She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known.
But where will her conscience, and her heart, lead her?
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 willing to fight for?
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)FeaturedHot
She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known.
As I said before, this is one of the best on the market and Elizabeth Evans continues to give each character their own distinct "voice".
Story: 4 Stars
I get it now. The hype, the fandom, the feels, I GET IT!
The Celaena I was looking for in book one shows up with dagger's unsheathed and heads start.to.roll. Literally. Like, across the floor for all the court to see. It's gross and badass all at the same time. I loved it.
The romance heats ups like WHOA (I loved THAT too.) and then all Hades breaks loose. (Not so much love there. Just saying.)
Death, betrayal and heartbreak mixed together with beautiful prose, and jaw-dropping revelations shredded my feels by the time it was over. So, thanks for that, Sarah J. Maas. No really. THANK YOU! I can't wait to see what happens next!
BRING ON HEIR OF FIRE! (I might need someone to hold my hand though.)
Last summer, I was happily introduced to Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan's Assassin, and now King's Champion. She is a fixating mix of girly and bad-ass, sensitive and rock-hard. She knows when to play up her assassin side and when to be real. And she is such a master at this that for now (we hope), she has fooled the evil, powerful king, whose rise to power is becoming more and more curious the deeper Celaena goes into his glass castle's stony foundation.
I already know I like Celaena. She's got some traits that are vexing, but hey, what beloved MC doesn't? Namely, her choice of lover in the first book. But she has made up (in my opinion) for her past *mistakes* with the King's son, Dorian, by choosing rightly this time around. Okay, okay, so not everyone is going to want Chaol to be the one she picks, but Maas gives us plenty of opportunities to wonder if they are fated or not, and to wonder whether or not the friendship between Dorian and Celaena that has now come to peacefully exist will eventually blossom into something more, something deeper. But the romance in this sequel is just one of the many aspects of the plot that will keep you hooked...
Celaena is still making visits to Queen Elena's tomb, and she is finding more hidden there than she thought possible. Between that and her assignments from the king, Celaena is busier than ever, but she still finds time to spend with her dear friend, Princess Nehemia, who may also be hiding some secrets of her own, in spite of her promise to never lie to Celaena. When Celaena finds herself assigned to kill one of her old friends, she takes matters into her own hands and begins to find pieces to a puzzle she never realized existed.
There are all kinds of intriguing fantasy elements in Crown of Midnight, and all are artfully and uniquely arranged to make this series one of my favorites. There are witches, carnivals, Fae, tombs, labyrinths, riddles, poems, forgotten languages, haunting songs, and otherwordly creatures, and all are woven into this story with an ease that belies this new author's age. It all appears to be written by an old master, a tale found itself in some dark cavern, hidden away in a locked chest amongst other treasures. There is even a tiny introduction to a new character, and it fit in so well with everything else I had almost forgotten it! I absolutely cannot wait until the next book, and I think I am going to be looking for the prequels to this series as well. I've got to get more of Erilea.
My love for Throne of Glass is well known, but, after reading some reviews, I started wondering if the book was quite as good as I remembered. There were some fair criticisms, things I'd not even considered. In Crown of Midnight, Maas really hits those elements that were missing from the first, and ups the stakes to an incredible degree. This sequel is a must read for those who loved Throne of Glass and perhaps even for those who were on the fence.
One of the criticisms I'd seen was of Celaena being proclaimed a heartless assassin, but that not really ever being shown. Instead, she's going to balls and eating candy. Of course, I love that the assassin has a softer side, but I did agree retroactively that it would have been good to see more of her dark side. In Crown of Midnight, you get to see Celaena living up to her reputation, and, when this girl is on a killing spree, it's a thing of bload-soaked beauty. She may like frilly dresses, but she's also totally cool with being covered in blood. Being able to see all of the facets of Celaena really adds depths to her character.
The other main criticism of the first book that I agreed with was that the King, clearly the villain, didn't have much of a role. He just sort of cackled evilly every so often. In Crown of Midnight, we get to see more of him and learn about his plans, still only the very slightest understanding, but it's enough to make him one intensely creeptastic villain.
