Title: Crown of Midnight (A Throne of Glass Novel, #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury (15th August 2013)
CROWNED BY EVIL.
BOUND BY DUTY.
DIVIDED BY LOVE.
Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, puts those she loves at risk.
Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is the second book in Sarah J. Maas’ brilliant THRONE OF GLASS series. It continues the story of Celaena Sardothien who has to deal with the realities of the outcome of the events in the first book in the series THRONE OF GLASS (review). Celaena finds herself in the position of being an assassin for a king she despises, but dare not disobey for his response would be brutal. She isn’t, however, someone who just does as she is told.
I was super excited when I heard about this book, because I really enjoyed THRONE OF GLASS. The UK cover is really pretty, and I love the way that the red foil of the text when it catches the light seems almost like a flash of fire. Of course, a pretty book isn’t just what I was looking for. I found CROWN OF MIDNIGHT a little slow to get back into, but once I was there it was a fantastic un-put-down-able read. It was breath-taking. And the ending… Let me just say, as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, that the ending was one of the most tense, beautifully written and surprising sections of the book. It’s definitely got me hungering for book three.
Celaena Sardothien is definitely one of my favourite characters. In CROWN OF MIDNIGHT we get to see her “doing her day job” – being an assassin. This book is the first time we really see it come to the fore (at least in the novels, I haven’t read any of the novellas so I can’t comment on them). Of course, Fleetfoot makes an appearance – a dog with character. We also get to see her continued friendships with Chaol, Dorian, and Nehemia. Maas did a brilliant job with the main secondary characters as they seemed just as vivid as Celaena. There were of course also some new characters introduced, two of whom were very interesting though for different reasons.
The plot of CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is, unsurprisingly, complex. Maas weaves together several important plot threads to create a cohesive whole, and at the same time still leave the reader hanging. A LOT is reveled in this book and there are a LOT of twists and turns. CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is in a lot of ways darker than THRONE OF GLASS; the stakes are definitely rising, and things seem to be slowly coming to a head. Unfortunately I can’t really add any detail to that because it could potentially spoil the book – sorry.
If you enjoyed THRONE OF GLASS then you won’t be disappointed by this book. If you are looking for a good sword and sorcery fantasy (or high fantasy, if you prefer) with a strong female lead then this series should be on your radar.