After my four star review of [b:The Assassin and the Empire|13565676|The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1341877441s/13565676.jpg|19143595], I was really hoping that Throne of Glass would pick up for me. I had had a hard time initially getting into the book, but the novellas cemented the world that Maas had created for me and I felt prepared to tackle the novel itself again. Unfortunately, I think the novel just can't compare to the atmosphere created by the novellas.
The first thing that bothered me was the fact that the world worships a Goddess who has gods as her consorts, yet treat women as inferior
. I cannot wrap my mind around this. Technically, women should be more powerful then because cultures and religion are almost one in the same: one always mimics the other. I started trying to justify it, thinking maybe it was one of those things where the gods were more important and the Goddess was more how we consider Mother Earth to be, but it's more important. They have a High Priestess who runs church services and in a game of chess, Dorian moved his High Priestess. This is a world-building mistake that I think most people will be able to get over, but it really bothered me.
The second thing to bother me was this: the lack of mention of Sam
. After reading the novellas and seeing how Celaena completely opened up to Sam, trusted him more than anyone and was nearly destroyed by his death this didn't make sense to me. I also had a problem with the love interest. There is a bit of a love triangle in this story, but I didn't find it to be annoying. Actually, for most of the book, Celaena had clearly chosen the prince and it was Chaol who was secretly longing after her. It's not until the very end that it becomes an actual triangle. I mean, considering that this is a re-telling of Cinderella and the way the author has set everything up, I think most readers will gather who the final love interest will be, but her initial feelings for him are completely unwarranted. They come out of nowhere. It makes me think that the only reason that she likes him is because he likes books and is handsome. After the heartbreak of Sam, I just wanted to see more emotion from Celaena. I wanted to see her struggle to find love again and be at war with herself because Sam was all she had. Instead, she doesn't even mention Sam until more than 30 percent of the way through the book. I was highly disappointed with the turn out.I also had some trouble figuring out who was narrating
. There were many times when it was a close third of Dorian or Chaol, but then something would happen and the narration would say that the narrator didn't see it. If the narrator didn't see it, then how could the reader see it? For example, after the final match between Celaena and Cain, the reader is taken to Dorian's point of view for a moment as he rushes to her. Everything is in a close 3rd person narrative, but suddenly: "... Dorian glanced toward Kaltain and Perrinton. In doing so, he missed the look exchanged between Cain and his father.... But Chaol saw. So who is narrating that scene? I think part of the reasons Maas' novellas were so strong in their narration was that they were solely through Celaena's eyes. Switching between narrators can be done and I tend to like books more when there is more than one narrator, however these narrations were executed poorly.
Maas does create a very interesting world, though. I think she is very clever and I really enjoyed the way that she set everything up. I like that she includes other races, which is a rarity in YA books. I like that two girls can talk to each other and be friends without all the cliche girl-hate.
I really see Maas improving drastically as a writer as time goes on. This might be an odd thing to say, but even though this book wasn't my favorite, I would still pick up her next book. I think she holds a lot of potential and is one of those writers who will only get better as time goes on. If you're thinking about reading this, I'd say give it a go. Her world is creative and her writing is nice -- you very well might find yourself enjoying it.