Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This is Sarah J. Maas' first novel, although she has been publishing work at FictionPress.com since 2002. She has a large online fan base. The book was a fun and action-packed read, but it also read like a fanfic writer writing her first book. By that I mean that it went on far longer than it needed to, there was an excessive amount of descriptive passages, a lack of character development, and the events of the books were drawn out far longer than they needed to be. Hopefully in future books, things will be cleaner and tighter.
For example, the finally fight scene just went on and on. It was just her getting thrown about for pages and pages. And it wasn't like there was spectacular dialogue or exciting action sequences being described. It just kept going. I started skimming to get to the end.
What I felt the most was the lack of character development. I know that there were four novellas that were released online that gave some background information on Celaena and how she ended up in the salt mines (which whenever I read I thought of the Spice Mines of Kessel), but I don't think having more background on her would have helped. She's supposedly having a growing relationship with Dorian, the crown prince, and Chaol the captain of the guards, but we were mostly told and not shown that her feelings toward them were changing. Especially in regards to Chaol, there wasn't any reason I could see that she would warm up to him.
Chaol pissed me off to no end. Chaol was in charge of making sure Celaena didn't kill anyone, and he was always yanking her around by a chain, or pinching or poking her. He was rather abusive, really. He was so distressed by being attracted to her, it made him physically violent against her? That's...super disturbing. Why did she end up trusting him? I just couldn't see it. It made no sense. He was nothing but rude and disrespectful of her from the very beginning. The relationship with Dorian was better done, and we actually got to see their relationship changing and why.
Celaena has the potential to be an interesting, powerful character. I'd like to see where Sarah J. Maas takes her, as well as where she goes with the world building. We know very little about the world, but that there used to be magic, but the king has banished all things magic. Doing this caused all magical creatures to disappear, and all magical books to be burned. There were some sort of Fae people before, who seem to be powerful, and there are some people left who can call on these ancient powers, but they are very secretive about it. It's not clear where this will go.
And may I just ask why the UK gets a way better cover than we do?
Throne of Glass comes out August 7, 2012.