Happy New Year deerlings!
I’m coming at you this beautiful start to 2019 with a full review of the amazing Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I have finished this 8 book series as of December 25, 2018 and I am officially a victim of Maas destruction. I have read all of her books and I am only missing 2 from my collection of e-books. This review is spoiler-free! So this review is already going to be a little long so without further ado, let’s jump in!
Character – 8.75/10
Like many fantasy series, ToG has a relatively large cast of characters even though for the most part of the series there are only 1-3 PoVs per book. SJM does a really good job of showing us the inner and outer growth of the PoV characters, but in the case of Dorian I feel as though he was shafted a bit at the end. His story still feels incomplete to me which makes me curious if there will one day be a post-ToG novel featuring him. Celaena’s character arc from Assassin’s Blade all of the way to Kingdom of Ash is so incredibly rewarding, and I related to her so much in the later books that every. single. time her inner feelings and conflicts were exposed I felt like I was looking in a mirror. Along with Dorian, my least favorite character arc was Chaol’s. I just feel like his journey in Tower of Dawn was solved too easily and too quickly and it felt lackluster to me, especially as it was being told parallel to Yrene and Nesryn’s stories.
Atmosphere – 9/10
I AM SO FREAKING JEALOUS of SJM’s ability to create these amazing locations and make me feel all of the emotions the characters are dealing with. I want to visit every single location ever described in this series. I would even go trekking across the desert to the Silent Assassins if I could (I hate the heat so this is saying something). The only place I wouldn’t want to go is probably Chaol’s family home. I would rather go to the Fenrian Gap before I went to the Westfall family seat. But even that, she described it so well that I hated it almost as much as the characters when they visit. The emotions and sense of stress/urgency/loss in these books is also incredibly well done and you really feel a part of all of the action. Sorry guys, I can’t give an example to this without spoiling major events! So just read it and you’ll understand.
Writing Style – 9.75/10
Once you’ve heard me gush about books enough, you’ll know that I am enthralled by descriptive writing styles that avoid the 50+ pages about trees problem. Sarah J Maas does this perfectly in all of her series, but it is especially well done in this one. Her writing style is beautiful, descriptive, and fast-paced. I read all 992 pages of Kingdom of Ash in less than 48 hours after spending almost 2 weeks on Tower of Dawn.
And as spring at last crept over the Staghorns, the world became green and gold and blue, the stained stones of the castle cleaned and gleaming above it all. (KoA pg. 979)
Her style lends itself very well to the atmospheric quality of her books as well as the pacing of her novels, as described below.
Plot & Progression – 8.75/10
The overarching plot line of the series is so damn good. I honestly do not know how SJM pulled all of this together. Word of advice if you’re going into this series after reading this, ASSUME EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT. I literally felt Aedion’s pain 99.9% of the time because I had no idea what was going on in the best possible way. The reason this book falls below a 9 is due to Tower of Dawn. I understand that this book is a parallel storyline to Heir of Fire (I didn’t know this going in so I was REALLY salty that I didn’t get to just jump right into what happens after that ending) but I feel like it could have been written as a novella bind up with Chaol’s story as one novella and Nesryn’s adventure as another. Up until the end of ToD, I really wasn’t impressed by Chaol’s journey but Nesryn’s chapters kept me going and I wish either I could have had them all together or the whole book just be about her. There is important information that gets revealed during this book so definitely read it, but I felt like it could have been done differently to help with the pacing. There are a number of sexy scenes in the later novels that I wasn’t always convinced were really necessary to the story but were great fanservice regardless. Other than those two things, I thought the plot and progression were really well done over so many books.
Intrigue – 10/10
I have said many a time that as soon as I was hooked into this series I basically became a slave to it. It STILL consumes my thoughts. Everything kept my attention. Even years ago when I first read Throne of Glass and hated Celaena so much I refused to continue on with the series, the writing style and the premise held my curiosity over 5 or 6 years. I didn’t enjoy most of Tower of Dawn, but I still kept reading because I trusted there to be important information and I was intrigued enough in what happens to Celaena and all of the other side characters to power through so I could get back to my babies. Again, I was so intrigued by everything about this series that I read the last book in less than 48 hours. Just read it.
Logic – 7.5/10
This is a high fantasy series, so obviously, there are going to be a billion elements that just don’t make sense in our real world. But, within the world of Throne of Glass, everything makes sense. There is almost always a reason for every single scene (even if that reason is pure fanservice). I only give this section a 7.5 because while everything makes sense within the parameters of the world and there aren’t really any loose threads at the end, there are a number of things that I feel should have been expanded on instead of getting resolved as quickly as they did. Again, it’s really hard to explain my feelings about this without spoiling anything, I’m sorry!
Enjoyment – 10/10
Never, ever, in my 24.8 years of life have I devoured such a long series in such a short amount of time. Even during the scenes that were strict political bullshit and battle strategy or the moments in Tower of Dawn when I just wanted to quit reading and get back to my babies, I was still enjoying myself and constantly turning page after page after page. I spent many a night staying up to read this series. I HIGHLY recommend reading Assassin’s Blade before reading Throne of Glass, especially if you’ve read ToG before and hated Celaena’s attitude in the first book. Trust me, I feel your pain and it is worth it to give it another shot!
Overall Star Rating for Throne of Glass series
63.75 divided by 7 equals 9.11 which corresponds to a 5-star rating on Goodreads
Hope you enjoyed this review and let me know in the comments what you thought of Throne of Glass or suggest another series for me to read and review this year!
Happy reading deerlings!