Right at the start of Quarantine I picked up the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I had heard some good things about the series, and someone at work suggested it when I talked about how I love fantasy books.
There are some light spoilers for the series below…
Throne of Glass follows Celaena Sardothein, an 18 year-old assassin in the Kingdom of Adarlan. We meet her after she has spent time in a prison camp, sentenced there for her crimes. She is offered an opportunity by the Crown Prince Dorian and her chance at freedom. She enters a competition to become Adarlan’s Assassin. Once in the palace she finds herself trying to unravel the mysteries happening in this kingdom, and realizing she must come to terms with her role in reshaping the future of the kingdom.
I devoured this series. I loved the world building and Maas’ writing style. The first book (Throne of Glass) does feel incredibly different than the rest of the series. There are hints of magic and something much bigger going on, but nothing is really answered or fleshed out besides the central conflict. I do feel like Maas had this very grand idea for her series, but she needed to sell it to the publisher. So the first book is very tame compared to the rest of the series.
Now, as I was reading I grew frustrated with Aelin/Celaena. I struggled to connect with her, and often grew frustrated with her decisions. I didn’t truly understand her continued anger at Chaol in Crown of Midnight and it felt incredibly forced. To me, it seemed like it was just put there so that she had better justification for starting a relationship with Rowan. It would annoy me that she never shared plans with any of her friends and partners. They were fighting beside you willing to sacrifice their lives, maybe share something. I think if it happened once or twice maybe it wouldn’t have annoyed me as much, but it would happen multiple times per book. It got to a point where every time there was a big set piece battle, I began to expect Aelin pulling some crazy scheme out of nowhere. This is probably why I enjoyed Tower of Dawn so much. It was a whole book where I didn’t have to listen to Aelin.
While I struggled with Aelin, I loved every other character. Seriously, all of the characters surrounding Aelin are amazing. They are well thought out and each bring something unique to the table. I especially loved Chaol and Elide. I don’t know what that says about me, that in a book filled with magic my two favorite characters are the ones with no powers. I love the arc that Dorian has, and never would have pictured where his character ended up going. I think this is might be why I was a slightly frustrated with the ending. You definitely get closure with certain characters (Aelin, Rowan, Lysandra and Aedion), but things are left so open with Chaol and Dorian. I want to know about Chaol and Yerene’s baby, and what is even the status of Adarlan. The last we heard the capital had been sacked by the Ironteeth. I NEED UPDATES SARAH J. MAAS!
Overall, I genuinely really loved this series. I couldn’t put these books down. I was sucked into this fantasy world and they really helped me get through these first couple weeks of quarantine. I would definitely recommend this series if you are looking for something exciting in the fantasy genre.