Heading into last month I was probably one of the few people to have not read the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I know, it’s shocking that a fantasy author and reader was yet to let his eyes grace the pages that told Celaena Sordithien’s tale. It was only by chance, upon seeing a $60 box set of this series, did I finally decide to commit, and I can happily say it is with no regrets did I buy all 8 books.
This novel ticks all the boxes for a simple fantasy read, sure to leave any reader satisfied. Though the writing style was slightly sophomoric at times, undoubtedly due to the fact that Maas began this series as a teenager (which deserves credit in itself), the story and characters were fleshed out quite well. Each character is unique in their own right, which can be a difficult thing to write when you’re creating a multi-point-of-view book, allowing for great plot development, and entertaining interactions. This blended into a nice mix of romance, as well as sowed the seeds for an interesting love triangle which should be explored throughout the series. The love triangle itself was occasionally jumbled and probably could have been cleaned up, made evident by Chaol’s inability to remain consistent with how he felt about Celaena. I understand that Maas was attempting to show his internal struggle between his emotions and his duty, but for lack of a better term it seemed quite messy.
The pacing of the book sat on opposite ends of the spectrum, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Subjectively I prefer a steady to fast paced read right from the get go, but again, that is my personal opinion. The first half of the book was slow in pace, primarily dedicated to world and character building, with nothing of note really occurring. However once you overcome that hurdle, you are launched into the arms of a quickly paced, murder-mystery, action, romance, fantasy novel – and a fantastic one at that. I was unable to tear my eyes from the pages, finding myself falling into the trap of reading ‘just one more chapter’ before bed, until it was 2:30am and the book was finished
The reveal of the King, and the Duke’s collusion with Cain’s exploration of Wryd magic, as well as his murders, was a brilliant twist I hadn’t been expecting. I thoroughly enjoyed this sub-plot with my only (and very minor) issue being I would have liked to see more of a struggle in Celaena’s battle with the Ridderak.
This book, particularly the second half, sets the tone for a (what I’m hoping will be) fantastic fantasy series, with a vast world and story to sink a reader’s teeth into.