The Throne of Glass Series, Books 1 – 4, by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows
[Image courtesy of bookdepository.com]
There are series which hook readers with the first book and disappoint with the subsequent ones. And then there are those that don’t impress with the first book but get better with each new one and leave readers glad that they had stayed. The Throne of Glass series probably belongs to the latter category, barring how Sarah J. Maas intends to end the series eventually.
I read about the plans for this fantasy series to be adapted into a TV series and decided to give it a try, despite the fact that I’m not a big fan of young adult fantasy books, and especially with so many of them describing dystopian worlds that make reading them a dread. (I guess you can say that Brandon Sanderson has changed young adult fantasy for me.)
I wasn’t impressed by the first book. The characters were shallow, some of the logic didn’t make sense, and the language was flippant at times. I didn’t even understand how Chaol, the Captain of the Royal Guard, had never killed anyone before (and was thus emotionally affected when he killed someone in order to save the protagonist, Celaena). What made me continue with the second book was the mystery surrounding Celaena’s heritage, the disappearance of magic, and the evil King’s secret plans.
I’m glad I decided to continue with the series though, because the characters and plot seem to grow and mature with each book. By the time I was done with the third book, I had almost forgotten that this was meant to be a young adult series. Almost. Because Maas does a pretty good job of reminding me with her choice of words in her characters’ dialogue and thoughts at times. (Try counting the number of times “shit” appears in the bad situations her characters land themselves in.)
The main grouse I have is that I realized the series didn’t end with the fourth book until I was already more than halfway through the third. I had wanted to write this review after I had finished the entire series. The fifth book is out, but the sixth will take a while to come. I can only hope Maas will not keep readers waiting like what Patrick Rothfuss and George R. R. Martin have done. I don’t think she will, but I thought I’d better do this review first.
VERDICT: Don’t start the series if you’re someone who likes to have his/her fantasy series complete and ready for you to devour at break-neck speed. Otherwise, this might just grow on you. Oh, and if you’re a female who likes fantasies about female heroes who make many handsome and powerful males fall for them at the same time (or in the same story), you’ll love this too.
[I’ve not included the synopsis in this post because I’ve not been able to find one (sometimes also known as the BWC’s lazy excuse) that summarizes the first four books, but if you need one, please ask Google or check out the author’s website http://sarahjmaas.com/.]