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Throne of Glass is without doubt one of the worst books I’ve ever learn

With probably the most unrealistic and unbelievable principal character I’ve ever encountered. She is an 18 yr outdated murderer who startles at each sound, swoons over the crown prince (who she hated), eats sweet to the purpose her tooth are stained, begs for a pet, *sasses* everybody she will be able to, and complains when she is woken up too early.

There isn’t a plot. There isn’t a rigidity. The worldbuilding is boiler plate European fantasy. The love triangle is saccharine and predictable from the primary web page.

What do individuals see on this e book? I perceive not each e book must be *East of Eden*, however even probably the most egregious YA (*Starvation Video games, Harry Potter*) had been stuffed with breakneck pacing or charming creativity.

Throne of Glass is insipid to the purpose of secondhand embarrassment. I’ve by no means been so annoyed studying a fantasy e book. Please inform me I’m not alone.

Comments ( 41 )

  1. Currently in the middle of this series and I felt this way after Throne of Glass a bit too. There’s a collection of prequel novellas that are a bit better, and I think are best read either before Throne of Glass or right after, but the sequels are where it really takes off. The end of the second book and the third book as a whole really expand the world (edit: and character growth). I’m halfway through the fourth book right now and enjoying it much more than I thought I would based on the prequel novellas and the first book.

  2. I get you. Popcorn fantasy is a minefield. I feel like I have to be so incredibly picky with fantasy because it’s easy to waste time on two dozen books before you find one worth the time.

    I recently read *The Blacktongue Thief* and enjoyed it a lot, though. It’s absolutely meant to be pure escapist fun, has no illusions about being grand literature, but it still takes the actual craft of writing seriously even when what the author is writing *about* is basically an absurdist D&D campaign. It’s all the good stuff about guilty pleasure reads without the latent sexism, the lazy writing, puerile characters, the mary sues/larry stues, etc that ruins all the fun.

    Fair warning, though, it’s the first book in an intended series, with the second at least a year or two away.

    I’ve also really enjoyed *A Psalm For the Wild Built*, which I would pitch as science fantasy with wandering monks and robots struggling with big questions and self-doubt. The writing is beautifully effective at building a very unique setting. Highly recommend if you want a more optimistic bit of sci-fantasy that knows how to tell a thoroughly compelling personal struggle.

    I’ll also add *A Memory Called Empire* to this list. It’s a great sci-fi book about a young diplomat trying to navigate a situation in which her home is being swallowed up by a colonialist power. It deftly avoids all the godawful sf/fantasy female protagonist pitfalls. The main character is capable and compelling without being unrealistic, the relationships are earned and make sense, the setting is an awesome mix of high sci-fi and aztec aesthetics, and it does a great job of making a genuinely interesting political and cultural system for the characters to navigate. Also packs a surprising amount of worthwhile post-colonialist critique and narratives about cultural identity into an otherwise light book.

  3. I’m reading her other book- A Court of Thorns and Roses, it is… also bad. Sassy tough girl is kidnapped by a fairy prince and he is just immediately in love with her for… reasons.

    She hates him and all fairies.
    He is way overpowered and seems enamoured with her right away. There’s an attempt at build up/banter but it’s so transparent that it really just leaves you asking what they see in each other.

  4. They get worse. Book 4 was a trash heap. One of the worst books I’ve ever read. Whatever character building she had for the main character was wiped away and replaced with an even worse version.

    And it became abundantly clear tha SJM still lives in that post Twilight phase where we considered abusive behavior to be romantic.

  5. I personally really enjoyed throne of glass when I read it, but hated all the books after the 1st in a court of thrones and roses.
    I think the issue with throne of glass is it got so big that people who aren’t in the demographic are reading it expecting something different and more from the book then it was ever intending to do. It’s a fluffy, fun YA fantasy. It wasn’t written to rival Joe Abercrombie

  6. I personally think that author is almost unreadable, and the editor is even worse. I read her other series and after I read the first chapter, I thought “I must have checked out the wrong book with a similar title, there is no way that THIS is the series everyone has been raving about!” The characters are so one-dimensional and the plot is just cringey. The prose is juvenile at best. And don’t even get me started on the people who think it’s “spicy” (it’s not)!

