Is the Throne of Glass series by SJM worth reading?

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 12:19 pm

Is the Throne of Glass series by SJM worth reading?

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

Disclaimer: This review is spoiler-free. Underlined black copy is clickable and will link you to relevant section. This blog contains affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through those links.

Whether you’re a seasoned Sarah J. Maas fan or just hopping on the fantasy train after devouring the A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series, diving into an 8-book series is no small commitment – financially, time-wise, and emotionally (trust me, on that last one!). 

So, the big question, is Throne of Glass (TOG) worth your precious reading hours? Can you jump straight to Crescent City? And how does TOG stack up against ACOTAR? Well, my bookish friends, I’m here to spill the tea and answer all your burning questions.

What we will cover:

Throne of Glass recap: Series in a Nutshell

First things first, Throne of Glass is a young adult fantasy rollercoaster filled with intrigue, magic, and self-discovery. It’s got a formidable multifaceted protagonist (Celaena Sardothien), political intrigue, romance and enough high-stake adventures to keep you up all night not wanting to put the books down. It sets the stage for an epic fantasy series.

Now, let’s talk about the series itself. Brace yourselves, it’s an 8-book saga, so you better clear your reading schedule! Here’s the reading order if you wish to read in chronological order (which I personally wouldn’t recommend, more on that later):

  • Assassins Blade
  • Throne of Glass
  • Crown of Midnight
  • Heir of Fire
  • Queen of Shadows
  • Empire of Storms
  • Tower of Dawn
  • Kingdom of Ash

What makes this series stand out is its intricate world-building, complex character relationships, and the perfect blend of action, romance, and scheming. It’s a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and fighting for justice in a meticulously crafted fantasy realm. You see the protagonist become embroiled in a world of political intrigue and dark forces, grow from a feared assassin to a powerful and compassionate leader.

Personal Milestones with TOG

Okay, can we just take a moment to appreciate all the ‘firsts’ this series brought into my reading life? 🙌 It was the first time I read a book with a friend, and let me tell you, those debrief sessions were an absolute blast! Highly recommend doing buddy reads. Plus, it was my first completed 8-book series – talk about commitment! Tandem reading, anyone? Oh, and the tears I shed while reading Kingdom of Ash (#7)? Let’s just say it was a lot – and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

SJM's Leading Ladies

Let’s give a shoutout to Sarah J. Maas for her knack for crafting incredible female characters. Celaena Sardothien, Aelin Galathynius, Manon Blackbeak, and Yrene Towers have carved a permanent spot in my bookish heart. These ladies are fierce, complex, and utterly unforgettable.

Is TOG worth it?

So, is Throne of Glass worth your time? Buckle up, my friend, because this series is a thrilling ride you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re a die-hard SJM fan or new to her magical worlds, TOG is a must-read for any fantasy lover. Dive in, and may your reading adventures be as epic as Celaena’s!”

Comparing the Throne of Glass novels: Which Book Stands Out?

So, let’s chat about the Throne of Glass novels, shall we? 📚 First off, I’ve got to say, they’re all pretty fantastic, with one tiny exception – Assassins Blade (#0.5). It’s not bad per se, just a tad slower and, well, it’s a prequel, so you kinda know where things are headed if you’ve already started the series (like I did, after Crown of Midnight (#2)).

But here’s the scoop: the deeper you dive into the series, the better it gets! The last three books? Oh, they straight-up blew me away. Now, let’s break it down a bit:

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Mass (#3)

Throne of Glass (#1) was a solid start. But it’s when the world expands, and we start getting inside the heads of some fantastic new characters in Heir of Fire (#3), that things get seriously addictive. The world-building feels cozy and familiar, and the magic system? Well, it’s just right. The story opens up wide, and you won’t want to put those pages down.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Mass (#6)

Now, if you’re in it for the laughs, Tower of Dawn (#6) takes the crown. Some folks might grumble about it due to a certain character (no spoilers here!), but trust me, my book club buddy and I were rolling with laughter while devouring it. The return of old characters and the introduction to a whole new continent? Loved every bit of it!

Empire of Storm by Sarah J. Mass (#5)

Empire of Storms (#5)? Phenomenal. It’s like a whirlwind of action, and I had no idea where to look next! But then, there’s the grand finale, Kingdom of Ash (#7). Brace yourselves, my friends, because it’s a wild ride.

