Monday, September 19, 2016
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
You like The Hunger Games? You like Game of Thrones? You like a book that tries to combine the two to cash in on...I mean...to start off it's own franchise? Well look no further than Throne of Glass! The first book in the epic saga of Celaena Sardothien, master assassin of Erilea.
The story if of said assassin, who has been captured and imprisoned in a death camp, getting released by the son of the man who imprisoned her. The King of Adarlan is holding a contest of the worlds most skilled fighters and the winner will become his Champion. Adarlan's Crown Prince, Dorian, has decided that Celaena would be the perfect candidate for the competition so Celaena, eager for a chance to win her freedom, agrees. But, just as the contest is in full swing, the competitors start being murdered viciously in the night. Evil forces are at work and Celaena is locked in a battle for her freedom and her survival.
Now, as I said, this story does take a lot of details from better source material than itself, but I did find that just about everything I had to complain about seemed to resolve itself rather nicely. For instance, the characters in this book need time to get to know, because right off the bat I didn't really like any of them. Celaena stunk of Mary Sue, at least in the beginning, being overly perfect and having no flaws and even less personality. But as the book went on, her flaws and personality shone through and she actually became an interesting character with a unique mix of masculinity and femininity. She is an assassin, a very good one, and she knows it and brags about it and can throw down with any guy who dares go up against her. She also likes pretty dresses, candy, and puppies.
The rest of the cast is pretty straightforward and, in some cases, cliche. Crown Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol are alright, but then you have the stereotypical mean girl in Kaltain and obvious, threatening Cain (even his name is stereotypical). Most of the other competitors are so without defining character that they don't even have names. For the most part, they're either hit or miss.
I also wasn't crazy about the mystery aspect of the story either. What the author tried to put in as a subtle hint just read like an obvious smack in the face. It doesn't take long to figure out the mystery behind the murders, which is a bit of a disappointment. There's also the fact that the climax of the story, the big fight near the end, relies on a magical insta-solution, when I would rather it have ended in an actual fight. A bit of a let down.
There is, however, an area in which this book succeeds where most other YA novels fail miserably: the love triangle. Both Dorian and Chaol are interested in Celaena and, honestly, either one of them would be a good match for her. Dorian acknowledges that Celaena is unlike any girl he's ever known (not interested in his crown and such) and finds he's drawn to her lively spirit. Chaol is quiet, a bit brooding, but steadfast and loyal and you really believe he'd do whatever it takes to protect Celaena. I'm not crazy about love triangles at the best of times, but this one has no obvious choice and all three are interesting enough to make me want to know how it will play out.
Tough call on this one. There are elements that are really good, some that are really not, but overall I did enjoy the story, I found myself invested in it, so I am going to say that this book is worth your money at your local bookstore.
Have you read Throne of Glass? Do you want to now? If you have, what did you think? Comment below and tell me all about it.
Next time:(singing) She's an Alice with a shotgun, fighting 'till the war's won, she don't care if Wonderland won't take her back...