Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've been an off-and-on fan of the Throne of Glass series for quite a while. I read the first two books, gave up after Crown of Midnight, then my friend convinced me to give the series another try. Which I did, and I was happy for it.
These days, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone, other than a hardcore stan, who'll admit to enjoying Throne of Glass and its sequels, because so many in the community look down on the series for its generally poor LGBT+ and PoC rep, relationships considered abusive (though not to the degree of Maas' ACOTAR series) and, in the case of another friend of mine, for doing Chaol super-duper-dirty.
Rereading this first book in the series, I actually had a lot of fun rediscovering some of my favorite characters from the old days, back when this series was cool and not loaded for bear with fae shenanigans. Not that this book doesn't have fae shenanigans - I mean, by the Wyrd, all those dreams Celaena has, I think they might have secretly influenced some scenes in the Red Rain series along with Divergent and Inception. I also managed to forget that Dorian had a Joffrey-like kid brother, for instance. And that there's definitely room to interpret Nehemia and Celaena as being bi - and, had this been written by V.E. Schwab instead, that angle would have been explored for sure. And that Chaol, who was my favorite back in the day and again now, really does deserve all the attention that my friend and other like-minded fans give him, because this book only gives a small taste of how complex he really is, and how much he deserves better. Hell, I'm not entirely unconvinced he shouldn't be the main character, because as much as Celaena doesn't fall into every single Mary Sue pitfall, there are enough of them for her (ridiculous good looks being one of the primary ones) that Chaol would have made a better protagonist, if perhaps too much for SJM to handle 5+ years ago.
Don't get me wrong, I still love SJM and her books (well, maybe not so much ACOMAF - my four-star review on that one was WAAAAAY too generous in hindsight), but honestly, it's become painfully clear to me that she cares more about stan faves - and her own faves - than fan faves who deserve more attention. (Though, at the very least, we'll be getting a book all about Chaol later this year to look forward to.)
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