Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kick the Puppy Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Review: (This is my definition of a Kick the Puppy Review.)

First I want to say that this isn't a bad book. I think at least some of my disappointment is that all the hype seemed to suggest that this would be one of my "Books of the Year". And it wasn't. My main problem with this book is that Celaena is supposed to be this infamous and deadly assassin. And it didn't feel at all like she was. Yes, she survived the salt mines and when you hear what life was like there, you do get that she's mentally and physically strong. But it's like all her deeds are in the past. In the present, in the world of this book...not so much. First, she sleeps like a log. I mean, another character is able to enter Celaena's room and watch her sleep. Now, my husband was in the military and for years he would jump up at night at the slightest noise. Like his life might depend on being able to respond quickly. And yes, if you're in the "Killing People" business, I would think that having people be able to sneak up on you while you are sleeping would be a Bad Thing. Then in the contest...well, I don't want to throw a spoiler. But her behavior during the contest was odd and not what I would consider very assassin-y.

The world building aspect was probably the best part of this book. It did lift the book up enough that I could overlook my issues with it. Will I read the next book in the series? Yes, I do want to learn what happens next. And the ending- the author left us with something interesting and intriguing at the end. But I'm not going to rush out and buy the next book. I'm not even going to make the next book a priority read. I'll leave it at this...I finished this book almost a month ago and kept putting off this review, because I find that unless I really love or hate a book, it's harder to write a review.

Overall Rating: 3 stars

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Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)


  1. I have a very hard time with 3 star reviews too. I loved this one, but when I read your review I wonder how I could have ignored things. But I guess some things affect some people more strongly then others. I guess I can only be glad that those things didn't bother me. I know you're not the only one saying those things though. :)

    1. Glad to know it's not just me that feels I have to be inspired to write. The words just don't come to me unless I am inspired- which is probably why I read books, not write them! Isn't that one of the great things about reading? That each reader takes away something from a book that's unique. I guess in my case with this book, expectations about the contents made me dislike it. I was expecting a kick butt heroine and I wanted to see her kick butt in the book. I think, too, it was partially the author. That I could see how being sentenced to the salt mines made Celaena damaged. But I don't think the author developed that enough in a way that would have explained all of this. At least to me. Glad to know I'm not the only one who saw this! Still, I've found I've enjoyed a lot of second books in a series even if I wasn't wild about the first book. So, I'm hoping the next book is great.

  2. I really want to read this book but with the amount of mixed reviews I've been holding off buying it. I've always pictured Celaena as a really fiery, kick-butt heroine... but if she doesn't come across that way, I'd be pretty upset! And I agree, an assassin should be able to awake at the slightest sound! :3

    Brilliant review! I also find it difficult to write reviews that I didn't quite love or hate. :/

  3. I've read so many great reviews for this book - but I picked up one of the novellas and couldn't get into it. Have you seen The Assassin's Curse? Now that was a good assassin novel. Out mid-Sept, I think.

  4. Sorry to hear that you don't enjoy this book D: I actually hear of a lot of assassin books these days (Grave Mercy - have you read that one? I don't recall a review on your blog yet, although I've heard better things about other assassin books, The Assassin's Curse, Shadow and Bone - I think you reviewed that earlier) although I haven't read any of them yet. Still, a majority of people have said that they loved every one of them, so I'll still give it a try! Hope you like your next read though!

  5. YES. You are not alone! That was my problem too. I really did not see how Calaena could have gotten the 'best assassin' was like all talk and no show. -.-

    P.S. I wouldn't recommend reading the novellas either, ESPECIALLY the last one. I nearly put off reading ToG because of her attitude.

  6. THANK YOU! I see others have appreciated your candor as well. That annoyed me to NO end throughout the entire book and I wasn't as generous. I gave it 2 stars. It could have been good, but Calaena WASN'T a realistic all!! You can't call someone the most feared assassin and then have them act like a petulant spoiled teenager. Yes, she needs time off, but we need to see that steel core more often than not! Great review!


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