It’s pretty common knowledge nowadays that the Throne of Glass books by Sarah J. Maas is one of the greatest series of YA Epic Fantasy. At least, it’s one of the most popular must-reads out there.
And for good reason.
Maas debuted with a fiery, sassy, badass of a female protagonist. A young, famous and incredibly skilled assassin: Celaena Sardothien.
Not only is she incredibly strong and fun as a character, but she also set the standard for many badass female characters to come after.
Throne of Glass Review
Throne of Glass doesn’t open up with the prettiest view of Celaena however. She’s pulled out of the salt mines in Endovier after a year of slavery and imprisonment. She is dirty, starved and whipped, but her feisty personality has not been lost.
The Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard, makes an offer.
She can compete in a competition for the job as the King’s Champion, and if she wins, gain her freedom in six year’s time. Or she can stay in the salt mines.
Celaena agrees to be sponsored by Dorian and trained by his friend, the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, if she’s freed after four years of service.
The competition begins, and so does the series of our lives. Throne of Glass delivers a competition between blood hungry ex-soldiers, thieves and assassins. It showcases a young female assassin capable in the arts of swordplay, archery, poison and survival.
Key word here is survival.
Celaena may be an assassin, but she is not so without cause. Celaena is a woman of survival and self-respect. She may appear to kill for fun, but our protagonist is a layered character and there is more to her than can be seen on the surface.
But Celaena’s past is not the only thing that Maas is feeding us morsels of. She expertly weaves in bits of world-building here and there when we least expect it, painting a beautiful epic fantasy world without lecturing us with essay upon essay of the history of Erilea.
Yes, I admit, the world is a bit of a classic bog-standard fantasy world. It’s medieval inspired with swords and armour. No technology to speak of, and the standard form of transportation is either a horse or a ship.
But if high fantasy is what you’re looking for then I guarantee you, this is your cup of tea.
Another thing I’m a huge fan of is the gently introduction of supporting characters. Although it’s written with Celaena in the spotlight, there are scenes from both Dorian and Chaol, as well as Kaltain’s point of view.
They’re woven into the story just when we need some outside perspective, because viewing Celaena’s character from other people’s perspective is a treat.
Throne of Glass is an epic fantasy story with a plot that thickens as you keep reading.
It’s a gentle introduction into YA Fantasy and if you had your share with Throne of Glass you can leave it there and never look at it again. But with coming books the plot evolves and the characters become stars in their own right.
Throne of Glass is a book (and series) that I would recommend to any YA Fantasy Addict!
Looking for more great reviews?
Check out our review of Dark Skies by Danielle L Jensen.