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Literature: Throne of Glass

Erilea was once a world filled with magic and countless races of magic-bearing beings, humans amongst them. That all changed when the king of Adarlan launched a campaign for dominance over all of Erilea, banning magic and sentencing all magic-bearing nonhumans to either banishment or death along with the "blasphemous" humans who also wield such power. Now people from nations conquered by Adarlan are shipped to its capitol as slaves in droves. Magic has almost completely vanished, and it seems that Adarlan's royal family shall soon rule the entire realm.

Amidst this chaos, Celaena Sardothien, a master assassin trained by Arobyn, the king of assassins himself seemed to be the only one the nobility of Adarlan feared. However, her reign of terror came to an abrupt end when she was captured and sentenced to spend the rest of her life as a slave in Adarlan's salt mines. A year later, Adarlan's crown prince Dorian offers her a path to freedom: If she defeats twenty-three fellow warriors and criminals, she shall become the king's Champion and live the rest of her life in luxury. However, something dark hides within the walls of the Palace of Glass—something evil, which seems to only want to murder the Champions before they have a chance to shine.

Throne of Glass is the first in a projected series of YA fantasy novels by Sarah J. Maas. The first two books of a six book series have been released, as well as a collection of prequel novellas leading up to the events of the first book.

  1. Throne of Glass (2012)
  2. Crown of Midnight (2013)
  3. The Assassin's Blade, a collection of prequel novellas (2014)
  4. Heir of Fire (2014)

Has a YMMV page. And now has a tentative character sheet. Please move all character related tropes there.

