Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Book Review: Throne of Glass

'Throne of Glass' by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 5 stars

Where do I begin?

This book takes place in the fantasy setting of my dreams - an element of our historical society intertwined with forests and magic - a pleasant contrast to the current obsession with urban and dystopian novels.

Unfortunately the setting did not get the amount of attention I was hoping for, pulling more focus towards the action and characters, but for over 400 pages, not once did I want to skip a paragraph because of long winding, detailed descriptions of each and every element of the castle.

No - what really stands out in this book is the protagonist. Imagine The Mortal Instruments' Isabelle Lightwood with a dash more development and personality (if it's possible), and you have Celaena Sardothien. You will not find a female protagonist like this often. The world's greatest assassin feared by everyone who could kill you just with a glance, who can be fierce and rock a ball gown if she wishes. Yes - Celaena isn't your typical girly girl, nor is she cold, calculated and heartless. She isn't forced to fit into a particular personality package, and romance doesn't save her - she saves herself.

And she is not the only three dimensional female character, for Celaena befriends princess Nehemia, whose goal is to protect her people from the King's tyranny.

Of course the book would contain romance. A love triangle, at that. But the friendship between Nehemia and Celaena is of the truest kind, and this is the relationship that Throne of Glass should be remembered for. 

Along with the Queen and the ladies of the court, all of whom have the capacity for complexity and hidden motives, this book is led by the women. If anything, it's the male characters that are underdeveloped. This book isn't about what they want, it's about what the women want and the means they will take to achieve it. The men are the supporting act. The women make the choices, and they are respected for them.

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