Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Posted February 18, 2014 by Jessica in Fantasy, Jessica, Reviews / 34 Comments

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
Published on: August 7 2012
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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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.


The first time I saw my sister after I finished reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, she was in the middle of reading the latest book from one of her favorite series. I did not care. I pestered, cajoled, and harassed her until she downloaded the Throne of Glass sample chapters and read them.

She stopped reading her book and read mine until the wee morning hours when she finished it.

*lap of victory*

A few months later, my Mom drove down from Charlotte when her nursing schedule gave her a few days off in a row. Her first night here, she asked me for something to read. I gave her Throne of Glass. She delayed her leave time in order to finish it. My MOM. (True friggin’ story).

And they aren’t the only ones I’ve pushed/thrown/shoved Throne of Glass at. Why? Because it’s STUPENDOUS, that’s why. I feel like I’ve said “My Top 5 YA Series” a LOT since I started this gig, so in the interest of proving that there are, in fact, ONLY five series on my list, they are as follows:

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

2. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

4. For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

5. was recently vacated when Rae Carson finished her Fire and Thorns Trilogy. I’ll get back to you.

Anyway, Throne is Glass is currently in first place.


Celaena Sardothien is an assassin trained by the King of the Assassins. Caught (after potentially being betrayed—you can read all about it in the four prequel novellas, which I HIGHLY recommend), she is sentenced to hard labor in a salt mine for an indefinite period of time (but most likely until she dies). After a year, she is offered a way out—all she has to do is beat out twenty-three other candidates in a competition to be the King’s Champion.

That’s all. Just beat a multitude of bigger, stronger men after spending a year as a slave in a work camp. No big.

And it is no big for Celaena b/c Celaena is just that good.

SIDENOTE—I’ve read a lot of reviews for Throne of Glass, and the most common complaint is that Celaena is too girly-girl to be a believable assassin. I say N-O-N-S-E-N-S-E. No one bats an eye when Gin Blanco (Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep) starts baking. What’s the huge difference between a love of cooking and a love of pretty things? I’m not seeing it. In fact, a love of clothes and a preoccupation with appearance is the more believable of the two IMO—a love of cooking seems like more of an individual quirk whereas a desire to look pretty is characteristic of the narcissistic personality type that would be required to kill indiscriminately (unless of course it’s a child or a Terrasen)<—–Celaena’s hard limits.

Whatever. I like Celaena. She’s alternatingly badass and hysterically funny. I don’t know which version I prefer—the one that takes on her chauvinistic opponent in a sword duel without bothering to unsheathe her sword, or the one that shrieks at billiard balls for refusing to go where she wants them to go.

But Celaena isn’t the only thing Throne of Glass has going for it, not by a long shot. Both of the potential love interests are seriously swoonworthy, and the big bad(s)—sometimes it/they seem to operate in a committee-like fashion—are a well-crafted target for your contempt. There are exotic foreign princesses and magically summoned monsters, and there are just enough hints-of-things-to-come to keep your nails chewed to nubs while you wait for your next fix, I mean the next book.

If you’re a lover-of-Fantasy, Throne of Glass should definitely be at the top of your to-read list. The only problem is that right now it’s a six book series, so we won’t know how it ends until 2017. Here’s to delayed gratification. *wink*

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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34 responses to “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    • Me too! And it happens in groups for me—I think all of my top 5’s first books came out within months of each other (that was a good year). And yeah, if you like fantasy, then this is definitely one to check out (heh).

  1. Great Review Jessica! I love, love this series, although it took the second book for me to be blown away by it, I’m totally loving it now…And I bet you and me can’t wait for the next book 😉

  2. I love this book and I’m so glad you did too! I’m actually really glad that the series is a longer one, and book two was really good too 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your review!

  3. I initially this might be a little to “YA Fantasy” for me, but after reading your review I might give it a shot. It’s ok to be a girly kick-ass heroine…LOL I wasn’t thrilled with Mac from the Fever series when I first read the books but it wasn’t because she loved the color pink, that actually made her endearing to me and she eventually became a favorite. Thanks for the great review!

