
So flipping frustrating.
Sure, she had her good moments, I actually appreciated her spirit and braveness in many occasions, but they were rare and ephemeral enough that they couldn’t have overcome the flaws even if Batman himself joined the collab.
I really hope she’ll redeem herself, or at least, grow some sense into that little superiority complex-affected brain of hers.
To be completely honest, sometimes I even enjoyed this book, but I couldn't help but notice they were chapters or paragraphs in which Celeana was silent or absent or too busy fighting for her freedom to care about other stuff.
Ahem, I'll leave the math to you, peeps.
Bless the multi-pov option! I really didn’t mind at all those Dorian or Chaol chapters.
And, yes, feel free to read this as: I really didn’t mind Dorian nor Chaol.
Which brings us to the romance side.
Guess what? There was a love triangle! *fakes shock* I know.
So. Original. And. Unexpected.
Even if Huey, Dewey, and Louie engaged in some sort of inevitable, twisted and confused love triangle, which I’ll never be a fan of, I still couldn’t care enough to let it bother me. Just give me some substance, I don’t care who sucks whose face.
Now, at the question, do you ship Celeana with Dorian or Chaol, I'll reply: WHAT EVEN IS SHIPPING ANYMORE.
Since, y'know, I think it'd too much to hope Dorian and Chaol will both dump Sardothien, grab a dozen puppies each, and ride their way into the sunset, together.
The other characters didn’t really convince me that much (although no one got nearly on my nerves as Miss Main Character did), I felt like there could have been more work behind, just like the whole story didn’t exactly engage me from start to end for the very same reason.
You can tell someone didn't really do their best at researching. The setting and the way all characters behave could have been a little more authentic, and, holy crow, the ooc-ism was too much, even for a mediocre book.
Still, I think after a good 60%, both the writing and the plot really improve right before my eyes.
I’m convinced, maybe, I would have loved this book better if I read it when it first came out.
I have too high standards now. really, it's like a curse.
I’ve never really followed SJM but I feel like I should give her another chance (brain screaming: I WANT MORE DORIAN AND CHAOL). I’ll try not to let it influence negatively my coming judgment and consider this book an isolated case, and also this series’ chance to prove how sometimes books can upgrade in reverse, and put some more hopes into Crown of Midnight.
Until then, two and a half stars are more than enough.
ACTUAL RATINGS 2.5/5
Rating: it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well formed and excellently developed. There are recognisable and enjoyable twist on the classic Cinderella. Example Celaena Sardothien's fairy godmother is a ghost of an ancient warrior queen. There are also slight touches such as Celaena has an innate charm with animals.
I was also very impressed with the pacing and evolution of the story. Honestly the 406 pages just seem to fly by. Just because Celaena was the greatest of assassins after being in a death camp for over a year she need to capture her old form, but her skills are still intact. Also I like the way the author plays with her feeling even though she is an assassin she is still very young and prone to her feeling and ego getting hurt.
The book does leave a lot of questions many of which are for the second novel, but as much as I hate prequels I will have to read the back up stories on the kindle version. I cannot wait for the next book and am really looking forward to what is going to happen next. Like I said earlier this book was more about Celaena recapturing her old form and claiming a position of power, also setting up her side cast, I am expecting a lot more action in the next book after all the training in this book.