Recently, I finished reading Throne of Glass, a 404-page fantasy novel by Sarah J. Maas who also is is the author of the New York Times and USA Today. Throne of Glass the first book in the Throne of Glass series was published in 2012 and has become an international bestseller, translated into 23 languages. Maas wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just 16! The book had constantly been the topic of conversation between my friends (as its popularity is wildly spreading throughout my school), and seeing that I was missing out, I expressed an interest in it. To be honest I wasn’t so sure what to expect at first, I suspected some sort of a medieval aspect, maybe a bit Game of Thrones, which made me shy away from it for a while, seeing that I had spent my whole summer reading Eragon (another medieval-type series). But through some conversations over a PB&J sandwich or whatever else we had stuffed in our lunchboxes, I found myself practically begging for a copy. I’ve always been a sucker for magic and monsters, and I had been promised both of those throughout the book series. Not to mention, a kickbutt female lead. And so through a friend a gained access to her personal collection of the novels.
In the novel, captured assassin, Celaena Sardothien is given a second chance from the hellish Endovier, the slave camp she has called “home” for a year. If she can win the competition that the King is holding, she can become his Champion and at the end of her 4 year term she is free to live as she pleases. But it won’t be easy for Adarland’s greatest assassin, she’s out of shape, not to mention the competitors tower over 18-year old Celaena, especially Cain. She perils through the countless trials set before her, wooing the Captain of the Guard and the Crown Prince in the process. If that wasn’t enough trouble, something is killing off competitors in the night, Celaena finds herself faced with one more massive task; save the world.
I noticed how the author combined popular book trends (love triangles, insanely absurd competitions, etc.) with her writing, but set them in a medieval setting instead of the futuristic cities we usually expect when dealing with those topics. The structure of this book was incredible, with twists and turns around every corner. It had you falling for every couple, only to hate them minutes later, and then fall for them again. You suspected everyone, but trusted everyone too. This book reminded me of The Hunger Games to a small extent. They had a similar general idea, a girl in love with two different boys gets tossed into an intense competition in a kill or be killed situation. But that was about where the similarities end, The Hunger Games is set in the far future in a dystopian society, meanwhile Throne of Glass is set in an alternate world in medieval times. Throne of Glass dabbles with magic and mythical creatures, unexplainable unlike the scientific hybrids and mutations of The Hunger Games.
This passage was one of my favorites, as it led to one of the many great mysteries in this novel,
“A Wyrdmark,” the princess replied, giving it a name in Celaena’s own language.
Celaena’s brows rose. It was just a triangle inside of a circle. “Can you read these marks?” she asked. A Wyrdmark… how strange!
“No,” Nehemia said quickly. “They’re part of an ancient religion that died long ago.”
“What religion?” Celaena asked. “Look, there’s another.” She pointed at another mark a few feet away. It was a vertical line with an inverted peak stretching upward from its middle.
“You should leave it alone,” Nehemia said sharply, and Celaena blinked. “Such things were forgotten for a reason.” (pg. 169)
What I love about this passage is that it sets up suspense and uses nonsense terms. The word “Wyrd” is constantly used throughout the book in place of “Oh my god!” or to refer to these strange markings, which makes you wonder what does “Wyrd” truly mean? Does it to refer to some higher being or just an odd object? While I don’t know yet, I hope to find out in the next book of the series. And with that I rate Throne of Glass a 9/10 and a must read for all.