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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant.
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...
Published 20 months ago by Beanie Luck Spud

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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A charming and witty dose of the naive nostalgia of childhood fairytales
I've been waiting for this book to be released since I read some of it on FictionPress.com more than 5 years ago. If its original hook of 'What if Cinderella had been sent to the ball to kill the prince?' had been kept, it would have made things a lot simpler. It's a great read, but not quite for the reasons it's been hyped up to be. It's an action-packed coming-of-age...
Published on 4 Aug 2012 by Olive C.


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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A charming and witty dose of the naive nostalgia of childhood fairytales, 4 Aug 2012
By 
Olive C. (Oxford, England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Glass (Paperback)
I've been waiting for this book to be released since I read some of it on FictionPress.com more than 5 years ago. If its original hook of 'What if Cinderella had been sent to the ball to kill the prince?' had been kept, it would have made things a lot simpler. It's a great read, but not quite for the reasons it's been hyped up to be. It's an action-packed coming-of-age romance set in a fairytale world, with all the intrigues, impossibilities and archetypes that that implies.

If you like that sort of thing, buy this book. If you read and liked the original version, buy this book. You're guaranteed to love it, so I'm going to write this review for people who don't know what to expect and who are a bit hesitant or sceptical. If you believe the hype and nothing else, you might find the story a bit too much, but if you go in knowing what you should REALLY expect, you'll find it an enjoyable, perceptive, read.

The facts are these. Celaena Sardothien, previously Assassin of Adarlan, is retrieved from prison camp by Captain Chaol Westfall, to represent Crown Prince Dorian in a tournament devised by his father, the despotic king of Adarlan, to find a Royal Champion. If she succeeds, Celaena will be the king's personal assassin for 4 years before being pardoned and freed. But as well as winning the competition, there is something evil lurking in the glass castle, that Celaena must destroy...

Now, what makes Celaena a fairytale heroine rather than a kick-ass warrior? She not only boasts the status of greatest assassin (and when I say boasts, I mean: Celaena herself boasts, and then some), she also happens to be a stunning 18-year-old girl, complete with a blurry past, a sense of honour that (she feels) distinguishes her from street criminals, and a dislike of corsets that (she feels) distinguishes her from backstabbing courtly ladies. 19-year-old Prince Dorian is THE stereotypical exception to the rule: he's a pampered, unassertive idealist, but his pseudo-scholarly charm is a great threat to Celaena's would-be populist prejudices! Proof of their shared exceptional status? THEY LIKE TO READ.

Luckily, once you're armed against these two rather insufferable personages, the book is actually a lot more intelligent than it sounds. Celaena and Dorian are off-set by the exceptional Chaol (the Captain), who alone makes the book worth reading, and Nehemia, a visiting princess from a conquered land. Chaol - totally un-archetypal and instantly likeable, even if it's ridiculous that he made it to Captain at 22 - persistently reminds Dorian that he's a privileged prince whether he claims to like it or not, and Nehemia is learned and captivating, a grounding influence on Celaena whose naive self-righteousness might otherwise have been unbearable. It's also quite bold to give the characteristic, undiluted arrogance of the villain to the heroine. Celaena's constant bragging is vindicated by her struggle to make her weakened body match up to her own glorious notions about her abilities, and by Chaol's faith in her, reluctant but 100% sincere. And surprisingly enough considering both the genre and the characters, the romantic element of the book is extremely well played.

I won't go into the pros and cons of the story because the plot followed the pattern of 'I can see what's coming from a mile away but I still can't put it down'. As for the writing, it's full of vivid descriptions, plain but acute characterisation, and some extremely witty remarks and exchanges. There were occasional anachronisms, and the inevitable, but still depressing, 'from whence'; but overall, the book is charmingly written. The author has talent and a likeable style, and this is a novel she started when she was 16; I expect she'll become a real gem of YA Fantasy with her subsequent books.

