Throne of Glass: January Readalong Post The First

“I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.”

Sarah J. Maas

2015TBR

I SAID I WAS GOING TO DO MORE READALONGS, DIDN’T I? As part of the 2015 TBR Reading Challenge, Bookish is running a Throne of Glass January readalong, so this is my discussion post for the first half of that novel.

OK, disclaimer: I read Throne of Glass a while back, for last term’s essay on Children’s Literature, so I’ll try not to do spoilers for the second half of the book.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did you read The Assassin’s Blade? If so, do you think it enhanced your reading of Throne of Glass? If you haven’t, do you plan to go back and do so before continuing with the series? No, I didn’t read The Assassin’s Blade, mainly because I wasn’t originally aware of its existence. And I probably won’t continue with this series (sorry); it’s not that Throne of Glass is bad, it’s just that a book has to be REALLY good for me to read sequels (or prequels), because there are so many lovely books out there waiting to be read.
  2. Who do you think is behind the Champions’ murders? Um, the first time I read it? I think I was just being sucked into the mystery of it all. I kind of assumed it was an Evil Murderous Force of Evil rather than a specific murderer (which was a pretty cool thought, actually), although I might have suspected Lady Kaltain or the Duke.
  3. Thus far, what are some of your favorite scenes from Throne of Glass? I actually love the bit where Celaena dresses up and goes round being like “LOOK I’M SO PRETTY”, because that’s an unusual attitude for a badass heroine, and it has nothing to do with being vain or silly or weak; she just likes looking pretty. Also the library, because libraries.
  4. Have you tried sticking to Sarah’s pronunciations or did you make up your own way to say all these names? I made up my own pronunciations. It’s really, really irritating when people look down their noses at you for saying names wrong (and I’m a member of my university Tolkien Society, so it happens A LOT), as if it really matters. What matters is the story, and what you as a reader take away from it.
  5. Is this the first time you’ve read Throne of Glass? We’re you like Andrea and Jessica and completely unsure as to why you waited so long to read it? Or, if you reread it for the Read Along, did your reading experience change from the first time? I’ve only read it once all the way through, but I did write about it, which was really interesting in terms of how I changed my mind about what it says about materialism and feminism. Compared to some of the other books I read for that essay, it’s actually quite progressive, and, like I said before, I love that Celaena gets to dress up AND be an assassin.
  6. Okay, let’s just get into this: As of this moment, who are you more fond of–Chaol or Dorian? Chaol, hands down. He actually behaves like a normal person, and relates to Celaena on a more equal footing, whereas Dorian just swans around like, “Hey, I’m the Crown Prince! I am irresistible to all women!” SHUT UP.
  7. What do you think about Princess Nehemia and her friendship with Celaena? Are you a fan, or are you giving the princess a side-eye? I was…quite sceptical about Nehemia. She totally seems to have an ulterior motive – no-one is that nice in that kind of court.
  8. How are we liking Nox? Do you think he’ll end up as someone to count on in the future, or should we not trust him? Nox is cool, in a kind of lovable-villain-y way. I liked that he seemed to have an actual moral code, as far as it went, instead of just trying to Win At All Costs.
  9. The writing! Are you loving Sarah’s writing as much as I am? Because seriously–it is so gorgeous. I do like how she describes the material things of Adarlan – that’s actually my favourite thing about Throne of Glass. I really enjoyed experiencing that sort of faux-medieval world.
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4 thoughts on “Throne of Glass: January Readalong Post The First

  1. haha I chuckled at your comment about Dorian. I think he has his moments and I liked he gave her books, but I don’t really care for him for pretty much the same reason.

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  2. 1) Aww, don’t feel bad. Not everybody is going to love everything! And I agree, if you aren’t crazy about a book, there’s not reason to read the prequels or sequels when there are an abundance of books out there you want to read! Though I’m glad you’re still joining us for the read along!

    2) I’m right behind you on this one,too! I didn’t know if it was a person or as you said an Evil Murderous Force of Evil. What I really like this, is Sarah wasn’t obvious about it. It really was a mystery as to why these Champions were dying.

    3) This is one of the things I love about Celaena. She is a bad ass heroine who has zero trouble kicking ass, but at the same time is very feminine. She loves makeup and getting all dressed up. I think it’s very rare to find characters that have both these traits.

    4) I myself stuck to the pronunciations, kind of a challenge for myself lol. But I have to agree that when people jump down your throat if you say a character’s name wrong is insane. I’ve read a few books, without pronunciation guides, where I just changed to their names to something much easier to say/remember.

    5) Okay, I’m intrigued. Do you still have this essay? I kind of want to read it – that’s the English teacher in me 😀

    6) ahaha “swans around”! I frickin love that! And that’s totally what he does! I do think he and Celaena have a cute little romance, but I can’t really see anything happening with it. I’m not entirely convinced of Chaol either. Guess I’ll have to read the sequel to figure it out.

    7) Yes! I liked her, but I was also side eying her the whole time. I love how her and Celaena just clicked but, you’re right. No one is that nice in court and given her history/relationship with this kingdom . . . come on now.

    8) I do like Nox. A lot. I’m hoping he sticks around and becomes a good ally for Celaena.

    9) Sarah is a terrific writing. She really knows how to suck her readers in and give them visual pictures of characters and things. I never felt like the novel dragged or lacked in detail.

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    1. I’m actually really enjoying the readalong, even though Throne of Glass wasn’t really my cup of tea 🙂 This is the relevant bit of the essay (possible spoilers?):
      “Fine clothes are, as in the “Cinderella” narrative (and, indeed, the first lines of Cinder), associated with freedom here; Celaena is essentially a capitalist, interested in self-advancement and -improvement, not only material but societal. It is important, also, that the clothes she describes and so loves are just as impractical as the glass castle of Rifthold (or, indeed, the glass slipper), and the narrative recognises this: “She…did trip on her dress, and her shoes cut into her heels terribly”. Connotations of impracticality are in Throne of Glass actually divorced from gender issues: the culture of display and purposelessness are social problems, not gender-specific ones (although the glass castle does seem to be more problematic than Celaena’s love of clothes, for Rifthold is a political symbol whereas Celaena’s self-interest is strictly personal and does not extend to her politics). So although the world of Throne of Glass, like that of Cinder, never fully escapes a culture of materialism, it does allow us to imagine a different cultural space from its source text, “Cinderella”, a space in which the material is not explicitly gendered, and in which, therefore, its heroine can succeed without patriarchal aid.”

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