Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: Fiction / YA / Fantasy
First published: 2012
Edition: Paperback, published by Bloomsbury in 2012
Being in my late thirties I am aware I am not this book’s primary audience, but I have always felt that good Young Adult fiction is for every age. I chose to read Throne of Glass because I fancied something that was exciting to read and fairly easy. So many people love this series and I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
So, Celaena is the country’s most famous assassin and is saved from certain death as a slave in a mine to compete to be the King’s champion. Now, that is a pretty good premise, is it not? I certainly was looking forward to reading it.
What are my thoughts? I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed reading it quite a bit. The storyline is pretty interesting and the writing is engaging enough, but I do have some issues with it.
I feel like the story just starts and runs its course, without ever delving into what makes Celaena who she is. Hardly any information is given about how she became this assassin or how she earned her fame. I felt like I was told by the author she was this great assassin, but there was no substance to that fact. No background, nothing. The same goes for the other characters, Chaol and Dorian in particular. Having finished the book, I still do not know what drives them, the reasons for being who they are. Having finished the book, this is kind of frustrating to me. Maybe more is explained in subsequent books, but for me, this book simply did not give me enough.
The love story was kind of cute, but not overly interesting. Neither of the male love interests were that dynamic and I felt a little disappointed with both the characters and the interaction between them.
I also wish a bit more time was spent to the various tests that these Champions have to go through to become the King’s Champion. I feel an opportunity was missed to flesh out Celaena’s qualities, both good and bad, strengths and weaknesses. This is where her skills as an assassin could have come to the fore, but these moments were too fleeting and more of a side note.
This is one of the few books I have read where I think the plot is pretty good, but the author is focusing on the wrong plot points for my personal taste.
For all my criticism, you may be surprised to read that I did actually enjoy this book. It did what it needed to do. It was an easy read and it entertained me. Had I been a teenager I probably would have loved it. As an adult reader I just wanted quite a bit more from it, both the story and the characters. More background, more passion (not necessarily the sexy kind), more tension and more action.
I wish the author could re-write this book to be a stronger, more substantial story, because it could have been so good. As it is, I found it rather average.
4 out of 7 stars