The plotting of the story becomes much more complex in Crown of Midnight. Actually, I was really surprised by the direction that the story has gone, very different from the more basic fantasy roots of the first. There are a number of twists, none of which I really saw coming, though I felt really dumb that I missed the biggie, since there were a lot of hints. The plot is full of twists and turns, and full of betrayals.
Of course, there's also the romance. The age of Dorian is over and now it's all about Chaol (as it should be). All I can really say about what happens here is that I approve wholeheartedly. This is why I love guys like Chaol, all cool and collected on the outside, but so much passion on the inside. *sighs happily*
Maas impressed me with her willingness to be cruel and heartless to the characters. To be honest, I really didn't get the impression from Throne of Glass that she would be willing to kill off characters, but I'm thrilled to be wrong. Oh, she's brutal. Mwahahaha. And, no, I won't tell you who dies, so have fun sitting on the edge of your seat the whole time. As you may know, I find killing off a beloved main character a mark of good fantasy.
What Left Me Wanting More:
I do have some quibbles with the world building, but they're minor enough I can't really draw a line to any one thing. The closest I can get to specifics is to say that the world building just seems a little too busy.
The Final Verdict:
Sarah J. Maas really proves her talent in Crown of Midnight, deftly avoiding any sort of second book syndrome. Instead, she greatly amps up the world building, plot and intensity. In my opinion, this series is a must read for fantasy fans. The third book is poised to be epic and heartbreaking, and I am so excited.
I will never stop subconsciously fangirling about this book and this series until my last breath. Crown of Midnight is the action-packed second installment of the Throne of Glass series and one of my most favorite. Why? Well, maybe you should read it and see for yourself. (HINT: The ending will leave you all like whhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?)
Ms. Maas has once again blown me away with her writing and her stories. If I seriously had to choose my favorite of the series (so far through my re-read), it would be this one. I'm not saying Throne of Glass was bad because, hell, look at my 5-gear review on it. There's just something about big reveals and subtle cliffhangers that don't make you want to punch 5 babies in a row, but still makes you want more. I believe I actually read Crown of Midnight before Heir of Fire was published which made the wait excruciating.
The characters are still amazing and once I finished reading, I had come to a conclusion. Even I can't choose between Dorian and Chaol. I can't. I mean, Dorian is compassionate, kind and definitely not like his father... but Chaol... he challenges Celaena, keeps her fighting as if they were a perfect match. They're both UGH.
This is my half-assed review of Crown of Midnight. I hope through the blabbering and fangirling, you were able to see that I loved it.
- Celaena, the butt kicker.
Celaena's confliction places her in extreme danger if the King ever found out. As the book continues Celaena starts to affiliate more with the rebels. Her past is slowing starting to reveal itself though it's obviously still extremely painful for Celaena. As her love with Chaol continues to blossoms her old wounds finally start to heal themselves and she believes that she may be becoming a whole once more. However, when a sudden and bloody situation arises Chaol and Celaena are pulled apart forever.
This book had some excellent twists and turns that were really unexpected and sometimes even heart crushing. This suspense was awesome, it was nice to read a book that had me on the edge of my seat with twists that I could never have guessed.
The King gives her another mission - to kill an old friend of hers; Archer. She must also take down the rebel group that he might be attached to. She gets close to Archer and tells him to the leave city or die. He offers to her names to a group of rebels and she takes the names. It ends up in a close call in Davis' office, finding a book on Wyrdmarks.
This leads to her asking Nehemia for help. Though her friend offers none. Along the way she falls for Chaol and they share a short but passionate relationship. It ends the Chaol is taken hostage by Archer and his group of rebels. That's also the night Nehemia is murdered and our assassin guesses Dorian has magic.
The nail in the coffin for Chaol and Calaena is that he kept important information from her about the treat on Nehemia's life. She ends up trying to kill him. I can't say I'm sorry this happened. I was a huge Dorian and Calaena shipper so... yeah.
It takes many days to recover from this major loss. It leads to her discovering the Wyrdkeys and how powerful they can be. She also comes to know that the king has at least one of the three needed to open the gate. It was also how the king had sealed off magic.
