Genre: YA, Fantasy
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Disclaimer: This book, and review, contains spoilers for the first book in the series, Throne of Glass.
Reading this book was… an exercise in patience and will-power. If I wasn’t so determined to finish the book, I wouldn’t have been able to.
It started off a few months after the end of the first one. Celaena was the king’s Champion and did his dirty work, her relationship with Dorian was over and she was trying to get through her time serving the king.
Now, there are, I believe, a few requirements when it comes to this book.
- You have to love Celaena at least half as much as the author does (and SJM is obsessively in love with her protagonist and makes sure that everything in the book ever, is always about her.)
- You have to give a shit about Celaena and Chaol’s relationship or about Celaena’s romantic relationship in general.
- You have to have at least liked the first book.
I did not check any of the requirements since I can’t stand Celaena, couldn’t care less about anything to do with her, much less her love life, and hated the first book. So it shouldn’t really be a surprise that I didn’t love this one.
Nothing happens for the first half other than a nauseating romance that I didn’t care for. Honestly, the romance was only there because god forbid there be any half decent guy in the series that isn’t awed by Celaena.
Oh and, did I mention that Maas is in love with Celaena Sardothian? If not, then I’ll say it again. Sarah J. Maas is in love with Celaena Sardothian. So much that she spends the entire book trying (and failing) to make her look amazing and strong and fierce and all the other crap that she isn’t. It shows in every sentence she writes.
Her attempts stretch so far that she makes every other character look bad at one point or the other so that Sardothian seems better by comparison. It’s like she doesn’t care about any other character or any other aspect in the book. Like the world building, for example.
After reading almost a thousand pages of this series (I read a novella as well), we still barely know anything. We know there was magic and then there wasn’t, but how did the world work before magic disappeared? And how did it differ from how the society is now?How were the people who depended upon magic impacted? How immersed was magic in their lives? What percentage of the world were fae? And how the fuck did a king manage to takeover multiple kingdoms and suppress any and all rebellion in one fucking decade?!
None of these questions were answered. Clearly, the author can’t be bothered with developing social norms and a proper history because Celaena’s romances are so much more important. Safe to say, world building is one area SJM does not excel at.
All the anger and frustration aside, there were positives (I’m aware I should have started with positives but I didn’t want to).
The last 100 pages were pretty good. The plot finally moved and there were some interesting revelations. The end also too us in a, hopefully, new direction.
But before the last 100 pages, the thing that helped me hold on to the book was Dorian’s sub-plot. Dorian was the only character I cared about. His story was pretty removed from Celaena and what was happening with him was interesting and made me curious.
In fact, if I end up continuing with the series, it will be because of him. And because I want to know this Manon person, whoever she is.
Overall, if you meet the requirements I listed above, you should read this one for sure. If not, I’d avoid it.