The plot is amazing. I predicted the twists fairly easily but it did not lessen the enjoyment in any way for me. This is well written and excellently paced. We get to see Celaena being absolutely bad ass, vicious and lethal. It's awesome. There's plenty of twists, turns, magic, death, romance, betrayal, adventure, heartbreak...I can't believe one book contains so much awesome.
I've even giving this my "feminist fiction" tag on GoodReads. There might not be anything explicitly obvious that jumps out but if this were a film, for instance, it would surpass the Bechdel test and beyond. The main character is a woman, her best friend is a POC (yay!), and I think they talk about men/relationships once. Celaena is fiercely independent and not afraid to defy gender norms to the point of throwing it in the faces of the men around her, some of whom are in positions of great power over her. I love her.
The character development was really well done. I felt a marked improvement and understanding of Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian. Especially Dorian, who I didn't care for so much in ToG. He came off as way too arrogant and too much of a "ladies man" for my liking. In CoM, he's a markedly different character. I won't spoil why, you'll just have to read ;)
The romance, oh my gods, the romance! Swoon. Chaolaena forever, okay? This was just perfectly done. The build up was incredible and the payoff was everything I wanted. I really, really loved it. I loved getting to know Chaol better. These two just made my heart melt.
Prepare yourself for the second half of the book, though. The action, the heartbreak, the feels...they all kick into overdrive.
It pains me that this is going to be a 6 book series. I want it all. I want it right now! Congratulations, Maas. You ruined me.
Maas wrote on her blog:
I think it’s because I just poured EVERYTHING I had into that book—like, EVERY last drop of heart/soul/blood/tears went into writing CROWN OF MIDNIGHT
And you can tell. You can really tell. I felt every one of those drops as I was reading. I finished this book last night with a quiet sort of heartbreak. When I woke up this morning it was still there. That’s the kind of book this is.
There are so many places this story can go. The ending is wide open and exciting. Maas has deftly moved many pieces into play around the board and it’s going to be very, very exciting to see what happens in the upcoming installments.
Highly, strongly recommended. Just prepare yourself for the river of feels that shall be flowing forth from you once finished.
* A+ plot, fluid writing, swift pacing