Our assassin decides she needs to talk to Nehemia one last time and uses the wyrdmarks to open a portal but very bad things happen leading to Choal knowing she's fae and that Dorian has magic. She also finds out that Archer had a part in her friend's death and kills him.
Chaol decides that the only way keep her safe is to send her far away from this kingdom. He creates a plan and even gets his fathers backing after promising to return to his own homeland. So this amazing book ends with Calaena on the shop to Wendlyn and Chaol figuring out she's not just any far. But the heir to the far throne in Terrase.
This book blew me away, it had be smiling like an idiot and then crying my eyes out. I just love that she is the heir to the throne though honestly I just knew that was coming. It's been so obvious for such a while. Anyway, read this book! It's so amazing and it keeps getting better. Though so sorry for all you Chaol shippers out there. I think that ship sunk.
The writing flows so nicely and I love the way Sarah pays such great attention to detail. This novel will hook you from page one and will not let you go till it's over. Now I'd ready for Heir of Fire!
Finally Celaena Sardothien kicked some ass. LOADS OF ASSES! Basically, if you were not her friend in this book, you got your ass kicked as well. Which is fine by me! I was waiting for some gruesome murder and I've had what I was looking for.
"To escape death, she'd become death."
Celaena's state of mind when she goes on a killing spree was my favourite thing about this book. This and Fleetfoot. You brave little hero! You and Nehemia would have solved this mess already if they'd left the both of you handling things from the beginning. *ghostbusters theme plays in the background while Nehemia and Fleetfoot run down the castle halls*
My rating is not a full 4 star one because I found the story a bit too angsty and miscommunication dominated every interaction. Which is how you make situations in YAs evolve I guess, but it wasn't my cup of tea.
The characters have finally been given more depth: I really enjoy where we're going with Dorian and I personally found the character of Kaltain a very interesting one. Thing I wouldn't have believed if you had told me while I was reading book #1. Chaol though felt too stiff and patronizing. Celaena couldn't go anywhere without him doubting she could make it. Which, just as Celaena did, I found really annoying. And I'd have smashed his face in if he had tried to manipulate my life just like he did for Celaena at the end of the book. I mean, she's won the tournment and the deal was that she was going to be the King's Assassin for 4 years. She accepted the deal. Why do you feel like you have a saying in the situation? Right, alright, love, affection and blah blah blah. Still patronizing af. These men! *facepalms*
The Magic system was so very cool! I don't think I've got the hang of it quite fully yet (but, to be fair, no one in the book did!) and I'm curious to see where it is going to take us!
Finally, I believe that the final plot-twists were a bit too obvious (... and tropey!). At least, I did foresee them and I'm usually quite blind to this kind of things.
"Perhaps the world would never be perfect, perhaps some things would never be right, but maybe she stood a chance of finding her own sort of peace and freedom."
The fact that the next books in this series are way longer than this one scares me quite a lot but I'll make it through! *flexes muscles of the arm to show you her strenght* *remembers she's got flabby arms* *goes laying in bed and starts a new book*
The characters all have developed even further from the first one. The action keeps you interested, and who doesn’t love a story about a tough assassin kicking everyone’s tush? If you liked the first book at all pick up this one. The writing style I loved is continued but the annoying parts of the first book in the series are nowhere to be seen. From page 1 this book does nothing but draw you in and keep you in.
Celaena, who always avoided politics and only cared to survive, finds herself in the middle of court intrigues and treachery. We learn a lot about the past of mysterious notorious assassin of Adarlan and, trust me, there will be a lot of surprises. But even more is Celaena is going to discover about herself when the crucial question is asked:
"What will you stand for? Or will you only stand for yourself?"
I was never a big fan of prince Dorian, he seemed too superficial to me, but chapters narrated from his point of view revealed deeper aspects of his personality and made me respect him and better understand him.
And then there is Chaol Westfall, quiet and honorable captain of the royal guard – he really shines in this book. There were so many times when his thoughts made me: “Awwwww…” Thanks to him swoon-factor of Crown of Midnight really hit the roof. As you can see I'm still TEAM CHAOL all the way. I think that he’s the perfect match for Celaena and hope that they will get their happily ever after in the end, although with Sarah J. Maas’ flare for the dramatics we will probably have to wait until the last book in the series for that to happen.
