Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Published by Bloomsbury USA, Brilliance Audio on September 2, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Action & Adventure, General
Source: Brilliance Audio
I received this book for free from Brilliance Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The King's English
Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth...a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?
Audio Review: I feel like this is a little redundant from my other reviews, but Elizabeth Evans nails the narration in this book. It’s a behemoth at 20 hours long, but I was consistently hooked by not only the story, but the lovely dimension that Evans brings to all the characters. This book took me a month to listen to (especially since I had an unfortunate accident where I accidentally lost disk number 14 in the gap between my cd player and the dashboard. I had to go to the place that installed my stereo and they had to take off my dashboard to retrieve it. Oops). Anyway, it’s worth listening to on audio, even though it takes forever. I felt like I was immersed in the world and I got a whole month to experience it.
Review: What to say about this book. I feel more sheepish than ever about my initial reluctance to this series. I misjudged this series as candy fantasy and severely underestimated its depth. These books keep getting better and better.
One of the things that I look for in a fantasy series is attention to detail. It means that the writers I like are typically not “pantsers.” This means they don’t dump a manuscript on the page and fix it later. (There isn’t anything wrong with this, don’t feel bad if this is your method of writing). I have googled to see if Sarah J. Maas is a plotter or a pantser and I haven’t been able to find the answer. Anyway, I suspect she’s a plotter. Here’s why: everything that happens in this book means something. Conversations or little throwaway actions by minor characters end up coming into play later. There isn’t much more as a reader that thrills me than this. (Yes, I’m a nerd). But, to really feel invested in a series, I like knowing that each book builds out the world bigger and bigger and that each character has something to contribute. As an added bonus, this level of detail makes the series EVEN BETTER when you re-read it.
I mentioned this in my review of Crown of Midnight, and it still applies here. I can’t believe the limits Maas pushes her characters to. It’s clear she knows them, their fears and their weaknesses. And while no death or event feels cheap, this is a book that will pull all kinds of emotional and empathetic strings.
One of the things I was absolutely not expecting, was the addition of Manon and the witches. This is a storyline that I can’t wait to follow and explore, because it’s incredibly rich. As one of the main points of view in this novel, I was initially puzzled at Manon’s presence. She’s very unlikeable. But, the relationship and the tiny fissures I’m seeing in that character are exciting. And, it’s another hallmark of good, compelling writing. Manon is not the main character, but I feel just as invested in her story arc as Celaena’s.
One last thing, Chaol. At the end of Crown of Midnight, I knew pretty firmly where I stood with his relationship to Celaena. Spoiler for Crown of Midnight: View Spoiler »Once the incident with Nehemia happened, along with Celaena’s reaction, I knew their relationship was over. « Hide Spoiler As I went throughout this book, I’m further solidified in my resolve. View Spoiler »There are some things that a relationship doesn’t recover from. And while I could be dead wrong, I feel like I understand Celaena enough at this point to say I think it’s too late. « Hide Spoiler Of course, the series isn’t over, and a lot can change, but there you have it.
Essentially, if you love high or epic fantasy, this series is a winner. I’m stamping my seal of approval (Oooh, I should make one of those) on it.