Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Fairytale Retelling
Published: 15th August 2013 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Format: Paperback, 432 pages
Synopsis: “Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.
Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.” (Taken from Goodreads)
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As an avid reader of Ms Maas’ stories since the first draft of Throne of Glass was on FictionPress, I’ll try not to be too biased in my review. Regardless of whether I’ve read this before or not, Maas’ story continues to take me on a whirlwind adventure alongside her heroine Celaena Sardothien. I understand that a lot of people disliked Celaena in Throne of Glass because of her personality. Some found her girlish side astounding considering her infamous past as ‘Adarlan’s Assassin’, and thought that the romance took front stage in comparison to the plot. I agree with their views in some ways and disagree in many others.
Yes, Throne of Glass was very much focused on the romance with Celaena doing very little assassinating. To the reviewers that have abandoned this series for that reason, I urge you to pick up the four novellas that will give you the kick-ass assassin you were promised. We mustn’t forget that the girl at the beginning of the series had been starved and worked to death at the slave encampment for being an assassin. It wouldn’t surprise me if she wanted to put on a facade and pretend to be normal (at least a little) for the first time in her life.
Crown of Midnight is very different to the first book in this sense. The characters are more drawn out, the true plot is starting to form and the romance is resolved in some ways. In this second book in the series, readers get a true taste of Celaena in her former glory as she begins her work as the King’s Champion. More of the background to Celaena’s world is also touched upon within this book, and we even get to meet one of the creepy witches from the Iron Witch Clan in the Western Wastes.
Crown of Midnight does start off quite slow as we catch up with what Celaena gets up to in the time she’s crowned Champion. The plot thickens as Celaena is given the task to eliminate a threat to the King’s empire. And this threat turns out to be someone from her past, someone she doesn’t know whether she should trust or not. The whole novel is shrouded in mystery, and while the story moves slowly in the beginning, the pace picks up very quickly and soon you’ll realise that half the night has gone by and you should definitely put down the book and go to sleep (but you don’t because you can’t stop reading).
This time, the mystery is a lot more creepier compared to the first book. There was a section towards the end where I felt goosebumps all over my arms as Celaena comes face to face with a monster that’ll surely give you nightmares. We see a lot more action (for all the readers waiting for her to live up to her name) on this rollercoaster ride through Crown of Midnight. This is a story that will get your heart pumping – and don’t forget the tissues because I certainly cried. A lot. While I will not spoil anything, this plot twist was something that I spent chapters being in denial over. I knew by the end that it had to happen … but I was very much hoping it wasn’t true anyway.
I honestly cannot express how excited I am for the next book, which will be set in Wendlyn. This section had always been my favourite during Maas’ first draft, so I really hope it lives up to my memory of it.
So for the people that loved Throne of Glass, I’m sure you’ll love Crown of Midnight just as much as I did. And for the readers that were either indifferent or hated the first book – I hope you’ll give this a try because you won’t be disappointed. Whether you’re looking for action, mystery or romance, Crown of Midnight has it all. And then some.
I received a copy of the book from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review.
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