Title: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Publish: August 27th, 2013 by Bloomsbury
Source: ARC from BEA
Group age: Young adult
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal
Challenge (s): none
Grade rate: A+
An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.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?
Wow! Throne of Glass is one of the best books I read last year (see my review here), and Celaena is one of the best and more complex characters that I have read about in a while. If you want a test of this amazing series, you can start with the novellas (see my review here) and you can determine if fantasy is your thing or not. It is definitely mine!
The book starts a few months after the ending of Throne of Glass, and finds Celaena working as the Royal Assassin. So much goes on during Crown of Midnight that I don’t even know where to start! I really don’t know how she can break and knit herself together over and over again. It seems like her life alternates between happiness and deep sorrow and hurt. Celeana is really an amazing character, she is loyal to those she loves, and she is ruthless to those who threaten her or her loved ones. She is light and dark, and she provokes others to strong emotions.
Chaol and Dorian are the love interest, but this is not a love triangle because, from the beginning (and if you paid attention during the first book), you know there is a clear favorite. I’m so happy for Celaena and I hope that everything works out at the end (*pretty please*). Dorian did a lot of growing up and also went through many changes that I hope help everyone at the end.
Some things happen in this book that made me, well, cry. I will not spoil it for you, but this book is so intense, so unbelievably good, that it’s even better than the first book. I wish it were possible for me to describe the magic of the series, of Celeana’s world, these characters and the writing that makes it all come alive. The story is told in the third person, from multiple points of view, but mostly from Celeana, Dorian and Chaol’s.
What a plot! I started reading the Crown of Midnight as soon as I got to the hotel from BEA and I couldn’t put it down. The story is SO incredibly good! I was practically at the edge of my seat and I was sad, happy, mad, scared. I love this world, even though we don’t see quite as much of it in this installment. Many truths were revealed in this book (I suspected some of them ;) and I’m sure many more will be uncovered.
The ending was kind of a slight cliffhanger and I cannot wait for the next installment of this amazing series, it doesn’t matter how many books it ends up being.
Some quotes for you: (please be aware that these come from the ARC and might be different in the final book)
“… I’m bored to tears and nearly dead with cold”, she said, dropping her cloak.
He remained atop the stairs, just watching her.
“And it’s your fault,” she went on, stuffing her hands into her pockets. “You made me come out here, and someone left the balcony door open, so I could hear all that lovely music.”… “So you should really reconsider who’s to blame. It was like putting a starving man in from of a feast and telling him not to eat…” - Celeana to Chaol
“…Is that …chocolate cake?”
“I thought you might need some.”
“Need, not want?”
A ghost of a smile was on her lips, and he almost sagged in relief as he said: “For you, I’d say chocolate cake is most definitely a need.” – Celeana and Chaol
There is so much more I would like to tell you, but I’m trying my best to not include spoilers!
About the cover: I like the cover, it keeps with the theme of the assassin, and Celeana looks so bad ass, right?
Have you read Throne of Glass? Do you like fantasy and paranormal? Are you a character driven reader?