Fantasy. An entirely different, impossible world. Fantasy authors create these worlds for us, the readers, to explore. The number of people who read paper books dwindles each year, yet the writers do not stop. Sarah J. Maas is one such author who paints a picture of another realm that ignites the imagination of her readers. Her best-selling novels, including the popular series Throne of Glass, are devoured by many young adult book readers.
The protagonist, initially named Celaena, is introduced merely as an infamous assassin. However, throughout the stories she evolves into something more, someone who can change the fate of her world. I followed her journey and growth through these books, as if I also lived and breathed in Celaena’s world due to the vivid imagery and breathtaking descriptions. Celaena’s world instantaneously came to life in front of me, a fantastical world full of assassins and magic. Celaena’s dangerous yet exhilarating life and the intrigue of the courts and palaces plunged me into this world, and it was almost as if I was a part of it.
In her book, Maas breathes life into her characters—a snarky witch, a stoic warrior, a stunning shifter. These rich characters are so well developed that despite not being real, they steal the tears and break the hearts of unguarded readers such as myself. For instance, I was devastated by the fate of a few of my favorite characters, twelve brave, fierce witches who sacrificed themselves to protect their leader.
Celaena herself, of course, is fascinating. Imagine a slim girl with untamed blonde hair and glinting turquoise eyes. She holds a careless attitude to the world, her every word laced with sarcasm and spite. However, she is powerful, and even though she has been held prisoner and tortured, she persists, never giving up. When she rises to power later in the story, she becomes even less selfish, willing to lay her life down for her friends.
Yet despite the many tragedies that occur, the series is not without its lighthearted moments. Celaena is a rulebreaker, and when discovered, entertaining scenes are bound to ensue. A particular favorite of mine in the first book is where it was the morning of a holiday, Yulemas. To her assigned servant’s surprise and consternation, our dear protagonist was already up at seven, snacking on chocolate and candy. I find that unfortunately relatable.
Once I picked up Throne of Glass, I could not put it down until I was done reading. Celaena’s world is iconic, filled with intriguing characters. If you have an interest in fantasy and a fondness for a riveting world and are looking for your next read, this is the series for you.
Cecilia Yang is a high school freshman from the Harker School in San Jose, California. She passes the time with her nose buried in a book. While she has been writing in nearly all the genres, fantasy is fondly her favorite. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found drawing or dancing to the city’s sounds. Her story, entitled “Memories Bottled Up,” has appeared in the Flare Journal.