|Throne of Glass|
|Genre||Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy|
|Release Date||August 7, 2012|
|Series||Throne of Glass Series|
Within 10 years of publishing the book online, Sarah Maas submitted the original manuscript until she was signed up to write a series of three books for Throne of Glass by Bloomsbury in 2010. In 2012, the first edition of the series, Throne of Glass, was officially published by Bloomsbury USA on August 7th (August 2nd in the UK).
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.
Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Sarah J. Maas has cited Disney's Cinderella as an inspiration for writing Throne of Glass. While viewing the scene in which the heroine flees the ball, Maas found the soundtrack "way too dark and intense". This led her to re-imagine a number of details. "The music fit much better when I imagined a thief—no, an assassin!—fleeing the palace. But who was she? Who had sent her to kill the prince? Who might the prince's enemies be? A powerful, corrupt empire, perhaps?"
Originally known as Queen of Glass, the story initially appeared on FictionPress.com. Bloomsbury acquired the novel in 2010, and purchased two additional Throne of Glass novels in 2012. Publicist Emma Bradshaw noted Maas' "huge online following, particularly in the US". Additionally, Throne of Glass became the first Bloomsbury children's novel to be featured on Netgalley.com, attracting requests "from all over the world." During the story's time on FictionPress.com, an artist named Kelly de Groot drew a map of the tale's world, Erilea, and shared it with Maas. Bloomsbury later hired de Groot to draw the map which appears in the opening novel.
Following its acquisition by Bloomsbury, the story went through a number of revisions prior to publication. Regarding the tale's development, Maas stated, "In the 10 years that I've been working on the series, Throne of Glass has become more of an original epic fantasy than a Cinderellaretelling, bu
t you can still find a few nods to the legend here and there."
In creating the relationship between Celaena and Chaol, Maas gave the characters a number of differences. As the story begins, Chaol is introduced as a strict and ethical captain, while Celaena is presented as a morally ambiguous assassin. According to the author, this contrast contributes to Chaol's character development as his bond with Celaena grows. Amidst their experiences, Chaol eventually comes to view her not just as a captive criminal, but also "as a human being." This matter was also intended as the basis for a complicated romance. While writing the novel, Maas envisioned Chaol as a character who had "always seen the world in black and white," and concluded that "Celaena just throws a wrench in that."
Prince Dorian is presented as a suitor for Celaena as well. However, his background ultimately leads to them facing obstacles of their own.
In anticipation of the series's debut, Bloomsbury released e-book editions of four prequel novellas—The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld, and The Assassin and the Empire—between January and July 2012. Throne of Glasswas previewed by Publishers Weekly in February, while the book trailer premiered on MTV.com in May. Additionally, film option rights were acquired by Creative Artists Agency.
A review from Publishers Weekly lauded the series' opening as a "strong debut novel." The review went on to state, "This is not cuddly romance, but neither is it grim. Celaena is trained to murder, yet she hasn’t lost her taste for pretty dresses or good books, and a gleam of optimism tinges her outlook. Maas tends toward overdescription, but the verve and freshness of the narration make for a thrilling read."
Kirkus stated, "A teenage assassin, a rebel princess, menacing gargoyles, supernatural portals and a glass castle prove to be as thrilling as they sound." With regard to the protagonist, Kirkus noted that "Celaena is still just a teenager trying to forge her way, giving the story timelessness. She might be in the throes of a bloodthirsty competition, but that doesn't mean she's not in turmoil over which tall, dark and handsomely titled man of the royal court should be her boyfriend—and which fancy gown she should wear to a costume party." The review concluded that the story's "commingling of comedy, brutality and fantasy evokes a rich alternate universe with a spitfire young woman as its brightest star."
Throne of Glass was named Amazon.com's "Best Book of the Month for Kids & Teens" in August 2012. Whitney Kate Sullivan of Romantic Times stated that "Maas' YA fantasy world is one of the most compelling that this reviewer has visited all year. The assassin heroine's growth and the multilayered secondary characters are amazing." Serena Chase of USA Today applauded the story's love triangle, and noted that "Maas excels at world building, spicing up this unusual take on the Cinderella story by injecting myths, fairy tales and religious traditions with the magic of a fresh and faulted world. Whereas many authors rely on geographic detail to build their worlds, Maas' environment is more politically driven and her characterizations are deftly drawn to support that sort of structure." Chase also commended Maas for creating "a truly remarkable heroine who doesn't sacrifice the grit that makes her real in order to do what's right in the end."