Like I said, if you like character-driven fairytales, buy this book, you're guaranteed to love it. If you don't HATE them, it's still worth a try for its perceptive take on its own clearly defined genre. The story's origins are betrayed by the fact that its view of its well-drawn world, with an empire in chaos, is limited to the perspective of beautiful, important people (and by the 'glass' retained in the title, which is, otherwise, not very relevant), but that shouldn't, and doesn't, condemn it. As infuriating as the characters may sometimes be, and despite the obvious plot, this is a pretty accurate portrayal of what Good But Flawed people at the top are likely to feel. I won't lie, it's not for people who can't stomach characters who are superior to their peers in class, motives and ability; but for people who are interested in the struggles of characters in that situation, this take on it is deceptively resonant.

The characters that drive this story are ridiculously young, but the book knows that, and gives them room to grow, and learn. If I could give this 3 and a half stars I would, because it's far more than average, but it clearly needs its subsequent instalments to round itself off perfectly - as far as I recall, the original story really got going after the tournament. But that isn't to say I didn't enjoy this book, because I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. It's a promising and charming introduction to an ambitious series, and I for one am certainly interested to see where Celaena will be going next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poison Study, anyone?, 11 Feb 2014
This review is from: Throne of Glass (Kindle Edition)
Having read probably too many Y.A. fantasy type books I'm obviously a sucker for a story well told - action and romance thrown in - I have to this is is by far the poorest written of any of the books I've read, added to the feeling I was getting a poor woman's version of Posion Study, by Maria V Snyder (a 5 star read if there ever was one). I really REALLY wanted to like it, but after a promising start (hence the 2 stars instead of 1) it quickly becomes a cliche-fest - Ms Maas seems to have written a 'paint-by-numbers' narrative; you get the feeling you've been everywhere, seen everything before, not helped by lashings of heavy-handed description. The main character, Celaena, becomes increasingly aggravating - maybe it's meant to be a cute type of snarkyness - instead of seeing her character develop through her trials and tribulations, we get almost gratuitous riffs on her feistiness, arrogance, vanity etc etc - take your pick. This girl is an ASSASSIN but all we seem to get is how she admires herself in a gown, and loves a party lol.

Ok.....it's a Y.A. novel - I expect the cliches/suspend disbelief - but it reads as a book for 15 year olds, WRITTEN by a 15 year old. The best books, for ANY age-group or genre, are always well-written and engaging. If you want to read a truly cracking Y.A. book, with a kick-ass but sentient lead character, have a look at Maria V. Snyder's Posion Study - Yelena is everything Celaena should be. And it's well written. Go on, you know you want to.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas, 1 Sep 2012
This review is from: Throne of Glass (Paperback)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas received some pretty spectacular reviews prior to its recent release. Based upon these reviews, I went out and purchased a paper copy of the book, something I rarely do as I usually purchasing ebooks. My bookshelves are reserved for keepers and based upon the reviews I figured Throne of Glass would be a keeper. Unfortunately Throne of Glass didn't live up to the hype. Whilst it wasn't a bad book or anything like that, I was disappointed.

Throne of Glass tells the story of Celaena Sardothien a master assassin who has been imprisoned as a slave in a salt mine following a betrayal. Celaena has survived for a year in the brutal environment of the salt-mine where the average life expectancy is1 month. Her life is pretty bleak when the crown prince of Adarlan offers her a chance of freedom. If she competes and wins a competition to become the Kings Champion, she will eventually gain pardon and her freedom. The stinger is, should she fail, she will be returned to the salt-mines, plus her competition are the most gifted thieves and assassins in Adarlan.

My biggest gripe with Throne of Glass was the inconsistencies with both the world and the characters. Celaena was a mass of contradictions. She's billed as a master assassin with a heart of ice and a will of steel but I found her to be a teenager girl fixated on the cute guys surrounding her instead of her rather awful situation. Yes, she's a kick-ass fighter but she's also pretty soft hearted. According to the story, she has lived a difficult life but IMO I thought it had little impact on her - she opens up emotionally to those who have imprisoned her quite easily and wants to believe the best of her friends. Surely, such a difficult life would affect Celaena's ability to trust.

