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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, November 2013 - I fell in love with Sarah Maas’ Throne of Glass series, because it completely and utterly transported me to another time and place. The story is focused around smart and sassy teen assassin Celaena Sardothien, who is pulled out of the slavery salt mines of Endovier and brought to the Crown Prince, who presents her with an interesting proposition. If she wins a competition to become the corrupt King’s royal assassin, she will win her freedom after serving the kingdom for three years. Throne of Glass has the competitive elements of The Hunger Games, the royal family dysfunction of Game of Thrones, which amounts to a truly captivating listen. —Sarah, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

©2012 Sarah J. Maas (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Readers seeking the political intrigue of Kristen Cashore's Graceling and its sequels or the deadly competition at the heart of The Hunger Games will find both in Maas's strong debut novel. . . . The verve and freshness of the narration make for a thrilling read." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
"A teenage assassin, a rebel princess, menacing gargoyles, supernatural portals and a glass castle prove to be as thrilling as they sound. . . . Celaena is still just a teenager trying to forge her way, giving the story timelessness. This commingling of comedy, brutality and fantasy evokes a rich alternate universe with a spitfire young woman as its brightest star." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is a tale full of surprises and shadows, where deadly seeds are sown with the promise of more danger to come. A fascinating glimpse into the dark side of Cinderella." (Colleen Houck, NYT Bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Fil
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 11-18-13

The World's Most Powerful Assassin is a Sap.

So you've been put into a death camp prison mine at age 17. No one survives this death camp prison. You were there for 2 years. And you're the world's most powerful assassin; the queen of the underworld. And you've seen your people bled to death and you're full of rage and the milk of revenge.

So of course, when you're freed, the first thing you're going to do is become a total airhead and totally like fall in love with two guys because OMG one is like a total Prince, but the other one is like soooo loyal and stalwart. And of course, you will totally eat lots of amazing chocolates that will be listed out individually, because chocolate is like sooo delicious, right?

Don't get me wrong. I've been known to enjoy some full on romance fantasy adventures. I've read and enjoyed Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series, and one of those books, the one with Justin and the Lirren girl with the starry hair? That shit was as cheesy and romantic as it gets.

I've even read the first of 4521 trilogies in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Cycle. So don't think that I'm all EWWW, because of the elements of romance that this novel trots out. I'm not all EWWW, I'm all PLEEEEEEZE, because it just doesn't make any sense How are you going to be the world's most powerful assassin and the queen of the underworld and be a total napkin as well?

Anyway. That's what you get.

333 of 376 people found this review helpful

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Ok but......

I gave it a chance but an assassin that doesn't kill isn't much of an assassin. She boast of being an assassin but even in the preview for the next book, she's not really killing anyone she's just making it seem like she is, which is kinda boring to me!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Demurr
  • United States
  • 12-14-14

Awful

I made it to the final two hours of this audiobook during a car trip before I snapped and "skimmed" through the ending. In hindsight, I wish I had listened to reviewer Fil, who accurately describes Celaena as a sap. I honestly can't think of anyone to recommend this book to.

Part of the problem lies in the author's attempt to combine several genres: an action-packed, bloody mystery-adventure-fantasy novel with a solid dose of romantic sexual tension sounds like a great read, doesn't it? And it might have been, had Maas developed any of these ideas thoroughly. Instead, she briefly attempts to develop the "assassin" backstory only moments before plunging into the "romantic" aspect or the thrilling adventure, etc. in a way that is scattered and bizarre. Her prose is uninspired and long-winded. Her characters have illogical reactions considering their roles in life and the story. (Example: a Captain of the Guard for the bloodiest, most ruthless ruler in the known world that stares in guilty horror at his hands after slaying a criminal that was about to murder the woman he's secretly in love with. Yeeeeeeeeah, riiiiiiight …… <--- *Disgusted disbelief.*)

On top of this illogical character development and sloppy writing, Celaena just sucks as a person. She's bratty and egotistical without any backstory or inner monologues to flesh her out. Why is Celaena so famous? Who has she assassinated? Why is she so feared? What makes her think she's better than everyone else? What's her damage? Has she ever had a meaningful conversation with anyone ... ever?

