Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for Greatness.
I had heard so many wonderful things going into ‘Throne of Glass‘ by Sarah J. Maas, and was beginning to wonder if it would actually live up to the high expectations I had developed. However, when I received this as a birthday gift, I had to read it straight away, and after finishing it in one sitting, I can truly say that it has exceeded all expectations and become one of my favourite books.
After being let down by so many so-called ‘Strong Heroines’ who turned out to be pathetic (cough cough Katniss or Tris), Celaena is the kickass, intriguing protagonist I have been waiting for. She is the first female protagonist in a fantasy series that I have actually genuinely liked, as she was not overbearingly whiny or ruled by romance. Celaena was not the only character worthy of merit. I absolutely adored Chaol, was fascinated by Nehemia, and while I could take or leave Dorian, I actually did not despise any of the main four. This is a rare feat, as there is nearly always at least one main character in every popular series that I hate, or severely dislike. It really says something to me that I felt very attached to Celaena, Chaol, Nehemia and Dorian.
Whilst I enjoy books set in an alternative universe, it often takes me a while to get to grasps with the world in which they are set. However, I had no problem at all building an understanding of this world. This is down to the thorough description early on, and the amount of knowledge that Celaena and Nehemia impart about their respective beloved home countries. Also, the little map caught my attention fairly quickly! By the end, I was not confused about the world in which the story was set at all.
*MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
I did like that, even though there was a clear romantic connection between both Celaena and Dorian, and Celaena and Chaol, the romance never took the forefront of the story, or created an overbearing love triangle. The triangle which was presented had me shouting out loud at the book with a frustration which has not been achieved since Cassandra Clare’s ‘The Mortal Instruments‘ series, which people who know my reading habits will know is my second-favourite series of all time; therefore to get that reaction out of ‘Throne of Glass‘ is great praise indeed. I will admit that I didn’t like Dorian and Celaena as a couple. While I liked Dorian, which is rare when I love the protagonist with the other side of the love triangle, I felt like the-princess-and-the-essentially-slave romance is far too stereotypical. I did, however, adore Chaol and Celaena together. I do always have a thing for the underdog, which Chaol undeniably is, but I feel that their relationship is more unconventional, and can be explored in greater depth than it would be with Dorian. I pitied Chaol so much, and did get a tad too attached to him. Ultimately, I had few issues with the love triangle, as for once, I could stand all three people in it. This has only happened once before as far as I can remember off the top of my head (Meghan, Ash and Puck in ‘The Iron King’ if you were wondering, and that isn’t actually a proper love triangle in the same way that this is).
I had a great time reading this book, and would definitely recommend it. The second instalment has just arrived in the post, and I am about to sit down for hopefully another single-sitting read in order to find out what happens next in one of my new favourite YA fantasy series.