Happy anniversary to Throne of Glass, a young adult fantasy series by American author Sarah J. Maas. The first book, Throne of Glass, was published in August 2012. Throughout its cycle, the series appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list and is currently being optioned as a series to be adapted for Hulu. The story follows Celaena Sardothien, a teenage assassin in a corrupt kingdom with a tyrannical ruler. As the tale progresses, Celaena forms unexpected bonds and uncovers a conspiracy amidst her adventures. The series concluded with its eighth entry in October of 2018.
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Calaena is imprisoned and betrayed by her master at the start of the series. Trained from childhood to become an assassin, she is a master of her trade and adopts a new identity in order to avoid painting a target on her, as she was known as the King’s Assassin before her imprisonment. The book follows her journey as she escapes from slavery and finds herself with the destiny to destroy the King and free the world from his tyrannical rule.
The author revealed she grew up reading about such heroines in fiction, such as Sabriel, and wanted to give her own fanbase a strong female protagonist that they too could feel empowered by. She was quoted as saying this about her conception of Calaena:
‘I grew up reading books like Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown and Garth Nix’s Sabriel—both of which feature strong heroines, and both of which profoundly shaped my identity and empowered me. I started writing knowing I wanted to create books like that—mostly because that’s what interests me and where my passion lies, but also because I’d love for some young woman to read [Throne of Glass] and feel empowered, too.’
Calaena is characterized as very skilled but also with flaws that make her three dimensional, such as arrogance and a bit of narcissism. Funny enough, the author drew inspiration from Disney’s Cinderella, finding the sequence where Cinderella flees the ball to have a soundtrack that was much too intense for the material and imagined it would fit much better if an assassin was in Cinderella’s place. The first book, initially named Queen of Glass, appeared on FictionPress.com before being picked up by the publisher, Bloomsbury, after the series developed a strong online following. From there, the series took off and became an epic fantasy tale, although the author noted nods to Cinderella can still be seen within the novels.
The series has received generally positive reviews, praising its protagonist and setting, noting the author’s skill at both characterization and world-building. We can only hope the series will be picked up for a series on Hulu!
Happy birthday to Throne of Glass! Do you have fond memories of reading this series? Tell us in the comments.
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