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.
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:
Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Publication Date: 8-7-12
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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?
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.
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?