  7. My friends called it “Fairy porn”.

  8. You’re not alone. A simple search for throne of glass in this sub brings up the exact same thoughts and opinions as yours. The more popular a book, especially YA and geared towards the female audience, will bring about a lot of negative reactions with no attempt at a real discourse.

  9. Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers is a really good medieval assassin story.

  10. I agree with your issues but my main problem with the book is it’s got an interesting concept of an assassin competition. My first thought is that it was gonna be some kind of giant death game with some kind of twist to make it not just a Hunger Games copy.

    But then it didn’t do that, the competition was barely a plot point with them just doing like standard archery contests and shit. It was one the most disappointing things in any book I’ve read

  11. I said this in a Facebook group and the comments were locked within 30 minutes because people were Going crazy. I read book two and was lukewarm about it but quit book 3 at 30 pages bc I was tired of her going on about the sour wine and stale bread.🙄

  12. Clearly a lot of people like this book. 1m+ reviews man.

    Not every book has to be for everyone. There are a few 1-Star reviews but not as many as 2-stars.

    I don’t understand the point of making a post just bashing on a book that lots of people love. I haven’t read this one. Just kinda ick on the vibe here.

  13. Kinda a tangent. I haven’t kept up with Harry Potter in almost 2 decades. It’s considered egregious now? What happened?

  14. What a brave and original opinion you have.

  15. Not to completely defend this series, because if you don’t like it that’s totally fine, but I felt the same exact way about this book the first time I tried to read it. I read about 1/3, then DNFed it for over a year. Once I started hearing people scream about it more I tried to pick it up again.

    The first book is outrageously bad and my opinion on that hasn’t changed, but the series does get so much better as it progresses. The last 3-4 books are now some of my all time favs. If you generally like the “fae porn” genre, I would highly recommend scanning it and continuing on with the rest of the series.

  16. I really loved the series. I thought it was a lot of fun. It’s not for everyone though. Even beloved classics aren’t enjoyed by every reader (I personally hated Dune) and, if you look on goodreads, Throne of Glass has plenty of negative reviews.

    I don’t remember the first book very well since I took a break of a few months between reading it and the rest of the series, but I don’t believe I liked it as much as the later books. I thought the series as a whole did a really good job of interweaving a bunch of different plot threads and perspectives without things ever getting confusing. I actually thought the series did a better job of handling a large number of perspectives than almost anything else I’ve read.

  17. The Hunger Games and Harry Potter are egregious?

  18. I have essentially all the same problems with it. BUT —as someone who continued to read the series— here’s kinda how I think of it (and my friend, who is a genuine fan, hates when I say this).

    The culinary equivalent is a McDonald’s Happy Meal. You are not reading this for Michelin starred food. You know the thing going in your mouth probably isn’t chicken, but if you’re honest with yourself, it really isn’t pretending to be. What you’re left with is a meal that is…very cheap, kinda fake, and by no means good quality…but also kind of tasty in the greasy, extremely predictable way. That is literally how I think of it.

  19. The Hunger Games is a good series. It’s a nice anti-capitalist message packaged into a story that both teens and adults can enjoy. No need to call it egregious.

  20. I mean, it’s absolutely a YA fantasy. Its a book I loved when I was 17, and was pretty immersed in the series until the fourth book, when I hit my twenties, and became a bit fed up with the storyline and characters. Honestly, some books can be for everyone, and some books are definitely for a specific set of people – these books are for teenagers/people who just want a silly fun fantasy. If the whole series had been out when I was still a teenager, I probably would of read and loved them all. Different strokes for different folks!

  21. The Throne of Glass series is a reflection of an author growing up and conforming her story to whatever stage of life she now is in. S. J. Maas began writing the first book in her debut series at the age of 16 (thus the childish tendencies of Celaena Sardothein). You can tell that the first three books in the series are sort of cohesive, and it gave you the impression that the story was progressing in a certain manner. Enter Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the series, published during her ACOTAR era. Not only did her writing style suddenly change, but also the arc of the story. The rift between the third and fourth book became so enormous, it’s like you’re reading a whole different story. I found Celaena (who suddenly became Aelin; a poor attempt at scratching the childish character she once invented in exchange for the more mature adult version who’s thoughts and dialogue are indistinguishable from Feyre’s) to be a complete stranger. Not only that, but the content of her writing suddenly turned explicit and for mature audiences, a digression I found to be annoying.

