Crown of Midnight — Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

TITLE: Crown of Midnight
AUTHOR: Sarah J. Maas
SERIES: Throne of Glass, #2
RELEASED: August 15th, 2013; Bloomsbury USA Childrens
GENRE: Fantasy
AGE RANGE: NA

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.

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book 0.5 | book 1

I’ve got this schedule going where I’m trying to read one book in this series per month, leading up to the Kingdom of Ash release, so that I’m all caught up in time for the big finale, but this one took me a little while to pick it up because I had a horrible slump in May. I went a week without touching a book, which hasn’t happened to me in years, and—no exaggeration—this was the only book that was able to cut through the slump for me.

“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”

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I knew a lot of people had told me Crown of Midnight was a big turning point in the series—for better or for worse, though most people I spoke to told me this was one of their favorites—so I went into it unsure of what to expect, and thinking I’d just be content if I liked it equally as much as Throne of Glass. This book totally knocked out all of my uncertainty, though; it was fast-paced, full of plot twists and turns that, while not entirely unpredictable, were endlessly fun to watch unravel.

But death was her curse and her gift, and death had been her good friend these long, long years.

While Celaena wasn’t terribly lovable in book 1, I truly enjoyed her character in this installment. It felt like I was back with the assassin from the novellas, who was someone I could genuinely enjoy and appreciate as a character. I won’t harp on again about the polarizing opinions her character draws out of readers, but I’ll stand by what I said in my TOG review: I think Celaena deserves a lot more credit than she typically receives.

The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realised she was home.

Of course, the biggest aspect of this book isn’t Celaena’s work as an assassin, and honestly, I don’t even think it’s the political intrigue or the obstacles she faces with the whole saving-the-world-from-an-evil-king business—it’s romance, as any Sarah J. Maas reader would expect it to be. Knowing how further installments in the series pan out probably biased my views a little bit regarding the relationship in this one, but without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that I genuinely enjoyed Chaol’s character, and while he does some really stupid shit, I didn’t feel like his punishments suited the crime.

She smiled sadly. “You’ll figure it out. And when you do…” She shook her head, knowing she shouldn’t say it, but doing it anyway. “When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn’t have made any difference to me. It’s never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.”

There’s just one thing I didn’t like, and I’ll word this vaguely for anyone who hasn’t read it, but if you have read it, you’ll know what I mean: there’s a certain character in this series who made a “sacrifice” of themselves that was in terribly poor taste, and frankly, MADE NO SENSE. I almost knocked a star off just for this one thing. (Feel free to hit me up for private rants. I have a lot of feelings.)

To escape death, she’d become death.

Overall, though, Crown of Midnight was a huge success for me. Maybe I’m buttering it up a little bit because it kicked my slump’s ass, but I’m so glad I continued the series and now I’m super excited to move on to book 3!

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Just a 26-year-old trying to juggle motherhood, grad school, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

24 thoughts on “Crown of Midnight — Sarah J. Maas

    1. Oh wow, I highly recommend checking the genre out – especially a title with a strong heroine, as those are my favorites! Do you prefer YA or adult, typically? If you prefer YA, I could suggest a few (not sure that this series would be my *first* choice), but if you prefer adult, my next question would be to ask how you feel about “adult content”. If you don’t have a problem with explicit sex and violence, the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff is an incredible adult fantasy series with a female lead. If you steer clear of that, however, the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab is an incredible high fantasy series with multiple main characters, and one of them is a female thief who I love to pieces.

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      1. I STRONGLY recommend the novellas first! Like, 100%! I know it’s kind of a controversial topic, but I took SJM’s advice from her website on it and am so glad that I did. Things happen in the novellas that are referenced in book 1 but not explained, and without the novellas, I think you would not only be missing pieces of the story, but that event would also have very little emotional impact.

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  1. I’m rereading the series too to prep for the release of Kingdom of Ash, though I don’t think I’ll be done in time. I just started with the first book in the series and it’s so fun to jump back into this world!
    Your review is great; I truly adored the second book!! ~ Reet

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