fantasy, Fiction, review, Young Adult

Review: Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

So, I am pretty sleepy right now. But I’ve made some progress on a watercolor painting I’ve been working on, thus all is good. As usual may month has been quite crazy because of residency stuff. Thus prompting me to just a insert a little bit of reading in the free time that I have.

This time I want to talk about my thoughts on the HUGELY popular Throne of Glass Series written by Sarah J. Maas. I’m going to talk about the series as a whole, but I am going to highlight some details that I like and didn’t like in each installment.

The Book:

Titles:

Book #1: Throne of Glass

Book #2: Crown of Midnight

Book #3: Heir of Fire

Book #4: Queen of Shadows

Edition/Format: Trade Paperback, UK edition

Year Published: 2012-currently ongoing series

Synopsis: The TOG series is about a 18 year old assassin named Celaena Sardothien in the kindom of Adarlan. In the beginning of the book, we see her as a captive of the king, until she is offered by the Prince of Adarlan to participate in a competition that pits her against other notorious assassins to become the King’s Champion. If she wins, she gets her freedom after four years under the king’s service. As she battles her way to become again the best assassin of Adarlan, she eventually faces the true destiny she has been running away from, to become  a powerful force that will tip the balance of the world she knows.

What I think about it:

This series is another booktube recommend that I did not regret picking up. It did live up to its hype when it was first featured in the community. Even though the first book started a bit slow, it is warranted. We are introduced to the central characters, the world building being set and explained, the magic systems are established and rules are laid about,  and plot wise, the books improve and get better with each series installment.

The Throne of Glass (TOG), which is the first book, is the main set up. It is a valid introduction to a set of complex characters with concrete motivations. The main character, Celaena is first introduce in a cinderella-ish fashion. She is a captive of the king’s kingdom due to her being the best assassin in town. We then learn that the circumstances of her capture and the subsequent events left her broken and hollow. She then meets this two men who became important  in her life. The typical YA love triangle trope is there, but I do appreciate that Celaena had some sense in her to make a choice of choosing herself in the end. Because you know, fighting for your life to become the King’s Champion, and discovering her destiny takes up much of her social life. In this installment, we do see a mystery novel underneath the YA trope, which kept the story at pace. Otherwise, it would such a snooze, because in this one Celaena is still in her pre-karate kid mode. I think the battle scenes aren’t written that well in this book. I don’t know, maybe I’m too much of a Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s fan that I would appreciate a fight/battle scene to be written in a detailed fashion. We are also exposed to Sarah J. Maas writing for the first time. She writes beautiful dialogue, rich with imagery and sentiments and bad-ass quips.

The Crown of Midnight (COM), Heir of Fire (HOF) and Queen of Shadows (QoS) are all equally compelling sequels. We are introduced to more characters wherein Ms. Maas expands the world outside Adarlan. We get to discover Celaena’s past. She does becomes a really capable fighter in COM, but her motivations are quite self-centered. She establishes a really great female friendship with one of the characters which I think is my favorite part in the second book. The Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, follows her journey into becoming a person that she was always meant to be. It’s an ode to self discovery, relentless persistence, and belief of what is good. When I finished reading the Queen of Shadows, I was figuratively out of breath and excited for Celaena’s character. However, the defeat of one character within the series reminded me so much of the ending of the first book in the Mistborn Trilogy. It’s a case of “you think you know your villian, but nor really”.

One thing I didn’t like about the series is that although most of the dialogue is beautifully written, we encounter some that totally takes us out of the context and transports us back to the real world. Curses and insults like: “Shit” and “ass” and “crap” aren’t really fantasy-ish curse words. I mean I like curses in me books, but if your dialogue is written in a specific genre, you have to stick to that one otherwise it might throw off the pacing of your readers. I know, you could say “but G.R.R. Martin writes the typical curse words in his own book: the F word is a mainstay!”. But again, context. The curses in G.R.R. Martin’s books are integral parts of his dialogue, not just some random shit they spew about when a character’s in a dire situation or you know, when shit just hit the fan.

Overall, I really enjoyed the books and the hype was warranted. I will definitely continue on the series. It’s interesting to see where Celaena’s character ends up and how many billions of stars she’ll rattle by then.

PS: It’s hard to type Celaena’s name, I don’t even know how Ms. Maas did it.LOL

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