“You Could Rattle the Stars” – Throne of Glass Review

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3/5

Warning: This is pretty long. I didn’t mean for it to be but I suppose there’s no going back now.

I went into this expecting it to be, at best, tolerable. A lot of reviews I’ve read have been incredibly negative and those who did recommend it to me did so on the proviso that the sequel was undoubtedly better but you have to read the first first. For continuity, or whatever.

Having finished reading Throne of Glass, I can see why some people loved it and some people hated it. What most seems to divide readers is a scene I’m going to refer to as the Candy Incident.

*SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET* Skip past the italics for more spoiler-free goodness.

Essentially, there’s a killer lose in the castle taking out Celaena’s fellow competitors and she wakes one morning to find a huge bag of candy on her pillow which she then scoffs without checking for poison. Now, a lot of people have complained that she, as a supposedly trained and deadly assassin, shouldn’t be so stupid as to eat potentially poisoned candy when someone is going on a merry murder spree.

BUT

  1. It’s essentially been established for the reader (and I’m fairly sure Celaena has worked this out too, on some level) that the killer is definitely not the poisoning type. The tear apart corpse and devour body parts type, sure. But candy killer? Not so much.
  2. It’s ‘yulemas’ morning, (which, on a worldbuilding level is a bit of a cop out) and in Erilea, you’d expect a pressie on yulemas morning. My problem with this small detail is that someone has snuck into her room and she hasn’t noticed. But, in her defence, she’s been sleeping poorly and super paranoid for weeks at this point. She probably just wore herself out.
  3. Celaena is, as far as I could tell, fundamentally a girl who likes books and beautiful dresses and music and witty conversation. She likes people. She trusts people. Despite everything that’s happened to her, she is still so, so human. Human enough to let down her guard on yulemas morning because someone has done something nice for her. Human enough to trust in the kind gesture of another. And this is so, so important because, despite the competition, and the creepy killing creature stalking the castle, it’s beginning to feel a little like home, and she hasn’t had ‘home’ in so very long.

*SPOILERS OVER*

Things I loved:

Celaena

Though there were some aspects of her personality that, when introduced, seemed a little contrived, Celaena comes across as incredibly real. She is full of contradictions, in the most human of ways. As the story goes on, you slowly learn more about her, her thoughts, her beliefs, her hobbies. And yes, some come out of the blue a little but it’s like having someone you’ve known for years reveal that they do watercolour painting in their spare time. People are full of contradictions and, like Celaena, our responsibilities and our desires pull us in different directions.

The banter

The banter between Celaena and Chaol, Celaena and Nehemia, and Celaena and Dorian, had me grinning and chuckling most of the way through. The lightness of tone and wit provided a sweet counter to the essentially dark tone of the book.

Nehemia

She was amazing and full of surprises.

The relationships

The relationships between the characters, romantic and platonic, were well executed. I do feel there were some hints of instalove, especially between Celaena and Chaol, but we’ll blame that on the adrenalin coursing through their bodies when they were training together all the time.

I personally really like Dorain and Celaena together but, long term, I think Dorian and Nehemia are more viable. And honestly, I think Celaena and Chaol work better as friends. Good friends. Friends with benefits, even, but just friends. I really want there to be more opportunities in all books, YA and otherwise, for male and female characters to have those super strong band of brothers type relationships without it turning into some lovelorn, sexual tension thing. So, you know, if you’re writing something like that and you need readers, you know where to find me.

Things I didn’t like so much:

There were a few times when some of the female characters super judged each other for what they liked, their ambitions, or apparent lack thereof. I don’t sign up to read about that. We all got our own thing going on and there are more than enough people in the world willing and ready to judge a woman’s choices without other women jumping on that bandwagon too.

The writing style, especially at the start, felt quite weak. It did improve and I look forward to it improving more as the series goes on.

 

All in all, though, I really enjoyed it. I found myself reading it when I didn’t really have the time which is always a good sign.

So, will I read the next one? Yes. Yes, I will.

Have you read Throne of Glass? What were your thoughts?

ROW80 Update

This week, I didn’t have to teach, but I worked every day and had an assignment due. Nevertheless, I feel that I’ve done ok. Now, let’s colour-code everything and find out.

  • Practice Duolingo everyday – almost. Only missed Tuesday.
  • Listen to music/watch a show in one of my target languages twice a week – done
  • Write 500 words every week day (2500 a week) – Hit 1,600 this week. Even though I didn’t hit the 2,500 goal, I’m happy with what I did get done.
  • Read a book a fortnight – on track
  • Keep on top of my CELTA coursework – done, though it’s getting harder as the course goes on.
  • Visit three new blogs a week – At this stage, we may as well just admit it’s unlikely to happen at the moment. Sorry.
  • Post a #bookstagram post on instagram at least once a week – done
  • Publish one non-blog-hop post a week – I did it! I posted a review of my bullet journal on Friday

World, meet BuJo. BuJo, meet World.

