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.
Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 418
Publishing Date: Aug. 27th, 2013
In continuation of my ‘Month of Maas Marathon’ (in which I marathon read the Throne of Glass books so I can get caught up with the series before the release of Empire of Storms), I finally read Crown of Midnight! This is the second book in the TOG series and, while I was worried that it would have the dreadful second-book-in-a-series-syndrome, Maas (as always) proved me wrong and proved that I should never waver in holding my expectations high because it seems that no matter how high my expectations are for her books, she manages to surpass them every single time. I honestly don’t think that I would be able to review this book to the best of my abilities without accidentally diving into spoilers. So, with that being said, if you haven’t read Throne of Glass yet, you definitely should. If you have read Throne of Glass but you have yet to read Crown of Midnight, I really recommend that you do! This was yet another Sarah J. Maas book full of action, romance, heartbreak, plot twists, and so much more.
The rest of this review contains spoilers!
After reading Throne of Glass, I held certain expectations regarding where the plot in this book would go. I held multiple theories and ideas as to different plot twists that could occur and different relationships that would form or break. Fortunately, every single theory that I had was ultimately shattered because Maas took this book to a level that I definitely was not expecting.
“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.”
The overall plot of trying to figure out what the king was planning was really anxiety-inducing, yet it was also exhilarating. I found myself constantly trying to put different pieces of the puzzle together to figure out what was going to happen next. The author was able to supply just enough information for me to continue my frantic journey of connecting together certain plot points while also avoiding giving the right amount of information for me to fully figure out what was going to occur next. Therefore, because so much happened within this novel, here is a bullet-point list of the different plot points that really struck a chord with me:
NEHEMIA. Okay, let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved the friendship between Celaena and Nehemia. It was so refreshing to see a female friendship that was steady and not so full of drama. I knew from the synopsis of this book that there was going to be a ‘tragedy’ but NEHEMIA’S DEATH?! I was not emotionally prepared for that and I may or may not have shed a few tears (particularly when I realized that Nehemia basically set herself up to be a martyr for the cause and for Celaena to excel in finding her path and, GAH, my emotions were all over the place.)
Celaena is a fae and is the lost Princess/rightful Queen of Terrasen! WHAT EVEN. The last chapter of this novel left me reeling and I was honestly a bit confused at first and I had to re-read the chapter a few times before all of the information finally clicked together in my head and I realized how important of a role this will be playing in the next few books of the series. I really loved this plot twist because, to me, Celaena was always queenly in such a way that I know she would rule a kingdom as well as she could. I cannot wait to see where this plot point goes in the next few books! The revelation that Celaena is Fae had me wondering if there were ever moments where she was able to use whatever magic comes with being Fae…? For example, when she was running back to the castle to search for Nehemia, she literally outran Chaol, who was riding on a horse. Either that scene was used to display just how desperate and concerned Celaena was or it was a foreshadowing of how her abilities were being heightened by her Fae ancestry.
Dorian having magical abilities was definitely something that I was not expecting but, when it happened, I absolutely fell in love with the idea of Dorian being capable of so much more than just being royalty. I always felt as if there was way more to Dorian as a character and seeing him figure out that he had this magic inside of him really displayed how there is so much more to him that the author has yet to explore within the story.
The whole background story regarding the Wyrdkeys and the Wyrdgate really interested me. I honestly thought that this whole topic would confuse me, but I found the way that this was all explained really easy to follow, which thus left me even more keen to learn about the Wyrdmarks, the Wyrdkeys, and the Wyrdgate.
Chaol and Celaena finally becoming a couple (and then… not becoming a couple…?) was a huge turning point for these two characters. While I was more lenient towards being Team Dorian whilst reading Throne of Glass (and I still am after finishing this novel), I found myself really loving the dynamic between Chaol and Celaena. I can totally see them being a really strong couple and I was loving the romantic scenes between the two of them, but then a scene with Dorian would come along and I would find myself always wanting to see him and Celaena interact more. So, as of now, I still love Chaol and Dorian both a lot, but I’m still leaning more towards Dorian just a tad bit.
Archer betraying Celaena took me by surprise, but then I felt so moronic for trusting him in the first place. Maybe it was because I was picturing him as Sam Claflin the whole time or maybe it’s because Sarah J. Maas has this way of writing characters to seem so perfectly innocent while also meticulously planning a way to have them turn out completely evil. Either way, I really liked this plot twist and I have this terrible feeling that other characters from Celaena’s past (such as Arobynn) are going to make a comeback within the next few books.
Celaena trying to help those who she was supposed to assassinate was definitely not something that I expected to happen. But, then again, while Maas never failed to supply readers with plenty of badass Celaena scenes full of weapons and action, the fluid character growth within Celaena was evident through her various ways of being a much more caring and understanding person within this novel. I loved seeing this new side of her that really opened up to others and, by the end of the story, it was obvious that her development is ever-changing and I love that aspect of this series.
While I wish that there was more of Dorian in this novel, I really loved how he played a much greater role towards the end of this book. I loved seeing him develop as a character and it really broke my heart when I realized how obviously confused and hurt he was in regards to Celaena and Chaol. I just really love Dorian and I only want the best for him, okay?!
“Then Celaena and the King of Adarlan smiled at each other, and it was the most terrifying thing Dorian had ever seen.”
I really enjoyed Chaol’s character in this novel. It was a lot nicer being able to see him as more of a friend/love interest rather than a guard that was constantly worried over Celaena escaping or harming others. I will admit, there were moments where he said or did things that annoyed me, but then he finally realized the mistakes that he was making and I really liked that aspect of his character.
“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”
The writing style of this novel, like all of Sarah J. Maas’s other books, was practically flawless. There’s just something about her writing that completely captivates you. I was on page 150 and then I didn’t even realize I was entirely engrossed within the story until I glanced down at the page numbers and realized I was already at page 300. I absolutely love Maas’s style of writing and the intricacy of it makes reading these books even more enjoyable (if that’s even possible).
Overall, this was an absolutely stunning sequel and it has become one of my favorite Sarah J. Maas books. The character development was on point, the plot was full of action and twists, and the writing was absolutely seamless. I cannot wait to begin reading the next book in this amazing series!
So, have you read Crown of Midnight? What did you think of it? Comment below!