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For this week’s post I’m bringing you a review of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, the first book in the Throne of Glass series. As you may know if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, I absolutely adore the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by this author. I just recently reread the first 4 books with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses to move onto the last one, A Court of Silver Flames, and I also decided that now was as good time as any to start her other series as well. I actually read Throne of Glass quite a few years ago and I just did not get the hype and I wasn’t invested, so I never continued the series. But I wanted to give it another fair shot and I’m so glad I did because this time around, my experience was so different.

Keep on reading to find out my thoughts on Throne of Glass, the first book in this super exciting 7-book epic fantasy series!

Title: Throne of Glass (#1 Throne of Glass)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Published: First published on 7th of August 2012 / this edition was published on the 14th of February 2023 — Bloomsbury Publishing

Format: Paperback — 406 pages


In a land without magic, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She has no love for the vicious king who rules from his throne of glass, but she has not come to kill him. She has come to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three murderers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she will be 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. And a princess from a faraway country will befriend her. But something rotten dwells in the castle ¬ and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying mysteriously, 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.


Trigger warnings: violence, death/murder, dead and dismembered bodies, gore, blood, nonconsensual drugging, drug abuse, slavery and violent combat scenes. 

“I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.”

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is the first book in the YA fantasy series of the same name, that follows Celaena Sardothien, the most notorious assassin of the Kingdom of Erilea, as she is forced into a fight for her life and for her freedom. I first read this book in 2019 after all the hype surrounding it and after having read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series for the first time, and my first experience of this series was disappointing to say the least. The first time around I think my expectations were way too high, especially after having fallen head-over-heels in love with the world and characters of ACOTAR, because TOG is very, very different in my opinion. But I recently decided I wanted to read all the Sarah J. Maas books and I’m so glad I did because my reread of Throne of Glass was so much better!

My first impression of Celaena Sardothien, the main character, was a much better one than of Feyre Archeron in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I immediately liked Celaena a lot and found her to be a lot less naive and annoying than Feyre. Celaena is a really determined and “no shit” kind of character, who won’t take no for an answer and will literally fight to the death to gain her freedom. When we first meet her, she is being pulled out of Endovier, a death camp where she was sent a year before the book’s events after she was caught as the most notorious assassin of the kingdom. The Crown Prince of Erilea wants her as his Champion to fight in a competition alongside more than 20 other assassins, soldiers, thieves and criminals in order to become the King’s Champion and be his lackey. If she wins the competition, she has a chance at freedom after her contract as the King’s Champion comes to an end. Celaena chucks herself fully into the competition as she will stop at nothing to become the King’s Champion and gain her freedom, but as some strange events and murders within the Champions’ numbers occur more and more frequently, Celaena starts to wonder if there isn’t some greater evil lurking in the castle. Needless to say, the premise of this book sounded absolutely amazing and I can’t believe I didn’t enjoy it more the first time. I think this is the kind of book you have to read at a certain point in your life, and unfortunately, the first time I read it, I don’t think I was ready!

In terms of world-building, I noted right at the start of my reread that it was a bit complicated to get into, but now I’ve finished this book I don’t think it’s anywhere near as complicated as the world-building in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I feel like this series has a lot of kingdoms and cultures and peoples’ compared to ACOTAR, but there doesn’t seem to be as much folklore or myth, although my opinions could change as I move forward with the series! I did really enjoy the world-building in this first book and felt that it didn’t weigh the plot down at all. I am really intrigued about the magic though, because on starting the book, it seemed that magic had been completely outlawed and had disappeared from the Kingdom of Erilea, but as I read on, I realised that magic existed everywhere, so I’m really, really intrigued to read more about this in the next books! And unlike ACOTAR which has mainly fae and High fae as characters, TOG only has mention of fae heritage going back to the first kings and queens of Adarlan, but I’m thinking we will see more of various creatures and magical entities in the subsequent books.