Don't expect answers to these questions by the end of this glacially paced book. This is a shallow story about a girl that is miraculously gifted in all physical skills, a point that is driven home in the way that she bounces back to full health after a year-long stay in a cozy death camp--her world's equivalence to Auschwitz. I'm sorry, but how many Jewish survivors did you hear about that were running in the Olympics only a few weeks after their release? Maas CAN'T have ever trained for any physical competition in her life because she seems to think a few mentions of Celaena puking after a long run are sufficient to give credence to her recovery in about a dozen combat and survival skills. After only a couple of weeks, she can scuttle up smooth, flat walls like a gecko, overpower men three times her body weight, and shoot the hairs off a fly's back from three football fields away (with a bow and arrow)! Her beauty, wit, and charm enchant all and her gallant, noble actions earn her the respect of everyone she meets--save the black-hearted King and his evil pawns! (I think the author also forgot to mention that she poops solid gold and walks on water, too. Maybe she's waiting to reveal that in book 2.)

Authors of old pulp fiction/dime novels like Anthony Hope (Prisoner of Zenda) or Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan, John Carter) could have pulled off such ridiculously gifted characters in an absurd, rip-roaring adventure. Maas does not have this talent. The story is slow and takes thirty minutes to describe a chess or billiards game between Celaena and the Prince, which they play while they discuss … absolutely nothing. I've felt more sexual tension between my grandmother and a cashier at the local pharmacy where she buys hemorrhoid cream. The author spends more time describing the clothing in the scenes than any perceived or observed emotions/reactions/facial expressions. The prince and the Captain are as interesting as cardboard cut-outs, and the "mysterious" killer of the competitors takes all of one second for the listener to identify.

All in all, this really was just an absurd, boring story with terrible world-building and an even more terrible plot. Save your money/credit/time, and skip it!

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

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way too much winning

There's a good story here.... BUT to have to sit through SO MUCH SNIVELING, WINNING and COMPLAINING made it exhausting to listen to. it was painful! this girl who is suppose to be the world's greatest assassin is written as a chuldish stubborn brat who stomps her feel when she doesn't get her way. the narrator has the perfect voice for being a brat, so the combination was brutal. u only listened to this book becuase the second book had good reviews.... but after suffering through this one I don't think I have the energy to suffer through sniveling book 2.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Save the credit!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe an angst-ridden pre-teen would find all the drama and whining more acceptable.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything else.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Elizabeth Evans?

Although all the characters constantly sounded arrogant and bratty, I don't think the narrator can be held solely responsible; the author's writing is just as much to blame.

What character would you cut from Throne of Glass?

All of them! The "world's best assassin" "wrings her hands in worry" and lets people sneak up on her on a regular basis. She spent her career carefully hiding her identity, yet now constantly whines that no one respects her or takes her seriously because they don't know who she is. The "spoiled prince" is an arrogant womanizing jerk, who refuses to marry because every woman he's ever met is "mentally inferior". Listening to them is like listening to a bunch of immature 12-year-old spoiled rotten brats.

Any additional comments?

Save the credit!!

74 of 95 people found this review helpful

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It's no Game of Thrones...

Any additional comments?

I have never felt compelled to write a review before, but I want to save you from a mistake. This book has a splash on the cover that says "Fans of Game of Thrones and Hunger Games will love this!" I think George R.R. Martin is a genius and his books have cost me numerous nights of sleep. And who doesn't love Katniss? So if this book had a strong sassy no bs female lead in a world similar to GOT this could be worth a read? No.The lead character can wield a weapon, though the fight specifics are often lacking. "She knocked him out." "She hit the target dead center." Her emotional development is young. She's vain and annoying. Maybe she will grow up as the series plays out, but I won't be along for the ride to find out.Though Katniss and Celaena would be fighting on the same side I think Katniss would be doing a lot of eye rolling in having to deal with Celaena. The male characters are a bit more interesting. If you are a hard core GOT fan you will be bored silly. This book has nowhere the depth, plot nor characters to hold your attention. Hunger Games is a more fair comparison and while some of the story is similar (strong female lead out to thwart an unfair society) the comparisons end there.I probably would have liked this book when I was in high school. If you are a grown up look elsewhere...<br/><br/>PS I would not have bothered to write this review had the publisher not tried to hoodwink GOT and HG fans...

72 of 94 people found this review helpful

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Love the story, HATE HATE HATE the narration!

The story is awesome! I would have given the overall rating 5 stars had it been narrated by someone (anyone) else!
Why did the narrator choose to make the main character sound so nasally, smug, and annoying? I gave the performance 1 star but that is only because giving negative stars was not an option! I don't often give negative reviews but I truly disliked everything about the narration!

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Booklover
  • Jacksonville, FL, United States
  • 12-26-15

Cheap romance novel

Absolute garbage, this book is about a young woman who just got out of at least a year in prison with hard labor and immediately gets the hots for her captors - a prince and a captain who we keep hearing are real hotties in their tight pants and eyes of "rich, melted brown" (what the heck is melted brown anyway).

