So I recently read the first three books in The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas, which are the only books that have been released so far, and I decided to review all the books individually in one post, and then go over what I think of the series so far at the end.
WARNING: There are going to be plenty of spoilers for the series, so I do recommend only reading the reviews for the books you have read. Unless you don’t care about being spoilt, in which case go ahead.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Book #1
Individual book rating: 4 out of 5
‘Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?’
This book was a great start to the series. It introduced us to the character of Celaena, and we got to know her personality and her talents. Maas left out a lot about Celaena’s past, but I didn’t really question it because I was too caught up in the great plot. We are also introduced to Chaol and Prince Dorian, two characters who will continue to be at the centre of the plot.
While the tournament is one of the main focuses in the first book, there are subplots which you must pay attention to more as they will mean a lot more. One of these is the introduction to magic, well the loss of magic, and the King’s umm… evilness? Basically the King got rid of all magic, and now is trying to take over the world. This is obviously the main plot that carries over into all the other books.
The only things about this book I wasn’t a big fan of were the introduction to magic – the whole secret passages in the wall of Celaena’s bedroom thing – and the love triangle. Luckily the love triangle wasn’t that big of a deal, and it ended by the end of the book. And the introduction only happens once and from there on it doesn’t happen, so overall they were both easily overlooked.
This was definitely a great start to the series.
Individual book rating 5 out of 5
‘Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.’
This starts as her working as the King’s assassin and you can easily see her character change. It is easy to tell not only how much she has matured, but also her hatred for the king.
There is romance in this book, but it is different from the previous book because she is actually with the character I wanted her to be with from the beginning (Chaol), instead of with Dorian who she had a quick relationship with in the first book. It’s the sort of romance where the two characters fit well together, but so much happens that it pulls them apart. I also think they both were ready, as they were both struggling finding themselves, so I think they will definitely work well when they have fully developed into the people they need to be.
We also learn a lot about Celaena, and why she is so important. She may be a master assassin, but she is also heir to the Terrasen throne, and part fae. When this was revealed I was completely taken aback through the unpredictability of it. One of my favourite things about these books is the fact that you can’t see what’s coming until it hits you in the face and you stare at the pages in shock.
Another thing that shocked me was the loss of one of my favourite characters, Nehemia. She pretty much orchestrated her own death, and I love that factor for some reason.
This book was even better than the last, and it was filled with so much heartbreak and emotion, combined with the heart-wrenching ending of Chaol convincing the King to send Celaena to Wendlyn – a land that is currently free from the tyrant king – to keep her safe and away from the King, made this book all the more amazing.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – Book #3
Individual book rating: 5 out of 5
‘Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?’
This book was my favourite by far. It reminded me of The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini as it was filled with strange new species and politics, all mashed together in one large interconnecting adventure.
This was the first one that was completely told from several different points of view. In the other two books it would sometimes switch to Dorian or Chaol, but this one, while still greatly focused on Celaena, changed between Chaol, Dorian, Celaena, and two new characters, Manon and Sorscha.
Sorscha is Prince Dorian’s new love interest, and Manon is a witch. And I love both of these characters, but Manon is probably the most important of the two. I like how these characters were added in a way where the reader is not entirely sure where this is going, but it’s easy to tell that it will all come together in the future.
Celaena develops a lot in the book, as she truly discovers and comes to terms with who she is, and is finally ready to take on the King by the end of it. Chaol also develops as he realises he can’t not chose between fighting for his kingdom (and the King) and fighting for what’s right. I think what happens to Dorian in the end was the kick up the arse he needed to spur him into finally taking action.
Overall series rating: 5 out of 5
These books work amazingly together, showing the journey each character takes into becoming their own people, and the journey to freeing the people from the King. From Heir of Fire onwards I have a feeling it will be more focused on the goal overall to get rid of the King and gain back freedom and magic. So, if you know Eragon, you can see why I am making these comparisons.
The main aspect I love about these books is the complete unpredictability of them. It is hard to expect anything because you tend not to see it coming. This makes it harder to put these books down.
There is magic, blood, action, diversity, heartbreak, loss, politics, and so much more in these books and I highly recommend them.
The fourth book in the series, Queen of Shadows, will be coming out in September 2015 and I am more than a little excited for it.
Also if you want more of a character overview of Celaena, and the transformations she goes through throughout these books please let me know in the comments.
Sorry for it being so rambly and long, it was hard getting all my opinions across for all three books, especially since most of the time I was reading I was going ‘OHMYGOD I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED!’ Trust me, that’s hard to get across.
Anyway, happy reading!