The lack of chemistry between the leads disappointed me. And to honest, I didn't particularly like the prince. He's almost like a spoilt child. I don't like to ruin plot details for readers, so I won't go into specifics but I thought he was weak. Also a pretty one dimensional villain didn't help.

All in all, I loved the premise of the story but I was disappointed with the execution. I've previously read some pretty brilliant books that are somewhat similar, so perhaps these spoilt me.

My Rating: 6/10
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant., 9 Dec 2012
By 
Beanie Luck Spud (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Glass (Paperback)
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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 exhilirating. 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.

I'm going to start with Celaena. This is one spitfire, kick ass chick. She's gone through a lot. She's suffered, and suffered, and suffered some more. But she's survived and she's still got all this strength to continue on. Even when she's afraid she doesn't allow it to blind her or affect her. She continues on. She says what she thinks and feels although she's smart enough to hold her tongue when she must (like when speaking to the king who could hang her at any moment). I loved Celaena. She is a character that I truly loved completely. No annoying habits, no ridiculous behavior, nothing. There were times when I wish she'd tell someone of these secrets she was figuring out, but I understood why she didn't, why she couldn't, tell anyone. And Celaena might be a trained assassin, but she knows who her friends are and she'll do what it takes to protect them. Even if she knows they should be her enemy.

I also couldn't figure out what era the book was written and I don't recall it ever being stated. In some parts it read like it was old, obviously with kings and queens in the court, and yet in some instances it seems very modern.

I really enjoyed the training sessions between Celaena and Chaol and seeing Celaena physically get fitter and stronger. It was also really nice to see their relationship grow and that I could read more of. Celaena relationship with the Prince was also interesting to read about and as already mentioned, it was great reading every ones point of view.

My only complaint is Celaena made a decision towards the end of the book that I wasn't happy with, but I understood why she did it.

The characters are well-developed, and there's a great element of mystery and danger. I'm very much looking forward to the sequel and seeing where Sarah J. Maas takes her series!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story, but nice wasn't good enough!!, 31 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Throne of Glass (Kindle Edition)
Great, a book with a Heroine that had withstood time in the salt mines when others would have broken, a heroine that is a trained assassin, not just any trained assassin but the most infamous trained female assassin. She had swagger, she had attitude, she was the best and she knew it, and yet she lost her first combat to a royal guard, OK the Captain of the Royal Guard but even so! She fell for the oldest trick in the book and drank poison, she quaked in the presence of the King who had caused her people so much harm and refused a chance to escape when it presented itself.

I loved the concept, I enjoyed the writing style, I just thought the character had an over inflated opinion of herself which her actions did not justify. The relationships between the main characters were not developed in an adult way, I am not suggesting anything erotic should have been written, but after months in the gorgeous Princes company, and he being a lady's man, and she being so very attracted to him and he to her, come on, just a kiss? I know it was fictional but there is no need to be condescending, we would have understood! Anyway, a nice book, and a great idea, but a wimp out on exploring the true character of an assassin that had suffered so much to gain so little, Freedom was always within her own hands, not by the grace of her enemies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars marketed as tough and gritty...actually is light and fluffy, 29 May 2014
By 
This review is from: Throne of Glass (Kindle Edition)
This book was I an all right YA read, but it didn't live up to it's hype or that cool cover—the one with the dangerous looking hunting knives, not the sweet sixteen (which actually does match the tone of the book, to my disappointment). Do me a favor, open a new tab and do a quick image search. Find both copies and have a look. They give totally different impressions of what the book will be like.

I like and wanted a gritty, tough assassin-woman and the first cover promises that. I'm not all that fond of sensitive, if skilled, teenage girls slowly falling in love. The second cover could easily relay that...Of the two the second cover is far more appropriate for the book.

And you know what? I wouldn't have picked it up. Just goes to show the importance of a book's cover. I COMPLETELY read this book because the version I got my hands on has the first one and the awesome cover pulled me in. I was fooled.

Here's an example of what I mean. Celaena is said to have been the best and most notorious assassin in all of the kingdom. However, in the course of the book we NEVER (not once!) see her act as an assassin. The closest she comes is using that skill (which we're repeatedly told she has but almost never see) to save someone's life. At ~85% there is finally a fight scene, but due to extenuating circumstances she's not even in peak condition for it. So, her as an assassin really was an existential thing.

