Fairy Tale Retelling: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

 

Throne of Glass book cover

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass Series #1)

Sarah J. Maas

Rate: 3

Ok, so this review isn’t going to be as good as my other reviews for two reasons:

  1. It’s been so long since I read Throne of Glass.
  2. I binge read all the books (currently) in the series so they’re kind of blurring together in my mind.

But I’m going to write this review anyway because Throne of Glass is part of my Fairy Tale Retelling series.

My Likes and Dislikes

The Main Thing I Liked About Throne of Glass

  • Celaena: Celaena is the strong, sarcastic heroine I want in a YA novel. She has her moments when she can be annoying and gets caught up in romance, but for the most part, her focus is on obtaining her freedom, at any cost. I also liked Celaena’s girly moments when she’s dressing up and building her friendship with Nehemia. Who says a person can’t be an assassin and still like shiny, girly things?

The Main Thing I Disliked About Throne of Glass

  • Romance: I’ll be honest here; after reading the other books in the Throne of Glass series, I can barely remember Celaena and Dorian’s relationship. All I know is that deep in my gut I didn’t like the two of them together. I can’t remember if I didn’t like it because it felt forced or the whole romance was unnecessary, but I didn’t like it. And if Maas had to include a romance, shouldn’t the assassin be with someone better than the weak prince?

Connection to Cinderella

Similar to previous retelling posts, Throne of Glass will be compared to the Disney version of the fairy tale.

Disney's Cinderella book cover

However, Throne of Glass was a bust as a fairy tale retelling, especially Cinderella. There was no evil stepmother, no evil stepsisters, no identifying the girl with a piece of clothing, and no happily ever after with the prince. The closest Throne of Glass got to Cinderella was when Celaena’s handmaid helped her get ready for the ball and said she felt like a fairy god mother. If you have to explicitly state your connection to a fairy tale, then you’re doing something wrong? If you’re looking for a Cinderella retelling, then you should skip this series because it’s not going to satisfy you. Try Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge instead. However, if you’re looking for a fantasy story, then try Throne of Glass. The first book (this one I’m reviewing) isn’t great, but the series definitely picks up.

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The Ugly Stepsister By Aya Ling

The Ugly Stepsister

Aya Ling

Rate: 3

I received the ebook of this story from the author for an honest review.

Three (3) Points that Explain My Feelings for The Ugly Stepsister

  1. The story was too long for its own good. According to Goodreads, The Ugly Stepsister is 452 pages long that’s about 300 pages too many. From what I remember of Disney’s version of Cinderella spanned about 2-3 weeks, but The Ugly Stepsister seemed to span months. I get that it’s a retelling so it’s going to be different, but it shouldn’t be unnecessarily long.
  2. Besides the fact that the story is a retelling, it was very predictable. From the first couple of chapters, I could tell how the story was going to end, which made me more irritable that it lasted so long.
  3. The execution lacked a bit of imagination. Having the protagonist play the part of the stepsister is an original idea, but again the ending was predictable and the overall flow of the story didn’t off any twists to spark interest. The main reason I thought the execution was poor was that from the beginning Kat rips the book, gets called downstairs by her mother, and proceeds to fall down the stairs. This to me meant that there was a 99.9% chance that Ling was going to end the story with Kat waking up after a couple of hours and realizing that “it was all just a dream.” I would have preferred to read the 0.1% chance where the explanation for Kat’s experience is an alternate universe/ multidimensional theory. To clarify, I wanted Kat to sucked into some sort of mystical tornado after she ripped the book and then went through Ling’s version of Cinderella instead of the story going with the “dream/hallucination/thought” explanation. Does this make the story much different than it occurred? No, but at least I know in the end that Kat actually went through all the stuff I read about instead of her just waking up at the end. I’m being picky, but The Ugly Stepsister is so long and so predictable.

Fairy Tale Retelling: Cinderella #1 of 4

Gilded Ashes (Cruel Beauty Universe # 1.5)

Rosamund Hodge

Rate: 3

There’s not much I want to say about Gilded Ashes other than read it. This isn’t your typical Disney Cinderella. This story is dark. In Gild Ashes, Maia (Cinderella) lives a terrible life where she puts the well-being and safety of others before her own. Even when given a chance at love, Maia helps her stepsister instead of indulging herself. Maia’s behavior is nothing like your typical Cinderella and you’ll find yourself liking her because of how strong she is.

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