Book Review: Crown of Midnight
By: Sarah J. Maas
Published By: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Page Count: 420
Source: Amazon Vine UK
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
Crown of was a great read! I enjoyed it much more than Throne of Glass, I think at least in part because Celaena Sardothien, the King’s Champion assassin, got to kick so much more butt this time! That may make me very bloodthirsty, but I really relished seeing her unleash her skills on the unfortunate, instead of remaining largely muzzled as she was last time.
One of my favourite things this time around was the change in Celaena. It was always clear that she possessed inner steel, which helped her transform into a cold killer to get the job done, but this was developed so well that it sent shivers down my spine. Celaena was in serious danger of never coming back at some points, and the whirling death that she delivered to so many looked like it would totally consume her.
Celaena isn’t a crazed killer though, despite her moments; she loves fiercely, and that was used against her in some ways to shape her actions. In particular, she was pushed along a path to undertake a mission, given to her by the ghost of a long dead Queen, to follow the clues and learn how the tyrant King came to extinguish all magic and conquer so many with so little opposition. I liked this element of Crown of more than in Throne of Glass; I think Celaena was more thorough, and some of the dark corners her investigations took her to were really extremely creepy! Initially she really is not at all bothered with this quest, and hopes it will go away, but events unfold to bring home to her the importance of her mission, both to her and her loved ones.
The creep factor was indeed high this time around – from talking door knockers (with an attitude problem!) to iron toothed witches (who you just know want to eat babies), and shadowy beasts with horrible eyes that glow from the darkness... oh yeah, Celaena’s world changed. I loved how the author took the story into a whole other level of mythology and really made it work. I could see several careful seeds sown for the future, and all in all it built up to a really gripping conclusion, with an AWESOME twist, which made me whine when I realized how long I would have to wait for the next book!
But her heart never wavers.
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?