As a result, I found Celaena COMPLETELY unbelievable as an assassin. Because, as I said, we almost never see her act like an assassin (you know, killing anyone or even perpetrating violence of any sort). She was involved in a truly imbecilic competition in which almost all of the challenges were individual events like archery, knife throwing (both at targets) or identifying poisons and the vast majority of them were actually glossed over. So, even thought the competition is referred to as "brutal" in the sequel's blurb, it was actually really tame. She did a lot of reading and flirting and almost no fighting.

But also because she had such a lovely disposition. She had the personality of a nice girl next door most of the time. Yes, she'd let the occasional threat fly and frequently imagined how she might kill someone, but otherwise she was pleasant as can be. For someone with as much horrible history as she was supposed to have, she was remarkably well balanced.

I think it's unfair to the reader and untenable for an author to separate a character's history from her current manifestation. Celaena was supposed to have been trained in assassination since she was 8. She was referred to as the 'Queen of the Underworld.' This is a woman who was supposed to have endured, seen and perpetrated enough heinous acts to terrify a nation. That is the premise of her character. But the nice girl she actually is in the story, the one who values life so much and feels so bad about killing or slavery, CANNOT SUPPORT THAT PAST. It just can't. And if the very structure on which the story is build is compromised by such a yawning hole, I guarantee the rest will collapse for me.

I'm not saying the book is bad. In fact, it's remarkably well written, with snappy dialogue and a rare heroine who, in once sense, chooses her own freedom over some mythical idea of true love. I really, really respect that and was impressed by it. (I imagine it will be undone in future books, but here I got to be pleased.) It just that it sets itself up to be this heavy, ponderous, maybe even violent book when it's actually pretty light and fluffy. It's not what I expected to read, based on the cover and blurb, and while a lot of people love it (I didn't actually hate it) I did feel cheated out of the story I was promised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My high hopes shattered like glass..., 26 Mar 2014
By 
Kirsty "book fan" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Glass (Paperback)
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Doesn't the description and blurb of Throne of Glass sound amazing? YES! Did Throne of Glass live up to expectations and hype? HELL NO!

I have to admit I was sorely disappointed in this book. Instead of a tough, fight for your life tournament filled with badass criminals and assassins, you get a watered down sports day, an awkward love triangle and the preliminary tests for Miss World!!

Celaena had the potential to be one of the strongest female characters in YA books, she could have even rivaled Katniss from Hunger Games and Tris from Divergent, BUT, she's too cocky, shallow, and just plain unlikeable.

The author spends way too much time telling me how deadly Celaena is, but not nearly enough time actually showing her in action or demonstrating her dangerous skills. There was also too much focus on her many ball gowns, various hairstyles and general moaning how she's not pretty enough to have any real depth in the book.

The only things that saved this from being a one or two star review were the scenes with the elven queen and her powers, and the battle at the end of the book. We finally get to see a some action sequences from Celaena, and a glimpse of what she should have been through the whole book. Although an action packed ending doesn't make up for the rest of the book, it did make me glad I didn't give up halfway through.

