I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on August 27, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.\r\n\r\nKeeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.\r\n\r\nThen one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.
I went into Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas with trepidation. Usually, second books are a big ol’ fail for me. But Crown of Midnight did not fail me. It blew me away! *Hey there, if you haven’t read Throne of Glass, stop right here. There will be first book spoilers.* It picks up a little after Throne of Glass leaves off: Celaena Sardothien is the king’s champion, and she’s being dispatched to “take care of” some of the king’s adversaries. But Celaena is not without her own sense of morals, and strikes deals with some of them, all the while, continuing to court the captain of the guard, Chaol, in “secret”. (Brief pause while I consider this: she was kind of an idiot if she thinks people don’t or didn’t know about them.) In Throne of Glass, I was adamantly Team Chaol. I love him, he’s the perfect counter-balance to her. Or so I thought. Crown of Midnight has left me wondering if Prince Dorian is who she actually should be with. He is soft where she is hard. In fact, regardless if they end up together, I think we’ve been underestimating Dorian. Perhaps he will be the one to lead against his father someday? Anyway, I sort of adore Dorian now, for so many spoilery reasons. Crown of Midnight broke my heart; we lose someone very dear to us in this book, and all I could think was how the loss would affect not only Celaena, but also the people that might possibly stand behind her. The anguish I felt during a particular scene was brutal; I haven’t liked a character that much in a long time. The character development in this story is even better than in the first. Perhaps because I have the novellas behind me and know more of Celaena’s back story, I was able to really enjoy how Maas carefully crafts her to be even edgier as the tragedies unfold around her. Something huge about her is also revealed, and it leaves you wondering how much she remembers or even knows about herself. This much is fact: she is someone fierce, a force to be reckoned with and I bid the King good (bad) luck. Celaena is a badass in Crown of Midnight; she carves her way through the story, solving mysteries, riddles, and talking to a doorknocker, while maintaining the guise of an assassin for the King. She is imperfect, she is raw and she doesn’t apologize for it. The romance is perfection, even with all its imperfections and strife. It’s creepy, it’s crawly, it’s got magic and love and all the right ingredients to make a wonderful second book. My review fails this book. I loved it so, so much.
Eh, Elizabeth Evans was okay. I didn’t think she differentiated between the male voices all that well, and she made Celaena sound…over-confident, or perhaps snotty. Basically, it’s not what I heard in my head when I read the first book. That said, she wasn’t a terrible narrator either, and she kept a great pace. I won’t seek out her particular work, but I definitely won’t avoid it, either. *Thank you to Brilliance Audio for my review copy.