Throne of Glass and its following books contain examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Duke Perrington is this to Kaltain.
  • Anchored Ship: The state of Celaena's relationship with Dorian at the end of book one and Chaol at the end of book two. Celaena breaks up with Dorian in Throne of Glass because her feelings for him are more superficial than his for her and his position as the Prince of Ardalan and her job killing people for his father presents a conflict of interest. In the Crown of Midnight, Dorian tries to move on and Celaena and Chaol fall in love, but their relationship is also anchored when Celaena has to leave Ardalan and asks Chaol to find out the truth about her identity before he chooses to be with her again.
  • Apathy Killed the Cat: Celaena spends most of Crown of Midnight being completely disinterested in challenging the status quo or questioning King Havilliard in any way, much to the frustration of Nehemia and, to a lesser extent, Chaol. This comes back to bite her in the ass. Hard.
  • The Archer: Cain and Celaena do the best in the archery competition. Celaena is the only one able to hit all the targets dead center.
  • Author Avatar: Sarah J. Maas bears an uncanny resemblance to Celaena as depicted on the book cover of the hardcover version.
  • Ax-Crazy: Several of the Champions are convicted killers.
    • Ned Clement, better known as Scythe, after the weapon he'd used to torture and hack up temple priestesses for three years before finally being caught.
    • Bill Chastain, the Eye Eater. He ate his victim's eyes.
    • Grave has a better lid on it, but it's still clear he enjoys his work more than is healthy and what he did to poor Nehemia was horrible.
  • Ban on Magic: King Havilliard imposed this in the backstory. Everyone thinks that it's a Type B ban and it certainly started that way, with magic so suppressed that even those who do still survive to use it find their powers are fading or gone entirely, but in Crown of Midnight Celaena discovers that the king has really been hoarding magic for himself, making this a standard Type A2.
  • Battle Butler: Wesley kills Farran and his top lieutenants in revenge for killing Sam and turning Celaena over to the King.
  • Battle Couple: Gavin and Elena. In fact, it's how they fell in love.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Celaena has this with both Dorian and Chaol. After resolving it with Dorian (if making out a few times before breaking up counts as a resolution), she moves into Unresolved Sexual Tension with Chaol that gets resolved definitively in the second book.
  • Better as Friends: What Celaena ultimately decides about her and Dorian.
  • Big Bad: Each book so far has a different main antagonist:
    • Throne of Glass: Cain.
    • Crown of Midnight: Archer.
  • Bigger Bad: The King is shaping up to be this despite the fact that Celaena works for him.
  • Birds of a Feather: Celaena with both Chaol and Dorian. She and Chaol are both fiercely loyal though occasionally insensitive warriors with daddy issues and dark and troubled pasts, running from their noble births. She and Dorian are both flirtatious, intelligent bibliophiles with a similar sense of humor and they are both heirs to their respective thrones with latent magical powers.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The Champions have a very sexist attitude about Celaena. She shows them how ignorant they are at every opportunity.
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: Wyrdmarks. Wyrdgate. Wyrd.
  • Chickification: In-Universe: As Elena says to Caelana:
    "There are many things history has forgotten about me. I fought on the battlefields during the demon wars against Erawan - at Gavin's side. That's how we fell in love. But your legends portray me as a damsel who waited in a tower with a magic necklace that would help the heroic prince."
  • Dance of Romance: Celaena and Dorian have one of these at the ball, much to the consternation of all the other girls who wanted to dance with Dorian for a second. She and Chaol have a more private one outside a little later.
  • Dating Catwoman: Technically what Chaol and Dorian would both be doing, considering Celaena's in-universe status as a Villain Protagonist.
  • Death Faked for You: In Crown of Midnight Celaena arranges these for people the King orders her to kill who she doesn't believe deserve it.
  • The Empire: Adarlan. Interestingly, most of the story is told through their nobility's and allies' perspective.
  • Everyone Can See It: Pretty much everyone catches on to the fact that Dorian has feelings for Celaena. On the flip side, Dorian figures out that Chaol and Celaena have feelings for each other long before either of them realize it or act on it.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: Chaol, Celaena, and Dorian with Dorian as the Fire and Chaol as the Ice.
  • Forbidden Fruit: The reasoning behind Dorian's initial attraction to Celaena.
  • Genre-Busting: Is this a story about fighting against a tyrannical king who's outlawed an ancient art and enacted a genocide against the Fae? No, it's about a woman assassin who's only path to freedom is becoming his greatest warrior.
  • Heroic BSOD: Celaena goes into a pretty intense one after Nehemia's death.
  • Hope Bringer: The revolutionaries view Aelin Galathynius as this. Nehemia's people also view her as this.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Bill Chastain the Eye Eater.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The reason why Chaol refuses to acknowledge his rising attraction to Celaena and the reason Dorian tries to bow out gracefully despite his feelings for Celaena and give them both space while he nurses his broken heart. Their friendship comes first, even before love.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Whereas Dorian wound up being a pretty good guy, his little brother was sent to a school in the mountains for beating one of the servants to death. The royal family compensated her family, but that won't bring her back or change the fact that a kid got a slap on the wrist for murder simply because he's a royal.
  • La Résistance: Celaena discovers that one of these is building in Ardalan with the lost heir of Terrasen rumored to be at its head.
  • Love Triangle: The Celaena-Dorian-Chaol triangle is a significant subplot in the first book. Celaena ends up with Chaol, though Dorian takes it pretty gracefully and is still friends with Celaena in Crown of Midnight.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Magic vanished approx. ten years before the first book, and was made illegal by the King shortly afterwards. This would be because he's using the Wyrdkeys to both give himself powers and suppress potential competition.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Arobynn.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Kaltain is relatively easily talked into doing this to Celaena, though indirectly. It doesn't work.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Celaena is in bed with cramps in one chapter of Throne of Glass.
  • Obviously Evil: Cain. He's the biggest, strongest, and most intimidating of the Champions. Twice Celaena witnesses him doing something a bit off, like kneeling in front of a Wyrdmark, and she notes that he seems to be getting bigger and stronger as the competition continues. And yet she suspects Nehemia of being the Big Bad before she ever thinks to point a finger at Cain.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Wesley taking out Farran.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally. The first hint that Dorian and Chaol get that Celaena is not the monster they think she is occurs when Dorian's dogs practically dive at her and she begins fussing over them. Later, Dorian gives her a dog of her own.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Chaolaena.
  • Predecessor Villain: The Dark Lord Erawan, who lead an army of demons and the undead against Erilea a thousand years ago and was stopped by Gavin and Elena. Ironically, Gavin and Elena's descendant the King of Adarlan is seemingly determined to follow in Erawan's footsteps.
  • Professional Killers: Celaena herself, of course. Several of the other Champions as well, of varying levels of competence and class.
  • Rightful King Returns: In Crown of Midnight, Celaena investigates a rebel group is said to be working with Aelin Galathynius, the lost heir to the Terrasen throne, to gather an army and overthrow King Havilliard.
  • Royal Brat: Hollin Havilliard, whose tantrums are something Dorian fears even more than the assassin in the castle.
  • Second Love: Chaol and Celaena are this to each other.
  • Slasher Smile: Dorian at one point is deeply creeped out by Celaena and the King's matching Slasher Smiles.
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