When I started this book, I was worried that there would be lots and lots of characters and that I would be completely lost, but I quickly got the gist of things and there are actually only 4 main characters and a few other important ones to remember in this first book. Celaena is of course the main character, but alongside her, I would also say that Dorian Havilliard (the Crown Pince of Erilea), Chaol Westfall (the Captain of the King’s Guard) and Nehemia Ytger (the Princess of Eyllwe, another kingdom in Erilea) are very important characters. One thing I really came to enjoy along the way was the friendships and maybe more… between Celaena, Dorian and Chaol. This book doesn’t really have much romance, I would say only a touch, but I definitely feel like in subsequent books there will be a love triangle between Celaena and the two male main characters, and I’m all for it! Nehemia was also a really interesting character from a different kingdom so brought her own culture and traditions to the story, which I really enjoyed reading about. As the story went on, I enjoyed Celaena’s character more and more: she is an avid reader and an accomplished musician, alongside her qualities as a master assassin. I’m sure there is still so much more to learn about her, especially about her past, and I’m really looking forward to that in Crown of Midnight!

As I mentioned previously, Erilea seems made up on various kingdoms that have been conquered by the King of Adarlan overtime, so there are lots of different peoples, customs, languages and traditions on the continent. I’m hoping to learn more about these different traditions and cultures as the series goes on. But as one can guess, there is also a quite large political element to this story, that wasn’t touched on much in this book, but which seems to be a major part of the next books in the series. There is also a lot of court intrigue in TOG, which adds a lot of depth to the story and gives the reader multiple insights into the political unrest and secrets being slowly revealed.

While it might have taken me a bit longer than usual to read this book because of fatigue and just general adulting, I really enjoyed it, and so much more than the first time I read it. There were lots of action-packed and fast-paced moments and I never felt it dragging or being lacking in any way. It was never “too much” in terms or world-building or info-dumping either, which I really appreciate in starting a new series, as sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. I also really enjoyed watching Celaena compete in the various trials, read about her training with Chaol every day, spending time with Nehemia and other characters and just generally getting a glimpse into everyday court life. I especially appreciated her many trips to the King’s library and all of the books she read, Celaena is such a bookworm! Towards the end, I did start to be a bit suspicious of a few characters who actually turned out to be behind the murders that had been occurring, but my guesses in no way stopped me from enjoying the story and watching it unfold.


Overall, I’m so glad I decided to start over with this series and give it a second chance. I went in with little to no expectations and I can definitely say that I enjoyed my time reading it so much more than the first time. I know a lot of people have said that the first book can be a bit slow and underwhelming and that the real magic is in the coming books, so I’m looking forward to continuing the series and seeing if the hype is truly worth it!

This was a really great action-packed, well-paced and interesting YA fantasy that flowed really well and retained my interest throughout. I really appreciated the short chapters in this first instalment as Sarah J. Maas does usually have long chapters and that’s something that really bothers me at times. I also enjoyed reading about the political unrest and secrets between courts, the various cultures that we start to learn about, and discovering more about magic and the history of the kingdom.

I felt that the writing flowed well and the 3rd person narration with POVs from Celaena, Chaol, Dorian and a few others was well-handled and never felt clumsy or difficult to follow. I liked learning more about each character as the story slowly unfurled and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Celaena’s past and her Terrassen origins. She is definitely one of those characters I immediately fell in love with, and I have to say that I enjoyed reading the various main characters’ interactions from start to finish.

I gave Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas 4 stars, and I’m really looking forward to continuing the series as now I’m fully ready for this world and I’m very invested in it and its characters!

If you enjoy YA fantasy series with assassins, games and trials, combat scenes, an action-packed and well-flowing writing style as well as a touch of romance, a possible love triangle and really intriguing characters, then this book is for you! I highly recommend it! 

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”


Atmosphere – 5.5

Start – 6

Pacing – 7

Ending – 7

Characters – 6

Theme – 6.5

Style – 6.5

Total = 44.5

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reding my review for Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. If you’ve read this book too, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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