Monday, August 13, 2012

BLOG TOUR! My Thoughts On: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Publish Date: August 7, 2012
416 Pages
Source:  Publisher via NetGalley

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 three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. 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.
–(summary from Goodreads)


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


My Thoughts:  Throne of Glass has to be one of the most hyped books of the year in the YA world - or at least it feels that way to me. I've watched people fangirl and fanboy over this book for months now and I was completely curious about all the buzz. Now I understand why people were all over themselves about this story. This is exactly the type of book the YA world goes crazy over.

The first thing you need to know is this:
THRONE OF GLASS is fantasy.   
Hooray for fantasy! Oh, how it I love it so! Throne of Glass is the beginning of a fantasy series in which a notorious female assassin, Celaena, spends time in a prison doing hard labor and is 'rescued' by the Crown Prince by way of the Captain of the Royal Guard under the guise of a competition - the King needs a 'champion' (read: official assassin) and the Crown Prince wants Celaena to compete. In return for winning the competition, she will earn her freedom. If she fails, she will be returned to that awful place. Throne of Glass also murder, magic, conspiracy, and romance in its plot.

Throne of Glass had strong points and less-strong points, in terms of the fantasy. There was world-building, and I was able to visualize it well. However in a little while, I'm not sure that this world is going to stand out to me as extravagantly built simply because there is so much of it and it was mostly just brushed upon. Still, I liked it and think it worked for this story. I particularly liked having a book with a castle-as-setting as I personally think those are a downward trend out there right now. Thumbs up for the castle! 

We all love the maps! 
There were a lot characters in this book and the plot was very complex. The result is that I think there were so many characters that it wasn't really possible to devote a significant amount of time to any one. It was unfortunate for me that I wasn't able to build a very deep connection with Celaena, particularly since I love female leads like her. She was very entertaining and I enjoyed her story, but I never could get a real grasp on who she is as a character. For everything that I learned about her, she still felt a little flat on the page to me. I connected more deeply with Dorian and Chaol, but still found myself wishing for more.

This is a good fantasy, but I don't feel like it warrants the comparison to Game of Thrones that I kept hearing. That sort of comparison is just unfair to a book like this because even though I haven't read Game of Thrones, I can tell that these are two entirely different stories. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
There is a ROMANCE.
It's a LOVE TRIANGLE.
  
 
Of course, Celaena is beautiful. Of course, she is skilled with weaponry. Of course, she will have the eye of all of the men at court. It is no surprise that both Crown Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol Westfall both are interested in her romantically. The way they look at her and think about her all the time is really sweet, and I loved it. I really liked both of these guys as love interests for Celaena and have no idea who I would choose!

You know what, you guys? I am all for a love triangle in a book when it is done well. I want to read all about it - the kisses, the tortured thinking about OH WHO WILL I CHOOSE? and all of that. I'm not going to spoil anything about this romance/love triangle for anyone that hasn't read the book yet so I'm not going to say anything else about it except that I wish that there'd been a little bit more. Just a little bit. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
My favorite thing about this book is that Celaena is BOOKISH.   
That's right. Celaena loves to read. I love that she loves to read. In a world where my favorite type of character is the butt-kicking female lead, my favorite thing about this female lead was that she was extremely bookish. Go figure. 

There is a library located in the castle. It belongs entirely to the king. Celaena must ask for permission to use it and in a bold move, she does just that. However, Dorian goes a step further and actually sends her his favorite books with a note to read them first so they can discuss them. WHAT? I know. We all love a bookish dude, especially when HE wants to talk about the books. In Throne of Glass, these two actually spent a lot of time talking about books. (Good grief, you guys, my inner fangirl came out in every one of these bookish scenes.) 

Chaol also enjoyed reading - he just didn't have as much time to read since he had to be the busy Captain of the Royal Guard and all. I feel like I have to say that and give him some bookish credibility. Bless his heart. 

Also, I loved that one of the books that Celaena read in the library was The Walking Dead in graphic novel form. (She briefly described what the zombies look like.) Shout-out to the author for including that in her book. 

