We can’t get enough of Celaena Sardothien, the feisty teen assassin challenged to fight to the death in YA fantasy novel Throne of Glass.  One of the more exciting teen heroines we’ve come across since The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen, the story of Celaena started because author Sarah J. Maas asked herself “What if Cinderella was an assassin, and went to the ball not to dance with the prince, but to kill him?”

Music has always been her number one source of inspiration when it comes to writing: characters, plots, scenes, worlds--all of it can usually be traced back to a specific piece of music. Here are the ten mains songs that inspired the biggest moments in the book.Kobo spoke with Throne of Glass author Sarah J. Maas exclusively about the music that inspired Celaena’s adventures in the filthy salt mines of Endovier and the kingdom of Adarlan.

  1. "You Don't Dream In Cryo” : James Horner: Avatar (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    • “This was my go-to track when writing the Endovier scenes at the beginning of the novel. The tone definitely sums up not only the atmosphere of Endovier, but also Celaena’s mood and mental state when Dorian and Chaol pull her out of the mines.”
  2. Septimus”: Andy Brown, Ilan Eshkeri & London Metropolitan Orchestra: Stardust Soundtrack
    • “This was my “traveling to Rifthold” go-to track. Whenever I hear it, I usually imagine an epic montage (and several scenes of Celaena being particularly miserable in rough weather).”
  3. “Night Fight”: Tan Dun: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    • “This is the music that inspired the initial sparring session between Celaena and Chaol in the training hall. It fits the scene perfectly.”
  4. Success Montage”: Danny Elfman: Wanted (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    • “Another track that I used while writing the training scenes, but especially for the scene when Chaol walks into Celaena’s rooms one morning and finds her doing chin-ups in her doorway. I hear this and imagine them running through the game park, or Chaol sitting on Celaena’s feet, keeping count as she does sit-ups.”
  5. The Goodbye”: Patrick Doyle: A Little Princess (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    • “The inspiration behind Nehemia and Celaena’s first meeting and music that I often turn to when writing scenes with them.”
  6.  “Chevaliers de Sangreal”; “Beneath Alrischa” and “503”: Hans Zimmer : The Da Vinci Code (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    • “The entire Da Vinci Code (and Angels and Demons) soundtrack actually inspired a lot of the scenes in the secret passages & Elena’s forgotten tomb.”
  7.  “Valse - Intrada (Tempo Di Valse)”: Efrem Kurtz & Philharmonia Orchestra : Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
    • “This song inspired Dorian and Celaena’s waltz at the Yulemas ball.
  8. Balcony Scene - Romeo's Variation - Love Dance”:  Cleveland Orchestra & Lorin Maazel: Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet
    • “I listened to this again and again when writing about Dorian and Celaena’s first kiss (and Chaol’s scene after the ball).”
  9. Optimus Vs. Megatron” and “Scorponok”: Steve Jablonsky: Transformers: The Score; “Royce Vs. Predator”: John Debney: Predators (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    • “I listened to these three tracks on repeat while writing the Celaena s. the Ridderak scene”
  10. The Great Eatlon”: James Newton Howard : Lady In the Water
    • “I wrote the entire climax of the duel (no spoilers!) to this”


Throne of Glass is now available on Kobo. The sequel, Crown of Midnight, is now available for pre-order.