Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.


I didn’t really like this book.

I am having an immensely hard time coping with the fact that I did not think this book was that great, it was just okay. Not great, not mind blowing, not the best YA fantasy I’ve ever read. The hype surrounding this series is INSANE and that’s probably why I had such a hard time with this book because, to me, the hype just was not worth it at all.

I’m very disappointed with “Throne of Glass” but at the same time it was alright. In the end I feel like a three star rating is being very generous because I honestly could have easily gone with 2 stars or 2.5 stars as well.


I think what my biggest problem with this book is that it promises things it doesn’t deliver. Celaena is described as the best and most dangerous assassin around and she spends the better half of the book SAYING she is but not SHOWING that she is. Where’s my badass assassin who actually kills people? Where’s the action? I wanted more action! We got to read about some of the tests for the competition but only a handful, why? If we had more insight into this King’s Champion competition it could have been more action-packed and therefore a little more interesting, at least for me. There was a lot of missed out opportunities to read about something other than the love triangle and dresses.

So while I didn’t think there was ENOUGH action and too many descriptions of Celaena’s dresses, Maas did succeed in keeping the plot suspenseful and tense. I did manage to finish the book after all, right? I wanted to know what was going to happen next and that’s what kept me turning pages even when nothing else really did. I really wish I could explain more in depth what I loved about the plot but I can’t  without spoiling it, so you’ll have to find out on your own!

The pacing was pretty fast and seldom was there a time when it really slowed down. I know it took me practically forever to even finish this book but honestly that wasn’t due to a slow paced book so much as me not being very attached to the characters.

Also the world building was pretty decent, there were enough interesting tidbits to satisfy me and make me curious for more all at once. It is a little bit light on the world building for my tastes but it was still interesting and I liked the descriptions of the places, religion, and politics of Maas’s world in “Throne of Glass”.


Remember when I said my biggest problem with this book is that it doesn’t deliver? That mostly applies to these characters. They were all just very bland to me I didn’t feel any sort of connection to them and I was very underwhelmed when anything happened to them.

Celaena by far is the most disappointing overall and honestly I think it may be safe for me to say she’s the most disappointing character I have ever come across. Everyone, herself included, talks about how dangerous she is and how she’s the world’s greatest assassin but I found myself asking “how?” the entire duration of this book. As far as I could see all she did was talk about how skilled she was instead of proving it, I just have a hard time believing Celaena Sardothien is the best assassin this fantasy world has to offer.

Celaena is also extremely vain and we spend an extensive amount of time reading about her worrying about dresses and shoes. I mean for someone who is supposedly the greatest assassin ever you would think she wouldn’t covet material items so much, right? We also hear about how beautiful she is constantly with her special eyes with special rings of gold in them. All of that was definitely giving me Mary-Sue vibes.

Then we have Prince Dorian and Chaol the Captain of the Guard. Meh. That’s how I felt about both of them they weren’t particularly interesting and definitely not very swoon-inspiring.

Honestly my favorite character was Princess Nehemia and I thought her to be far more worthy of my respect. She doesn’t shy away from anyone or anything and I loved her loyalty and devotion to her people and her country. If the entire book was more about her I might have enjoyed it more.


I did not enjoy any of the “romance” one bit. We have borderline insta-love and a tedious love triangle. Count me out.

Celaena is almost instantly enamored and making moony eyes over Dorian and I feel like their “relationship” came out of nowhere, it didn’t feel developed at all since they barely spent any time together. With Chaol it was a little more believable since he was always training with Celaena. Either way I thought both options were very uninteresting and I could have cared less who she chose in the end.

I also feel like the love triangle took away from both the characters and the plot in this book.

in conclusion

I’m going to try my best to just quickly sum up my feelings on “Throne of Glass”:

  • I strongly disliked our main character, Celaena.
  • I really hated the love triangle.
  • I didn’t think there was enough “world’s greatest assassin”-worthy action.
  • I did enjoy the pacing and the plot itself, it was actually interesting.
  • The world building was satisfying enough.

So there is both good and bad for me which is why it received a sort of neutral rating at 3 stars. I enjoyed it enough to finish but overall I wasn’t too impressed.

I will be continuing the series with “Crown of Midnight” because it seems to me everyone says it gets way better. *crosses fingers*


Eh, not really. For as crazy as the hype is I think if you want to check it out for yourself then definitely go right ahead, it’s not a terrible book but for me it just wasn’t as great as I thought it would be.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

27 thoughts on “Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

  1. Stephanie June 9, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    THANK YOU! I feel exactly the same way about this book! Not sure I’ll be continuing the series, though, because I can’t make myself care about any of the characters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 8:12 pm

      Well thank you for agreeing with me! Such a relief to have you think the same thing about this book because I was sure I’d have a horde of fangirls down my throat haha.
      I think the characters were my least favorite part because, like you put it, I could have cared less about them.
      Everyone says how great Crown of Midnight is though so I think it’ll be worth my time just to see if I can’t understand the crazy amounts of hype.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanie June 14, 2016 / 8:17 pm

        I actually read ACOTAR/ACOMAF recently, and liked them more than Throne of Glass, so I’m tempted to give the series another shot myself. I just don’t know if I can stand Celaena for another three books haha.

