Title: Crown of Midnight
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
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.
This book series is absolutely blowing me away. When I reviewed Throne of Glass (which you can find the review of here), I had a million thoughts running through my head. I was lost for words for a good couple of weeks. I wish I was kidding. I figured reviewing the rest of the series would be easier. I was wrong. So very wrong. It has taken me a couple of weeks to gather my thoughts from the incoherent fan girl screams and write a review. I have a feeling I should expect this for the rest of the books in the series.
In Crown of Midnight, Celaena is tasked with killing the people who may oppose the King. He has a list of names from some unknown source, but will only give Celaena one name at a time. Her newest target? A popular man named Archer, who is a childhood friend that trained at The Assassins Keep. Celaena is suspicious of the King and his “sources”, and asks for a month to kill him. She claims she needs the time to study his defenses, but hopes to dig up the truth instead.
Crown of Midnight starts slower this time, taking time to develop Celaena’s new life as the King’s Champion. Her friendships have been altered since the big fight that won her the “honorary” title. Celaena tries to be close to her friends, or as close as she can allow herself to be while keeping a hoard of secrets. These secrets and her new position have created a lot of friction with the people she cares about most of all. She wants to discover the truth and protect her friends, without ruining her chances of gaining her freedom. This leads to some bittersweet moments and a sense of suspense all the way to the end. On top of it all, she has to decide once and for all what side to pick: whether to embrace her destiny, or continue to run from it.
I enjoyed the character development in this second novel. In my review of the first book, I had mentioned that I loved Chaol’s character the best, and disliked Dorian. My view of both of them shifted in this book though! I still like Chaol, but I felt like he made a few stupid mistakes, which lost him a few points in my book. It was less the actual mistakes, and more the way he handled the situations after that bothered me. I’m anxious to see if he recovers in future books or continues to spiral downward.
Prince Dorian was the exact opposite. Dorian and Chaol seem to juxtapose one another, both in character and in my opinion of them. Dorian is very respectful and thoughtful, more so than in the last book. He stands up for himself and his beliefs more often, which made me respect him a lot more. He also makes a self discovery that I’m excited about, and think might be a positive influence on his character. I felt like there was a little more depth to him in this book, and can’t wait to see his development in future books.
Crown of Midnight was a gut wrenching, thrilling, and beautifully written novel. There were a lot of twists and turns that took me by surprise and left my head spinning, and at one point absolutely heart broken. I’m so attached to each of the characters and am invested in finding out what direction they go in next. It ended on a huge cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book of the series! I rate this book a 5/5!!