Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Throne of Glass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genres: YA; Fantasy
Pages: 416 pages

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
 
Goodreads Description:
 
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
 
My review:
 
Why was this book so hard to rate? After all, I flew through it. The world building was spectacular. And the story's delightfully morbid. (I kid! I kid!) For being a book about an assassin it was pretty low-key. (view spoiler)

So. Why do I settle on only 3 stars? Because I've become this stupid analytical reader, that's why(Is this what editors feel like?). All of the problems with this book wouldn't stop glaring at me. I glared back at them; I told them to leave me be and let me enjoy my book in peace! They didn't listen. Bother!

On the upside, for everything I didn't like about the book, there was something else to praise.

For example:

The writing was beautiful and the descriptions were well done. Maas does a good job of really transporting you into the setting of the story. BUT--the info dumps scattered about the book and the frequent lack of showing was a major turnoff.

As for the characters? I LIKE them, and I like how they were portrayed. Celaena isn't a favorite character of mine, by any means, but I like that she wants to be known for something other than killing. I like that she's not some unfeeling killing machine. I like that, despite her job and her past and her circumstances, she can be girly. She can love dresses and balls and care about how she looks. (Oh, and she loves books. She's quite the well-rounded assassin).

I like Chaol and that, through all his gruffness, he's shown himself to be noble and generous. I like Dorian in that he wants to show that he's more than the crown. And that he wants a wife equal to him in mind and spirit. I like how Kaltain wasn't just portrayed as the simpering, catty girl who hungered after the crown but rather an intelligent, complex character(who hungered after the crown).

I like a lot of things, okay? BUT(I know, I'm so mean. Another 'but'.) while I liked them, I didn't feel this TRUE connection I was supposed to feel, I TRIED to feel. Where were all the FEELS??

It was also hard to get on board with the whole love triangle thing. First of all, WHERE WAS THE LOVE? I get that our two main guys both like Celaena, but the romance felt really flat. It was like the author put the characters together and gave them these weird mushy feelings for each other so we expect SOMETHING to happen and then...


Yup. I mean, there WAS romance, but it was pretty lame. The tension was lacking, which is the whole point of a love triangle. But it really wasn't all bad. It was refreshing, really, reading a Young Adult Fantasy with an emphasis on the actual fantasy(and less ooey gooey stuff). I'll be happy if the series continues that way, as long as the parts WITH romance are written better. That's all I ask.

I think for the most part the good parts outweigh the bad ones. The competition was cool, Celaena was an interesting character to read about, and the ending was pretty epic.

I've become quite the nit-picky reader. But I still devoured the book, didn't I? I'm still aching for Crown of Midnight. And I've heard it gets better. *shrugs* We'll see.

Content: Mild language; mild innuendo (view spoiler); violence

6 comments:

  1. Although I loved this one because it was the first fantasy I really fell in love with you definitely hit on some key negatives I've seen mentioned in other reviews. The feels will really hit you in the next book and beyond, even in the novellas. This one was devoid of too many feels, but you just wait ;) I think you will be very impressed with the next books in this series.

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    1. Good! I'm really excited about the rest of the series. Yeah, a few things bugged me about this one, but overall I thought it was a well crafted fantasy. And I've heard from other people that it just gets better! So we'll see!

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  2. I've actually heard several comments that the first book isn't as great as the next few, and many of my online friends praise this beyond belief, so possibly I shall have to get over myself and read it sometime. In theory it should be something I enjoy -- fantasy, assassins, girly stuff, little romance -- but apparently the lack of connection isn't just a matter of opinion. (Or at least not a matter of rare opinion.)

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    1. That does make it tough. Before I read it I had only heard people rave about it, which made it a no-brainer. It's a good book, in my opinion, but I think I went in with too-high expectations and was disappointed. Hopefully, I'll get to read the second book soon and solve the matter for myself.

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  3. I've heard that Crown of Midnight is better than this one. I sure hope so! I still haven't decided if I'm going to move forward with this series or not. I feel like I should give it at least one more chance (because I didn't actually hate the first book)...

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    1. I just read Crown of Midnight, and in my opinion it is better. But probably not for you if you didn't like Throne of Glass.

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