Throne of Glass

16034235by Sarah J. Maas
YA Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel – August 2, 2012 – first in a series

I discovered this series last fall, and I just started re-reading it now. This was a complete breath of fresh air to me in the YA Fantasy genre–full disclosure, I haven’t enjoyed something this much since Harry Potter. A flawed heroine discovering her destiny as she fights for her freedom? Please, give me more!

When I read it a second time I did notice a couple of things that might be frustrating. First, no matter what the blurb on the front says, this is in no way similar to The Hunger Games except that it has a female lead–sadly, that seems to be the only criteria for a comparison to Katniss these days. This story doesn’t closely follow the assassin competition, and Celaena’s skills as an assassin come up in conversation more often than the actual plot. (This changes as the series progresses).

This is a royal court drama that gradually expands into a more traditional high fantasy structure. What really grabbed me here were the characters. Sure, the last half of the book picks up with intrigue and danger, but I would follow these characters to the ends of the earth! A real highlight for me was the friendship Celaena develops with the princess Nehemia. Finding strong friendships between women can be so hard, and these two are wonderful. Celaena is arrogant, too trusting, and perhaps more emotional and fond of candy than you’d expect an assassin to be–but her journey tears her apart and remakes her, and I can’t ask for more from an author.

Obviously, I’m sticking around for the rest of these (currently six books). Book 4, Queen of Shadows, comes out September 1st!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Throne of Glass is available on Goodreads and its parent company Amazon. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Sabriel by Garth Nix – Another heroine learning her own strengths has to battle the Dead to save her father and the kingdom. A favorite of Maas and myself, and you’ll find nods to it in this series if you know what to look for. See my review here.
  • The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley – Young Aerin decides to prove herself useful to the kingdom by learning how to slay dragons, and discovers her destiny is to save the country that despises her. Also a favorite of Maas, and hints of it appear in her work. See my review here.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – This is told in first person, which is unusual for the genre, but the world and characters here beg to be explored just as much as those found in Throne of Glass, and the pacing is a bit quicker. See my review here.
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – Maas’ BFF spun a fast-paced tale of best friends with coveted abilities trying to outrun those who want to exploit their powers. See my review here.
  • Flight of the Dragon Kyn by Susan Fletcher – This is skewed a bit younger, though not quite middle grade. It’s part of a trilogy, and all three seem to float between the age brackets. A woman with the gift of communing with birds and dragons tries to keep them safe from hunters. It’s an easy, fun read.
  • The Secret Country by Pamela Dean – A trilogy about cousins that find themselves in their own made-up fantasy kingdom, reprising their roles. This is imaginative and fun, mostly revolving around royal court drama.
  • The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron – If you can get past the first book (skim, skip to the end, whichever) this is a fun series following King Arthur’s wizard as a teenager.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Killian
    Apr 08, 2015 @ 02:49:38

    I still haven’t read this book which makes me feel pretty inadequate because basically everyone seems to love it with a passion. I’m a big fan of fantasy (mostly adult fantasy at the moment) so I really don’t know why I haven’t read it. Anyway, your other recommendations are great! I read Sabriel and its sequels a few years ago and I really enjoyed them. Shadow And Bone is another YA fantasy series I’ve heard loads of great things about but haven’t read yet. I think whenever I go to the library next I’ll have to pick Throne Of Glass up, I’ve been putting it off for too long!



  2. Amanda
    Apr 08, 2015 @ 08:01:36

    Thank you! I hope you like it. I tried not to review it through rose-colored glasses but this series really is awesome!



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