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These books are great! Get caught up on what happened in Throne of Glass. We’ve got your spoilers here so you’ll be ready when the next book comes out!

Sarah J. Maas

4.4 stars on Amazon
4.22 stars on Goodreads
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The Throne of Glass Series recaps
#0.1-0.5 The Assassin’s Blade
#1 The Throne of Glass

#2 Crown of Midnight
#3 Heir of Fire
#4 Queen of Shadows
#5 Empire of Storms
#6 Tower of Dawn
#7 Kingdom of Ash

Point of View
The book is written in third person from a variety of points of view, including Celaena (predominantly), Chaol, Dorian, and occasionally some other minor characters.

This series is set in the fictional land of Erilea, and this first book in the series is set in a kingdom called Adarlan.

Main Characters
– Celaena Sardothien is a former assassin who is now competing to be the King’s Champion.
– Dorian Havilliard is the Crown Prince and is nothing like his evil father, the king of Adarlan.
– Chaol Westfall is the king’s captain of the guard, Dorian’s best friend, and Celaena’s trainer for the competition.
– Nehemia Ytger is the princess of the kingdom of Eyllwe and is staying in the castle in Adarlan to learn about their culture and customs.

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

The Short Version
Celaena competes against twenty-three men in a contest to become the King’s Champion. The winner will serve the king for six years (which Celaena negotiates down to four) and then be granted their freedom. She must slowly rebuild her body to its former glory from her assassin days after serving as a prisoner and slave for a year. Along the way, she builds relationships with Dorian (the handsome, charming prince who drafted her to compete as his candidate for Champion), Chaol (the stern, demanding guard training her for the competition), and Nehemia (the fascinating, intelligent princess visiting from another kingdom). Even though the king banned magic from Adarlan ten years ago, strange, lethal things began happening in the castle which point to the possible return of magic. Even though she is busy with her training, Celaena also begins to investigate the supernatural things going on to try to keep herself and those she has grown to care about safe. In the end, Celaena solves the mystery of the murders and triumphs in the competition to become the King’s Champion.

Details – What happened in Throne of Glass?

The book opens as Chaol is retrieving Celaena from Endovier, the slave camp she has been imprisoned in for the past year. He presents her to Prince Dorian, who has summoned her to see if she would be suitable to compete for him in a contest his father is putting on. The contest is to discover the next King’s Champion, in essence someone to do the king’s dirty work. The king is a nasty, arrogant man who has been conquering kingdoms throughout Erilea. Also, he eliminated magic from his kingdom and other nearby lands ten years ago and will punish anyone who even retains books about the subject.

Celaena is a good candidate for the competition because she built quite a reputation during her past work as an assassin, perhaps the best in all the land. Her sharp mind is evident as she analyzes the people and her surroundings as she’s being led by Chaol from the prison and subsequently questioned by Dorian. She finally agrees to compete and also agrees to use the alias Lillian Gordaina to try to keep her infamous identity hidden.

Celaena is in bad shape after a year of hard work in Endovier. It is hard to keep food down as she has been malnourished for so long, and she is thin and weak. Her beauty, which used to be a source of pride for her, was diminished by the harsh conditions at Endovier as well. But she is happy to be surrounded by rich foods and beautiful linens and clothes, all things she loved in her former life.

All of the potential champions train, dwell, and compete in the castle for thirteen weeks. Twenty-three other men in the king’s court were allowed to choose a competitor, and Celaena realizes that while many are inconsequential, several will be stiff competition, especially the giant and brutal Cain. He is competing for the king’s closest advisor, Duke Perrington. To be ready to beat these opponents, Celaena pushes herself through Chaol’s grueling training to regain her former strength and skill. Throughout the competition, the king commissions various contests among the potential champions. Chaol tells Celaena to stay in the middle of the pack. She usually holds herself back and can fulfill this request, but her bravery is displayed during one challenge in which she saves of the life of young competitor after he is sabotaged by Cain.

Evil things are happening in the castle as the contests ensue. One champion is turning up dead before each contest. They are being murdered and mutilated in a way that seems brutal and out of the ordinary. No one can turn up clues as to whom or what may be doing this, and Celaena starts quietly investigating on her own. One night she discovers the entrance to a series of secret passageways behind a tapestry in her room, and one passage leads her to a mausoleum dedicated to the first king and queen of Adarlan, Gavin and Elena. The ghost of Elena begins to visit Celaena in this room and in her dreams. She explains there is a clock tower on the castle grounds that serves as a portal between their world and dimensions beyond. She warns Celaena that something evil has entered the castle from this portal and she must discover who is controlling it. Elena tells her she is the only one who can put a stop to this beast and that she must do so before the portal is ripped open so wide that many dangerous creatures will enter their world.

As they each get to know her better, there are signs that both Dorian and Chaol are developing feelings for Celaena, although Chaol’s indications are much more subtle. Celaena is drawn to each for different reasons. Dorian’s charming ways makes her blush, they share a love of reading, they are quite attracted to each other, and they have fun together during his (chaste) late night visits to her room. On the other hand, Celaena is seeing Chaol’s strength and honor as they train together and as he performs his duties as captain of the guard. They are both strong willed and butt heads often, but there is no doubt that a deep bond is forming between the two. And there are hints that they are attracted to each other as well.

A turning point in these relationships is when Celaena shows up uninvited to the royal ball. She asks Chaol to dance and he refuses, and then she ends up dancing the night away with Dorian. Dorian follows her to her rooms afterward, and the two kiss several times. When she goes out on her balcony after the ball, Chaol is quietly watching from the shadows of the garden below and knows she’s thinking about his best friend instead of him.

