Thank you not for everyone who has shoved this book to me. I didn't know this was a six-book series and I am not happy to be reading a six-book series. I hate commitment! Haha, what am I even saying?
I never had plans to read this book. EVER. I am not into fantasy and Shadow and Bone was probably the only YA fantasy I've read. But then everyone seems to love it and has read it and I feel SOOOO out of the loop not knowing who the heck Celaena is and Chaol and Dorian. And to not understand all the love for Sarah J. Maas. So I bought a pre-loved copy but never touched it. Then Sab told me she was going to read ToG for real this time (we moody readers tend to not read books we say we'll read) so I told her to give me updates if it's as good as everyone tells us. And she thought it wasn't. That it was overhyped. I got curious, alright. What will I think of this novel? So I read it too, maybe a week after Sab did. And sorry guys, but I agree with her.
The great thing about Throne of Glass is its readability. I stay away from fantasy because I suck at visualizing completely new things and thought-up places, which is why I prefer my dystopia and anything grounded in today's reality. But I was so surprised with ToG because it didn't read like fantasy. It was easy to read and my nose wasn't bleeding from the court stuff. Not only that but it was addicting. Heck, obviously, I didn't love the book and found too many flaws by my standards, but I couldn't stop reading. I was like, oh, I'll just read more, I need more Chaol, THEN I WAS DONE. How did that happen? I think Sarah J. Maas cast a spell on ToG. And I haven't even mentioned the most surprising part yet. It was written in a third person point-of-view, which I really find hard to read. I stay away from third person POV unless it's one of my favorite authors. So, really, how Sarah J. Maas made me read ToG that quick was a feat in itself.
Sadly, that's pretty much what I liked about the novel. Oh, and Chaol. But later on that. For now, I'll be listing the things that didn't fly with me and why so.
1. Celaena's apparent badassery. Everyone and their mother kept on saying that Celaena was a strong and a kickass heroine. Uhm, sorry to say I didn't catch the note showing that. Because that's what happened for me. We're constantly told in the novel that she's badass but when was it exactly shown? Sure, she's THE assassin everyone fears but it felt like I was just constantly reminded of that but it was not clearly demonstrated. She thought of all the ways she can escape or how she can incapacitate anyone who's within reach? Please, THE most feared assassin can do better than that. I'm not saying one should be emotionless or unfeeling if she's the best assassin because I actually appreciated how human and vulnerable Celaena is. But I thought there wasn't much enough evidence for her cred to ring true to me. I mean, come on. You're an assassin and you claim to have been in tight situations and all that but you are grossed out by your wet feet? Celaena's characterization just doesn't compute in my opinion. And that's a fatal flaw for me in a book. You need to make sense as a person!
2. How obvious and early the romance angle was introduced. By the second chapter, Celaena was checking Dorian, the Crown Prince, out. Uhm, shouldn't we first establish how badass Celaena supposedly is than drooling over guys? Fine, most readers loved that Celaena was "such a girl" with her love for dresses and pretty things but it was so blatantly obvious that the author was building up the romance angle from the second chapter. FROM THE SECOND CHAPTER. Pretty much turned me off right there and then. In fact, I stopped reading, rolled my eyes, and texted Sab before I plowed on. Because, really? REALLY?
3. Action scenes (or the lack thereof). For an assassin as the main character, this book pretty much didn't have action at all. Except at the end, which was still so short and uninspired in my opinion. And honestly? The tournaments were lame. You'd thought that elaborate and tricky challenges would be up ahead for those battling to be the King's Assassin but archery? Which wasn't even described as anything remotely exciting or hard? And some others not described at all? Celaena's dresses got more description than the tournaments! Than the battle itself. The world building was fine, it was described but not completely, but that's fine because it's the first novel and we've barely scratched the surface. I'm sure there will be more world building in the next books. But seriously. For an action fan like me, I am certainly not impressed with the supposed action in here. Which cycles back to my first point, in which, nah, not much badassery and kickassery around here.
4. That thing at the end to keep both ships afloat. I want to talk about this deeply but then spoilers! If you want, we can chat up at the comments section or on Twitter. In short, I know Celaena won't be choosing a guy early in the series but it just felt rushed to me how the author resolved to keep Celaena single in the end. COME ON.
5. Characters. I like both Chaol and Dorian but they were unsurprisingly, two-dimensional. One's a guard who knows Celaena is bad news but can't help liking her anyway. One's a prince who knows Celaena is bad news but can't help liking her anyway. They are best friends. Because, of course, raise the stakes in here! They're best friends! I hate it when a girl/boy gets between a friendship.Because, I usually love both and I want them both to be happy and I end up hating the subject of their affection because he/she is driving a wedge in their friendship! Which is obviously happening to me with ToG.
And this puts me in yet another minority because people loved Princess Nehemia but I was irritated at her at times. Sure, she's assertive and a go-getter but stop saying you can do whatever you want because you're a princess. Uhm, that's bratty for me.
However, I did like the banter. ALL OF THE BANTER AMONG ALL THE CHARACTERS. And I'm one of those people who can get by and read a novel just because of the banter. So maybe that's what happened.
Fiiiiine, this review sounds like I hated the book. I didn't really. I gave it three stars. But with ToG, I seriously just enjoyed it enough to warrant a three but it's still piled under the I-could-have-done-without-reading-this-book. I know the world loves this series but Throne of Glass failed to impress me. However, I am putting a lot of hope to what all those people who didn't love Throne of Glass but loved Crown of Midnight said that it gets infinitely better. In fact, I am buddy reading CoM with Sab this November and I'm trying to not expect but I am definitely expecting a much better installment than this.
And fine, for all my rants about this book, I still have strong feelings about it. Know why? It starts with a C and ends with HAOL. CHAOL. What is it with military men and I? I know, it's the usual quiet guy but whatever, I just inexplicably love Chaol and I will be in this ship whatever happens. CHAOL. Chaoooooollll. Just ask Ly, my Chaol spazz buddy, how much we just WANT Chaol.