Author: Sarah J. Maas
I had to wait a good 24 hours after finishing this book to form a fair review for it. During the read and immediately following, all I wanted to do was rant. I had to remind myself that not all books are gems. Although there was a lot that got on my nerves, there was a certain charming quality to this book that I can’t really put a specific name to but it prevented me from hating the story.
I went into this knowing that there was a love triangle involved and determined to try and get around that. To an extent, I succeeded; it was not the love triangle that got on my nerves, although I did find it cliche and unnecessary to the rest of the story.
No, it was actually the main premise of the story that ended up bugging me the most. When reading the synopsis in the jacket cover, the story sounded intriguing.
Then I started reading.
Let me explain: Celaena is invited by the Crown Prince to participate in a 24 person competition (gee, where have I read about a 24 person competition before…..) and the winner will get to be the King’s Champion a.k.a. handy dandy personal assassin. Someone he should at least somewhat trust to roam the shadows of the castle to do as he bids. Oh, and anyone with a bad reputation is apparently eligible.
I have a few questions about the logic here. (1) Why exactly is it necessary for the King to have a competition of this nature? I mean, surely he has not gotten this far in conquering the world without having access to some kind of spy network or underground. Why couldn’t he find someone there? This just seems much more efficient to me. (2) Why in the world would you want to give someone the chance to roam the castle freely and with some amount of power when you did not trust her/her without an armed escort during the competition itself? This just seems like an all-around bad idea.
Toward the end of the book, Prince Dorian describes the competition as “frivolous.” This kind of made my brain explode. There should be no reason whatsoever for the choosing of the king’s assassin to be described as “frivolous.” Clearly, someone somewhere is doing something wrong.
On another note, I’m not entirely sure how Celaena managed to become the most notorious assassin in the world. Frankly, she is kind of a moron. She does not think with the practicality of an assassin. For example, she gets upset because another girl refers to her as a “harlot” so she makes a point of putting on the fanciest dress she has to go meet her competition for the next 13 weeks. Honestly, as Chaol mentions, this isn’t actually a bad idea because it makes them underestimate her which is never a bad thing. If that had been Celaena’s thought process behind it, would have been fine. But it wasn’t. She is also constantly getting snuck up on and surprised. She is supposedly a badass but rather than getting to see this firsthand, the reader is told about it. A lot. Like, seriously.
The only thing that actually truly bugged me about the love triangle is that the two romantic interests are supposed to be really good friends. One of them even realizes at one point that the other might really care for her in a way he has never cared for a lady before. But not once does either of them think “You know, this might hurt my friend if I continue this so maybe I should back off.” Some friends.
As I mentioned, despite all this, the book did have it’s redeeming qualities…I just can’t specifically figure out what they are beyond the fact that I was kind of charmed into liking it a little. I will probably read future books but will not be making it a priority. Honestly, I expected more from a book that was supposedly a decade in the making. This book kind of wants to be Poison Study but fails miserably.
P.S. While I will not go into the rant about this that I initially had in my head when I first heard this, Throne of Glass is NOT the “teen girl version of Game of Thrones.” The two are dissimilar in the extreme and cannot even begin to be compared.