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Molly Templeton

Side Quest: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Tower of Dawn

After Empire of Storms, our heroine is off the page in more ways than one: Tower of Dawn is primarily Chaol’s book, as he and Nesryn venture to the Southern Continent and meet up with another person whose life has been unexpectedly affected by a certain former assassin. A reader might think they could skip Chaol’s sometime frustrating tale of healing, but that would be a mistake: it’s also full of super-important secrets and one reveal that changes the entire nature of the threats our heroes face. (I have so many questions.)

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’ve been reading the entire series over six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. 

Spoilers for the entire published series follow!

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Ambrose Spellman Is Already My Favorite Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Character

According to Chance Perdomo, who plays Ambrose Spellman in the upcoming Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, he’s “the Alfred to Sabrina’s Batman.” I don’t think this means Sabrina’s going to be flying around using a witch utility belt, but I do think it means that Ambrose is likely to be an absolute fan favorite once the series airs. Based on the first episode, which fans got a sneak peak of at NYCC, he’s pretty much got my vote.

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Through the Looking-Glass: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Empire of Storms

Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get any more complicated for the woman formerly known as Celaena Sardothien… they did. From sea dragons to Settling, magic mirrors to Manon’s secret history, Empire of Storms is crammed with revelations and confrontations. There are even more queens playing this unfinished game than we thought—and power keeps shifting.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

Spoilers for the series up to and including Empire of Storms follow!

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Mortal Engines Looks Better Than You Might Expect

At NYCC’s Mortal Engines panel, moderator Andy Serkis made a big show of extending how much footage the audience would get to see. Eight minutes? Surely not enough. Seventeen? Twenty? A little more, actually: the sneak peek was of the first 24 minutes of the film, a race across a deserted green-and-brown landscape, in which a small traction city makes a desperate bid to escape the metallic gaping maw of, well … London.

And it was … pretty cool?

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Vengeance and Victories: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Queen of Shadows

The young woman who used to call herself Celaena Sardothien is back on her home continent, having reclaimed her name and heritage—and with several new goals in mind. One is to destroy her old master, Arobynn Hamel. The other two are even more dangerous.

And just about anything else I might say here is a spoiler of some sort, so let’s jump right in.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

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Please Gender-Swap the Heck Out of the Riftwar Saga TV Series

Like many a passionate young fantasy reader in a certain era, I quickly realized I could only reread The Lord of the Rings so many times. So when I discovered Raymond E. Feist’s Tolkien-influenced Riftwar Saga, I fell in love. The books had some of the same elements—dwarves under the mountains, elves in the woods, mythic old mages sneaking around—but with a magician-in-training main character who was entirely to my can-I-please-grow-up-to-be-a-wizard tastes.

I haven’t re-read Riftwar (by which I mean the first three-or-four books, depending on how you’re counting) in years. I remember them in a slideshow: young Pug, chosen as apprentice by the magician Kulgan; the soldier Tomas meeting a dragon deep in a cave; Martin the forester, friend to the elves; the hunt for the cure for Arutha’s poisoned princess; Jimmy the Hand, the thief who turns squire.

You might notice a theme there.

Every major character in this series is male.

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Among the Witches and the Fae: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Heir of Fire

Heir of Fire finds Celaena Sardothien—Adarlan’s Assassin, the King’s Champion, and so many other things as well—drinking on foreign rooftops. She’s crossed the sea on assignment to assassinate the royal family of Wendlyn, but accepting that assignment was a ruse to get her closer to the Fae queen, who may know a thing or two about Wyrdkeys.

This task will be even more complicated than she expects. Heir of Fire has a certain middle-book vibe, in that while it’s packed full of slow-burn reveals and backstory, in the present timeline, it’s a lot of putting-pieces-in-motion. There’s so much to learn, and so much to set up. Everyone’s in research and training mode.

Personally, I love a good training montage.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over the next six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

[Read more]

Secrets and Sacrifice: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass: Crown of Midnight

Following the events of Throne of Glass, Celaena Sardothien has a lot on her plate. Assassination, scheming, magic, Wyrdmarks, loss, love, witches, a major revelation or two—Crown of Midnight may not have the plot-driving competition of the previous book in the series, but it’s got all the intrigue you could ask for and then some (and two creepy monsters, no less!).

In short, this book is a lot.

