Read or Die

Review of Sarah J. Maas’s THRONE OF GLASS

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Confession: This is a re-read. Upon my sister’s recommendation, I picked up this book when it first hit shelves. And I quickly dismissed it – for the same reasons I’m about to dive into. However, under pressure from a friend, who insists the series gains legs in the additional volumes, I’ve agreed to give it a second chance. (Who am I to complain? I don’t need to spend money on hardcovers or wait for books to get released)

Simply stated, the story and characters fail to live up to their potential. Ms. Maas created this lush world of possibility, intrigue, and questions – then served cardboard. The respectable heir to a corrupt throne? Check. The assassin with a heart of gold? Check. A sappy romance NO ONE wants to read? Double-check. It brings a reader to tears and makes it difficult to turn the pages. Ms. Maas took the road EASILY traveled rather than exploring fresh ground. And the chance to break fresh ground lies right there in front of her! There isn’t a character she couldn’t have manipulated for the better! But she plays it safe, and the story suffers for it.

And the plot follows along in their footsteps. Why delve into the intricacies of a sadistic Test when you can simply eliminate candidates instead? (Much easier than concocting ways to weed out criminals and delve into the personality and mind of the king) But then she leaves the corpses on the side, uninteresting roadkill. The lack of suspense built around the deaths leaves you wanting to scream. On the one hand, you want her to drive home the insanity of a kingdom that expects such brutality to occur (which, of course, never appears). On the other, you want the tension to ratchet to a breaking point. But that whimpers away into nothing! It’s a listless dance of checkboxes – not a tale.

I can’t even bring myself to discuss the ridiculous expectation of Calaena and Dorian. It’s tired. It’s repetitive. And it’s a waste of pages.

Had I not given my word to give the series this second chance, I’d reaffirm my halt – AGAIN. It’s a terrible start to a tale. A crime, given the insane potential lurking within the world Ms. Maas created.

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