Hey guys! So like, I have a short attention span sometimes and my Weekly Obsessions posts…yeah, I’m bored with them. And while I was driving the other day, I got an idea for a new type of post called Compare This!
So here’s the deal. I’ll take 2-3 books, books with movies, works by the same author, etc., and I’ll compare them to pick which one I thought was better. (You are free to disagree with me.) I like to think of it as a Face Off/Boxing Match, if you will, where these two are duke-ing it out for my favor. And this first match isn’t pulling its punches. Let’s get started!
The Throne of Glass series
A Court of Thorns and Roses series
(Both series are written by the incomparable Sarah J. Maas)
Throne of Glass
- This series has a number of rock stars for main characters, characters that just get under your skin and then you can’t get them out of your head.
- The necessity for cleverness means you never quite know what’s going to happen next because it’s just a master chess game.
- Suspense. Oh my God, the suspense this series creates! Once you start these books, you need to plan your days around your reading time because you aren’t going to feel capable of putting them down.
- The world building is excellent. Even returning to this book after a year (while I wait for the next book), I can pretty easily fall back into the world of Adarlan.
- Sometimes the plot is too convoluted. Later in the series, there are almost too many characters in too many different places. You have to keep track of a large number of plot lines all at once and, with a year between books, it’s complicated to do that with a series that’s still not finished. I can only hope there’s a massive payoff at the end.
- There’s usually a portion of each book that seems so slow. In almost every review I write, I talk about how it took me a while to get through because something bogged me down.
- The jumping between all the narrators can feel jarring. I know that I have struggled with that throughout a number of these books, especially as it gets later in the series.
- Six books in this series (so far) means that this series almost feels like it’s been going on forever. It can be hard to keep a reader’s attention on the same series for 6+ years.
A Court of Thrones and Roses
- I adore that the first two books seems to be almost retellings of classic stories. (The first truly has a Beauty and the Beast vibe, and we all know how I feel about that.)
- The characters are fantastic, from the ones you root for to the lowest of villains. Every single one of them is magnificently written. Ask anyone who’s read this series and they will all have different favorites and–if they do like the same character–it will be for a completely different reason. They’re so multi-dimensional. It’s been a long time since I’ve fangirled this hard over characters. (My computer is telling me I’ve invented a new word there, but it’s the truth.) Like, it will be decades before I stop thinking about how much I love these characters.
- The world building. I feel like this gets bonus points for writing two worlds, the human world and the fey world. Each one has its own characteristics.
- So much cleverness in the plotting. Little hints are dropped in the previous books that come back, little moments earlier in the book you didn’t notice, etc. It all comes back.
- THERE ARE THREE MORE BOOKS PLANNED. I JUST LEARNED THIS.
- The fact that there are three more books planned. When a series is supposed to end as a trilogy, everything pretty much gets wrapped up, and this one did. So…um…I’m nervous about what these books could do next. Maybe they’re more of a spin-off? Because I think Feyre’s story has been told.
- I felt that the last book lacked the same energy as the first books. The first two were emotional roller coasters that grabbed you by the heart and didn’t let go. But the last one, because Feyre was more grounded by then, didn’t engage me the same way.
- For as much as I adored the characters (and I so did), there were times I felt disconnected from them. And I can’t tell if that’s indicative of their characters (which, some of them are more closed-off/introverted/tight-lipped) or if that’s something with Maas’s writing style.
- If you’re not prepared for it, the level of romance in the books can surprise you. For all of their marketing as YA, these are New Adult at the very least. Keep these books away from the youngest of readers, please. It’s very…descriptive.
- You may have to invent new curse word to deal with the feels you get from this series. Rereading my previous reviews, mine included: fudgenuggets, Jerusalem’s Ghost, Holy Profanity Batman, Saints alive, and so help me Zeus.
My Winner: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Why? Overall, I found this series hit more of the right notes with me. I’m a very character-driven reader. I crave the emotional connections with the characters and this did it for me. The narration focuses almost exclusively on Feyre rather than bouncing from character to character like Throne of Glass does. That helps me stay more in the zone with the emotions and the plot. We’re learning everything just as Feyre is. I like that many of these characters rise in ranks not because of any powers, but because of their merit, which isn’t always quite the case in the other series. I also liked the pacing of this series, being wrapped up in three books (give or take) rather than how the other one is still going and going.
Both of these series are absolutely phenomenal and win Goodreads Choice Awards every single year there’s a new book. So really, no matter which one you decide to read, you’re going on an incredible journey to a fantasy world where strong characters fight against evil and darkness. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.