Welcome to the next installment of Reading Throne of Glass! In anticipation of Kingdom of Ash, I’m reading the entire series over the next six weeks. This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

[Read more]

Wyrdmarks and Worldbuilding: Reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass

When a series is seven books long and each book seems to get longer and longer, the first book is bound to raise more questions than it answers. And that is entirely the case with Throne of Glass, the first book in Sarah J. Maas’s series of the same name: it leaves a reader with so many questions. Where’d magic go? Is there really a whole kingdom of witches? How can a prince be so nice when his father is a total monster? And when am I going to get the whole story on teenage assassin Celaena Sardothien’s history?

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to be patient with these and some of my other endless questions—or relatively patient, anyway…

In anticipation of the seventh and final Throne of Glass book, I’m reading the entire series over the next six weeks! This isn’t a reread for me, but a first-read: if you’ve already read the whole series, you will be able to feel extremely superior while I ponder things you probably know backwards and forwards. My fellow first-readers, though, beware: there are likely to be spoilers for future books in the comments.

There’s so much to talk about. Let’s start at the beginning.

Spoilers for all of book one, Throne of Glass, discussed below!

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Six Big Questions About the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Revival

When the news broke that Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be coming back to TV in some form, it was… confusing. In a single Hollywood Reporter article, the new show was described as a “reboot,” a “new take,” an “adaptation,” and a show that would “build on the mythology of the original.”

Three things seem certain: Buffy creator Joss Whedon is executive producing the show; Monica Owusu-Breen will write and serve as showrunner; the Slayer will be black.

Reactions to the idea of Buffy coming back in some unknown form ranged from excitement to trepidation to dread. Reboot fatigue is real; nostalgia only gets you so far; is it possible for something to be so iconic as to be un-repeatable? The overall sense among fans seemed to be that almost no one wanted a Buffy do-over… but given the Buffyverse’s potential for new stories, people were tentatively intrigued by the idea of a continuation.

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If We Ask Nicely, Will Misson: Impossible — Fallout Director Christopher McQuarrie Please Make a Star War?

We could argue until the metaphorical cows come home about whether or not the Mission: Impossible franchise is science fiction; I contend it is, and hold up “this dude is wearing this other dude’s face” as Exhibit A. However you slice it, the Mission: Impossible movies are genre: you might call them SF-adjacent, or just plain action, or my preferred (if unwieldy) category designation: Movies so precisely calibrated yet entirely ridiculous you can’t stop laughing with incredulous glee.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout contains a lot of sequences that, if you have a Thing for impressively orchestrated action, you truly need to see as big as possible. (I have this Thing. In spades.) You can watch a wee featurette about the HALO jump sequence here, and it’s a lot of you-seriously-did-this-oh-my-god fun, but this is not even the most over-the-top sequence in the film. (That’s the finale, of course.) Nor is it the most important.

(No spoilers.)

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Just This Once, Let’s Try Something Else: The Expanse, “Congregation” and “Abbadon’s Gate”

Can I tell you all how happy I am that The Expanse isn’t ending yet? This two-hour finale was, for the most part, great, but if the story ended here I’d be crushed. The episode packed a ton of suspense and heart into its all-too-brief run time, but then ended on a cliffhanger that’s equally exhilarating and terrifying.

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Existentialism in SPAAAAACE: The Expanse, “Dandelion Sky”

This was a surprisingly talky episode of The Expanse! “Dandelion Sky” touched on free will, determinism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of fear…there was a lot going on as our intrepid space people drew ever closer to The Ring. There are spoilers below, obviously, but also a content warning as I’ll be talking about suicide, specifically how it was depicted in this episode, so if you need to tread carefully or simply not read that part I’ll drop another warning in when we get there. (And if you haven’t seen the episode yet, note that it shows a suicide, in a blunt, graphic scene, so if that’s something you don’t want in your head, just read a recap for this one.)

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Bursting Space Bubbles: The Expanse, “Intransigence”

So THAT’S Melba’s deal. Well I should have guessed that! I feel so silly now.

This week’s episode of The Expanse, “Intransigence,” continued the dangerous trajectory the Roci started last week. It tied some loose threads together, gave me one of my favorite scenes yet, and set up what I’m guessing will be an absolutely terrifying hour of television next week.

Join me in spoiler territory!

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