Wednesday 8 April 2015

Book Review - Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Genres: Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 15th August 2013
Publishers: Bloomsbury
No. Pages: 418
Source: Gifted
Crowned by Evil. Bound by Duty. Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan's deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies' blood - but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors - a captain and a prince - and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom...

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

For some, Crown of Midnight was Throne of Glass' less mysterious and more romanced little brother that sort of started to let the series down. To others, it was the sequel everybody wanted the first installment to be, with some spectacular action scenes, brilliant charcater development and depth and some serious politics and fantast involved. it was definitely a defining moment in the series, the make or break for some, the book most people were nervous about reading; I even waited three months after actually gaining a copy to read it, and when you're up against the pressure's of two close friends begging you to read it, that can seem like a loooooooong time, but I did, eventually, read it. Crown of Midnight was like a chocolate brownie ice cream sundae; the deeper you dug and the more you had, the richer and taster and darker it got, the better it was, the more exciting and thrilling it was the consume, and when the ending came around, I was definitely riding high on hot gooiness and falling hard due to deprival of wanting more.

I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't entirely feeling Crown of Midnight at first. I don't know whether I had been away from the world for too long and needed to find my footing again, or whether being away from Celaena had encouraged me to forget about her character traits or very nosey ways, I'm really not completely sure what I was feeling, but the first 100+ pages were not as gripping as I had expected, all be it, still pretty good none the less. I was quite smitten with Celaena and Chaol's budding romance actually, there were quite a few cute and rather sweet scenes where they both showed much softer and sarcastic and less snarly sides towards each other - not that I was on a 'team' of sorts throughout Throne of Glass, but I personally had a softer spot for Chaol than Dorian, and I felt it in Maas's writing, in how she shaped their feelings and their emotions and their ever so slow realisation that they might actually want to cross a line. Mentor and student relationships can be hit and miss for me, but in this instance, I was pretty sold, and even when Maas took the romance in a direction I really didn't see, nor know was coming, I still appreciated the effort she'd go through in order to highlight the develop they both went through throughout, much more than if she'd still drawn out the 'love triangle'.

Speaking of Dorian, I wasn't bothered that he wasn't getting romantic 'screen' time, but more bothered about the direction Maas had him going in throughout the first half of Crown of Midnight. He spent most of his time, almost mopping and whining over Celaena, (who I'm aware, is pretty fantastic, but seriously, there's more to life than being rejected, okay?) and this was such a shame, because Dorian is, and will be, in my eyes, a very interesting character who has and will go through much more development; in fact, I'm willing to bet he'll be much more developed than most character's in this series, and I'll be pretty pleased for it too. He highlights such an important part of the Throne of Glass series, from future prospects and actions, to plot development and repercussions, he's got a lot of it going on, and I really cannot wait to see where Maas takes him, I'm only sad that she spent as long as she did making him less major charcater with important plot points to come and more 'oh no, I lost the girl, lets stare at her being romantic with another guy' instead. If I'm entirely honest though, I'm much more interested in the world, the backstory, the plot and the future than I am about who Celaena's bedding.

Sarah J. Maas has been called a Queen of Fantasy in the young adult genre, she's been complimented on her world building which is just both beautiful and so awe inspiring it's very unlikely you can't find yourself right there, with the character's, in that glass castle. She's been listed copious amounts of times for being one of the best authors who writes some of the best plot defining moments, revelations and the most amazingly detailed scenes, both action and emotional specific, that's ever been read, and there's very little I can really add to those words of utter adoration that other people have used, because I feel exactly the same. Where Throne of Glass felt very mystery centred and it's characters made very simple, easy mistakes, Crown of Midnight stepped up a gear and turned the entire world on it's head, with brand new developments in it's politics and ruling, it's it's future plot points and it's important reveals that gave the series a brand new direction, and each book in the series feels as though it's defining and focusing on important parts to the overall, awesome story. There's no denying, Crown of Midnight become such a different book within it's second half, finally showcasing some of Celaena's deadly skills that I wanted throughout Throne of Glass, highlighting her past and revealing secrets, delving into her training and the dangerous, unemotional and lethal monster she can be, this part completely excelled, as did much of the plot and the driving action scenes, and, of course, that ending, which was completely and utterly out of this world.

You could read many other positive reviews and see written there exactly what's written here; how Maas is a brilliant author and gives something that is so good, it's easily a crossover for adult readers as it is young adult, how her world and her characters and the detail and care she gives every feature within this series is really sublime, how her imagination and creation is so rich, so vivid, so enthralling and enticing, so life-like and so real and clear in the mind, how she's just one of the best, writing some of the best, I've ever read. I adore close to all her character's and I love that she's not afraid to do them harm or tear character's away for each other, or make them more powerful and encourage them, there were many a sacrifice in Crown of Midnight, and none of them felt underhand or unwarranted. I laughed and giggled, I cried and sobbed, I sat in awe in silent screaming and audibly screeched and sharply inhaled, this book did everything and had everything that a perfect book has.There's many people that still haven't read this series, and I can understand why, it's a big series, and we've definitely not even finished exploring the top of the iceberg, but if you get on this train now and give it a chance, you will definitely find yourself, at the very minimum, enjoying it. First I was afraid, I was definitely petrified, but now I know I can't live without this series by my side.


  1. I've read Crown of Midnight recently, the cover is BEAUTIFUL though - I can understand where you're coming from with your review, I did like the plot twists and the romance. Chaol is everything to me in this series! Like you, the first half was kind of boring for me :/ Dorian annoyed the crap out of me in this novel .. The middle and ending was fantastic though, lovely review overall, I can see how much you really loved this book<3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

    1. Thanks Benish! I do think it's a mixed bag book, but my love it just outweighed everything and I thought it was just fabulous, so I'm pleased I liked it. Thanks for stopping by!<3

  2. Beautiful review, and I agree with everything you said :) I struggled with the beginning of this one quite a bit myself, and not because it was poorly written or anything, it just felt right to take your time with it. Loved the rest of the book. I do wish that Dorian moped less --- I'm with you; I never really had a particular favorite between Dorian and Chaol, and I would have been happy either way, but I wanted Dorian to just suck it up and deal. Can't wait to read your thoughts on book 3 [which I think is probably my favorite in the series so far] :)

    ~ Liza @ Classy Cat Books

    1. Thanks Liza! Book #3 in the series makes me really nervous, because things change, A LOT, and they interact less, I fear that could play a huge part, so, here's hoping it's all okay! Thanks for reading! :)<3

  3. I was definitely in that category of: this book made the series for me because it was everything that Throne of Glass was not.

    I was not a huge fan of ToG at ALL and I was super disappointed in everything about it, pretty much. But then I had a review copy for CoM, which is the only reason I picked it up. And I am SO glad I did because I 100% fell in love with everything about this series. I went on to read TAB and fall in love even more, and then HoF AHHH. HoF is so very, very good, and I just feel like Maas is going from strength to strength. I can only imagine the epic finality of the last book in this series.

    Lovely review, Amanda :D


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