Wednesday, August 8, 2012
As I've mentioned before, I'm part of a small BEA Book Club, along with Shanella, Amanda and Rachel, and we pick a book for each month to read and chat about. In July, Shanella and I reviewed The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer; Amanda and Rachel read Innocent Darkness. For August, Shanella, Amanda & I, along with another friend Pixie, read, reviewed and discussed Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
I've already posted my review, and the others have as well (1, 2, 3). Today, I'm posting the discussion that we had with regards to Throne of Glass in the hopes that you'll enjoy seeing our different perspectives and reactions. Thanks to Shanella for compiling all these answers based on our GChat session!
Shanella: Alexa and Pixie - you both loved Throne of Glass, can you tell us a bit about why you loved it?
Pixie: I don't read a lot of "high/epic" fantasy like that, so, it capturing my attention was pretty good as it was. But I really just loved the world-building and how I was fascinated in Celaena's story most of all. I liked her. I also love that it makes me sit and think about it after I've finished. I know I'll continue on with the series because I'm invested in the character and story now.
Alexa: What I loved the most was the premise, the idea of the whole competition, although I do wish there had been more competition-related scenes featured in the book. I also love Celaena's character - how she's tough, vulnerable AND girly all at once.
Pixie: *nods* Yes! I like girly.
Shanella: So, the love triangle? What did you ladies think of that?
Pixie: Oy vey. The love triangle. That's the only thing that kept me from 5 stars.
Amanda: I was not drawn in by the love triangle. For Dorian I did not understand why they started to have feelings for each other at all. She’s a cold blooded, ruthless, infamous killer. The prince is using her to stick it to his father. Celaena is supposed to hate him, but suddenly she likes him and wants to kiss him. Chaol would have worked better for me if there was any development there, but one minute he’s showing a softer side the next minute he’s reminding himself, and her, that she’s a killer. I don’t think the relationship was pushed enough there, so even though I preferred ChaolI wasn’t terribly invested in either relationship.
Shanella: From the beginning, I sorta felt as though she and the prince would be "something" but, compared to Chaol, I wasn't feeling it.
Amanda: When I first started reading I thought Dorian would be a more evil character so when it turned out he was against his father I was like, okay what is it he’s after? When they kissed I was underwhelmed.
Pixie: Surprisingly, from the reviews I've seen, I may be one of the few who liked Dorian as a character. I really liked him. But the romance didn't make much sense at times. Chaol would be a better match. Though, I didn't quite find myself attached to Chaol. He was warm one minute and cold the next. Sometimes it was confusing.
Amanda: Yeah he was very confusing!!
Alexa: I was on Chaol's side from the start, though I softened toward Dorian somewhere in the middle. But yes, I can understand other people being underwhelmed. I get the initial attraction to both guys; it’s undeniable since they’re good-looking and they’ve got their strong points. But for an actual relationship (beyond friendship)? There wasn’t enough yet.
Shanella: Yes - to Chaol being confusing! I liked that Dorian was not like his father, it made him seem like he had a mind of his own and I'd have loved to see more of that. But, it wasn't shown... As far as characters go, I prefer Dorian to Chaol. As love interests for Celaena, I preferred Chaol, he had more time/relationship with her.
Pixie: I agree!
Amanda: I liked Dorian more as the book went on, I don't dislike him at all I just wish the romantic angle packed more of a punch.
Alexa: Haha, I can understand that Amanda! Especially when they kissed!
Shanella: Oh for sure!
Alexa: I felt like that too, but mostly because I wanted Chaol for her! I feel like they (Chaol and Celaena) would have had a better kiss. Or I could be biased.
Amanda: I wish there was more with Chaol. I appreciate not having her fall hard and heavy for both men at the same time but it still felt lacking, Chaol went back and forth too much on how he felt about her.
Alexa: I think that's what made the so-called "love triangle" a bit more effective to me. Something happened, really happened, with one of the guys and the other one, there was just tension there.
Shanella: maybe book two will be the Chaol arc...
Alexa: I hope so!
Shanella: Alright ladies, how did you feel towards the evil king?
Alexa: I felt like I had to take Celaena's word for it mostly, if I’m being honest. But, towards the end, I felt it a little more. There was something eerie there.
Amanda: No real explanation for why he’s so evil... and I really didn't get why Celaena feared him soooo much. He wasn’t developed much as a character, I don’t know much about him other than he’s an imperialist.
Pixie: He was hardly in the story, so I didn't get to know him much or why Celaena feared him so much. I would have liked more back story on him.
Shanella: I wish we'd have gotten a glimpse of his evilness, whenever she cowered before him, it felt out of character
Amanda: I wanted to see his ruthlessness instead of being told about it.
Alexa: Yes, precisely. That part was a bit more tell, and not show. There was a lot of potential for the king to show his evil side though.
Shanella: yeah! like he should have slayed a prisoner for no reason.
Pixie: Yes, even one scene of him doing something to one of the people would have put him into more light.
Shanella: So what else do you think could have been worked on a bit more?
Alexa: Well, the competition. And I wish, though this might happen in the next book, that there was more about the magic!
Shanella: Oh - that got me too, the competition. It's a big deal, but we don't see it much and the parts that we do see I never felt as though Celaena would be kicked out.
Pixie: Yeah, I was hoping to see more when it came to the competition. I felt like it ended up being the background more than the main idea.
Amanda: I also wished there was more fantasy
Shanella: Well, it seems - even with our differing views, that we all loved Celaena as a character, Chaol preferred as a romantic interest, and that we could have seen more tension in the competition and more fantasy. Thanks for the awesome chat ladies! That’s all folks.
I certainly hope you enjoyed reading our thoughtful discussion, and I'm looking forward to sharing many more such discussions with these girls in the future!