Title: Crown Of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series Number: 2
Publication Date: August 15, 2013.
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Where I received the book: I bought this book from the Book Depository.
Star rating: ★★★★☆
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.
I love the Throne Of Glass series so much, it’s physically challenging to write a non-spoilery review, but I’ll try my best. I swear to god, this series is fantastic. There are few things I dislike about these books!
So, Crown of Midnight started off a little bit slow. Like, there were things going on (between ships and whatnot), but I felt the plot didn’t actually pick up until half way (or more) through. I was so disappointed with this because it took me a long time to finish. I’m a really slow reader, no matter how much I read. The only time I’m fast is when I love and adore a book. The first half of this book took me a few weeks, whereas the second half took a few days.
This book is filled with a lot of character development, in particular Chaol, Dorian and Nehemia. I am a huge lover of character development, so this is great for me. I also really liked the many, many plot twists and turns throughout this novel.
And that’s pretty much all I can say without spoilering it for those who haven’t read it.
I going to alternate between the good and bad points because I don’t want to focus solely on negative then positive.
There are definitely things I disliked about Crown Of Midnight, one of the major ones being: “assassin”. I was annoyed in Throne of Glass because we were told Celaena is an assassin, and I was hoping for more and more assassin parts. I dismissed the lack of assassin-ness in Throne Of Glass because the plot of that book would’ve been too difficult for there to be much killing going around. But when I read Crown Of Midnight, and she’s going around not killing people??? An assassin is supposed to be a person who kills people and gets paid for it, not someone who pretends to kill people. I swear to god, this annoyed me so much. If you’ve been trained to kill people, you’d usually have this thing called lack of empathy, which Celaena clearly doesn’t possess. Don’t get me wrong, I liked how she wasn’t killing people. I can understand that she doesn’t want to give in to what the King is making her do, but an assassin wouldn’t care and do it anyway. This is just my opinion, but if you have anything to discuss about this point, please leave a comment! I’d like to know what you think of Celaena’s lack of assassin-ness.
One of my absolute favourite, favourite, favourite, parts about this entire book was Chaolaena. If you don’t already know, I’m a huge Chaol fan (even post Heir of Fire, okay. Take your Chaol shade elsewhere guys). Chaolaena is my OTP, I love them so much. Remember that time when they did it in a broom closet?! I can live with a slow beginning that’s made entirely of Chaolaena scenes. I love how their relation progressed too. There are so many books where the characters are dating by the second page, married by the third, and having kids by the fourth; it’s ridiculous. But Maas spent so much time developing and giving their relationship time/space to grow.
Along similar lines, I love Chaol’s character development in this novel. In Throne of Glass, we didn’t get a lot of Chaol because Dorian was more of a focus. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of Chaol in ToG, but not enough development. Whereas in CoM, there was so much. He’s grown so much as a character by the end of this novel, even if a lot of people dislike how he sent Celaena away, he did it because he loved her.
But y’all keep forgetting that.
Although he had fantastic character development, I really disliked (as in, with a passion) the way his character ended in this novel; the way Celaena started treating him. I thought it was shitty development (but it’s not my story, and completely up to Maas and how she wants to tell her story. This is entirely my opinion). Chaol was made out to be some kind of villain. What did Chaol do? He kept a secret because he knew Celaena would overreact (because she’s oh so assassin-y and can’t seem to control herself, right?). Chaol didn’t tell Celaena, because he was doing what he could to keep the situation under control. But how can you control a situation that someone else is conducting? I think Chaol did a really fucking awesome job, considering Nehemia was the one wanting to kill herself.
I used to really like Nehemia. I thought she was a good character. She had her secrets, but everyone’s allowed those right? (
Well, except Chaol, apparently) Nehemia was such a good character, and I loved how she was revealed as much more complex than I’d originally thought. I love nothing more than when a good character has flaws and negative things about them; a dark side. I feel like I really dislike Nehemia, but I think it’s probably Celaena and her opinion that I dislike most in this book. Nehemia was conspiring with the rebels, then she orchestrated her own death to make herself a martyr? I didn’t think it’s possible to forcefully become a martyr, but okay. Celaena loves and adores Nehemia so much that she’s become blinded by how much Nehemia lied to her. Betrayal is something Nehemia excelled at, but Celaena only went mad at Chaol for a small thing he did (which was a mistake, compared to Nehemia who purposely got herself killed knowing the consequences). I feel like I should include a pepe meme here, it’s so ridiculous.
I thought it was pretty obvious that Nehemia was going to die. Like every other book series with a POC, they end up dead. I wasn’t sad when Nehemia died, I was too busy being mad at Celaena for easily forgiving her friend, and attacking a man that she loved more than a friend. Although, I do see this as a great place for some song lyrics: “Funny, when you’re dead how people start listening.” Celaena forgives Nehemia’s betrayal, but holds Chaol to his. Is this because Nehemia is dead and suddenly every bad thing she did is forgotten?
There were some moments that touched me the most, one’s that made me extremely sad and emotional. One of these is when Celaena and Fleetfoot are in the park, and “Fleetfoot just kept sitting there, watching the palace far behind them.” I don’t know what it is about this sequence, but I got so emotional over how Fleetfoot was “Waiting for someone who was never going to arrive.”
Another thing I particularly liked was when Celaena sung at Nehemia’s temporary grave. I thought it was such a nice and touching moment where Celaena acknowledged her friend’s death in a relatively normal way. This also helped to bring up the Celaena-Fae thing, although it was obvious almost immediately.
One of the things I liked about this book is the “info dumping”. I liked it because it was done in such a way that it wasn’t all at once, but everything came out; we learned about the wyrdkeys, more about the King, and also Nehemia. I find books in the middle of a series (even though CoM isn’t the middle book, it’s the second) often have a lot of info dumping in places to get the knowledge out there and so the reader isn’t confused. Information was placed so nicely throughout this book to help build a bridge into the next book without overwhelming the reader when they finally get to Heir of Fire.
I know this review was really shitty and probably highly biased (because of my love for poor Chaol), but I did love the entire book. So far, it’s my least liked one based on the lack of/easy to guess plot, but I loved the amount of development that went into the characters throughout. I gave it a 4/5 stars because I enjoyed it immensely (and most of my dislike has come now, a month after finishing the novel). I’d intended on writing a fully positive review, but there was just so many opinions I wanted to voice. I still love the series a lot, and Maas (and for those who assume that because I like Chaol then I must dislike Rowan, I highly love Rowan okay).