Throne of Glass
|Author||Sarah J. Maas|
|Published||August 2, 2012 (UK)
August 7, 2012 (US)
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
Throne of Glass is a young adult fantasy novel series by American author Sarah J. Maas, beginning with the inaugural entry of the same name. Partly inspired by Cinderella, the story follows the journey of Celaena, a teenage assassin in a corrupt kingdom. As the tale progresses, Celaena forms unexpected bonds, and uncovers a conspiracy amidst her adventures.
Throne of Glass follows Celaena Sardothien, an 18-year-old assassin in the kingdom of Adarlan. Upon being imprisoned, she accepts an offer to compete with other killers in a glass castle for a chance to serve the kingdom. This leads her to form unexpected bonds with Chaol, the captain of the guard, and Dorian, the crown prince of Adarlan. In time, Celaena is drawn into a conspiracy and a series of battles, leading to discoveries surrounding both the kingdom and herself.
Sarah J. Maas has cited Disney's Cinderella as an inspiration for writing Throne of Glass. While viewing the scene in which the heroine flees the ball, Maas found the soundtrack "way too dark and intense". This led her to re-imagine a number of details. "The music fit much better when I imagined a thief—no, an assassin!—fleeing the palace. But who was she? Who had sent her to kill the prince? Who might the prince's enemies be? A powerful, corrupt empire, perhaps?"
Originally known as Queen of Glass, the story initially appeared on FictionPress.com. Bloomsbury acquired the novel in 2010, and purchased two additional Throne of Glass novels in 2012. Publicist Emma Bradshaw noted Maas' "huge online following, particularly in the US". Additionally, Throne of Glass became the first Bloomsbury children's novel to be featured on Netgalley.com, attracting requests "from all over the world." During the story's time on FictionPress.com, an artist named Kelly de Groot drew a map of the tale's world, Erilea, and shared it with Maas. Bloomsbury later hired de Groot to draw the map which appears in the opening novel.
Following its acquisition by Bloomsbury, the story went through a number of revisions prior to publication. Regarding the tale's development, Maas stated, "In the 10 years that I've been working on the series, Throne of Glass has become more of an original epic fantasy than a Cinderella retelling, but you can still find a few nods to the legend here and there."
In an interview prior to the series' debut, Maas discussed the process of creating her protagonist:
|“||I grew up reading books like Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown and Garth Nix's Sabriel—both of which feature strong heroines, and both of which profoundly shaped my identity and empowered me. I started writing knowing I wanted to create books like that—mostly because that's what interests me and where my passion lies, but also because I'd love for some young woman to read [Throne of Glass] and feel empowered, too.||”|
The story's teenage heroine, Celaena Sardothian, is introduced as an orphan who was raised and trained by an assassin. She is largely characterized as skilled, arrogant, and witty. While shaping her protagonist, Maas was inspired by the heroism of Arwen from The Lord of the Rings, and by the characterization of Velma Kelly from Chicago. Maas has stated that the latter's "arrogance and fierceness made me want to write about a woman like her—about a woman who never once said sorry for being talented and determined and utterly in love with herself."
The author ultimately designed Celaena as a highly capable character whose talents also form a basis for numerous faults. In interviews preceding the series' release, Maas noted her heroine's issues with "impatience" and "vanity". She also suggested that Celaena would grow while adjusting to her new role. In addition to Celaena's skills as an assassin, Maas wanted the character to have several traits and hobbies befitting her age, including a fondness for "shopping, books, and fine dining", as well as a "penchant for getting into trouble."
In creating the relationship between Celaena and Chaol, Maas gave the characters a number of differences. As the story begins, Chaol is introduced as a strict and ethical captain, while Celaena is presented as a morally ambiguous assassin. According to the author, this contrast contributes to Chaol's character development as his bond with Celaena grows. Amidst their experiences, Chaol eventually comes to view her not just as a captive criminal, but also "as a human being." This matter was also intended as the basis for a complicated romance. While writing the novel, Maas envisioned Chaol as a character who had "always seen the world in black and white," and concluded that "Celaena just throws a wrench in that."
