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The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Bloomsbury YA
The cover for Sarah J. Maas’ “Throne of Glass.”

Faeries, Assassins & Romance, Oh My!

Young adult fantasy books and I have always had a rocky relationship. I thought I’d never find a book in the genre I’d be able to stand for over 20 pages. Safe to say, when I first picked up Sarah J. Maas’s YA book “Throne of Glass,” I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it.

“Throne of Glass” is part of a nine-book series following a teenage assassin, Celaena Sardothien. In this particular book, readers join the prickly warrior on a journey to become the King of Adarlan’s personal champion in exchange for her being freed from the worst prison on the planet. Of course, because it’s romance, there’s a love triangle including the mildly infuriating Prince Dorian and the angsty Captain of the Royal Guard, Chaol.

At a first glance, “Throne of Glass” seems like the “Hunger Games” meets “Shadow and Bone.” Initially it did have the same vibe as every YA fantasy or dystopian book from the 2010’s, complete with the young, pretty, and orphaned strong female protagonist. Yet, there was something inexplicable about why the book seemed to catch my eye. In the end, I bought it from Barnes & Noble impulsively and got so sucked in that I read all 432 pages in Driver’s Ed downtime over the next week.

Sarah J. Maas is the writer of a few different series such as the romance series “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” and her newer entry dubbed the “Crescent City series.” Maas’s books have been acclaimed by the New York Times and millions of copies have been sold across almost forty languages, and for good reason.

Her writing in “Throne of Glass” is likely the biggest reason I actually kept reading, and I am so glad I did. It wasn’t the usual droning on and information dump some writers call worldbuilding in the first chapters. The book immediately introduces Celaena and jumps into the plot, something I, a person with a short attention span, greatly appreciated.

As the book continues, the concept of magic and murder mystery is introduced, thereby setting up the crazy, tear-inducing voyage that continues in the other books. Maas keeps the reader in suspense for most of “Throne of Glass.” I was completely on edge trying to deduce just exactly who was picking off Celaena’s competitors or why faerie magic was suddenly afoot. Maas’s descriptions are artfully vague, giving the reader just enough clues to form a theory, but keep you on edge waiting for an answer.

I will admit that Celaena is not my favorite book protagonist. But I often found her relatable and someone I could root for. Other times I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her vigorously. Despite her circumstances, Celaena still seemed like an average teenage girl with teenage girl worries (aside from the whole-assassin-in-a-palace thing.)

Then there’s the huge romantic subplot in “Throne of Glass.” Prince Dorian is compassionate and friendly. He’s rarely afraid to say what he thinks and shows explicit care for Celaena. Royal Guard Chaol is the other love interest: tall, brooding, and also tasked with managing Celaena’s safety within the kingdom. But don’t worry: If neither of these potential suitors have you head over heels, Celaena has a few more future romance options in the next eight books.

“Throne of Glass” is for sure a book, or series if you’re that committed, worth looking into. For people who–like me–find 90% of fantasy romance books unbearable, “Throne of Glass” is a good place to dip your feet in the water. I’d give the book a 9/10 overall rating for everything I love about it, especially the murder mystery and magic-focused parts.

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    BJJan 24, 2024 at 6:21 PM

    Yes throne of glass is so far a superb series.I would also recommend The Falling Kingdom series it is a super series in the prologue it has two witches that are sisters and they kidnap a baby according to the myth in the story the baby they kidnap has magical powers and in the kingdom all magic is banned anyway the one sister turns to the other and kills her .