  22. Sarah J Maas is a terrible writer, she has interesting concepts and just fails to do anything interesting with them . Don’t bother with ACOTR either. I don’t know why she’s popular.

  23. I read the most hilarious review of this on Goodreads roasting this book to shreds. The MC was dubbed “Cinderbrat.”

  24. Damn, calling Harry Potter plain bad is a pretty hot take…

  25. Worst book you’ve read *so far*.

    Try Overstory.


  27. And she frequently mows people down like so many stalks of wheat! (I don’t know if that starts being a repeating theme/phrase in the first book or later on in the series)
    I thoroughly enjoyed the series. Which is not to say I thought it was literary gold – I just found it really fun to read. It took many turns throughout.

  28. I thought it was alright. I’ve read worse books by FAR. It kept my attention, even if it was a bit cliché. I don’t think I was the target audience though.

    >I understand not every book needs to be East of Eden, but even the most egregious YA (Hunger Games, Harry Potter) were filled with breakneck pacing or charming creativity.

    I do take issue with this. It seems like you’re suggesting that YA is bad at its core. It’s not bad at all, it’s just not for everyone.

    I would say one reason the series is so popular is because the author has never said anything problematic or controversial. As far as I know she stays away from any political topics.

  29. I have debated the quality of this series so much. My housemate who’s a huge reader and taste I generally appreciate loves the series. I’m three books in and I very much don’t.

    What really bothers me is the author repeatedly tells us one thing then shows us the opposite. It feels like she’s trying to set up the main character to think she’s way cooler than she is, but that’s definitely not true because she also struggles with self worth.

    As an example, there’s a part where she’s wandering this huge library. The author spends a paragraph telling us how because of her deep training it was impossible for her to get lost. In the next sentence she’s lost. This happens over and over. Author tells us how well she handles stress and then immediately after shows us her failing to handle stress. I already don’t like the way she tells us instead of showing us, but that they conflict is a big problem.

  30. >Harry Potter and Hunger Games are egregious

    Of what exactly? I don’t understand how you can put the two series in a same category really, the themes and the style are vastly different.

  31. This is one of my *favorite* series.
    I’d read it in the bathtub as a teenager.

    I will freely admit that intimate sex scenes happen too often. There was simply not enough action to justify slowing down for intimacy.

    I also love:

    Demon King series by Cinda Williams Chima

    Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

    Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

    Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

  32. Respectfully disagree! This is my favourite series of all time. I am in no way a snob about writing style.. the story just swept me away. I love all the characters so much. The series just builds and epically concludes and nothing has really compared since.

  33. Youtuber James Tullos did a three-hour long series reviewing every Throne of Glass book that’s honestly more entertaining than the books themselves. The one point he keeps coming back to is that Sarah J. Maas has good ideas, she just doesn’t know how to use them properly.

  34. All I know about Sarah j. Maas is that her display on Barnes & Noble gets bigger every time I go int

  35. Why do you classify Harry Potter and Hunger Games as ‘egregious’ right before given them credit for quality?

  36. You’re right, but 16 year old me loved it so now 25 year old me still loves it because I stand by all my bad decisions lol.

  37. This series got me through quarantine and reminded me why I loved to read so much. You’re not alone lol many readers don’t like ToG or SJM at all. At least for me, reading about a young woman battling self acceptance and growing into herself is why I enjoyed it. Plus it has fun fantasy elements and a romance. It was a fun journey and read for me.

  38. There are far worse books out there. Take, for example, all the subsequent books in this series. Each is worse than the last.

    The actual writing, the prose, is particularly bad. The author only knows (approximately) 3 adjectives and repeats them constantly, regardless of whether they apply to the situation.

  39. The worst part to me is that it’s a childish version character knockoff of the black jewels trilogy, by Anne bishop, which were actually very original and good. And yet, Maas story is super popular where black jewels is practically unknown.

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