Throne of Glass is one of those books that has had a massive amount of hype. People fell in love with it last year, and if you look around the book blogosphere now, tons of bloggers are raving about its sequel, Crown of Midnight. Because they all have ARCs. Bitches. So I'm late to this party and MAN I feel bad because why did I put this off for so long? This book is just as epic as everyone makes it out to be. It's one of my favorite series now.
This book started off with a bang. None of the slow, massive worldbuilding info dump starts that are typical to high fantasy books. No. We are greeted with an awesome main character. Celaena made me fall in love with her within the first 10 pages. She's highly intelligent, skeptical, snarky, and just all around awesome. She's pulled out of the slave mines according to the deal presented in the book's synopsis, and off she goes on her adventure. I was immediately captivated, wanting to know more about her past, her talent as an assassin, and the world of Erilea. (And, of course, about Chaol.) I loved getting to know Celaena throughout this book, and there was such character depth to her that I just kept growing to love her even more. Especially her bookworm tendencies and her fighting skills continuously impressed me. Awesome.
The story itself is fantastic. I loved every little bit of it, and putting the book down was painful. Celaena takes part of this competition to be the King's Champion, which entails training, battles, and human psychology, in a way. Add to this a side of mystery and intrigue, as there is a series of brutal murders in the castle. Fantasy elements galore, which I won't really go into to avoid spoiling you. And then... the romance.
This freaking romance. It's not a big part of the story, because there's so many other sides to the plot, but I seriously enjoyed it. Let me put it out there: this has a love triangle. I know, you're groaning, and usually I'd be with you because, ugh, love triangles, seriously. But... no. Even this, Sarah J. Maas masters. I can't help it. I have feelings for both guys. I started out only being for Chaol, but then Dorian grew on me. I think I'm still more on the Chaol side of things, but I am pretty torn. And that's what it takes to make a good love triangle: it's not an easy or clear cut choice. I found myself in Celaena's shoes and I didn't know any better either. The romantic-esque scenes with both guys just killed me.
What I love so much about both guys is mostly the character depth they were given as well. I love Sarah J. Maas's characterizations. She just gets me. Instead of Dorian being the handsome prince, with no other dimension to his personality, you slowly really get to know him as well: what his principles are and how he struggles with his father. And then Chaol... Chaol has a hard shell but has those rare moments when he allows Celaena to get a glimpse of who he really is... He is one very intriguing man and I cannot wait to learn more about him.
The writing style was fluid and captivating, which made this an even more compelling read that was hard to put down. The tests and battles toward the end of the book are absolutely action packed, and I may have snuck in some reading at work because I couldn't help myself. I was addicted. And after it was all over, I had difficulty picking up the next book to read, since I still have to wait for Crown of Midnight. All signs point to this being a must read.
I've thought long and hard about whether there's any kind of flaw I can point out and considered the light comparison to The Hunger Games (but there were enough differences) or the pretty predictable plot twists (I loved the execution anyway), but... they never really bothered me while reading. So you know what?
The bloggers raving about this series are not wrong. Throne of Glass is epic. Sarah J. Maas's beautiful writing created an awesome world with brilliant characters, all of which had tons of depth. The story packed a punch with thrilling action and fight scenes. Add a side of political intrigue and addictive romance (in spite of its love triangle nature), and yeah, we can call this a Debby Book™. Minus half an orange just because I would have liked to have had my mind blown with plot twists a bit more.
Everyone. Just. Yeah.