After many months of my friend peer-pressuring me to read this and finally finding it in my local library, I finally read Throne of Glass.
This book started with an incredible premise: the most notorious assassin in the land is now a slave and is being offered to win back her freedom in a ‘to-the-death’ tournament (although this becomes ‘almost-to-the-death). For me, it went downhill from there.
A big part of this book did not work for me is because I didn’t like the main character. Celeana is smart, athletic, talented and beautiful. She loves music and reading. She is fluent in different languages. She is great. And she knows it. And rubs it in your face repeatedly. As do her suitors and admirers. It feels like Sarah J Maas tried everything she could to make Celaena likeable, but it still didn’t work.
I wish that we got to see more of her ‘ruthless’ side and more about her assassin origin story and her time in the mines because I don’t feel like she was quite as deadly as she was implied to be. She’s meant to be the greatest assassin in the world, but she doesn’t seem to be a very good one: she doesn’t notice people enter her room when she’s sleeping, and she has no interest in killing people. Her skills are mentioned but barely shown, even though the narration boasts about how great she is. All we actually see is her whining, putting down other women because ‘she’s not like them’, and non-stop ‘witty’ banter. This all seems very negative, but I do admire her for not letting her time in Endovier break her and deciding that she’s going to be a survivor.
The tournament itself takes up very little time on the page, even though the book is centred around it. It makes me wonder why I should actually care about it, and why the characters should care. There’s a part where it mentions the murder and that there’s two Tests following it, but it’s barely mentioned: the plot is so boring that a lot of it is just summarised. I hoped that the book would pick up as soon as the competition began, and it did for a moment, but then more drama (meaning more potential love interests, in this case) was added and I lost interest. The included mythology did not develop any further than the main storyline. A lot of things were left unsaid – probably because there are so many books in the series – but this book had so many gaps that I have no intention to read further.
There are some things I liked about the book, mainly Celaena’s friendship to Nehemia and Chaol, but it isn’t enough to make me want to read the sequels. I enjoyed some of the banter between her and Chaol. Dorian wasn’t bad, either. I think I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again for this review: I don’t mind love triangles when they’re convincing and both candidates for the main character’s heart are equal so there’s some tension over who they’re going to end up with. But I hope she ends up with Chaol.