You’ll go through struggles, heartbreak, moments when you’re fighting for your life, and yeah, a fair share of “scared shitless” feelings – but it’s all worth it. I almost didn’t want to start Kingdom of Ash because I didn’t want the series to end. That’s how good it gets!” 🔥

What order should you read Throne of Glass?

So, you’re about to embark on the epic journey of the Throne of Glass series, and you’re faced with a crucial question: What order should you read these bad boys in? Well, I’ve got two options for you – the chronological ‘romantic’ version or the good ol’ publication order. Let’s break this down, and I’ll spill the tea on tandem reading.

Chronological order

  1. Assassins Blade
  2. Throne of Glass
  3. Crown of Midnight
  4. Heir of Fire
  5. Queen of Shadows
  6. Empire of Storms
  7. Tower of Dawn
  8. Kingdom of Ash

Now, this version might give you some extra heartache because it kicks off with Assassins Blade, the prequel, and you won’t have a clue about the events in this book. There’s no right or wrong here, but starting with Assassins Blade can be a bit slow and tedious as it’s made up of 5 short stories.

Publication order

  1. Throne of Glass
  2. Crown of Midnight
  3. Assassins Blade
  4. Heir of Fire
  5. Queen of Shadows
  6. Empire of Storms
  7. Tower of Dawn
  8. Kingdom of Ash

This is the order I went with, with reading Assassins Blade after Crown of Midnight which was the order it was released. For me the plot flows better and I think you get more attached to the characters.

Why I prefer to read in the publication order

Why I prefer the publication order, is because I found Assassins Blade more interesting and heartbreaking because we have already formed an attachment to Celaena, and then we get to understand her actions and behaviour in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight.

I personally enjoyed the build-up throughout the series and was more invested in finding out her past later in the series, so diving into Assassins Blade first would fall flat for me. Plus, there are characters who pop in, and you’ll be like, “Who’s this?” if you haven’t read the first two books.

Tandem reading Empire of Storm and Tower of Dawn. Tabbing system

Should I tandem read Empire of Storm and Tower of Dawn?

A resounding YES! 🙌 Tandem reading these two gems was a blast. They happen simultaneously, and there’s a colossal cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms. Trust me, you don’t want to be left hanging for an entire book. Read my blog explaining how to master the art of tandem reading

Can I skip Assassins Blade (TOG prequel)?

Absolutely not! 🚫 I’ve heard some say it’s okay to skip, but let me set the record straight – you’d be missing out BIG TIME! There are some jaw-dropping character reveals later in the TOG series that you won’t want to miss. It’s a shame to rob yourself of that experience!

Plus, you get to witness Celaena’s growth into the badass woman she becomes in “Throne of Glass” (#1). Some characters make appearances that only us readers would recognise since they don’t officially meet until the prequel (#0.5). And oh boy, you’ll meet some super influential characters who play a massive role in the TOG series’ epic finale.

So, the verdict is in – you can’t skip this one! Happy reading.

Can you read Cresent City before Throne of Glass?

I was in the same boat as you – contemplating whether to begin a hefty 8-book series or opt for a more manageable 2 (soon-to-be-3) book series.

Going straight for Crescent City (CC) will stir up some trouble in the spoiler department, especially if you’ve haven’t yet ventured into ACOTAR and TOG. These worlds start blending together in CC, and it can get confusing. Plus, there are some character reveals that’ll have less of an impact if you haven’t dipped your toes into ACOTAR.

After reading Crescent City, I can conclude that you can get away with skipped TOG however you won’t understand some references made about the SJM universe and you might not grasp the bigger picture of CC.  You must read ACOTAR before CC though, otherwise you really won’t get what’s going on and get massive spoilers for the ACOTAR series.

My recommendation? Read TOG first, and then dive into CC. 

Throne of Glass vs. A Court of Thorns and Roses: A Comparison

If you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas (and let’s be real, who isn’t?), you’ve probably delved into not one but two of her sensational fantasy series – Throne of Glass (TOG) and A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR). Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve likely found yourself comparing the two and pondering which world reigns supreme. Let’s dive into the ultimate showdown and explore what makes these series unique in terms of The Heroines, Romance, World-building & Tone

Both series are amazing but in completely different ways,.

The Heroines: Celaena vs. Feyre

In the TOG corner, we have Celaena Sardothien, the fierce assassin turned leader. She’s got a sharp wit, mad sword skills, and a complicated past that keeps us guessing. Celaena’s journey from killer to queen is a rollercoaster of emotions.

