Book Review | Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. Maas

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. MaasCrown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Published by Bloomsbury on August 27, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy YA, Young Adult
Pages: 418
Format: eARC
Also in this series: Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire, The Queen of Shadows
Also by this author: Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire, The Queen of Shadows
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
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five-stars

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt. But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?


CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, book 2 in Sarah J. Maas‘ Throne of Glass series, is one of those books that takes the foundation of previous books–in this case, the very good THRONE OF GLASS–and kind of knocks it out of the park with the drama and the forward movement and the reveals that open the story up and make it so much bigger. I very much enjoyed book 1, even if I thought it fell just a touch below its hype. If the rest of this series is anything like CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, though, we’re all in for an epic treat. It was well-paced, full of mystery and danger, romance, death, and a pretty legit “pieces of the puzzle are coming together” scene at the end that was so tantalizing, I had to read it a few times while fist pumping (I am from Jersey, after all).

Throne of Glass spoiler zone

So, as we know from book 1, Celaena Sardothien is now the King’s Champion, aka assassin. She is being tasked with killing–and bringing the king proof of her kills–a number of the king’s enemies. But we also know that Celaena doesn’t give two–or even, you know, one–rat’s patooties about doing this king any favors. So…umm…she doesn’t. Celaena’s got this thing going on where she is basically screwing the king over and fooling him. So that’s pretty dangerous. Plus, she’s got her relationship or whatever you want to call it with Chaol. PLUS, there’s some mysterious things going on near the castle’s library, there’s a rebellion afoot, magic in many forms makes a comeback, and someone very close to Celaena doesn’t make it out alive. In fact, the better part of CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is colored by Celaena’s grief and guilt. WHEW.

Friends, there is a lot going on in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. But in a good way. In a way where you can tell that Sarah J. Maas has some major tricks up her sleeve that I cannot wait to read about. As in book 1, though, the star of CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is Celaena Sardothien. She’s still obsessed with books and loves to shop, and she’s still a ruthless killer who doesn’t show too much emotion, but I thought she was less arrogant in this book–which is good news for me, as I sometimes found her brand of confidence off-putting and abrasive in book 1. She’s juggling lots of dangerous things: lying to the king, uncovering a magical mystery that is surely only the beginning of something cray, a complicated but lovely romance with Chaol, a brewing rebellion, and the aforemetioned death. I found her much more likable but still a complete badass.

So at the beginning of CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, the king gives Celaena a task: She must eliminate a list of people he believes are his enemies, names he gives to her one at a time. However, as part of Celaena’s long con to thwart the king’s every move and eventually kill him, she doesn’t necessarily follow his instructions. Doing this brings her back into contact with an acquaintance from her days before her jailing in Endovier. (I haven’t read all the short stories, but I have read a few, and some of those names and events pop up in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT.) This connection turns into a THING of pretty huge proportions, and I really enjoyed the way Sarah J. Maas unfolded things here. Everything stitches together in a pretty gripping way: the rebellion, the magic, the mysterious things going on near the library. It’s always impressive when authors can weave so many threads together.

An important cog in the story of book 1 was the love triangle. I know, I know: blah triangle. It was especially blah for me because I was not even Team Dorian for, like, a second. Thus, I was very pleased with the way things went in the romance department in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. Chaol and Celaena don’t have an easy relationship, both being strong-willed and not prone to emoting, and I can’t say that we leave them in the best place. But seeing them together was a nice little respite of swoony calm in the midst of lots of dramatic goings on. I love how they flirt and enjoy each other’s company.

That doesn’t mean, though, that Dorian is out of the picture. He’s a little broody in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, but you can’t really blame him. His relationship with his father is at an all-time worst, and he’s got some SEKRETS that are bananas, but also awesome. I have a feeling that his relationship with Celaena is far from over, and will be far from easy.

In fact, the way we leave things with EVERYONE in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT could be summed up by saying that we’re in a state of suspended animation, friends. There are so many wheels turning! One of my favorite scenes in this book is one that Chaol has near the end–in fact, it’s the last scene in the whole book–and it just kind of blew my mind. Not all of it (a part of it I had guessed), but most of it. The big things. It makes me DIE that we have to wait for book 3. DIE. Because it’s like this huge door is unlocked and so many things make sense and the fantasy-loving nerd in me (which is, like, a pretty huge part) is basically flipping out over it all. Like, I found out that this series is going to be six books and I was like, “AWWW YEAAAAH! That’s the stuff!” I might have looked a little bit like this:

I feel like I’ve already spoiled too much, so I’m going to wrap up by saying that CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is an excellent sequel. It’s better than THRONE OF GLASS. There’s more drama, the reveals are huge in scope and will have far-reaching ramifications, the already complicated relationships become even more so, and it’s just all pretty amazing. Sarah J. Maas put this series into overdrive in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Check out some other reviews of Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas!

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books: Crown of Midnight has earned favorite, stars-and-hearts-in-my-eyes status because of its incredible story. Throne of Glass is entirely outdone by the intensity and creativity of this novel. “

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue: “Sarah has taken Celaena’s story to the next level of romance, danger, and mystery – and I can almost promise you, you’ll be intensely moved by Crown of Midnight.”

Magan @ Rather Be Reading: “The beauty of Crown of Midnight is how so many aspects felt like they were clicking into place, but how I constantly felt jolted or surprised by revelations, too.”

Comments

  1. I agree, this book was better than Throne of Glass. I loved it and the ending just killed me with where it left things. What is going to happen?! I have to say, my one disappointment was Celaena’s reaction to something (don’t want to spoil it). I thought it was a bit over the top. Really? Nothing else matters? There’s no coming back from that? That bugged me, I have to say. Great review!
    Pam@YAEscapefromReality recently posted…Book Review: Monsters by Ilsa J. BickMy Profile

  2. This book was superior to Throne of Glass in every way. I loved ToG but this took the series to an entirely different level of amazing. There is SO MUCH going on in this book. It was overwhelming but I adored it. I will say I thought Celaena’s treatment of Chaol after a certain event was way over the top but otherwise I loved every aspect. Some of it was predictable, especially the big reveal at the end which I called in ToG but I’m so glad to have my suspicions confirmed. And also CoM succeeded in making me a C/C shipper, which ToG did not. SO YAY. JUST HOW WILL I SURVIVE FOUR MORE BOOKS?
    Angie recently posted…August Wrap Up + Celebratory GiveawayMy Profile

  3. GAH, PERFECT review, girl! (Thanks for the shout-out by the way!)

    I am basically twitching in anxiety for book 3. Did you see on GR that this series (if the GR page is right) will have SIX books? Jeeez. Anything can happen! I am with you on the C/C stuff, and on not even being on Team Dorian. I liked that we saw some growth from him in this one, and his secrets should make the next book/s VERY interesting.

    I figured out some of the reveal but it was still an OMG moment!
    Molli recently posted…Review: Leap of Faith by Jamie BlairMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is one of the most legit sequels I’ve read in a looooong while. Props, Sarah J. […]

  2. […] this is hard. I’ll say…CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. Or LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP. Or […]

  3. […] Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | One of my favorite things about series is that thing that happens sometimes when the first book is good and then the second book comes out and WHOA, it gets better in the most amazing ways. This is one of those times. If you liked THRONE OF GLASS, this one will not let you down. OPPOSITE. […]

  4. […] Title: Heir of Fire Author: Sarah J. Maas (web | twitter) Series: Throne of Glass #3 Genre: Fantasy YA Amazon | Goodreads | B&N Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Release date: September 2, 2014 Source: ARC from BEA Related books: THRONE OF GLASS | CROWN OF MIDNIGHT […]

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