Prince Dorian is presented as a suitor for Celaena as well. However, his background ultimately leads to them facing obstacles of their own.
|Book #||Title||US release|
|1||Throne of Glass||7 August 2012|
|An imprisoned assassin named Celaena is offered freedom in exchange for her services to a tyrannical king.|
|2||Crown of Midnight||27 August 2013|
|Celaena is settling into her new role as the King's Champion, but faces ethical dilemmas amidst her mission.|
|3||Heir of Fire||2 September 2014|
|Book #||Title||US release|
|Prequel||The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas||13 March 2014|
|A collection of stories set prior to the Throne of Glass series, including four novellas previously published in e-book format:
In anticipation of the series's debut, Bloomsbury released e-book editions of four prequel novellas—The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld, and The Assassin and the Empire—between January and July 2012. Throne of Glass was previewed by Publishers Weekly in February, while the book trailer premiered on MTV.com in May. Additionally, film option rights were acquired by Creative Artists Agency.
A review from Publishers Weekly lauded the series' opening as a "strong debut novel." The review went on to state, "This is not cuddly romance, but neither is it grim. Celaena is trained to murder, yet she hasn’t lost her taste for pretty dresses or good books, and a gleam of optimism tinges her outlook. Maas tends toward overdescription, but the verve and freshness of the narration make for a thrilling read."
Kirkus stated, "A teenage assassin, a rebel princess, menacing gargoyles, supernatural portals and a glass castle prove to be as thrilling as they sound." With regard to the protagonist, Kirkus noted that "Celaena is still just a teenager trying to forge her way, giving the story timelessness. She might be in the throes of a bloodthirsty competition, but that doesn't mean she's not in turmoil over which tall, dark and handsomely titled man of the royal court should be her boyfriend—and which fancy gown she should wear to a costume party." The review concluded that the story's "commingling of comedy, brutality and fantasy evokes a rich alternate universe with a spitfire young woman as its brightest star."
Throne of Glass was named Amazon.com's "Best Book of the Month for Kids & Teens" in August 2012. Whitney Kate Sullivan of Romantic Times stated that "Maas' YA fantasy world is one of the most compelling that this reviewer has visited all year. The assassin heroine's growth and the multilayered secondary characters are amazing." Serena Chase of USA Today applauded the story's love triangle, and noted that "Maas excels at world building, spicing up this unusual take on the Cinderella story by injecting myths, fairy tales and religious traditions with the magic of a fresh and faulted world. Whereas many authors rely on geographic detail to build their worlds, Maas' environment is more politically driven and her characterizations are deftly drawn to support that sort of structure." Chase also commended Maas for creating "a truly remarkable heroine who doesn't sacrifice the grit that makes her real in order to do what's right in the end."
- "Throne of Glass". goodreads.com. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Maas, Sarah (April 14, 2011). "I hear music…Mighty fine music…". Let The Words Flow. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Maas, Sarah (January 16, 2012). "Big News Reveal (Part 2)". goodreads.com. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Page, Benedicte (July 27, 2012). "Free Prequels For Bloomsbury's Assassin". bookseller.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Maas, Sarah (July 31, 2012). "The Story Behind the Map in Throne of Glass". sjmaas.livejournal.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "Interview With Sarah J. Maas". hippiesbeautyandbooksohmy.com. July 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "Interview with Sarah J. Maas". yabookreads.com. December 8, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Cypess, Leah (August 8, 2012). "Interview With Sarah J. Maas, author of Throne of Glass". Enchanted Inkpot. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "Throne of Glass review". Kirkus Reviews. May 2, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Maas, Sarah (August 18, 2010). "Celaena Through The Years". sarahjmaas.livejournal.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Maas, Sarah (February 5, 2009). "Long Entry About Writing and Inspiration". sjmaas.livejournal.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Maas, Sarah (December 15, 2008). "What I'd Write, Dogs". sjmaas.livejournal.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Sarah, Maas (August 12, 2013). "Big News: Announcing The THRONE OF GLASS Novella Collection". goodreads.com. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Dennard, Susan (January 21, 2012). "The Assassin and the Pirate Lord". publishingcrawl.com. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "Fall 2012 Sneak Previews". Publishers Weekly. February 20, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Rosenfield, Kat (May 14, 2012). "Peep The EXCLUSIVE Trailer For Throne Of Glass". MTV. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- "I Have A Film Agent". goodreads.com. January 21, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "Children's Review: Throne of Glass". Publishers Weekly. June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "Best Books of the Month for Kids & Teens". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- Sullivan, Whitney. "Book Review: Throne of Glass". Romantic Times. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Chase, Serena (August 16, 2012). "Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas". USA Today. Retrieved August 16, 2012.