Spoiler Alert, the following book review reveals details about the plot.
The author has failed at realistic and accurate character development. All you read in the first chapters of the book is how awesome Celaena claims to be, how capable she is to escape at any given time, how easily she could knock down a ridiculous amount of people surrounding her. Those were all empty words, no actions. It is not shown that Celaena is as special as she believes to be. It is really annoying, because as a protagonist, she’s acting immature, shallow even, feeling entitled just because of her name, wanting to be acknowledged for somebody she may have been in the past, but isn’t anymore. It’s very childish. And I know Celaena is supposed to be 17 years old, but she’s also supposed to be an assassin. She wasn’t. The author didn’t give her any characteristics of an assassin. It’s as if she liked the idea of the protagonist to be one just for the sake of it, not doing much research into the ‘profession’, it didn’t feel realistic. It simply felt fake. Celaena was temperamental, ruled by emotions, didn’t have a good intuition, distracted easily by opposite sex, she often forgot what she was doing in life, instead getting lost in simple pleasures. Instead of training or practising new skills, she focused more on playing piano, playing with puppies, she was sleeping in. She was more like a typical teenager girl than supposed professional assassin.
The character development was almost non-existent, again. I feel like I went through the exact same thing reading ACOTAR. Characters ended up in the same place they started with when it comes to their character. No personal growth in any of them. And if I have to read the phrase ‘clicked her/his tongue’ again… Why is this phrase so common with Sarah J. Maas ? Please, if you really need to describe that noise, if you feel like your novel won’t be complete without it, find some synonyms for it, it’s too apparent.
While doing some research about Throne of Glass, I came across the fact that the author has cited Cinderella as an inspiration for writing this novel. The author wrote the story as a Cinderella’s retelling. How, how is this supposed to be in any way connected to the literature classic. Don’t. Even. It’s an average fantasy book for teenagers, lacking any clear, meaningful message.
Obviously, it wouldn’t be a complete story of Maas without a love triangle. Yet again it feels like she wrote the romance first, and fitted the story around it, just like ACOTAR. I don’t know in what way does that cheesy romance contribute to the book, but nevertheless it’s there. It takes up way too much time, it is not a solely romance genre, each time you read cliché flirting scene, it takes something away from the novel, that you cannot get back. It takes away space that could have been used for more fantasy, for character personal development, for scenery and environment, literally for anything else that would immerse the reader.
And it was actually well needed in this novel. The main story line in based on a competition, ~ 20 champions are fighting over a number of weeks to become the King’s Champion. The competition is so underdeveloped, it is summarised, and some of the tests are barely mentioned in one sentence, not elaborated at all. You don’t get to know any of the other competitors well enough, the story feels very narrow, single minded, focused only in one direction. The author did the exact same thing in ACOTAR, for me it feels like the full story played out in her head and she forgot to tell us about it, it makes me feel disconnected. It is such a pity, because the premise of the novel was intriguing.
It’s a great loss, it really is, taking away couple of stuff, that storyline had a real potential, it was really imaginative, unique. But it is done.