During her weeks at the castle, Celaena meets two very different women. The first is Princess Nehemia, and the two become fast friends because they both feel like outsiders at the castle. Celaena agrees to teach Nehemia the common language of Adarlan in exchange for Nehemia teaching Celaena what she knows of Wyrdmarks, an ancient language with ties to magic. Despite keeping a few secrets from each other at first, their bond becomes strong over time. The other woman she meets is Lady Kaltain Rompier, a typical court lady who, even though she is in a relationship with Duke Perrington, has her eyes on Prince Dorian as a future mate. She senses the connection between Celaena and the prince, and this makes her despise Celaena.

Here and there, Celaena reveals glimpses of her true background to Nehemia, Dorian, and Chaol. She shares how her parents were murdered when she was eight and how a man named Arobynn Hamel took her in and trained her to be in his league of assassins. Her training was incredibly hard mentally and physically, but she excelled and became his star pupil and thus a skilled assassin. She tells how the love of her life, a fellow assassin named Sam, was murdered just before she was sent to Endovier. She reveals the horrible scars on her back from being whipped when she stood up to the guards in Endovier at different times.

Celaena eventually discovers that Cain is the one who has summoned the murderous creature from the portal. He locks her in the secret passageways with it, and Celaena rushes to the tomb to retrieve King Gavin’s famous sword Damaris to defeat the monster. The creature bites her before she finishes it off, but Nehemia finds her and heals her using Wyrd magic.

How did Throne of Glass end?

Celaena competes very well and ends up in the final contest against Grave and then Cain. At Duke Perrington’s and the king’s request, Kaltain spikes the Celaena’s drink before a required toast with the king between the two fights. Celaena unknowingly ingests this poison before the final battle against Cain. This dulls her senses and makes it seem like it’s going to be an easy win for Cain. As she lays injured, Celaena first gets encouragement from Chaol from outside the ring. But it is Nehemia who rescues her by using Wyrd magic to summon Queen Elena to take the poison from her system. Even though her body is quite broken, Celaena manages to defeat Cain once the poison is gone from her system and is declared the winner. Cain tries to kill Celaena after his defeat, but Chaol sees it coming and kills him before he can get to her.

After her victory, Celaena is visited by Chaol, who is haunted by the fact that he killed Cain but is still glad he did it. Dorian comes in as the two of them are hugging and can sense that something more might be going on. Chaol abruptly leaves, and Celaena tells Dorian that she can’t be with him while serving as the King’s Champion. He wants to continue the relationship in secret, but she continues to refuse. She wants to remain good friends instead, and he agrees to this. Chaol comes to her room later looking for Dorian to apologize about what he witnessed earlier, and Celaena tells him that she ended things with Dorian.

The book closes as Celaena signs the contract with the king. He threatens to hurt Chaol, Nehemia, or even Nehemia’s family if she does not fulfill the contract. But if she serves him well for four years, then she will be free.

There you go! That’s what happened in Throne of Glass, the first book in the Throne of Glass series.

Ready to read the other Throne of Glass books? Click to buy and help us pay for hosting!

throne of glass
crown of midnight
heir of fire
queen of shadows
tower of dawn summary
kingdom of ash

What should you read after the Throne of Glass Series?

Here are a few suggestions for what to read after Throne of Glass. Click for more info (paid links): Legendborn, The Cruel Prince, A Curse so Dark and Lonely, Serpent and Dove

what to read after the throne of glass series

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18 thoughts on “What happened in Throne of Glass? (Throne of Glass #1)”

  1. Thanks for posting this summary. I tried to finish it but I just could not make it through. Wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

    1. You’re welcome!! Book 2 is my favorite in the series, in case you want to give it one more try. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this. I didn’t heart this book and put it down a couple of times before I finally finished about a year ago, but people are raving about the series on Instagram/bookstagram and I wanted to give it another try. I’m going to start book 2 and didn’t want to have to reread book 1. Thanks again!!

    1. I’m so glad the recap was helpful! I hope you enjoy book 2. It’s my favorite in the series! 🙂

  3. Thank you for the resume!
    I wanted to read the series again before Tower of Dawn but sadly real life is a bit busy and I won’t read the whole series again.
    So thank you for refreshing my mind!

  4. Thank you for posting this summary! I read this book back in the summer and have forgot a little bit of the storyline! But now I’m ready to start the second book 🙂

  5. I was supposed to finish the book for school and we’d have a test on it but I forgot about it. I read this summary and thankfully, I passed!

    1. No, I didn’t. I took notes as I read this book, and the recap is all original material I typed up on my own. Can you send me a link to the wiki fandom page? I’m not familiar with it and have never visited the site, but I’d sure like to see if they’re using text from my recap! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Thanks alot, Stacy! I read this book a while ago and stopped at empire of storms. I forgot a lot and all ur summaries for each book is really refreshing my memory! Thank you very much!

  7. Thank you so much! This recap really helped because my library only had the second book, but I really wanted to start the series. When I started the second book, I was kind of able to piece stuff together, but then I read this, and it helped clarify things so much. Thanks again!

  8. Thank you so much! This recap really helped because my library only had the second book, but I really wanted to start the series. When I started the second book, I was kind of able to piece stuff together, but then I read this, and it helped clarify things so much. Thanks again!

  9. Thank you so much for this recap. I really want to finally continue with second book, but totally forget some details from first book, i mean i read it like almost 2 years ago. Now i am finally ready for second book!

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