Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: YA, Fantasy
For Fans of: The McKenzie Lewis series, The Dark Swan series, The Light of The Oracle
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”
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.
Keeping 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.
Then 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.
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
So, you remember all those complains I had about the first book? You know, the overuse of exclamation points, Celaena’s whining and too-volatile personality, the unnecessary love triangle… all that nonsense? Yeah, it felt like, with Crowd of Midnight, it felt as if Sarah J. Maas had listened to all my complaints and then learned from them. I honestly thought its predecessor was, while an entertaining read, a sorry piece of YA Fantasy, but damn, this one made me want to retract anything bad I said about the series. (I’m obviously not going to do that, because we all know the first one had its problems)
Celaena’s temperament greatly improved with this book. She wasn’t as snippy or as annoying as she was in the first one, which I am super thankful for because, honestly, I wasn’t so sure I could have stomached anymore of that. The other characters were their same, wonderful selves. Nehemia and Chaol even set themselves apart as my clear favorites with this one.
With Throne of Glass, I was really nonchalant about the characters; wasn’t attached to them or as invested in them as I’d like to have been. But that’s another aspect in which Crown of Midnight improved. I was very emotionally invested in the characters and absolutely devastated when [spoiler:] Nehemia was assassinated, and when things went to shit for Chaol and Celaena. I ship them so hard, man.
I think the only truly negative thing I have to say about this book was the pacing. I had a teeny tiny issue with how slow some parts of it were, and how rushed some of the climatic parts were. I mean, that whole thing with Baba Yellowlegs? It just happened so fast, which was kind of a let-down considering how much effort the author put into describing the hag’s trailer. And Archer’s final scene… Man, I wish that had been more emotional and tense but it after everything else that had happened, it seemed a little bland, because again, everything happened a little too fast.
But other than that, Crown of Midnight was a massive improvement from Throne of Glass. So much better, that I’m actually going to go ahead and urge everyone who didn’t enjoy Throne of Glass to give it another go, solely because I believe that the sequel makes up for the disappointment.