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Throne of Glass is a book and series that I can absolutely be excited for. I was thrilled to be able to read this book and was super-entertained by it. I gobbled it up, really. In the end, I wish there'd have been more of everything, but I think it's possible that these feelings are a result of the hype and unfair comparisons to Game of Thrones.

Throne of Glass is a strong start to a series and a strong debut. I want more, though, and I'm eager for the next book to come out. Is it true that this series will have six books? The wait between books is always the hardest part.

I would recommend Throne of Glass to fans of YA fantasy with some romance and those that do not mind reading about a love triangle.

Throne of Glass will appeal to fans of:


YA Fantasy
YA Romance: love triangle!
Magic
Suspense
Multiple/Alternating POV

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
is currently available for purchase.

**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you Bloomsbury and NetGalley!

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Have you read THRONE OF GLASS? 
Is it on your wish list?



10 comments:

  1. I love to hear that Celaena is bookish after reading more than a few negative reviews of this book; I hope I love it when my copy comes in from the library!

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    1. I was so excited that Celaena wanted to read and visited the library in the book. But she read throughout the story, and she talked of her love for books, and she talked about books with other people. That was so awesome. I'm usually a swords-and-daggers kinda gal as far as fantasy goes, but the bookish side of me fell for Celaena's bookish side!

      The reviews have been mixed as far as I've seen too, but I personally am chalking it up to being compared to an adult book that it isn't anything like - and I'm also thinking that with the potential for 3-5 more books coming, there is still plenty more story to tell. There is a lot of room for Celaena to grow and I'm pretty excited about how she could grow as a character. :)

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  2. I really liked this book, though I did think there were quite a few things that could have used more elaboration. It really was fun to read though!

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    1. I'm thinking/hoping that there will be more elaboration and development in the next books! If it is a big, epic series there will be plenty of time. I'm pretty excited about the possibility of another big series. You're right; it was FUN. I read it all in one long day.

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  3. I am starting this one as soon as I've finished Dark Companion. I need to hurry though, or my galley will expire! Course, then I'd just have to buy it...what a tragedy, considering that I probably will anyway. :P

    Excellent review - you've made me seriously think about quitting DC and getting on with this one!

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    1. That's great Ems! I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think when you're done. I wish we didn't have to wait so long for book two. :)

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  4. I was supposed to read this one through SBB, but got an email the other day saying the ARC was MIA (hey, look at all those abbreviations!) so it looks like I'm going to have to cough up the cash instead:( And I have been reading some conflicting reviews, many saying the same thing: characters not strongly developed, not enough butt kicking, and just a certain something lacking. But, as a lover of most things fantasy and the kick butt heroine, I'm still giving it a read!

    Also, I love the map (obviously) and I love those bookish boys too!

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    1. Oh bummer about the ARC!

      You know, I don't feel like I explained it well enough here - after I talked to Mike, I realized this - I wonder if this book is a set-up for the rest of them. It's long and it didn't feel like all of the storylines merged tightly, but there are easy places for the next book to begin. I read somewhere that there will be FIVE more books!!!??? So I'm just wondering if this first book is a base for the rest?

      I liked the characters and when I like them, I want to really know them. There is so much potential for each of them, the good guys and the bad guys. But I personally feel like I've just scratched the surface of who they all are. I'll definitely be reading the next book as soon as it comes out.

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  5. You review makes me happy.

    I think, oddly enough, the only thing that you liked that I didn't was Celaena's bookishness. Weird, right?! I guess I was finally ready for a protagonist who wasn't totally bookish... because they all are. All of them. For some reason, Celaena would've just felt more believable to me without that aspect of her character.

    Oh, and TEAM CHAOL! TEAM CHAOL!!!

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    1. I haven't really read many bookish characters! It really sticks out to me when I do. I do feel like she had a hard time from a lot of people because she liked to be both girly and butt-kicking, which isn't really fair to her.

      Haha, noted on the team! I'm still undecided. I really like them both. :)

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