The whole time the lead characters are throwing temper tantrums and insulting each other, the bad guys are all scarred and ugly, the mean girls are all pretty and - well - mean, and on and on it goes. I can only listen to a little bit at a time because it's one of the most tiresome audiobooks I've ever come across. If you're in a good mood when you hit play, you won't be 5 minutes later.

So far I'm on chapter 11 and still there has been zero action, just a narrator in the voice of the "heroine" spitting out airheaded comments like descriptions of dresses, insults to people and empty threats. I suspect I won't make it much further, but am still hoping that once the fighting begins the characters will improve, but suspect they won't. I suspect the author knows nothing about fighting and will continue to focus on dresses and appearances.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good story, poor presentation

I liked the story, but not the narration. Many times it was so annoying that I considered stopping listening and reading instead.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • ashlee
  • essendon, Australia
  • 12-17-13

Loved it!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely! I read this and it's sequel within a couple of days, it had me absolutely hooked - can't wait for the third one!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Definitely Chaol - I won't give away any spoilers by explaining why

Any additional comments?

If you like this one and it's follow up I would suggest listening to Samantha Shannon's 'The Bone Season'.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • jf101
  • 12-30-16

Most Definitely Not Game of Thrones

Would you try another book written by Sarah J. Maas or narrated by Elizabeth Evans?

Not in this series. The underlying premise is interesting - female assassin, training camp for bad guys, unknown mission - but the world building is very limited and the main character is highly unconvincing. This is my main problem with the audiobook and in the end the reason I could not finish the book. A hardened female assassin who has killed 20+ guards trying to escape from the prison mine, undergone a brutal training regime with a master criminal with many assassinations under her belt essentially acts like a naive teenager in almost all the situations she is faced with. There are so many inconsistencies between the "super assassin" premise and how she actually behaves it becomes impossible for the story to hold any credibility. Comparisons to GoT or the Name of the Wind are utterly misplaced. The narration is good, but cannot redeem the story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. M. Fyleman
  • 11-08-17

Ok listen, stretched credibility in places

This was an ok yarn, and Sarah J Mass writes proficiently. That said, she readily re-hashes the tropes of the female YA market - if I read another YA where a young woman is torn between two young men I think I’ll scream!

My biggest gripe is with the central character. The set up is obviously aiming at her being a gritty survivor in the mould of Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games series. However, she quickly turns into a bit of a girlie girl, far too caring and emotional for someone supposed to be a professional assassin. Also for someone trained as an assassin from a young age, she seems to lack some basic coordination skills - unable to handle a pool cue without instruction? - really? (Btw - Sarah should look up billiards on Wikipedia, they are clearly playing American pool in that scene. It’s not an important point, but shows a laziness with research).

Both character and writer only really begin to show their potential in the final fight scene. This was well written and tense, and you could see signs of the assassin breaking through.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad story and I don’t regret spending the credit. It’s just that with a little more polish it could have been good, possibly even great. I have just purchased the second in the series to see if the potential is better realised in that one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • blackteaandmilk
  • 03-07-15

Enjoyable :)

Would you consider the audio edition of Throne of Glass to be better than the print version?

I tried reading the book several time and just didnt seem to get into it, but listening to the book was for me so much better, the narrator did a great job.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this for an enjoyable listen :)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • barry
  • 01-07-15

Captivating

A captivating listen, if you enjoy game of thrones, name of the wind you will thoroughly enjoy this

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mara
  • 02-10-15

Amazing book! Hard to put down!

Great listen! Very action filled and quick paced, at the same time descriptive and emotional. Has everything you would ever need inside a book - crime, action, romance, drama, fantasy, historical feeling - all included!

Reminds me in some way of Game of Thrones (I loved the series, haven't read the book).

Interesting storytelling - from a perspective of a character ("I" form). It is interesting because, though the main character remains Celaena, author gives you insight from the other characters point of view, too, in that way quenching your thirst for information about their feelings.

Great narrator! I think she fits very well.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • FanaticReader
  • 12-28-13

I loved reading the book and enjoyed the audiobook

If you could sum up Throne of Glass in three words, what would they be?

Awesome, exciting, interesting.

What other book might you compare Throne of Glass to, and why?

Graceling

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Final fight scene between Celeana and Cane.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A badass heroine with a will of steel.

Any additional comments?

