let’s read Throne of Glass: chapter 4

Chapter four actually starts off better than the last few have, by virtue of some actual character exploration. Celaena is lying on a bed, in the room she’s being housed in until the prince’s party leaves the next morning. It’s a real guest room, not wherever they keep the slaves. Continue reading


let’s read Throne of Glass: chapter 3d

Sorry for the delay! Things got rather overwhelming for a bit.

The d after the three up there was a typo, but I couldn’t convince myself to get rid of it.

Last time in Throne of Glass, the chapter ended in the middle of a conversation in what seemed to be a very bad attempt at drawing out tension.

This time in Throne of Glass: the conversation continues from the exact point where it left off!

Seriously why couldn’t this have been one chapter. Continue reading

let’s read Throne of Glass: chapter 2

Upon entering the presence of royalty, the captain removes his hood, so we can learn that he’s an age-appropriate love interest.

Captain Westfall was not excessively handsome, but she couldn’t help finding the ruggedness of his face and the clarity of his golden-brown eyes rather appealing.

Aren’t there more pressing matters at hand? Like what the prince is doing here? Or, you know, your possible impending death?

Serana Celaena refuses to bow to the prince because she’s hardcore like that (and still figures she’s probably dead anyway). A “large” duke forces her down, hitting her against the floor, and Celaena thinks about how she’d like to kill the guy. The prince, however, says he doesn’t see the point of forcing someone to bow, and that he thinks Celaena has had enough humiliation. He then sends Duke Perrington on his way.

Well, at least Maas is quick to establish what type of character everyone is, I suppose. Continue reading

let’s read Throne of Glass – chapter 1

So you’re all aware up front, these posts won’t have any particular schedule, but I will try to manage at least one a week. The fact that the chapters are very short should help with this. Then again, chapters one and two definitely each merit their own posts in spite of their brevity…

Continue reading

Let’s Read: Throne of Glass

In the spirit of Ronan Wills, Jenny Trout, magpiewhotypes, and others, I have decided to take a book apart chapter by chapter. Because fantasy is still what I gravitate towards, and because it’s what I consistently try to write (one day!), I’ve gone for fantasy. And the recent poll for a book to do a read-along with over at papercuts podcast gave me a clear contender.

And then I read the first two chapters plus a few pages on a break at work, and oh my god. It’s so bad.It’s exactly what’s wrong with YA fantasy right now.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin 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 three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. 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.

Yes, I’m going to read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

But first, let’s take a look at the current American cover. Because really, the “everything wrong with current YA fantasy” starts there. Continue reading

Alas, young queen, passing by

The Goose Girl has always been a strange fairy tale to me. It has some strikingly specific imagery (which no doubt originally carried metaphorical meaning that I’m too lazy to look up for this) which makes it stick in your head, but also seemed to me to be even more narratively disjointed and have less clear characterization than many other fairy tales (certainly, when I read it for the first time it was easily the most extreme example of that I’d encountered). It always seemed to me that there was something there to be teased out or reshaped.

What I’m saying is, the Goose Girl strikes me as an excellent choice for someone who wants to retell fairy tales. Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl unsurprisingly does just that. It also clearly demonstrates that 1- The Goose Girl can be the basis for a great retelling and 2- I need to read more Shannon Hale. Continue reading


I believe in the rule of law, and that the rule of law means that no one is above it.

I believe that if you have the will to use it wisely, without harming others, you can turn a vice into a virtue.

I believe that one must always not only look to the larger picture, but how it affects individual lives.

I believe that people aren’t good, or evil, but both. That’s okay. The greatest injustice is to treat someone, or a group of someones, as an absolute, because that turns people into objects.

I can’t say I believe all of these things because of Terry Pratchett’s books. Some of them had some basis before I read any of his work, some of them came about through multiple influences. But Discworld gave me a framework and language for these beliefs. And jokes, and amazing moments of strength, and fantastic characters.

Thank you, Sir Pratchett. May you be exactly where you’d like to be.