After my recent review of books 1 & 2 (Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight) of Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, I’m happy to say, after finishing book 3 and starting book 4, it seems my tentative hope the series would spin that whole internalized misogyny trait into an opportunity for character growth were justified!
Books 3 & 4
Continuing Plot Theories
Heir of Fire (Book 3) mostly had Celaena hanging out in a completely separate land, once again surrounded by dudes and once again bunking down with a completely different guy (it is crazy how every book has her developing a different intensely emotionally intimate physical yet largely non-sexual relationship with a different guy–I think she’s had 4 serious relationships at this point, and only one confirmed sexual relationship. How is she sharing a bed with but not boinking these hotties?), so no real progress on her characterization … but readers were introduced to a kickass bunch of new female characters.
These witches (seriously, they’re witches) are complex, distinct characters existing within a unique matriarchal warrior-clan social hierarchy, and if I’m reading this correctly, there are no men at all in their society. None. So far, they seem to be set up as antagonists, but Maas is spending a lot of time on their chapters for enemies, so I’m thinking they’re going to ally with Celaena at some point–Maas hasn’t given the reader time inside any other villain’s head, so I don’t know why the witches would be the exception, fascinating as they are.
I am loving them, by the way. Seriously amazing. Nictating membranes! Ah! Those would be so useful on my motorcycle! I would totally be a witch. Clan Ironteeth!
I just started Queen of Shadows (book 4) this morning, and I’m on chapter 13. There’s this whole interaction between Celaena and a courtesan who was her version of a Mean Girl antagonist growing up, and the realization their enmity was largely due to a manufactured competition for the approval of a powerful and brutal man. It’s really giving me hope overall. I’m excited!
True, the plot could develop in a direction I’d hate–where their new solidarity is splintered by betrayal in the third act, leading to Celaena’s distrust in women/ internalized misogyny being reinforced and further difficulties in book 6.
But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the third act sees Celaena questioning her trust in their friendship, then taking a leap of faith to preserve it/ redeem herself for her previous lack of faith in Nehemia, and in doing so gains a strong ally for whatever happens in book 6.