Robert and Bryan are glad they aren’t competing for best reviewer. Check out their thoughts on Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
Bryan’s quick summary:
Celaena Sardothien was the most feared assassin in the world at the age of 17. At least, until she was caught and enslaved to a lifetime of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier. When the Crown Prince Dorian rescues her from her fate, she’s forced to compete for the position of royal assassin and her freedom. When the other competitors begin turning up dead, Celaena must play a deadly game and tap into an ancient power to keep herself and her friends alive.
Throne of Glass is by Sarah J. Maas.
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Bryan) I worried when we got this book that it would mimic Game of Thrones in its long-winded, too many charactered storytelling style. I needn’t have worried, because I absolutely loved this. I recently wrote a post for my readers in which I rated this as my second favorite book of the year. Great characters and story, and I’m hooked. We’ll have to read the rest of the series on the show.
2. (Robert) Celaena is a sharp character and plenty of teenagers should identify with her self-centered troubles. Her lines are great, and she holds her own with anyone she comes into contact with: a worthy assassin.
3. (Robert) I kept wanting more of Celaena’s assassin character to come forward, more fight scenes, but maybe I’m just a boy! Hopefully as the series progresses we see and experience more of this side of her. The detail is richly described and the unfolding storyline masks the fact that Celaena doesn’t do a whole lot that I would describe as typical of an assassin, though we hear a lot about her previous dastardly exploits.
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Bryan) YA readers seem to love teens who can do incredible things. Celaena is that and more. She’s witty and intelligent like most teen protagonists, but she’s also deadly, smart, and strong. Put this kind of character into a fantasy book and you’ve got me on board. I love the world she drew as well, leaving a ton of great stories to tell going forward.
2. (Robert) Why do we never see Celaena’s assassination skills? Only on a couple of occasions does she rise to display these supposed world-class skills, and it’s really only at the end when they are key to the plot, yet this is her entire character’s core? I felt a bit let down!
3. (Robert) Some plot twists were either too convenient, or silly. I would expect this calculating young woman NOT to have been so easily taken in by some characters, events, or situations. I wasn’t sure whether this was a tense thriller, a love story, a fantasy epic, or a Hunger Games-esq challenge. But fans seem to say the second book is a cracker, so I will certainly read that!
Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. (Bryan) Make your protagonist amazing in a realistic way. It’ll pay dividends for believability and reader devotion.
2. (Robert) When a character has a particular trait, it’s best to show this to the reader early on, and from different angles at regular intervals. It will make the story’s climax so much more satisfying! Still an excellent read.
3. There are still many ways to spin the Hunger Games “challenge” premise, and this well-written story shows us how (even if there are structural issues with the plot).
Prompt of the Week:
A thousand-year old spirit has come back from the dead to give you a mission. Will you accept it? Why or why not? If so, how will you possibly achieve the spirit’s goal?