I thought the narrator's was a bit annoying.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • philip endersby
  • 12-05-17

i so enjoyed this book

i so enjoyed this book i binged my way thought only to find i have already finish it and move onto the rest of the series. lovely and full charaters and good balance of stories thought out the book. and hold good pace

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  • David Denman
  • 12-03-17

This is terrible.

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I was looking forward to the strong female character and I'd enjoyed this narrator as Nina in Six of Crows, but the narration here is so heavy handed and the writing is filled with endlessly cliched similes. Painful.

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  • Miss C wood
  • 11-11-17

Exciting

Excellent narration, great story keeps you wanting more. The main characters have real depth and you really wantmto find out more about them. Can't wait for next book.

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  • Remigijus Gentvilas
  • 09-30-17

simple but fun

not a bad book , will beed to finish the rest of them ;) Narrator was good but had a slow start.

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  • Juliet
  • 06-10-16

Mish mash of stories already written

It gets more interesting two-thirds the way through but mostly just a mix of things from other, better novels of the genre. Dialogue and characters frustratingly underdeveloped, nothing really clever or innovative about the storyline or the world in which it is set. Writing style and narration tolerable after a while.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MeGaVoltZ
  • 03-15-16

Bratty main character and under-developed emotional depth

I really enjoyed the Sarah J Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses which was why I used my credit on Throne of Glass. I'm sorry to say that I'm a bit disappointed. The main character Celaena is really un-likeable and hard to relate to. She sounds like a very bratty teenager and some of her snarky remarks just seem really petty. And her desire to be noticed for her ability when she was advised to stay off the radar? I wondered how she ever managed to become one of the greatest assassins.
Also the emotional depth of the story is lacking and the romance is barely there. Am I really supposed to feel something about the connection between Chaol and Celaena? As for whatever is between Celaena and prince Dorian, it ended before it had a chance to develop into anything substantial because obviously to Celaena it was not something worth fighting for. Totally no drama there.

One other thing that bothered me was the final dual which ended in a really abrupt way. Considering the buildup, it felt like I as the reader got the expected outcome without being convinced that it was well deserved. I think that the author must have matured a lot in her writing style since this book because this is nothing like her latest published work A Court of Thorns and Roses.

As for the narration, Elizabeth Evans does a good job portraying the emotions of characters but I find her narrative voice a bit too grating for my liking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison
  • 01-23-17

pretty good mate

Elizabeth Evans does a fantastic job! it made the story so easy to sink into

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ross
  • 09-23-15

well read, badly written

performance was good. but the characters lacked reality and substance that would have made them relatable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-17

Awesome!

loved the story anf narration was great!. would love to see this be made into a TV show!

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  • Laura
  • 05-26-17

Good story, okay voice.

I quite enjoyed the story - I've read it before but couldn't really remember much. However there was a brashness to the voice that I wasn't a fan of. I suppose it makes sense because that's the kind of character that Celaena is, but I just couldn't fully immerse myself into the story because of it.

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  • ElleDee
  • 01-25-17

Teenage read

Found the setting (I imagine another world archaic) clashed with some of the scenes set. Piano, billiards, cue,metal downpipes,window panes around with stone and glass castles, Found the main character to be very much a little too brazen insolent and sassy and very sarcastic right from the start. Perhaps a typical teenager in today's world. Listening is easy and as I enjoy the Sci-fi content I will continue even though I don't particularly enjoy the narrators voice.
Just my opinion having enjoyed other teen books.

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  • S Crossley
  • 11-05-16

I'll stick with reading this series normally

The book was good and the story entertaining even though it is no great masterpiece. Unfortunately the narration frequently contained obviously incorrect intonation of sentences or words, as well as a few blatant errors (maybe there were typos in the manuscript?) which really broke the immersion.

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  • Kristin
  • 10-20-16

Entertaining and enjoyable

A solid all rounder fantasy read. Memorable characters and an interesting subplot make this enjoyable. I especially liked how people knew that other worlds and gods and demons existed with the same matter of fact attitude we have to science. Maas clearly has planned out plot points for future books, which I look forward to reading.

My only real complaint was that Maas clearly has very little idea about how to write a fight scene. And that many of the protagonist' s problems could be solved if she just assassinated the king. which she could, cause she's an assassin. Celaena is a very strong willed character, but at times her arrogance just seems overblown and foolish.

Still, I'll check out the next book with no reservations.

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  • Stephanie
  • 08-09-16

Liked it.

Enjoyed this much more than I expected.
Story was well paced and interesting, I'm keen to see how the rest of the story pans out. Narration was also enjoyable.