Friday, March 27, 2015

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date:  August 27, 2013
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Series:  Throne of Glass #2
Pages:  418
Genre:  Fantasy
Synopsis:  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.

Review:  I enjoyed the sequel to Throne of Glass more than I did the first installment.  My high hopes were met and then some.  

The writing is as good as always, and the suspense is perfectly composed with just enough foreshadowing to keep you curious. The only complaint I dare to speak--or write--of, is that the constant switching of point of view's can become a little tiresome. The tone of this book is darker and more violent than the previous, which I personally enjoyed very much.  However, the plot progressed quite slowly at times, subsequently causing me to take longer to finish this than usual.  But the complexity of the story makes up for it.

The mysteries and deceptions just kept piling up in this book!  The secrets and lies you find out will blow your mind.  The world building is much improved compared to Throne of Glass.  The information that is revealed about magic and the past is ridiculously fascinating.  The thing I am most glad about in this sequel are the plentiful action scenes.  Maas seriously cut back on the glitter and parties, replacing those chapters with ones filled to the brim with assassinations and battles.  

Celaena Sardothien is an extremely well-rounded character, one I appreciate much more now.  Crown of Midnight offers a lot of new insight to her personality and her motivations.  You finally see her wild and deadly side, proving why she is considered the most terrifying assassin in the kingdom.  She is still arrogant and conceited, but she can also be vengeful and ruthless.  However, she makes one too many mistakes on who to trust, which can be exasperating.  

Chaol and Dorian.  Everyone is split on who they want Celaena to be with, but I couldn't connect to the romance at all.  Chaol is still tough and compassionate all at once, but he makes one too many mistakes for my liking.  And Dorian, he grew on me, I admit.  He's still naive, yes, but he learns.  One day, he will make a very great king.  The one character I unfortunately began to dislike, was Nehemia.  She was my favorite in the first book, but now?  She is still selfless and utterly dedicated to her people, but she seems to believe the concept that "the ends justify the means", which leads to some serious misfortune.    

The King is the character I love to hate.  He is a selfish, power-hungry man willing to do anything to achieve his goals.  Actually, he isn't the only one I disliked.  There were several new characters, none of whom I trusted one bit.  Archer Finn leaves a bad taste in your mouth from the start, and Roland?  Ugh.    

In the end, Crown of Midnight is a recipe brewing and ready to boil over.  It keeps you guessing, right down to the very last page.  The character development is literal perfection. The final verdict is that it is very much improved from it's predecessor, and I need the next book as soon as humanly possible.

4 Keys


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