Sarah J. Maas is one of my favourite authors. I picked up Throne of Glass a couple of years ago at the library, and I was a bit sceptical when I read the series had initially been published on fanfiction.net’s sister site when she was a teenager. For anyone who hasn’t read the book for that reason, I would encourage you to go read it; Maas admits that, while the story was good enough that it gained a lot of readers, her writing has improved a lot since then and she rewrote everything before publishing. This is a far cry from Eragon or Maradonia.
The main reason I love these books is the main character, Celaena Sardothien. She’s a vain, self-centred brat who takes pride in being the greatest assassin in the country. She revels in beauty, loves fiercely and compassionately, and looks out for others. In short, she’s a human being. Sometimes I want to slap her, and sometimes I want to reach out and give her a hug, and that’s why I love her.
Meeting her creator was amazing. You know that saying, that you should never meet your heroes because they’ll only disappoint you? Well, it wasn’t the case here. Maas is so friendly and down-to-earth, and, like many of her readers, she, too, is a geek. And the best part? Because this is Maas’s only UK tour this year, she had some advance copies of her new book, Heir of Fire (due out later this month) available. I snagged one, and let me tell you. It. Was. AWESOME. We get to see more of the world in which the books are set, and encounter new characters, some of whom are Fae, a species not seen before in the series. We also see more of Celaena’s backstory and I felt like the series’ central conflict (or what I foresee the central conflict being) was finally becoming important.
I have one criticism about the book, and I’m going to word this very carefully because what I’m saying could apply to a couple of characters, and I don’t want to give anything away by revealing gender. There’s a character who’s introduced in this book and, as the novel progresses we find this character to be important to one of the protagonists. There’s enough time to become interested in this character, and then they’re killed. Unlike the major character death in Crown of Midnight, I didn’t feel like we’d had enough time with this character to really get to know them, and it felt a bit like their personality was being dangled before us and then cut off, so that their death feels like it’s more important because of its effect on the protagonist than because of who it was that was killed.
That said, that death occurred at the end of the book, so it’s entirely possible we’ll see more of the character’s personality posthumously and, for a book I loved so much, it’s a relatively small complaint. The only downside to getting an early copy of this book is that I have to wait even longer for book 4!