        I was so relieved that you felt the same way, too! I’m always kind of scared to share my thoughts about ToG, because so many people are fanatical about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 8:22 pm

        I bought ACOTAR not that long ago and I’m a little leery of reading that one now after Throne of Glass but everybody seems to like it a bit more.
        And if Celaena …matures I think I could stand to read through the next 3 haha.
        Also if the fans come after us we’ll just have to protect each other, haha! I’m actually really surprised about the amount of people who thought the same about this book as we did. So that’s a comfort! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanie June 14, 2016 / 8:23 pm

        ACOTAR wasn’t my favorite, but it’s worth reading to get to the second book. That one was SO MUCH BETTER!

        And definitely! I’m glad I have someone on my side haha 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 8:27 pm

        Glad to hear it since that’s essentially why I even bought ACOTAR because everyone seems to love it even if they weren’t crazy about the first one. So I’m basically just going to push myself through it for ACOMAF! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Journal of a Bibliophile June 9, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    – Celaena just gets worse after this.
    – The love triangle turns into a love square, or pentagon depending on how you look at things.
    – There is never any assassin action.

    The second book is the best in the series, IMO. After that things go down hill, fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 8:09 pm

      Well at least it might be worth it to read the second one then, but uuuggghhhh all the points you made are the reasons I didn’t like this one :/ I think the biggest let down is the no assassin action part.


  3. Zezee June 9, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    Totally agree with you. My reaction was pretty much the same when I read it. I didn’t believe her to be the most feared assassin and while I didn’t mind that she loves to shop and look good, I thought she was too preoccupied with such things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 8:06 pm

      I agree with you as well, I definitely don’t mind heroines being feminine AND deadly but with Celaena there just wasn’t enough focus on the deadly assassin part!


  4. jessreadingnook June 9, 2016 / 11:23 pm

    I totally agree with you.I’m still surprised there’s as much hype as there is, but I’d be surprised if it lasted. I’m so glad to come across another review that isn’t just building up the hype. I’m not going to continue reading the series because I don’t want to invest time in a series that failed to hook me in the first book, but I’ll definitely check out your review for the second book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 8:05 pm

      Well I’m happy to have someone agree with me! Honestly I was a little afraid of a mob of fangirls harassing me or something, haha. For me I really don’t think this book deserves all the hype it gets because the hype is just insane.
      I would normally not continue on with a book that I didn’t really enjoy either but everyone says the second book is better and I just have these terrible need to understand what’s so great about this series, ugh! But thank you and hopefully my efforts to push through the sequel will at least make for an interesting review! 🙂


  5. luvtoread June 10, 2016 / 2:58 am

    Great review!! I agree with you. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a main character more than I disliked Celaena in this book. I do not understand all the hype about this book and Celaena as a character. People say she is “so badass”, but honestly she doesn’t do anything in this book! There is a lot of talk, but no action.
    I think this book should’ve been edited down to 3 chapters or so and merged with book 2. Book 2 is so much better!! Definitely keep reading – the series and Celaena get a lot better as it goes along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 8:01 pm

      Thanks! It is a huuuuge relief that I’m not the only one who did not like Celaena and didn’t get the hype! You said it, she literally did nothing this whole book and most definitely was NOT a badass.
      But I am also very happy to hear that my efforts will be worth it and book 2 is better so thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews June 10, 2016 / 8:01 am

    “We have borderline insta-love and a tedious love triangle.” THE ACTUAL WORST.

    I’m so nervous to read this book, haha. I really don’t think I’m going to like it for all the same reasons you mentioned. At least I know I won’t be alone though 😅 Fantastic, honest review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 7:59 pm

      You most definitely won’t be! I’m actually really surprised I’ve gotten so many comments from people who didn’t really like it that much either so we’ll be there for ya, haha. I do hope you have better luck with it than me but I have heard the sequel is better so maybe we’ll both be surprised! 🙂


  7. Donna June 10, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Loved your review! I agree with all your points. I was waiting for something that never happened! I am still waiting for Celaena to show me some badass moments! I complained a lot about her in my review. Ah, that fierce assassin being oh-so-friendly with her captors. That and the fact the pronunciation guide should be at the beginning of the book. I spent the entire book mispronouncing everything. Still, the storyline was good enough to keep me reading and decide to pick the next book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek June 14, 2016 / 7:57 pm

      Thank you! I’m happy to hear you agree with my points I made, just like I agree with everything you said here in your comment!
      The plot is good enough to push me towards the sequel but yes I was waiting for Celaena to be a badass and she just wasn’t. And you’re right, she was way too friendly with her “captors”. I actually had no idea how to pronounce Celaena until I read someone else’s review so I’m happy it wasn’t just me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. The Heart and the Page September 23, 2016 / 5:36 am

    This book was BY FAR the worst in the series. After rereading it I’m honestly surprised I even bothered with the sequels haha great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek October 4, 2016 / 1:56 am

      Thank you! I’m so glad to here it isn’t just me, haha. If this one is the worst they must get better, I’m definitely looking to try out the sequel! 🙂


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