This is the second book in the young adult fantasy series Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. There are five prequel novellas published together in The Assassin’s Blade which you can read my review for here and my review for the first book here. After the prequels there are seven main works including this one, and the 7th and final book was just published. This is my first read through of the series and I’m excited to see what all the fuss is about – and that I don’t have to wait for any new releases and can binge through them all!
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.
I’m glad to say I thought this second book was much better than the first. It seems like Maas really just gave us a long set up in book one that is now really starting to flesh itself out in book two. I felt way more connected to the story line and the bigger picture of the plot and outside world. I also felt like this second book was way more of a fantasy than the first book. Instead of magic only being something forbidden and lost from long ago, we actually got to see the characters discussing and interacting with magic. The stakes were higher in this book and I felt way more invested the in the characters than the previous book. Also if you know my taste at all you know I’m a romance junkie so I definitely enjoyed getting more of that in this book.
Again I still really like Chaol (cautiously) and I feel like Celaena’s reaction towards him later in the book is a bit petty and overdramatic but the girl’s been through a lot so it would probably be less believable if she responded any other way. I was surprised by Dorian’s development in this one and I’m really excited to see how this plays out. One of the most interesting parts of this book was getting a small POV from the king. And spoilers aside, I’ll just say I didn’t trust a certain someone from the beginning and it felt pretty satisfying to be validated by that reveal.
The big reveal at the end wasn’t a surprise to me due to all the hints as well as it being obvious from any information on the internet about the series. But I will say I was glad it was finally confirmed and revealed to at least one character instead of remaining a “mystery” into the next book. I liked how the book kind of set us up for a classic quest but Celaena is just so reluctant to participate in her hero’s journey. She remains stubborn, selfish, and arguably cowardly until she’s met with a breaking point. And even then she’s only just starting to maybe get on board with her destiny when a wrench gets thrown into the plans, though I think she’ll still end up exactly where she needs to be. I’m glad the series is getting better with this second book and I’m starting to see even more why everyone is obsessed with this series.
On to book 3!