In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
Description taken from Goodreads
Throne of Glass has some good parts and I genuinely enjoyed this book for a few chapters near the beginning. The worldbuilding is great and I’d love to see how the story advances in this regard. Celaena has a plausible psychology going for her and a balanced, realistic personality, except she's supposed to be an assassin and a bad-ass. Her narcissism annoyed me.
Chaol, Captain of the Royal Guard, is okay, if a little unconvincing at times. Crown Prince Dorian is hardly worth a mention, except for the fact that he's there. Kaltain is two-dimensional but still possesses more substance than the Duke and Cain.
There is no foundation for the relationships that develop between Celaena and the two men, Chaol and Dorian. Chaol and Dorian go to retrieve Celaena from Endovier, bring her to Rifthold and then they slowly start getting friendly because…what? She looks pretty when she’s clean? The conditions in Endovier spark their empathy? It makes no sense at all, although Chaol’s development in this regard is slightly more convincing than Dorian’s since he actually remembers that she’s dangerous.
The plot is so predictable. I suspected Cain was behind the murders from the first and his appearance at the creepy clocktower confirmed it. I felt like the King’s knowledge of Wyrdmarks was supposed to be astonishing, but I saw that coming too. The power in the black rings is as obvious as a neon sign. There are literally no surprises in this book as everything can be taken at face value. This is also true for the story threads leading into the next book.
While well written for the most part, vivid description tends to veer into the purple. Every now and then a peculiar, empty metaphor creeps into the story, such as this:
‘She blinked at the blade, and slowly raised her face to look at him. She found the rolling earthen hills of the north in his eyes. It was a sense of loyalty to his country that went beyond the man seated at the table. Far inside of her, she found a golden chain that bound them together.’
I rolled my eyes so hard I strained a muscle. What is this even supposed to mean?
At the back of the book, it says that Maas wrote the first version of Throne of Glass when she was 16, which explains a lot. I would’ve loved this book when I was 13/14 but as an adult, it bombs. Throne of Glass is one level above the puerile swill of Twilight in that it still works as a guilty pleasure, no brains required read (which is something we all enjoy from time to time). If you want something more substantial that still features romance, magic, and an awesome female assassin then I recommend you read Ghostwalker.