Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena was an assassin, the best the kingdom had ever known, but then she was betrayed and sentenced to hard labor.  Now she's been removed from the salt mines to take part in a competition as the Crown Prince's champion.  Twenty-three will compete for the chance to be the king's champion - and the chance to win their freedom.  Celaena has no love for the king, but she will do whatever ever it takes to be free again.

This is Sarah J. Maas' first novel, although she has been publishing work at 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?
Am I right?  This cover: kick ass and powerful.  Cover above: generic pretty girl who isn't even making a fist right.

Throne of Glass comes out August 7, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. I originally wasn't very interested in this book, but in the past two weeks seeing all of the awesome reviews I am dying to read it now!! Fantastic review.


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