Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (Read Book 1 first! Otherwise y’know, spoilers. Book 2, read review for Book 1 here.)
Published: 15th August 2013
Who’s it for? Teen!
What’s it about? Celaena is now the King’s Champion and has already been dispatched on numerous assignments. But she’s playing a very dangerous game, one that could easily have her killed. The bright points in her life are her friends and her love. Yet as certain events and bits of information start coming to light Celaena could lose everything, everyone, that’s she’s ever held dear. She cannot have it all. She has a secret she has revealed to no one. One that could have lasting, damning consequences. Now she must choose.
What’s good about it? In Throne of Glass Celaena was a fantastic, quirky character. She still is. But she seems even stronger. She’s proved herself and she’s now allowing herself to love, but she plays a dangerous game with it. I love, love, love her relationship with Chaol, although every new development on that front (especially after the gorgeously sweet dance) did feel a little like being punched – this is why I cannot handle romance in books, I just want everyone to be happy! But of course it doesn’t work that way. The course of true love is never smooth and all that.
I also love that when Celaena makes a decision she sticks with it. She’ll only change her mind if there’s a pretty good reason to.
The thing I love most about this series? It’s the little details. The things that most other books would gloss over. The kind of thing that most of the books I’ve read just leave to the imagination of the reader. In this it’s a simple line about needing to take her contraceptive tonic. That’s it. But it adds a sense of reality to her character.
Finally there’s more detail about this fascinating world! As Celaena gets to move more freely, more detail emerges. And I am a sucker for good world-building. It feels like a very rich world has been created her, with all the little details carefully worked out.
The characters gain more depth. Especially Kaltain, whom I thought was about as deep as a puddle in the first book but, despite her few scenes in this, there were some fascinating revelations going on. Especially with Dorian. He really comes into his own in this one – and that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Chaol’s character development either.
What’s bad about it? I have no gripes. No real niggles.
The verdict? I received an advance copy of this in exchange for an honest review. So I’ll be honest. I LOVED this. It was exceptionally difficult to put down and really built on the foundations of the first book. Alright, so I guessed one of the revelations, but there were others that shocked me, threads picked up from book one that I had dismissed before.
The writing style is beautiful and the story moves well from romance, to action, to grief, to slivers of humour. I can’t wait to find out where this goes, because the end – how could they leave it there?
There are some game changing revelations here. I couldn’t recommend this series more – even if you don’t like fantasy I would still say give this a go. It might surprise you.