Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Reviewed by Taylor Beach, Editor-in-Chief
I’ve come to understand that a reader’s sole motive in choosing a novel at the book store is to be enthralled by the words—enthralled enough to be swept up in the story the way Dorothy was swept up in a tornado that blew her out of her dull black and white reality to the magically colorful imaginary world of OZ.
New York Times Bestselling author Sarah J. Maas’s epic-fantasy young adult novel Throne of Glass blew me away. Normally I can guess where a novel is going—who will fall in love with whom, how to solve the puzzle of a mystery, etc.—but every turn of the page, Sarah Maas exceeded my expectations. Like a tornado, she led me one way only to abruptly stop and proceed in a completely different direction.
Her creation of Throne of Glass began when she was sixteen-years-old. I’ve always believed that creative writers are naturally born to be writers. It’s because of their unstoppable imagination that is revealed early on through the extravagant stories they tell to parents and peers. Through the aging process, however, some children lose their wild imaginations because of their negative surroundings. Unfortunately, society does its best to squash the ideas of eccentric people, stressing normalcy. There are a few people who slip past the conventional way of thinking and learn how to further develop their imagination, their vocabulary, and grammar in order to create an amazing work of art. Readers around the world, myself included, need to realize how blessed we are to have authors like Sarah J. Maas tell us fairytales because reality is overrated.
Admirably, at such a young age, Sarah J. Maas’s brilliant imagination created the land of Erilea which was later illustrated by Kelly De Groot. All of Erilea has been conquered by the King of Adarlan, a ruthless king who sits upon his throne of glass in his massive shiny glass castle. He accumulated so much power by burning everything, banishing any and all magic from Erilea, and killing anyone who dared to stand in his way by sending them to death camps like Endovier full of the salt mines or the labor camp in Calaculla where prisoners become slaves who ultimately work to their death.
This story revolves around an assassin named Celaena Sardothien who has experienced the King’s cruelty firsthand when his soldiers invaded her home of Terrasen when she was eight-years-old making her an orphan. She was found and taken in by the King of Assassins, Arobynn Hamel, and against her will, he trained Celaena to be a killing machine, earning her the infamous title of Adarlan’s Assassin.
All Celaena wants is her freedom. So when the Crown Prince of Adarlan pulls her out of Endovier to be his Champion in a competition to become the King of Adarlan’s Champion, ultimately winning her freedom, she has no choice but to accept. With twenty-three other criminals competing for the title, the mysterious and gruesome deaths of the competitors, Celaena realizes there is evil lurking somewhere in the castle.
She is the only one who can save them all.
This is a book that tethers contradiction after contradiction. An assassin who holds onto her humanity by a thread in the hopes of attaining a free and better life. An assassin who winds up wanting to protect the people who ultimately enslaved her by sending her to her death in the salt mines of Endovier. An assassin who will change the world for the good through her defiance and resistance towards the tyrannical king.
Sarah Maas shows her readers that we all are born with a purpose—a greater destiny. That human beings ultimately try to be good and that the good will always defeat evil because the good knows love. Love and goodness have an indescribable bond and are always stronger together.
Even though this novel is fantasy—a fairytale—it still addresses a world full of good and evil that often reminds us of the good and evil that surrounds us in our own reality. Sometimes reality becomes unbearable. We look for an escape. As readers, we escape into the imagination of another who was able to write it down so that we may disappear for a couple hours, sinking into the black ink printed on a white piece of paper, resulting in a colorful prism that fills a hole in our inadequate reality.
I enjoyed getting swept away from the facets of this world only to find the truth of it in Sarah J. Maas’s remarkable fantasy-world in Throne of Glass.
Throne of Glass is the first novel in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass Series. Other books in the series are Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, and the series’ prequel The Assassin’s Blade. The fifth book, Empire of Storms, will be released September 6th, 2016!! She is also the author of A Court of Thorns and Roses and its sequel A Court of Mist and Fury.
Sarah J. Maas is a nationally and internationally bestselling author. Her books have been translated into twenty-three languages. She was born and raised in New York but currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.
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