Thursday, October 9, 2014

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) : Review

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Rating:  ★★★★★

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

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

If you read my review for Throne of Glass, you would know that I wasn't nearly as blown away by that book as a lot of people seem to be. I enjoyed it, but I was expecting more, especially from Celaena who is supposed to be an assassin but we don't get to see much of that side of her in the first novel. Have no fear because we get to see tons of it in Crown of Midnight. It was so interesting to see the assassin side of her and definitely worth the wait. Celaena Sardothien, the assassin, is so different from the rest of herself and she is just as deadly as she was rumored to be. When she gets into assassin mode, she goes to this dark place within herself and does what needs to be done and it's scary but the you-can't-look-away kind of scary. Seeing more of her assassin self also means we learn a little more about Celaena's background. We get to know all of the characters a little more which was nice. We also learn a more about the King and what he's up to. It's still tid-bits of information at this point but I'm willing to take anything I can get.

This story is filled with so many major plot points that really set the everything in motion. In Throne of Glass we were introduced to this world and some of the role-players but in Crown of Midnight we get an idea of where the series is heading and it's going to amazing places. 

Now this is the part of my review where I tell you about my feels. So,

First of all, I didn't particularly like Dorian going into this. I was maybe a tad bit annoyed that he was the one who was with Celaena in Throne of Glass and not Chaol. Yes, I might be biased because I've decided Celaena and Chaol are one of my OTPs and I did later realize why it made more sense for it to be Dorian and not Chaol but still... I was secretly a little happy when she breaks up with him. But in this book, I found myself having more and more sympathy for Dorian. His character is developed so well and by the end I just wanted to give him a great big hug. I still don't ship Celaena with Dorian but I'm definitely rooting for their friendship. 

For Chaol, this book was all about his flaws. As perfect as he might seem, he's got some things that need working and that becomes so obvious in this storyline. In the beginning, I loved his friendship with Celaena and I loved how that slowly but surely blossomed into something more. I really appreciate it when authors take the time to develop such a relationship rather than making it in insta-relationship. It made Celaena and Chaol's relationship that much more beautiful. Every Celaena and Chaol moment in those few chapters was just pure happiness. And then things happen and the world spins and everything is flipped upside down and it was crazy and heart-breaking and even after having had time to process it all, I still don't know what to say about what happens between them. Chaol! A part of me wants to give him a hug too and then there's the other part that just wants to be like "You're such an idiot Chaol! If you'd just said something earlier then none of this would be happening or at least it wouldn't be this bad!!" Sadly, Celaena and Chaol are going through a tragic period in their love story but I'm still holding on tight to this sinking ship! We will not go down like the Titanic! We will survive! This ship will remain afloat. I have complete faith.

Celaena. We get to know much more about Celaena in this book. I already mentioned the assassin side but in addition to this we are also given more information about her origins. Major information! There's one HUGE thing we find out about her on, literally, the last page of the book and I'm sure I would have been completely shocked if it wasn't for the fact that I was spoiled for this information and so saw it coming from a the beginning. Every time a little hint was dropped I was like "isn't it obvious?" but that's only because I already knew. (This is why I hate spoilers)

Celaena's relationship with Nehemia ultimately results in her hitting rock bottom. She's lost all and any hope and she reaches a point in this book where she's kind of back to square one because all the relationships that she formed while at the castle have either been severed or are hanging on a string. I'm sure all of this is going to lead to some major character development and character progression happening with her in future installments.

This book so chock-full of emotion, ranging from bliss to rage to utter devastation. There was a point in the story where everything was so happy and perfect and it was beautiful! There were just so many good feels happening. But then I realized that I wasn't even half way through the book and there was no way Sarah J. Maas was going to let me live in this state of bliss for the rest of the book and even if she did that she would just take it all away by the end. I was scared. It turned out that I didn't have to wait that long. Soon enough everything came crashing down. Sarah J. Maas took all that happy and shattered it to pieces all in a span of a moment. She put a hammer to it, crumbled it, powdered it until there was none of that happiness left. Nothing to save and everything was lost. It was absolutely heart-breaking. An ache that continued for the remainder of the book. I have no doubt that that particular plot line is going to stick with for a long time to come.

Also, while we're at it, lets talk about Chaol (again). Chaol. Chaol. Chaol. Oh. My. God. Chaol. I loved him so much in this book. In Throne of Glass, I wanted Celaena to be with him and now I've found my OTP. Celaena and Chaol are so perfect. Hands down. No questions about it. I don't understand anyone who ships Celaena and Dorian. Sorry not sorry. If you're not convinced after reading Throne of Glass then just read Crown of Midnight and it will all be crystal clear.

I am now 100% buying into the hype of this series. Crown of Midnight was such an wonderful book, an amazing story, and now one of my favorites. The feels are at a level of hold-on-to-your-heart. There are very very few books that, once finishing, I could go right back to page one and read the whole all over again but Crown of Midnight is now one of those books. I was so ready to re-read this books as soon as I finished it.

I can't wait to see where the next book goes and where the series as a whole is headed. I don't even know what to expect other than some level of epicness. I honestly don't know what's going to happen in Heir of Fire and I just really need to get my hands on it ASAP. I don't know how people waited an entire year between books. I just don't. 

This review is not a very good one, nor is it a very comprehensive one but you're going to have to forgive me for that because I don't know to to properly articulate my love for this book. Just take my word for it when I say Crown of Midnight is absolutely amazing and everyone should read it.

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