World, meet BuJo. BuJo, meet world. ¤ #bujo #bulletjournal #bulletjournalling #writersofig #amwriting #stationeryaddict

A photo posted by Amelia E Browne (@ameliaebrowne) on

I promised I would give you a glimpse into my bullet journalling. This is it.

I first came across bullet journalling a few months ago. As someone who loves making lists for almost everything, and comes up with a minute by minute ‘plan of attack’ for even the simplest tasks, bullet journalling seemed perfect for me.

The main problem I’ve found so far with the system is that I’m a perfectionist. By its very nature, a bullet journal cannot be always perfect (though the endless stream of images on pinterest and instagram would like us to believe otherwise).

 

I researched and researched and researched before I bought my notebook. There are two main notebook brands that the well known bullet journalists champion – the Moleskin and the Leuchttrum1917. I went with the later, despite my worries about the see-through-ness of the pages, simply because I couldn’t afford the Moleskin I preferred. My BuJo is lined.

As I began to use the notebook, I realised that my fears were confirmed – the pages are really thin and the type of pen you would use for the beautiful headings goes right through the page. In a number of videos I watched, the bullet journalists referred to this phenomenon as ghosting. I’m not a fan of ghosting. I like pages new. I like them thick. That said, I’ve managed to  survive.

As the primary purpose of this notebook was to replace my previous writing notebook (which I love but sadly cannot find anywhere), I haven’t gotten hugely into the weekly, monthly and yearly planners that the Bullet Journal movement is famous for. And I don’t see the point of making lists of movies or books. or tracing out trackers for everything under the sun. Mostly, this book is for writing, for notes and ideas and quotes and snippets and words. A couple of weeks ago, I started a word count tracker. Despite last week being wholly unsuccessful on the writing front, I feel that this tracker will prove especially helpful when we hit November (which is only a few months away!! nobody panic!).

 

What’s worked:

  • The index feature. I’m in love with it and it makes finding things so much easier. Before, I’d be leafing through pages and pages of various notebooks to find what I’m looking for. No longer!🙂
  • Combining all my notes and scribbles, whether for work or writing or life, into the one place.
  • Allowing my inner decorator to fly free with meters of washi tape and a truckload of beautiful pens.

What hasn’t worked:

  • Trackers, the recommended set up in general. I don’t really have enough separate tasks on my plate at the moment to fill out a day by day log.
  • The thinness of the paper really gets to me. I want to use nice, thick pens but they are visible on the next page, sometimes through a number of pages.
  • It’s not as pretty as I’d like, but that can be worked upon🙂

Have you joined the Bullet Journal craze? Does it work for you? What parts have you adapted to suit your own style?

This is Fine – ROW80 Update

fine

  • Practice Duolingo everyday – nope, most days but not all.
  • Listen to music/watch a show in one of my target languages twice a week – done
  • Write 500 words every week day (2500 a week) – hahaha. No. But I knew this week wouldn’t be a good one for writing productivity so I’m not too upset.
  • Read a book a fortnight – on track
  • Keep on top of my CELTA coursework – I have an assignemnt due this week which I should probably be a little further ahead on than I am.
  • Visit three new blogs a week – I’m sorry
  • Post a #bookstagram post on instagram at least once a week – done
  • Publish one non-blog-hop post a week – I’m lucky to be posting one blog post at all at the moment.

 

WIPpet Wednesday

I haven’t had a chance to write anything new since Sunday, so this is from a scene I rewrote then.

A description bit:

The cool darkness washed over her, a shock after the bright summer sun out on the terrace. A lancing pain shot through her temple and she winced, taking a moment to lean against the cool stucco wall until the woozy sensation passed.

The Sun Returns (and other updates)

I finally bought Scrivener! Woo! Since April, I’ve been rationing my dwindling supply of trial days while I wait to have enough money to buy the full product. Even with the discount code from winning CampNaNoWriMo, I’ve had to wait this long thanks to a number of unexpected expenses. Hopefully, now having full access will kick my productivity into hyperdrive. Or maybe just low gear – anything will be an improvement😛

  • Practice Duolingo everyday – 6/7
  • Listen to music/watch a show in one of my target languages twice a week – *quickly listens to some Swedish pop* done
  • Write 500 words every week day (2500 a week) – I wrote 4,000 this week, which I’m really pleased with. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to write this week coming though but it should balance out over all.🙂
  • Read a book a fortnight – I just finished Close Call and started Sailing to Sarantium
  • Keep on top of my CELTA coursework – so far, so good🙂
  • Visit three new blogs a week – I visited one.
  • Post a #bookstagram post on instagram at least once a week – I posted a pic of all the books I’ve bought from work in the past few weeks. You can see it in the sidebar. I may have gone a tad overboard….
  • Publish one non-blog-hop post a week – not this week

This week has been one of my more productive weeks for a while.

How did you fare this week?