Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is a seven book (eight, counting the prequels) series which follows Celaena Sardothein, a deadly assassin recruited to be the king’s champion. However, as Celaena competes in the king’s competition, she learns that darker forces may threaten the land.
While I try to provide a basic summary of a series, it is hard to encompass the entire plot of the Throne of Glass series in a few sentences. The first book only scratches the surface of all of the plots and characters who appear over the lengthy series. Although the Throne of Glass series is long, it is an incredibly worthwhile series to fantasy fans and fans of Sarah J. Maas.
In recent years, A Court of Thorns and Roses and Crescent City have been popularized over BookTok. However, Throne of Glass is the first series by this author. Many new readers to Sarah J. Maas may be put off by Throne of Glass, as it is still classified as a “young adult” series. Additionally, while Throne of Glass does contain romance, there is definitely a larger focus on the fantasy elements.
That being said, I think any fan of Maas, or those who haven’t picked up a book by this author, would enjoy this series as it contains many of the trademarks of her writing. Like with the other series by Maas, Throne of Glass includes an interesting, and likable group of characters with an exciting plot which constantly builds upon itself. Additionally, it has been confirmed that all of the series by Maas and interconnected, so reading Throne of Glass may be important when reading future works by this author.
Now onto the review:
Initially, I had some reservations about continuing the Throne of Glass series. I read the first book, and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t necessarily motivated to continue the series. When I first read Throne of Glass (back in 2018!), I struggled with the world building of the series and understanding different elements of the fantasy story. In all of the series by this author, there is significant worldbuilding done within the first chunk, which can be overwhelming. However, as I continued reading, I found it easier to understand the world. Throughout the Throne of Glass series as a whole, there are many different places, people, points of view and fantastical elements introduced. Additionally, there is a prequel to Throne of Glass which is extremely essential to understanding the last few novels in the series. Throne of Glass is definitely a commitment, but I’m glad I ultimately continued the series, reading the rest of the books this year.
One aspect of the book that I think readers will really enjoy are the characters and their arcs. Celaena’s arc can be summarized in one word: epic. I’ve heard many people compare Celaena’s character to the Midnights album by Taylor Swift and I completely agree. She is the anti-hero that readers will find themselves rooting for throughout the entire series. Some of the side characters also have interesting stories and arcs. Manon and Dorian are two of my favorite side characters who show a lot of growth and interesting change throughout the series.
That being said, some readers may be put off by the multiple points of view present in the book. While the first book is told through Celaena’s point of view, the later books are told from many points of views. One on hand, it pushed me to keep reading. Often, a character’s chapter will end on a cliffhanger, so I would want to keep reading to see how their plot played out. Then, in the next chapter with a different character, I would feel the same way about that character. This also helps keep some of Celeana’s plans a secret from the reader, which can make some of her actions interesting and surprising. At the same time, as the series goes on, there is less and less from Celeana’s point of view, which may frustrate from some readers who would rather focus on the main character. Additionally, there is one book in the series, A Tower of Dawn, which lacks any Celeana, but contains important information which shows up in the final book in the series.
Another aspect of this book that some readers may like and other readers may not like are some of the tropes present which were more popular around the book’s release. The beginning of this series does begin with a love triangle, which was a trademark of YA fantasy at the time. That being said, I think the love triangle in this book was slightly more interesting than other fantasy books to me since we do get to see the two initial love interests fleshed out throughout the series. That being said, people who have read books by Sarah J. Maas probably won’t be surprised that the main character has multiple love interests throughout the series.
The final aspect of this book which may polarize some new readers or old fans of this author is the focus of this series. Throne of Glass is the most YA series by Maas. While the later books do have more romantic scenes, it is not nearly explicit as her other series. Also, romance does exist in the Throne of Glass universe, but it isn’t the primary focus of the series. That being said, there is so much going on plot-wise in this series concerning the fantasy aspects that readers won’t be bored by the plot. However, if you are looking for romance elements similar to A Court of Thorns and Roses, you will not find that level within the Throne of Glass series.
The Throne of Glass series was a series that I thought long about after reading. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up a little too late to read the next chapter. While there are some books that move a little slower than others, I did enjoy every book in this series. I give this series give out of five stars.