Crown of Midnight
At the conclusion of Throne of Glass, Celaena Sardothien won the title of King's Champion after nearly losing her life. Crown of Midnight finds the assassin falling easily into her new role. She is sent out to dispatch several of the king's enemies and present him with evidence of her accomplishments. Little does he know, Celaena is not as loyal to the King as she would have him believe. Keeping her secrets from everyone, Celaena is tasked with rooting out the people behind a brewing rebel movement – starting with Archer Finn, a male courtesan Celaena knows from her past.
Behind the King's back, Celaena strikes a bargain with Archer—the chance to keep his freedom (and his life), for information about the rebel movement brewing in Rifthold. Archer reveals the rebel group's main objective is to uncover the whereabouts of the lost Aelin Galathynius—heir of Terrasen. Oblivious to her treasonous scheming, Chaol continues to work with and train Celaena, growing closer to the assassin than he is willing to admit. Prince Dorian is around as well, keeping his own secrets and struggling to understand the changes around, and within, him. Desperate for answers, Dorian seeks out Baba Yellowlegs—the ancient witch who has come to the glass castle as part of her travelling carnival. When Celaena discovers the witch is all too eager to reveal the questions sought by the Crown Prince, Celaena unleashes her wrath—but not until she receives answers to her own questions.
If they wanted Adarlan's Assassin, they'd get her. And Wyrd help them when she arrived.
Wyrdmarks continue to intrigue Celaena, and she pleads with her close friend Nehemia to teach her how to read and understand the ancient writings. Soon, Celaena begins to put together the pieces of a puzzle that has been broken apart for far longer than she ever realized. As Celaena continues to deceive the King of Adarlan, she begins to unravel an even greater evil lurking within the depths of the castle. Desperate to protect her beloved friends, Celaena sets out to destroy all who oppose her. But when tragedy falls upon her, Celaena is unsure if she will be able to continue the fight. Then the truth of the King's true mission and the devastating evil he plans to unleash are unveiled. And Celaena realizes she's not quite finished with her revenge.
But he had no idea what sort of darkness lurked inside her, or what sort of monster she was willing to become in order to make things right.
With her debut novel under her belt, Sarah J. Maas continues Celaena Sardothien's story in Crown of Midnight—and she does not disappoint. Maas' writing continues with her unique style and beautifully detailed descriptions, yet it is startlingly obvious how far her writing has grown when comparing Crown of Midnight to her debut, Throne of Glass. Maas continues to develop her characters in a fantastic, yet believable, manner, and their progression through the series only highlights their growth. Each character struggles with their own problems and concerns, yet all converge and coalesce around one common element—their relationship with Celaena.
“Why are you crying?"
"Because," she whispered, her voice shaking, "you remind me of what the world ought to be. What the world can be.”
Crown of Midnight brings the action and intrigue in a much more satisfying and in-your-face way than Throne of Glass ever did. Scenes with physical battles are matched only by the scenes with verbal sparring between characters, and Maas has created these scenes of dialogue so well, I often found myself laughing out loud while reading. The physical action scenes always carried an intensity to them that had me holding my breath, heart racing, as I flipped through pages as fast as I could. Secrets and revelations are bountiful, and when one question is answered, it is quickly followed by another question.
The ending of this book was, in my opinion, a bit predictable. The surprise plot twist felt more like an expected plot development, yet the character's surprise was believable and understandable. So, while I enjoyed the character reactions and their genuine surprise, I myself was not surprised in the least. Speaking of characters, I have come to form fairly strong opinions about most of them, thanks to Maas' colorful depictions. The King of Adarlan is a jerk and deserves all the pain Celaena can manage to inflict upon him; Dorian is a sweet and misunderstood individual trying to find his place in the world; Nehemia is surrounded by an air of mystery and intrigue, but constantly fighting for the betterment of her people; Celaena is brutal and, at times, frightening when she sets her mind to a certain task; and Chaol... Chaol is a weak, simpering fool who needs a major reality check and a kick in the rear to push him into finally picking a side and sticking with it.
Maas has upped the ante with Crown of Midnight, and her growth as an author is obvious if you compare the second novel to the first in the series. If you haven't had a chance to read the incredible Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, you are most definitely missing out on a rich, immersive journey into a land full of deceit, secrets, strained relationships and beautifully crafted characters. Crown of Midnight is only the second book in this series—the rest of the books are sure to continue drawing me (and you!) into the magical world of Sarah J. Maas' imagination.
Some things you hear with your ears. Others, you hear with your heart.
Click the book covers below to read the reviews for the other books in the series!