This review was originally going to read a bit different. The idea was to do a quick summary of each book in the Throne of Glass series, but I decided to take a different approach.
I had a bit of back and forth about doing those reviews because it’s so rare to find someone who hasn’t at least heard about Sarah J Maas or the Throne of Glass series. Not everyone has read it obviously, but I would imagine that most people who love fairytales and fantasy will eventually get to it.
So, like I said, this will not be the typical book review. This is going to be more of a letter of appreciation. So buckle up, expect a general overview of the books, and get ready to read me pouring my heart out.
Dear SJ Maas,
I wanted to say an enormous thank you for all of the years of dedication that you put into this story, because at the end of the day – your words and your story has made such a dramatic impact on my life.
There are very few series that I will ever read, finish, and almost immediately want to dive into again. However, meeting Celaena then discovering Aelin has provided me with the female heroine I have always craved. Her strength and sacrifice has provided me with a fictional icon that inspires me to push harder and be the most badass person I can be. Her story also highlights that if people don’t understand you, they are just the wrong people to have in your life. You can find and surround yourself with individuals who lift you higher and support you no matter what.
I believe I heard you comment in an interview that you were watching Cinderella one day in high school and it triggered the idea for this Throne of Glass. [From what I remember] You watched the scene where the princess flees the castle, forgetting the glass slipper, and thought, “What if she’s fleeing because she attempted to assassinate the prince?” From there you built a world around a girl who had a horrible past, but you gave her a future worth fighting for.
I think that this story stuck out to me for a few different reasons.
First, you were in high school. Your passion started early with parents who loved to read and encouraged stories. Your family supported your imagination, and it led to the development of one of the best authors in Young Adult fiction (soon to be Adult fiction as well) today – in my very humble opinion.
Second, I love that you gave the princess a darker motivation. For every kid that grew up identifying with emo music or simply struggling to conform, this sentiment of embracing both our dark and light is refreshing.
Finally, I just find the idea of going straight to the job of “assassin” to be genius. Women using their strengths in full but doing so in the dead of night… there’s something thrilling about that. This might just be the introvert in me loving that someone could have a public persona and a hidden self that is just as strong and present. I simply couldn’t walk away.
As an additional reason why I love this series so much is that Celaena, and then Aelin, have very specific personality traits that I identify with.
My person tends to intimidate – I stand 6’0″, I’m super competitive and athletic, I probably talk and argue too much, but I’m loyal as hell and fight for everything I get. Your characters provided a world to escape to that didn’t make me feel crazy. Celaena gave me someone who made me feel more secure in my own intensity.
I remember reading about her physical training and how she rebuilds herself after any set back. It inspired me to work harder and rebuilding myself, whether mentally, emotionally, or physically. Even more so than rebuilding was the idea that our scars and bruises are just as important as the finished product. Perfection is essentially overrated.
Additionally, the perspective on diplomacy made me feel more comfortable in the way that I present myself at work and in meetings. That might sound weird because as everyone knows, this is a fantasy story about building a kingdom in a fictional world. But it made me feel comfortable in the fact that I’m incredibly passionate and I will always be working to perfect the way that I articulate my thoughts and ideas. Aelin reminded me that they might not understand now, but I will make them listen. They will pay attention.
Of course when she found Rowan….. it gave me the last hope that I needed. Physically, I stand out. Emotionally, I can be intense. Mentally, I’m always searching for new challenges. Aelin reminded me that none of these traits should suggest that I can’t find a partner in life. None of these things indicate that I can’t find an equal. Someone to love and be loved by without fear of rejection or misunderstanding.
Every epic love story…
In fact, each romance that you write is unique and powerful. You integrate characters in a way that each partner truly deserves the other. There are no mismatches. And the beauty of the partnerships is that each character is flawed. There are always ups and downs in every relationship, but the way that these partners come together and fight through the hard stuff to come out healthier and happier than before is something worth believing in.
So thank you. Thank you for reminding us that it is possible to find the love we deserve, and NO I do not care that these are fictional characters and relationships. I would rather keep my standards high knowing that I’m strong enough alone to then find someone who appreciates that strength and is willing to simply work alongside me.
What will come next?
I fell in love with this series from the start – from the early novellas, to Celaena’s discovery of who she truly is, to the very end as they come together to battle into death. I will return to this series again and again, and I will share it with my kids, and I hope that it becomes a classic in its own right.
I’m so grateful to you as an author for sharing these stories with the world. It’s obvious just from being at your book signing, and following you on Instagram, that there are people all over the world who connect with your words, your characters, and the worlds you have created.
I will forever sing your praises.
And for anyone who has not picked up this series yet…. please don’t ever let your reasoning be that there are too many books or that the hype seems over the top.
If I were to do it all over again, I would not change my process at all. I would start with the novellas. That is where the magic begins, and one of the greatest romances and partnerships I had ever been introduced to. If you decide that you like the writing style, or your curious to read more, then begin with the first book – Throne of Glass.
I have yet to find a skeptic who has picked up just one book but has not fallen in love with these stories. The series is long but so worth the time spent reading.
SJ Maas has a way with words. She has this ability to weave character webs together and leave surprises throughout each book. However, if you didn’t pick this up in my letter, her creation of Aelin is by far the most wonderful part of this entire book series. So many characters are introduced and developed into something sensational – but Aelin will forever hold my heart.
About the Author
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series, as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.
Find her at http://sarahjmaas.com/.