BookTalk: “Throne of Glass”

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photo by Ailinh Vu

Senior Christiannie Anderson discusses her experience reading popular series “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas. She read the series last year and fell head over heels in love.

Taking out the book that your friend begged you to read, “Throne of Glass,” you make your way over to your favorite reading spot and open up to the first page. Immediately you are introduced to a cast of strong and loveable characters, intriguing relationships, and never-ending adventure that pulls you in from the very start.  

This seven-book series is the story of 18-year-old assassin, Celaena Sardothien. After serving a year of labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, she is dragged before the crown prince, Dorian Havilliard. He offers her the chance to be free on one condition: she must be his champion in a competition to find his new royal assassin. 

Madi: When I went into this series, it was right after I read “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas and fell in love with her writing and storytelling. “Throne of Glass” was her first series, so I knew it was a must-read if I was going to continue with any of her other books. The first book definitely drew me in and kept me entertained especially with the competition plotline. The idea that she was competing to be the royal assassin was very unique and I liked it more than I thought I did. It also gave Celaena the opportunity to bring out her cleverness which created some elements of surprise because I never knew what she was thinking or planning. I loved Celaena and although I relate to the author’s other characters more, I can see how Celaena can be such a good comfort and representation for so many. She is funny, strong, fearless and clever which all make for such a fun character to read about. I loved how when she arrived at the castle to begin the competition, she developed friendships with the crown prince, Dorian, and his captain of the guard, Chaol. It made the book a lot more comforting and made me fall in love with the characters and their interactions so much more. 

Chris: I was introduced to the series “Throne of Glass” by my best friend. She told me I’m just like the main character which definitely added to my interest. Little did I know that this was just the beginning for my love of reading. “Throne of Glass” features the main character Celaena Sardothien, an overall powerful, cunning and unstoppable woman. After being taken out of her prison in Endovier,  she holds permanent scars on her back. I love how she was able to get comfortable enough to show them off, not as a sign of weakness, but of strength. The way the author  plays into several potential loves through the series until she finds her one and only is just breathtaking. She fights with her inner battles and struggles with her identity and what she decides to fight for, and then you see her come into her true self. 

Madi: I completely agree with you. The way Celaena embraces her flaws as signs of strength instead of weakness is very inspiring and part of what makes her such an amazing character. That is the type of person that you would expect to be the main character of a fantasy novel, and Maas delivers. I also loved the little details that were incorporated into the story to emphasize that even though Celaena puts on a very strong and ruthless front, she still has those childlike traits inside. An example would be her love for her puppy, Fleetfoot, which was given to her as a gift from Dorian. I also really enjoyed the friendship that developed between Chaol and Celaena over the course of the first book. It went from him not trusting her, to a bond that was family-like. This made me cherish small interactions between them and moments more because it contrasted the fantasy aspect that could be more political and violent. 

Chris: Yes, I absolutely love Chaol and Celaena’s relationship, especially since they kept it going throughout the whole series. They developed a trust bond that is very dynamic in the way that they work together in the books. Chaol and Dorian are basically family to Celaena which is where we see a lot of the witty humor, making it such an enjoyable read. We learn all the strengths of the characters but as you get to know each of them they all have a dark side. I love how Maas was able to incorporate basic human emotions into these characters as they interact, especially considering their magical abilities which isn’t something that you would find in reality. Though, we couldn’t connect to the characters on that level; it was almost as if we were experiencing those things with them while reading the story. There have been countless times where I found myself wishing I could be living in these books and experiencing the things that they were able to. Having magic powers, training with elite people, and going on assasination missions is something I felt like I experienced while reading the book. That alone made it hard to put the books down and focus on reality.

Madi: I love how you touched on Maas’s ability to write the story in a way that gives her readers an escape from reality. She allows her characters to be relatable while making it feel like you are going on countless adventures with them. The action scenes are also played out wonderfully, the anticipation about what was going to happen and who is going to make it kept me nervous but intrigued. Maas adds a level of mystery into her novels in the sense that once you get to the end, things you hadn’t even thought about are revealed and make you want to pick up the next book immediately. All of these aspects of the series are what make them unique and definitely worth the read. They are great for those that are not used to reading fantasy as they start off easy and quick, then get denser further into the series. They are captivating and full of twists and reveals that keep you rooting for each character and getting lost in the world till the very end. 

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