So! I’ve actually read Throne of Glass twice now! The first time was paperback, the second was auido. I’ve done up until around the 4th or 5th in the series on audio, and then had a bit of a break, but now I’m starting over.
I read A Court of Thorns and Roses first, and obviously fell in love. It’s actually what sparked my YA fantasy fiction addiction I think. The clear next book to pick up was Maas’ Throne of Glass series. Now, while I do enjoy the series, it has nothing on ACOTAR; it is slightly more gripping than the Red Queen series though….however I’ve only done one and a half of those.
Anyway, back on track. So I audio’d this time, and I think it made me understand the weird magic side of it a bit more. While there’s a lot of typical YA storylines in there (not a bad thing, there’s a reason the genre is so popular!), the magic is different. It’s really hard to understand, but this is mostly down to the fact that we can’t see much as it’s been almost wiped out. I do think they could have done more with the tasks that the champions were set, maybe if there had been less competitors we could have been told more about what they had to do or the competitors themselves. We kind of just have to assume that Celaena is good at what she does, we never get to see it for real because she’s told to keep it under wraps.
In a rare twist for me, I actually DO like the main character! YAY! Celaena is pretty damn badass…when we do get to see her skills, she’s powerful and strong and ballsy. She’s girly and likes pretty things and she’s clever and she likes to read and she’s not afraid to get dirty and she wants to do the right thing and she’s funny and more and more and more! She’s a really well rounded character with lots of levels and layers. She’s not a typical anything. I do think that’s a particular skill of Maas’, because Fayre in ACOTAR is the same.
I also quite like the love interests. Maas does like a good love triangle, but she does it well enough that I care about everyone involved. You feel for all of them, and you understand her point of view and her decisions, and the reasons she doesn’t want to make them. Dorian is, again, quite an atypical fantasy novel prince…he’s not big and strong, he’s pretty average in that sense, he’s also clever and likes to read, and he plays the field. If anything, he’s more like the typical second son. But I really feel for him when Celaena rejects him, because you know she doesn’t want to, but can’t see him for anything other than what his family have done. Chaol is hard to read…I don’t understand really why Celaena is drawn to him, he seems quite uptight and boring, but he’s good and kind so I don’t dislike him.
The only negative in the novel is that I knew Cain was behind the killings. Granted, you’d never work out what exactly he’s doing or about the monsters, but it’s obvious that he’s working some kind of magic because of the not-so-subtle hints at his increased power and physical size.
Again, the whole magic element is pretty confusing and a bit disjointed…but after having read a few more in the series I know that it is explained and makes more sense gradually.
I would recommend the series, but probably only to someone already into the genre. I’d get them to read ACOTAR first!