I highly doubt I'll ever read the sequels in the series though. Honestly, I was expecting Game of Thrones type action, when what I actually got was more Disney princess.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing main character, dull love triangle but vaguely interesting story, 10 Nov 2013
By 
JennyD (Manchester, Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Glass (Paperback)
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Celaena is the world's best assassin but after getting caught she spends a year in the mines of Endovier, a place where most don't survive beyond a few months. She's given a chance of life. She must fight as the Crown Prince's champion and, if she wins the contests and defeats her opponents she'll become the King's Champion and will be freed after a few years of service. To make matters worse someone is killing off the Champions! We follow Celaena from her removal from the mines to the great glass castle of the King where she slowly befriends guards, makes close friendships with Nehemia (a Princess from another Kingdom) and even falls in love. The most interesting thing about this book is the contest of the champions, the tests they must suffer through and the end duels that the winners have to fight. Bizarrely the focus is instead on the love triangle between the main character and the Captain of the guard and the Crown Prince. None of the characters (bar Nehemia) are very interesting at all and its even more disappointing that this so-called assassin acts more like a silly teenage girl, going on about her appearance, boys and dresses. The amount of times people manage to scare the assassin by their sudden appearance (even sitting next to her at one point without her noticing) is frankly stupid. The author appears to believe she's written a strong female character but in reality Celaena is no such thing. She's frightened all the time and there's simply not enough emphasis on her skills as a fighter and on her stealth abilities. I simply didn't believe Celaena was a assassin, she talks about killing people in the past and has this silly arrogance about her but its all show and no substance and it makes the story seem juvenile. This is also the case with the dialogue which is at times very bad, awkward flirting scenes between Celaena and her love interests that the book could of done without. There's no doubt the book is too long, 50 pages could easily have been cut and the book would have been all the better for it. The question of magic and the mysterious marks that appear with the bodies of the murdered Champions aren't given enough attention and while I suspect this will be elaborated on in the next book the lack of detail is frustrating. I kept reading the book because the actual story is quite intriguing and I was content to ignore the stupid romance sub-plot that really shadows everything else far too much. As the book draws to an end things start looking hopeful, revelations abound and I'm hoping that in the next book Celaena will actually start to behave like the strong powerful fighter she's meant to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is OKAY if youl like romances and tales of relationships with a hint of fantasy somewhere in the mix/, 6 Aug 2014
By 
Peter Miller (Sudbury, Suffolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Glass (Paperback)
I bought this based on the other reviews which said it was fantastic fantasy.
Sorry folks. While the story is good and the characters are likeable it fails to excite.
The rtouble is that at least 60% of the book is taken up with The heroines relationships with the Crown Prince and the captain of the guard.
She is supposed to be part of a trial to see who will be the next Champion. At best in each trial she has to make an effort NOT to win. There is no tension or excitement building up.
Then other contenders start being killed horrifically and the heroine finds that there is evil afoot. Thtrouble is that all the potential excitement keeps being drowned in the relainship with the Crown Pirnce and the Captain of the Guard.
In the end I found that I just could not care less about what was going on. Maybe the last hundred pages would be better but my spirit had alread been broken.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Utterly ridiculous, 3 Sep 2012
By 
C. C. Chivers "ccchivers" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Throne of Glass (Paperback)
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I read 11 chapters and finally had to give up. Celaena Sardothien is supposed to be an 18 year old hardened criminal. An assassin of such great reputation that people tremble at her name. She is supposed to have just spent a full year in the toughest prison in which most criminals only last a maximum of one month.

However, from the very start she is portrayed more like a superficial spoilt brat from court as she continuously worries about her appearance - her dirty face as she is presented to the Prince of the realm, the type of dress she should wear when being presented to the king prior to a deadly tournament that will decide her entire fate.

She nearly faints when going through one part of the palace made entirely of glass.

She trembles before the very king who is supposed to be such a tyrant that she wants to kill him, especially as he put her in the very mines from which she has just come. One would normally expect burning hate, but instead she behaves like a school girl being presented at court for the first time.

She is vein, wanting everyone around her to know who she is and think of her in some grandiose manner when in fact, a true assassin would welcome anonimity as a way of increasing their chance of accomplishing their goals. She has a somewhat uncontrolled temper like a petulent teenager rather than a street smart girl.

Vanity, fear, petulance - is this really what you would expect from a supposedly hardened criminal? Hardly!

All of these various displays of a normal child (rather than an experienced criminal) are interspersed with moments when the assassin side of her are expressed such as it being potentially easy to disarm the guards below her window and kill them before they really knew what was going on. These 'assassin moments' are completely opposite to her other personality that one would think she was almost a Jekyl and Hyde character. It is ridiculous and I most certainly do not recommend this book at all.

The story itself has great potential (therefore the two stars as opposed to just one) and flows well, but the characters are so superficial in their outlook of life as to make the whole thing a great disappointment.
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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Paperback - 2 Aug 2012)
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