Wilbur loved to rub his face on this one, so I think he enjoyed it too. Photo by Kate Ota 2023
I know it’s hard to believe, but until recently I hadn’t read anything by Sarah J Maas, the bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series, the Crescent City series, and the NSFW fae series A Court of Thorns and Roses. This author first made a splash when I was trying to survive grad school and keeping up with reading trends fell off my radar. However, one of my close friends and fellow book lovers recently told me I’d love Throne of Glass, so trusting her judgement, I bought it.
What is Throne of Glass anyway? Isn’t SJM the fairy lady?
Fairies feature in the distant past in Throne of Glass (book 1 out of 8 in the series). It focuses on (human) assassin Celaena, who is brought out of a labor camp prison to compete against a ton of other killers (not all assassins specifically) to become the King’s Champion. Win, and she gets a four-year contract and then freedom. Lose and she’s back at the labor camp where she’ll definitely die. Along the way she meets and has sizzling chemistry with the crown prince and the captain of the guard. However, as the competition progresses, dark secrets come to light.
Does it live up to the hype?
I picked it up on vacation (I’d been searching every indie bookstore at home and had never spotted it) and devoured it. It was exactly my jam: strong female protagonist, a little magic, some chemistry to keep things interesting, twists, and language that was invisible. I know some people read for deep turns of phrase to savor, but I want the words to fade away so I can watch the movie in my head.
After a bad day at work, the day before I finished this book, I went to Barnes and Noble and bought the rest of the series at once. So, yeah, you could say I liked it.
Things I didn’t like were few and far between. I mean, in any competition book, you pretty much know who’s going to win, right? So there wasn’t much tension there for me, but the other twists introduced along the way really helped. The other downside is I have no idea how to pronounce the name Chaol. Is it Cole? Kay-ole? Kale? Ch-ole? I’m going with Cole in my head. I read this on paperback, but if you read it on an e-reader, be advised the map is very detailed and you may not be able to read it. (However, you won’t really need it.)
In conclusion, yes. It lives up to the hype. I’m already 200 pages into Crown of Midnight (book 2) and loving it! However, I’m going to try to read other books between entries in this series to better keep up with my goal of having 50% or more of the authors I read be from different backgrounds from mine.
You’ll enjoy Throne of Glass if you like deadly competitions, magical secondary worlds, and badass female protagonists. It’s not for you if you’re looking for literary style fiction, high spice level romance, or a real-world setting.
I liked reading such a popular book and deciding if it was actually that good, so I may do more posts about popular books and decide if they’re worth all the hype.
Have you read Throne of Glass? What about other books by SJM? Do her other series live up to the hype? What hyped up book should I do next in this series of blog posts? Let’s discuss in the comments!