Book: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J Maas
This book is the sequel to Throne of Glass and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I felt that the first one was good but it in no way gripped me in the same way that this one did and after reading it I am genuinely intrigued and excited to read the third book in this six book series as boy did she leave the book on a cliffhanger (there’s no way I’ll tell you what it is though-you’ll have to read the book and find out for yourself!). Here is a short synopsis:
Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.
I was a little sceptical of Celeana in the previous novel but she has really grown on me. She proves her clout as an assassin in this book which makes her arrogance a little more understandable and as we get to know more about her-which thankfully we do in this book, I find myself liking her more and more. She’s a great heroine because she’s still relatable to your average teenage girl but she’s also a kickass fighter and the fight scenes were some of my favourite to read in this book. The plot was less obvious than the first book which made it far more interesting-in the first book we know that Celeana is going to become the king’s champion so the end is foregone conclusion but it wasn’t in this book-the end I felt was a huge twist and I didn’t see it coming. Celeana is completely human- she’s intensely flawed, with a short temper and an irrational impulsiveness and she doesn’t seem quite as perfect in this book as she was portrayed in the last one which I liked.
Chaol has a bigger part in this novel which I liked because his character I felt after Throne of Glass was the more interesting male character, although Dorian’s storyline in this book was more interesting than in the first book (unfortunately revealing why would be a huge spoiler). We get to learn a little more about Chaol’s past in this book as well and see his incredibly strained relationship with his father which was nice as it made him feel like a more fully developed character. By this book it’s pretty clear that Celeana is in love with him not Dorian which I liked as I prefer Celeana/Dorian as a friendship. Naturally it’s not quite as simple as they fall in love and get together-since you can tell the Chaol’s loyalty to the king is what comes first with him and it’s one thing to be loyal but quite another to be blindly obedient which i felt he kind of was in this book. Their relationship was never going to be easy and this book definitely highlights that-there are some sweet moments but also some difficulties for them which I won’t go into (it’s so hard to review this book without spoilers!). The relationship drama isn’t focused on as much in this book which I liked because it meant there was more focus on the mysteries-of which there are many.
Nehemia is an integral part of the plot of the book and we learn that she has more secrets and her reasons for coming to Rifthold were not as they first seemed. I still loved her in this book and something happens to her that causes the personality switch in Celeana (that is as much as I can say without spoilers).
some new characters are also introduced in this book-Mort, the talking bronze door knocker who I loved-the banter between him and Celeana was amazing and he was the only one who seemed willing to put Celeana in her place-and much as I love her, she needs that sometimes. Roland Havilliard, Dorian’s cousin is also introduced-he’s a bit of an ass at first and he never really grew on me through the book. We also meet Hollin, Dorian’s brother who is such a precocious child it makes you want to strangle him. Finally we meet Archer, a courtesan (prostitute) that Celeana knew in the past. I hated him, he was such an egotistic, cowardly ass. He was a target that the King gave to Celeana to kill and we learn more about Celeana’s past with his introduction but I have to say I wasn’t too disappointed with how his story was resolved.
The king becomes no less hated in this book but a large part of Celeana’s mystery revolves around him as she hunts for Wyrdkeys, parts of Wyrdgates to other worlds-the King is up to something, it’s not good and it somehow involves Kaltain and Roland, that’s about all we know but I’m looking forward to finding out more about him and his plans in the next book.
Magic is seen more heavily in this book than in the last book and I enjoyed this-I hope we see more of it in the future books (and given what is revealed in this book, I’m sure we will).
Overall this is a solid sequel, with great action and interesting plotlines including more of Celeana’s past and what happened the day she “snapped” at Endovier and plenty of magic and mystery to entertain through the whole book. September is far too long to wait for the third book-Heir of Fire which will see the introduction of a new kingdom Wendlyn. I cannot wait to find out what happens next.
My rating: 4/5
My next book review will be on Cross My Heart-Carmen Reid, a World War Two book about the resistance movement in Belgium.