ACOTAR brings us Feyre Archeron, a mortal thrust into the perilous world of the fae. She’s brave, resourceful, and her character growth throughout the series is nothing short of phenomenal. From survivalist to high fae, Feyre’s evolution is a central theme.

Heroines: TOG wins

Romance: TOG's Slow Burn vs. ACOTAR's Steamy Encounters

TOG treats us to a deliciously slow-burning romance and remains in the Young Adult category. The tension between Celaena and her love interests (yes, there are multiple!) keeps us flipping pages, and the payoff is oh-so-satisfying. It’s all about the long game.

On the flip side, ACOTAR cranks up the heat with its steamy, passionate encounters. The chemistry between Feyre and her love interest (yes, there are also multiple!) practically sizzles off the pages. It’s all about the immediate connection. And as the serious progresses, the books shift to new adult/adult genre of pure SMUT (*cough* A Court of Silver Flames *cough*).

Romance: ACOTAR wins

World-Building: TOG's High Fantasy vs. ACOTAR's Faerie Realm

TOG whisks us away to a high fantasy realm with intricate politics, magic systems, and a rich history. It’s a world where assassins and witches rub shoulders with royalty, and danger lurks in every shadow.

ACOTAR transports us to the mesmerizing and perilous faerie realm of Prythian. The courts, each with its own unique flavor, are brought to life with vivid descriptions. It’s a world of enchantment, danger, and dark secrets.

World Building: TOG wins

Tone: TOG's Epic Fantasy vs. ACOTAR's Blend of Fantasy and Romance

TOG leans heavily into epic fantasy with its political intrigue, quests, and battles. It’s a tale of saving kingdoms and defeating ancient evils. ACOTAR, while still fantasy, has a more prominent romantic focus. It explores themes of love, desire, and the complexities of relationships against the backdrop of a magical world.

Tone: Both (I can’t decide)

Personally when I think about ACOTAR I care about the romantic couples however with TOG I cared about the romantic relationships yes, but I’m so much more invested in the womens individual stories. I can’t wait to read their badass moment and finding more about the past and journey of Celaena Sardothien, Aelin Galathynius, Elide Lochan, Manon Blackbeack, Lysandra Ennar. I can’t get over the women in these books, seriously!!!!

The Verdict

So, which series comes out on top? Well, it’s a matter of personal taste. Both Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses offer captivating characters, immersive worlds, and heart-pounding adventures. Whether you prefer the slow burn of TOG or the steamy encounters of ACOTAR, there’s no denying that Sarah J. Maas has a gift for crafting enchanting worlds and unforgettable stories. Make sure to dive into both and enjoy both fantasy realms! You won’t regret it.

The Impact of the Throne of Glass Series

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas has left an indelible mark on the realm of young adult fantasy literature, significantly impacting both the genre and Sarah J. Maas’s own journey as a bestselling author. Here, I’ve compiled a list of its key impacts and the reasons why I hold TOG in such high regard:

  1. Dedicated Fanbase: The Throne of Glass fanbase is nothing short of incredible. It’s a community that celebrates this series with boundless passion and enthusiasm.
  2. Intricate World Building: TOG’s world-building is a marvel to behold. Its intricate details and captivating settings make the series a truly immersive experience.
  3. Empowering Female Protagonist: Celaena Sardothien stands as one of the most compelling female protagonists in the realm of literature. Their journey from assassin to queen is a testament to their strength and resilience.
  4. Influence on Sarah J. Maas’s Oeuvre: Throne of Glass marked the beginning of Sarah J. Maas’s remarkable literary journey. It paved the way for her subsequent works, including the beloved ACOTAR and CC series.
  5. Unflinching Narrative: TOG doesn’t shy away from delivering heartbreak and devastation. No character is safe from the trials and tribulations woven into this epic saga.

Should you start the Throne of Glass series?

So, is Throne of Glass worth your time? In a resounding yes, this series promises a thrilling ride you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re a seasoned SJM fan or new to her magical worlds, TOG is a must-read for any fantasy lover. Dive in, and may your reading adventures be as epic as Celaena’s!

Creator of The Book List! Hope you enjoy this journey with me, follow my socials (@ashleighsbooklist) for updates for book memes, my latest book reviews and recommendations.

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*MCs = Main characters, FMC = Female main character, POVs = Point of views, TOG = Throne of Glass, ACOTAR = A Court of Thorn and Roses, CC = Cresent City, SJM = Sarah J. Maas.

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