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Continuing on with books by Sarah J. Maas I have read all the books in the Throne of Glass series. Instead of doing a post on each. I’m going to try to share my general thoughts on the series as a whole, so there aren’t going to be a lot of spoilers since there is just too much content to share all those details. There might be some plot points I refer to, but not much in this.
Books in the Series:
- The Assassin’s Blade
- Throne of Glass
- Crown of Midnight
- Heir of Fire
- Queen of Shadows
- Empire of Storms
- Tower of Dawn
- Kingdom of Ash
I read the novellas (The Assassin’s Blade) before I read Throne of Glass, as that was the order in the box set that I bought, versus reading it by publication date. Mainly as I didn’t realize that until after the fact, but I think it made it more interesting already having that information going into the series. Since it’s referenced a good amount, and gives clarity to Celaena Sardothien versus where the first book starts out. I’m not sure if I would’ve had the same reading experience if I had read it later. Since it explains so much of what Celaena is going through mentally.
The series is kind of a cross of Game of Thrones and Hunger Games, but not really. Celaena (later to be revealed as Aelin) after spending a year in the salt mines as a slave is retrieved by Prince Dorian and Chaol to be their champion in the king’s tournament against other assassins, thieves, and dishonored soldiers. Only to learn that something isn’t right in the kingdom besides just tyrants, and the decade loss of magic. She has to take on ancient prophecies, demons from another realm, and evil rulers.
I really loved the series, and couldn’t put it down. Read all eight books in a week… I didn’t really sleep but it was worth it. As I thoroughly enjoyed the books. Some characters I found myself changing opinions on in both directions (positive and negative). Some of that deserved, while others not so much in the end.
For example, I hated Manon’s sections when she first came into the series but by the next book she was in I didn’t mind hers as much as she grew on me. She just felt so out of place compared to what we were reading about. Her path didn’t really line up until the next book. I get why they were there, but it still initially felt off.
Chaol, on the other hand, I liked initially then disliked them for a few books before he eventually came back to being someone I enjoyed again. He needed to work through some things before he got on my good graces again. That turn around came in Tower of Dawn which I had been half tempted to skip just to find out what happened to Aelin, since her story ended in a cliff-hanger. As Tower of Dawn runs in parallel with Empire of Storms. I didn’t get into the former for a while, until about a third of the way in or so when Chaol mentions something that seriously played into the previous book. Answering one of the questions that were raised but not really answered, which I had dismissed. If you’re debating on skipping it, don’t. There are several things that are learned in that book that play into the final book.
Sarah J. Maas uses foreshadowing and small hints throughout the series very well. Especially seeing how Aelin/Celaena comes up with plans, and executes on them. Much to the chagrin of her companions. But you can see them unfold with context clues versus it just suddenly being brought up. Like when she’s planning big things like how to get money or armies. There are clues to what she’s going to do, but it’s not outright revealed.
Plus, there’s not a single detail that’s lost. Everything and everyone that shows up plays some role in the book. They don’t just show up once then disappear. Not that all come back in other books, but they have purpose. Which I really enjoyed. Even small characters from The Assassin’s Blade make reappearances not just as characters that helped shaped a young Celaena.
As for where I would place this series to the others by Sarah J. Maas? While I loved Throne of Glass, I’m not sure I would re-read this series. Maybe some chapters here and there but not the full thing. Which is mostly due to length, and some things are better read when they are a surprise. Though in saying that, I’ll probably end up re-reading this series as I have with the others (six times each on Crescent City and A Court of Thorns and Roses).
Alright my rating of each of the books with a brief explanation:
- The Assassin’s Blade (4 out of 5) – As this book was written after Throne of Glass some assumptions are made in knowing the main character, but is still extremely enjoyable even though it’s a very sad book.
- Throne of Glass (4.5 out of 5) – Loved this book and it really got me hooked to this series. I love Dorian especially, he’s just a sweetheart. Not as a couple with Celaena but in general. Those two make for better friends. There are some slow bits, and a few areas were things are just glossed over/sped through. Where I would’ve liked to have read those, but I get why they were skipped over. They are easy enough to explain in a sentence or two versus having an entire chapter.
- Crown of Midnight (4 out of 5) – This story goes more into the rebellion against the empire and the ancient prophecy. Chaol also went from being someone I liked to someone I was mad at for his inaction during the course of this book. Celaena had every right to be pissed at him.
- Heir of Fire (4 out of 5) – Celaena goes through a lot of growth in this book, and I feel so bad for Dorian in the end. Best boi did not deserve that. Manon sections felt off as they were just so out of nowhere. Also, we get to meet Rowan, I love him. He actually helps Celaena accept herself and all the self-doubt issues that she had from years of torment in Adarlan.
- Queen of Shadows (4.5 out of 5) – Someone help sweet baby boi Dorian… if you can’t tell I love the guy, and his sections were so hard to read because I felt so bad for him. Manon also really turned around in this book for me, and I stopped hating her sections. I found them interesting and wanted to know what was coming next in her section with the horrors of Morath. Where I disliked Manon’s section in the previous book, Chaol’s sections really became that in this book. Mainly as they were very blame game towards Aelin, which was unfair to her. She didn’t abandon you. How did you think she would react?
- You sent her away, it’s not her fault she wasn’t there for the shit that happened in Adarlan. She was in another continent you sent her to.
- You got her friend killed by saying nothing to Aelin or her friend’s guards when you knew there was a threat.
- You called her a monster when she got revenge after her spirit was destroyed. Yes, she stabbed a guy but he literally admitted to killing her best friend. And chopped up the assassin who did it. But it’s not like you didn’t know she was an assassin before that, it was her job for the King after the first book and what she literally did since she was eight years old. Not a surprise dude.
- Empire of Storms (5 out of 5) – This book had so much action. And all the ships! I just love all the ships… Not the boat kind though there were naval ships… I mean the couples and relationships. There were a lot of them in this book, and I was 100% down for them. Dorian is also fine, bit kinky now but I’m ok with that. I was also shocked by a lot of things that happened in this book. No spoilers, but they made me not want to set the book down at all.
- Tower of Dawn (3.5 out of 5) – This book was hard to get into at first, mainly as I just didn’t want to read a book from Chaol’s POV after Queen of Shadows. But he goes through so much, and it’s got another culture that was interesting to learn about. So in the end, I enjoyed it, just not as much as the other books from the series. I think it’s interesting how they ended the book with Chaol’s injury, which was one of the main points of the book. I won’t say what happened, but I thought I liked how it was handled in the end. It was a good message about disabilities.
- Kingdom of Ash (4 out of 5) – The final book of the series has a lot of POVs at this point with those characters spread out in a lot of places until the very end when they all come back together for the final battle. Some of the jumps between the characters go from heavy, insane action to traveling or light-hearted content. Then jump back maybe a few chapters later to that action and it’s been cut off or temporarily resolved. I get why Sarah J. Maas did this since the book is 992 pages as is it, but some of those action/war scenes just felt like they were cut off abruptly. Not to mention, we were left on cliff-hangers multiple times regarding the fate of some characters. It was still insanely good, and I enjoyed the book but that’s where I’m taking points off for this book. As it just had such a different pace than the rest of the books. And there were no last minute schemes that came out, just wrapping everything on a good yet kind of bittersweet note in some regards.
Have you read Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas? If so, what were your thoughts on the books?
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