mercoledì 18 novembre 2020

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass 
(Throne of Glass #1)

AuthorSarah J. Maas
Published: 2nd August 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children
Number of pages: 406
Format: eBook
Source: Bought

From Goodreads

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 four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. 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

Once again, I started this book because of all the hype it had had for years! I was excited to finally start a series that was praised as beautiful and exciting and once again, I was disappointed. I've read everywhere that lot of people struggled with this first book so I'm not letting myself be discouraged with this first impression, but still.. I felt like a needed to take a huge weight out of my chest!

First and foremost, Celaena. How did you stand her? She was absolutely annoying to me and a heroine that feels annoying to the reader is a huge problem to solve. Why did I find her annoying? Simple! First, she is presented as the most skilled assassin of the country altough we never have an actual proof of her ever being threatening. She talks like a teen, she behaves like a teen, she seems self-absorbed and vain and only thinks about all the beautiful dresses she can wear at the castle and all the magnificent dances in which she might partecipate. The only demonstration of strenght we receive from her is during the duel but it came too late for me and didn't make sense with the image I've created of her for 3/4 of the book. More importantly, while there was certainly a story behind her hate for the king, a story that I bet will be elaborated further ahead in the books, I found it ridiculous that a feared assassin like her didn't even try to escape court when she had a chance: on the contrary she stays, and she submits even more, giving me the impression of being satisfied with being the king's toy, as long as she kept receiving all he materials benefits she received.

All this said, it won't come as a surprise that I didn't really like the love-triangle thing either. How could both Dorian and Caol fall head over feet for someone so dull? They didn't even get a chance to know her, actually, because the love-triangle cliches basically starts as soon as they lay eyes on her. The lack of a good character-building affected not only Celaena for me, but Chaol and Dorian too. We know nothing about them, except for the fact that Dorian seems just as silly as Celaena, while Chaol preserves some mystery - and the hope to be a little more interesting than them!
The only character that mildly stuck with me a little, was Nehemia: certainly more fascinating, certainly more imposive, and certainly a much more charming woman. If I think that Celaena and Nehemia were probably the same age but acted like the first was the second's child, it's a no-no for me!

Characters aside, I wasn't much hooked from the plot either. It was really slow and lacked of action, the only thing happening having been introduced  from the very first pages: the duel. I would have expected many more twists and a different approach to the "fantasy" component of the book, that for now, hasn't impressed me at all.

This being a perfect example of "the higher the expectations, the harsher the review", I am firm on my might-be-criticized decision to give this book 2 stars. Sarah J. Maas, I hope you'll make me change my mind with Crown Of Midnight - which I have already bought by the way!

Rated 2.3 (?)

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