Who here is/was a fan of The Secret Garden? Show of hands? I know there have to be at least a few of you. The reason why I'm asking is that while I was reading Throne of Glass, I was reminded of how I felt while reading TSG. Do you all remember Dickon and Collin and how Mary loved them both? Obviously, it was not in the "wanna get it on" kind of love way (unless Mary truly was a kissing cousin), but she still loved that annoying, whiny, brat Collin enough to want to spend time with him when she could have been running free with the much more awesome Dickon (he was one of my very first literary loves...ahhh memories). Prince Dorian in this book was my Collin. Every time he was on the scene, I was wishing he would go away so we could get back to more fun time with Chaol, the captain of the guard. Chaol was sarcastically humorous, and infinitely more interesting than the Prince. YET, we had the prince shoved down our throats because Celaena found him oh so dreamy. Oh, but what am I doing talking about a love triangle when this is supposed to be a high fantasy book? My reason is this : the "fantasy" aspect was not all that fantastical in my opinion. I felt like I was reading a poor man's version of The Demon King (fabulous book, btw) with a touch of Poison Study on the side. Except with Demon King, I got an added helping of adventure on top of my love for the 'guard' character. It's not that there wasn't the presence of enough fantasy themes in this book. I can actually list several : the main chick was an assassin (female assassins? I can count quite a few YA fantasy books which have done this recently), there was magic, and there was some court intrigue/thievery/deception going on. Oh, and there was a masked ball. I felt like I'd read everything off the "starter YA fantasy" list in this book, but also found myself wanting more of a focus on one specific element, over a little helping of everything. However, the writing was actually decent. There were a few long-winded scenes but I tend to forgive some of that with traditional fantasy. Although, I did have a few moments of hesitation when I read sentences featuring "current lingo," especially the one in which virginity was mentioned in a very casual and modern way, and not by use of the all-too-common flowery terms used in fantasy.I had a hard time connecting with Celaena. She was supposed to be this badass assassin but I'm not sure that I was ever truly buying it. It probably sucks to have to come along after young women such as Katsa and Yelena and the like...there's stiff competition in the world of strong heroines in fantasy. When they're all getting shit done in a larger-than-life way, you tend to rate them on that scale of who did it better. And Celaena was so busy noticing things about the guys half of the time that I wasn't sure when she was really paying attention to things that a trained assassin would pay attention to. When it comes down to what made the book - it was all Chaol for me. His sharp tongue and underlying loyalty made him the breakout star. I will read on FOR him and for him alone. Every scene with him in it captivated me. If you are a fan of Amon from The Demon King series, you'll understand why I loved Chaol because these two characters play similar roles in the lives of the leading ladies.Was Throne of Glass worth the read? Yes. Will this make it on my top fantasy list? Maybe not for book 1, but I sense potential with how the series has been set up. I hope book 2 will knock it out of the park.