When I attended BEA in May, a publicist at Bloomsbury and Walker Books handsold me an ARC of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. She won me over with her description of a kick-butt heroine and the comparisons to Game of Thrones. A lot of my students are big fans of Game of Thrones so I am always on the lookout for more readalikes. Later, I read blurbs that compared Maas’ story to Megan Whalen Turner, who is a veritable genius of the fantasy genre.
Throne of Glass began it’s life on the website FictionPress a few years ago and amassed a huge following. There are many, many reviews of the original online. However, the original is no longer available and it sounds like I might have enjoyed that version more. Not that there is anything wrong with the published version. I think it will have many fans and I know a lot of my students will really enjoy it. I was just hoping for less of a love story, and apparently the love triangle was an addition made in the move from FictionPress to publication. But don’t get me wrong- this is a book that I think the intended audience will love and I highly recommend it for high school classroom libraries.
Adarlan’s Assassin has been imprisoned in the salt mines doing hard labor since she was seventeen. But after being enslaved for the past year she is suddenly chosen to meet with the Prince. He has chosen her as his champion in a twisted competition being run by the king. Should Celaena win the competition she will become the King’s Assassin and eventually earn her freedom.
I enjoyed the story a lot, but it wasn’t exactly what I was promised. I wanted an epic story, high fantasy, and a story I could not put down. The sword fights were great and I loved some of the characters. But it was not an epic story and there were very few similarities to Megan Whalen Turner or Game of Thrones. However, I do think the target audience will enjoy it so I recommend it for classroom libraries.
Now, can I just take a second to tell all publishers that it’s ridiculous to blurb a book as the ” _______ (fill in the blank- Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Lord of the Rings) for girls”. Can we stop this weird need to create books for boys and books for girls? Because you know who reads Game of Thrones in my classes? Girls! Imagine that! So stop marketing books long gender lines. Totally unnecessary.
*ARC courtesy of the publisher