When you start reading Crown of Midnight prepare for a lot of action and heart-melting romance. I had a hard time putting Crown of Midnight down because there was always some big earth-shattering revelation just around the corner. And too soon, the end came and there were so many things that I still needed to know. Sarah J. Maas left me with so many teaser I will spontaneously combust from curiosity! Sequel to the Crown of Midnight is definitely a book I can't wait to get my hands on in 2014.
IN THE END...
If you ever need an example of how to write a good sequel, you can point at Crown of Midnight and say: “That’s how it’s done!”. Sarah J. Maas took all the good stuff from Throne of Glass like action and romance, increased them tenfold and added great insight into characters and elaborated on previously hinted history of fae ancestors and magic abilities. Throne of Glass was fun book to read, but Crown of Midnight pushes this series to the top of young adult fantasy genre.
If you like high fantasy with court intrigue, kick-ass heroine & strong romantic sub-plot or you enjoyed Graceling by Kristin Cashore, I highly recommend you give this series a chance.
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
Sarah J Maas, as before, has written the book so well. The plot advances with many twists and shocking revelations, some betrayals and some extremely sweet developments. I finally now know that I am Team Chaol – who couldn’t be? He keeps up with Celaena, even with the shocking truth towards the end. And Celaena – man, she is more dangerous than ever – especially when she is bent on vengeance. The crowning glory of the book is that Celaena is so well-written and described, that even though the book shifts through perspectives, you can feel that you are her. You can feel her anguish, her happiness, her calm, her rage and her ruthlessness – you just become her while reading. Nehemia is the doting friend as ever, the revolutionary – and even though it’s never from her POV, you can feel her despair when she witnesses the King pushing her country down even more.
As I said before, there are many revelations throughout the book – some of them can be guessed soon enough and some just hit you out of nowhere. For the most part, Celaena shows incredible wit and cleverness but sometimes I do feel she could have realized some things sooner. Even so, I like that she is not without flaws; she definitely has grown from the previous books (including the novellas).
The book was divided into two parts – and at the end of the first part, I was like – Noooo! That did not just happen. Yet, as I delved into the second part, I did realize that it had to happen – so that things could be set in motion, as Elena said. And with an ending like that, even self-contained, the possibilities in the next book – they are exhilarating. I want the next book – like now. Sad thing is, there is no name for it yet. But yes, I do expect it to be as engaging, passionate, and enthralling as this one.
Lastly, I am not one for gushing about covers in their reviews but – HOW AWESOME IS THAT COVER!!!
Celaena is tough, smart and witty, and I admired her. She goes about everything in such a calculated manner, and she has this ability to see and treasure the good, and have no limits for injustice. I couldn't believe but thought it was exactly like her in the ways that she was defying the king. I knew that she was walking a very narrow road, but admired her all the same. I honestly had forgotten about the Elena theme from the last one, but it also emerged in this one, and I enjoyed that storyline as it challened Celaena even more.
I loved Chaol even more in this one. It is becoming apparent to even Dorian how much he cares for Celaena, and he can't stand it when she is off on the dangerous missions for the king. He wants to protect her and wishes that the line drawn by his position and hers wasn't there. But I lived for their stolen moments, of how steamy it can even be for him to just hold her. It is touching how he cares for her so much he just wants to throw caution to the wind, but I am glad that he is smart about it.
Dorian was present in this one, but thankfully wasn't really a factor into the triangle like in the first, but he is there as a friend to Celeana when she needs one the most. He stepped up in many ways, but still has a long way to grow as royalty. But he is harboring a secret in this one that I had no inkling would happen, but it means big things.
I will say that Sarah almost made me cry, and def shocked me at some of the turn of events that happened. There were so many twists in this one, things that I never saw coming, and that I am still even at the end, not sure exactly what the implications will be but I know that I can't wait to find out. The climax and ending left me breathless and wanting more from this beautifully written novel with so many layers.
Bottom Line: Layered and exciting 2nd book of a series with an awesome and dangerous female main character.