Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight ~ by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury ~ 2012 & 2013
My Rating for both: 4/5 ⭐️s
Genre: YA Fantasy
Since I read both of these books so close together, I thought I would do one review for both books (1 & 2 in the series). Truthfully, I can’t seem to separate the two in my mind anyway. The Throne of Glass series is my daughter’s absolute favorite series and she’s been wanting me to read them before October so that we can read book six together. I have been reading some heavy books lately (The Heart’s Invisible Furies & The Immortalists), so it was really nice to break up some of the heavier subject matter with some fun YA fantasy. So here’s my breakdown:
Throne of Glass (Book 1):
What I liked:
Celeana~ In short, she is just awesome! She’s over the top arrogant, sassy, witty, and she kicks major butt. By the time we meet her, she has enduring many horrific events that have hardened her, but over the course of the novel, we start to see who she really is, behind all that sass. She is a compassionate, and a fiercely loyal friend. She proclaims throughout the novel that she is only doing this competition for her own freedom, but you get the sense that deep down she has the heart of a hero who cares more about others than herself. I loved how imperfectly perfect she was.
What I didn’t like:
The romantic element~ I really liked Dorian, and for the majority of the book so (it seemed) did Celeana. So it was a shock when she claims to be suddenly conflicted about the idea of dating the King’s son when she didn’t have a problem with it for the majority of the novel. This felt a little forced to me. It seemed like Maas changed her mind halfway through and was like “nope, she can’t end up with him, cue new love interest!” I liked Chaol, but he didn’t present the “forbidden love” plotline that might have been interesting.
The writing style~ Book 1 left some things to be desired as far as writing style went. One thing that stands out is repetition. Why does she continually refer to Celaena as “the assassin”? This was driving me crazy. It was not just a few times throughout the book, it was constant. Even at the end of the book when we are well aware of what she does and who she is, Maas states, “As the assassin laughed quietly to herself….” This may seem nitpicky, but it was so distracting. It seemed redundant and like Maas was trying to hit me over the head with the fact that she is the “Worlds Greatest Assassin,” which I got from like page 1! Other facts are constantly repeated and it just became so distracting.
Crown of Midnight (Book 2):
What I liked:
Religion vs. Magic~ Celaena states that the King saw magic as “an affront to the Devine” and this was his reasoning for outlawing all magic 10 years before our story beings. This moment seemed to bring in the element of religion vs. magic. The idea that magic and religion are one in the same and could potentially eclipse the other was really interesting to me. I hope this is explored more in the series.
The Wrydkeys~ I loved the mystery and dangerous legacy that surrounds these ancient objects. This made me think of Horcruxes from HP because of the connection to ancient magic and to a deadly tyrannical leader whose control is tied to these objects. Watching Celaena dig through riddles for more information about these mysterious objects was a really fun element in book 2. I’m excited to see where this plotline goes in the next books.
What I didn’t like:
The romantic element…yes, again: There were so much romantic tension and angst in book 2 that it took away from the overall plot. Dorian seems to be constantly spying on Chaol and Celaena. (He just happens to be standing on the balcony the moment Chaol asks Celaena to dance in the garden?) Then we have Chaol who is constantly denying to himself that anything is going on with him and Celaena, but yet they continue to get caught in these long romantic staring contests together. Then when something does finally happen between Chaol and Celaena, they go from 0-60 in one chapter! (cue whiplash) I’m really rooting for a better romantic plotline in the next books.
Overall take away: The first two books in the series seem to be setting up for an epic journey for Celaena and I can’t wait to read more. I have a feeling that she is going to be turning into even more of a badass. These books are super fun, YA high fantasy that any fan of Game of Throne would love. I kinda think of these books as Game of Thrones lite! The waring High Houses, Clans, the connection to family lineage, and religion vs magic, all seemed reminiscent of Game of Thrones to me (without as much death). I am so glad that I finally took my daughters advice, and I’m looking forward to the next three books. If you have read them or plan to, let me know!! Happy reading ~ XO
To read more about Sarah J. Maas and her books, check her out on Goodreads<<<