Review: Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas

Review: Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas

The Oaken Bookcase > Blog > Reviews > Review: Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas

Title: Throne of Glass (Goodreads)

Author:  Sarah J Maas (@sjmaas)

Rating: ★★★★★

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?


Series: Throne of Glass #1 of ? (there are also four prequel novellas)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: Bloomsbury, August 2, 2012 (August 7 in the USA)
Pages (paperback): 404
My copy: From Netgalley, and from a Bloomsbury ANZ giveaway, thanks!

Paper copies: • Depository • Booktopia
E-copies: • • Barnes & Noble


Celaena Sardothien, or Adarlan’s Assassin as she’s infamously known, is offered a deal – take part in a competition against other thieves and brutes for the position of King’s Champion. If she wins, she’ll be granted her freedom from the Salt Mines where she has been enslaved for the past year.

Chaol Westfall, the Captain of the Guard, takes her for training on behalf of her sponsor, the Crown Prince Dorian. As the competition begins to heat up, one by one, the champions are discovered horribly murdered by a vicious beast in the deserted corridors of the castle.

US Cover

Where to begin? I loved reading this book. I didn’t want it to end – I was completely caught up in the story and hated having to put the book down! It was partially the romantic aspects of the story that were keeping me reading, but also the exuberance with which Celaena jumps into any challenge coming in her direction – and the the challenges do come, thick and fast.

Throne of Glass is certainly not the “Game of Thrones for YA readers” that I had heard about – it’s a light and enjoyable read, despite its 400-odd pages. Early on while the competition was getting under way, it seemed almost like a fantasy Big-Brother-style elimination with one competitor leaving after each test, but the story didn’t deal very much at all with the actual competition. The relationships between the competitors, the strange magic symbols appearing around the castle, the mysterious murders of the champions and the court intrigue with the King, Duke Perrington and the Lady Kaltain provided most of the suspense.

The story is supposedly based on Cinderella, but apart from the part when they all go to the ball, I must admit I don’t see any similarities. If anyone can enlighten me here, please do!

Celaena is completely adorable. At first she comes across as quite arrogant and selfish (actually that feeling never really goes away), but as the story progresses she shows much more of her vulnerable, girlish side hidden under the prickly exterior.

As with so many young adult books, there is a love triangle of sorts. In this case, it was quite delicious and I enjoyed the swoony romantic scenes, even if they were a little shallow and eyeroll-worthy at times. I know this is aimed at a younger audience and all, but I didn’t feel the story would have been hurt by perhaps Celaena actually spending a night with the Prince. They are adults, after all! What is it with all these lovely honourable men in books these days?

Throne of Glass is a brilliant debut and I am dying to read the next in the series already to find out where Celaena’s adventures take her next! Get your copy as soon as you can. There’s a handsome prince. And puppies. Did I mention the kick-arse heroine?

If you’d like to read one of the prequel novellas for free, Sugarscape still has The Assassin and the Empire up for a limited time! The other three novellas are available on Amazon but sadly, not in Australia 🙁

Warnings: Quite a bit of violence.

What did others think of Throne of Glass?

  • “So much creativity, imagination and love has gone into this novel. That is crystal clear.” – Hannah of Once Upon a Time
  • “This was a wonderful fantasy story. I enjoyed it immensely and Celaena is a fantastic heroine and role model for a Young Adult crowd.” – 5/5 – Philippa of Tea, Daydreams & Fairytales
  • “While the synopsis may come off feeling a little Hunger Game-esque, let me calm your fears now. It’s not. ” – 3/5 – Stephanie of Cuddlebuggery


9 thoughts on “Review: Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas

  1. Jack says:

    I have seen this book around on several sites, apparently a real hot item at the time (When’s the movie coming out?). I love the cover, but haven’t yet added it to my TBR. I’m waiting for someone to convince me, and that hasn’t happened yet. As a 63-year old man who went to war as a teenager, I have a fundamental “suspension” problem with an 18-year old master of anything, except maybe the art of looking cute. I could take her as a gifted apprentice, an intuitive assistant, or something similar. Child prodigies do exist; Mozart could hear the music, but he still had to learn the piano, and how to write sheet music, and all the rest. I could see this girl having catlike reflexes and phenominal balance, and in the process of being developed into a master by a past master whose skills have faded, but not a master herself, not yet.

    In fairness, it’s been a long time since I was a young adult, and maybe an accomplished hero their own age is what’s required here. What I remember from that age is reading about adults, from James Bond to Sherlock Holmes, and saying, “That will be me someday.” An excellent review, but I’m still likely to pass on this. Thanks for taking the time, and keep up the fine work!
    Jack recently posted..TeaserMy Profile

    • Angelya says:

      Thanks for your comment Jack! To be honest, you’re not really in the target audience for this one… it’s aimed pretty squarely at teen girls, although I hope guys might enjoy it as well. It hit my “enjoy immensely” button without being life-changing 🙂

  2. This book seems popular among Australian book bloggers.
    Michael @ Literary Exploration recently posted..Meme – My Life in LiteratureMy Profile

  3. […] Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas – Really great young adult fantasy – loved it! […]

  4. Megan K. says:

    So glad to hear that you loved this one! I really enjoyed reading it too, though I didn’t know that it was supposed to be based on Cinderella. I agree, though, that apart from the ball and the fact that the prince fell in love with her, these two stories were NOTHING alike each other.

    Great review, Angela!

    Meg | The Book Galaxy
    Megan K. recently posted..ARC Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

    • Angelya says:

      Thanks Meg! I’m told the Cinderella thing might come out more in future books, but since I’m not sure they’re even written yet, I find that info suspicious 😛 Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. […] note: This is my review for the second book in this series, and so contains spoilers for the first, Throne of Glass. You may wish to read my review for that book […]

  6. […] the series at all, we suggest reading our original Throne of Glass reviews (Philippa’s or Angelya’s), and go get […]

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