Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone Wrap-Up (#1): Throne of Glass

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This feature is all about trying out new genres of books that I wouldn’t necessarily be motivated to read on my own. Each Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone post will be focused on a specific genre — I’ll be sharing my past experiences with it and asking for advice in choosing new books to read.

Anchor Separator Back in March, I debuted a new feature: Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone. The first genre I decided to explore was fantasy. I asked you guys to vote on which book I should read…and the majority chose Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas! I was really happy that that was the winner, because it was the one I was secretly hoping you guys would pick 🙂 So I added Throne of Glass to my April TBR and then I read it! Here’s my thoughts:   13519397

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass #1

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Publication Date: 8-7-12

Pages: 404

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Bought

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

My Review

I definitely consider myself to be a fantasy “beginner,” so I was interested to see how I would like this book, especially in comparison to the Grisha trilogy and A Song of Ice and Fire series, the only other two fantasy books/series that I’ve experienced.

I have to say that I didn’t end up liking this as much as I thought I would. It started out great, but over time my enjoyment of it went slightly downhill. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it as much as either Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) or A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1), and that was kind of disappointing.

What I did really like about this book was the badass heroine, Celaena. She is absolutely fantastic, and I totally want to be best friends with her. She was funny, sarcastic, smart, strong, and a great role model. I liked how, even though she is not necessarily a “good” person, we learn that there is so much more about her than just what she does for a living. She has a great personality and, deep down, truly has a heart of gold.

I also really liked the storyline of the book. The competition that she has to compete in in order to become the King’s Champion was really interesting and I thought it was a great idea for a book. I’m so curious about and loving how this series has elements of the Cinderella story in it, too, which apparently was one of the biggest influences behind Maas deciding to write Celaena’s story. I also enjoyed the creepy and fantasy aspects of this book. There was some magical elements and some mystery and intrigue in Throne of Glass that were very cool and gave it an awesome, almost Gothic atmosphere.

What I didn’t like about the book was mainly that I felt like the romance was way too involved in the story. There was a lot of time spent on the love triangle in Throne of Glass, and while Celaena and Chaol, or Celaena and Dorian, were having scenes together, I kept wishing that instead they could be at a competition or working on the mystery. 

I enjoyed the badassness of Calaena so much, but I felt like that part of the story was really downplayed in favor of putting extra emphasis on the romance. I found myself not truly caring which guy she wanted to be with, but I did care that we didn’t even get to experience most of the competitions she was in! There were tons of times where she was just like: “And then we had a competition!” and it wasn’t even explained what the competition was or who won or who lost…and then she’d go play pool with Dorian and I was just like: SIGH. There was even a personality-less mean girl who wanted to steal Dorian’s heart. 

I also wasn’t cool with how the mystery ended up playing out. The result was just so obvious and boring. But the other parts of the ending of the book were really well done — like the final competition — so it was easy to kind of ignore, which was good.

I have a good feeling about Crown of Midnight, though. I think it’s going to be an improvement on the aspects I didn’t really appreciate about Throne of Glass — the way that the book ended gave me hope that there will be less of a focus on the romantic relationships in the future and hopefully more on the badass and creepy stuff instead. Even though this book wasn’t my favorite, I still enjoyed reading it and really want to continue on with the series.

My Rating

3.5 anchors

I thought it was interesting that I was a little nervous about reading a fantasy novel, but it was actually the other elements of the book that I didn’t enjoy. I wanted more fantasy!

What are your thoughts on Throne of Glass? Do you agree or disagree with my review?

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6 responses to “Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone Wrap-Up (#1): Throne of Glass

  1. I’ve always felt the odd one out for not loving Throne of Glass as much as everyone else seems to. I enjoyed it, but it’s not my favorite fantasy by far. I know the author reworked a story she had on a fiction website when she was young (a teenager, I think), and I honestly think there are traces of that left–elements that a teen would work into a story because they’re fun and sort of a personal fantasy, but elements that don’t necessarily belong in a published book.

    I also thought the marketing was a bit misleading, which led to some of my disappointment. This isn’t an assassin book in the same way as, say, grave mercy. Celaena is actually pretty frivolous, to start, which takes some of her edge off, and she doesn’t actually, well, assassinate anyone here. She’s in a kick-ass competition, but that’s different. I don’t know if you can call a book about someone who used to be an assassin an “assassin book.”

    The original cover conveyed the tone much more accurately, and I think this new one further misleads. I know it helped attract a whole new range of readers, particularly guys, but I personally think Calaena is a bit silly and obsessed with baubles and dresses. Not necessarily a bad thing, but this cover definitely does not imply to readers that that is the case with her personality.

    Also, I think the cover implies a bit more “ice kingdom” than is probably intended, since there is none, but that’s neither here nor there. 😉

    • Yeah I agree with you. It’s definitely a little bit misleading. Have you read the other books in the series, though? I’ve had a bunch of people tell me that they get a little bit better, and focus more on the assassin aspects of Celaena’s character.

      • I haven’t. I got the second one from the library but wasn’t inspired to read it at the time and ended up just bringing it back. I might try again sometime though!

  2. Soooo you already know how I feel about this series 😀 But I can assure you that Crown of Midnight focuses so much more on the badass aspect of Celaena and her personal vendettas. And The Assassin’s Blade (all the novellas) are even MORE focused on the assassin part of Celaena. So Throne of Glass was a good start, but it’s the later books that I think you’ll really enjoy 😉

  3. Oh yay, I remember reading about this and voting for Throne of Glass! It was quite possibly my favourite (or at least one of my favourites) of 2013.

    I’m sad that you didn’t love it as much as I did, but I’m glad that you enjoyed it at least, and want to continue on! 🙂 Crown of Midnight is less romancey I think. Or at least that’s how it felt to me.

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