    • The Fantasy and SciFi genres make YA easier to read for me. I’m not saying that I’ve never liked a high-school based YA series, but the ones I have liked have kept the high school-ness downplayed. And yeah, Throne of Glass is definitely less YA and more Fantasy. If you give it a shot, lemme know what you think!

  4. wow it is number one? I’m impressed. I have book 1 and 2 because Marcela bought them to me for my birthday. After your review I really need to get into this one! I’ll try t do it soon! So curious to see if I have the same feeling.

  5. I have been hearing good things about this series and I’ve read tons of paranormal but not much fantasy so I think I should go big and give this series a try. Lovely review Jessica 🙂

  6. Jessica, Throne of Glass sounds awesome! And I agree, a girl can be all glitzy and girly and still be very good at kicking ass! I actually love reading about heroines who aren’t afraid to be girls, but who can still handle themselves in really sticky situations.

    I think this series is already on my TBR, if not, I’m adding it right now 🙂 Excellent review!

  7. Wow! Top 5 best series? That’s pretty high praise!!! I read Throne of Glass recently, and while it wasn’t the zOMG read I hoped it would be, I did like it quite a bit. Everyone says Book 2 is so much better, so hopefully it doesn’t disappoint! Anyway…I definitely agree with your review. Celaena was definitely a girly-girl at times, but, hey! She still kicked some butt so I’m not complaining about that!

    As always, fabulous review Jessica!

    • Thanks!! And Book 2 was really great. I think one of the reasons so many people liked it more than Book 1 was b/c so many questions were answered about Celaena’s history. And. So. Much. Happened. 😉

  8. I’ve had Throne of Glass on my TBR since it came out, but I’m going to have to try and get to it a lot sooner than I thought. I don’t see anything wrong with a girly-girl being a capable assassin. Just because they like pretty things doesn’t mean they can’t kick ass 🙂

  9. I’ve had this book in my TBR pretty much since the day that it came out. I’m thinking that I need to get it moved on up that pile! It sounds like everyone you’ve gotten to read it has loved you for it. I think that it’s going to be a March book.

    Thank you so much for your awesome review. It made me giggle and smile. 🙂

  10. Faye M.  

    Hahaha! That anecdote with your sister and mom is absolutely adorable. I wish I can get my brothers (or any of them, God forbid) to get reading. When I read ToG, I can remember loving it a lot. It was so refreshing at the time, and it was a love triangle that I actually welcomed haha. I haven’t read the second book though and the third is on its way >_> I really should get to it!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

    • I can’t believe you haven’t read Book 2! Almost everyone liked it even more than ToG—I doubt that’s possible for me (such is my love for Book 1), but I did like them equally. And yeah, I love having immediate family to throw books at 🙂

  11. I started reading this book and was halfway through before I stopped reading. I keep meaning to go back to it because I thought the story was good and I did like the characters. No clue why I stopped. I’m glad you found a favorite in the YA genre.

    Thanks for the awesome review!

    • Oh no! Well, I hope whatever it was that stopped you doesn’t keep you from going back to it at some point. A lot of the people who only liked ToG absolutely LOVED Crown of Midnight. Maybe ToG just isn’t your book . . .

  12. AWESOME review. I totally agree that she’s in no way too girly! I’ve already written my review and I don’t think I said anything about her girly-ness because I don’t think it even occurred to me that it was in conflict with her role as an assassin. I never for one second saw here as anything but totally kick ass! LOL

    On a side note – I haven’t read any of your favorite YA series (considering I just started Throne of Glass – which I was pretty much forced to read by Michelle @ Because Reading, thankfully)… guess I have some serious catching up to do!

    • Oh man, Berls. If you liked ToG, you should at the very least check out Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. I constantly go back and forth over which one is my fav YA series. And BONUS–book 3 is out in June, so no pesky, year-long waits 😉 As for Celaena and the girlyness, it never occurred to me either until I saw someone else grousing about it, and I was like . . . since when are “girly” and “kick-ass” mutually exclusive?

      I’m glad you liked it too!