Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas


Title: Crown of Midnight
Series: Throne of Glass Series #2
Author: Sarah J. Maas  
Publisher: Bloombury USA Children
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Format: Hardback 

Page Count: 418

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 for. (taken from goodreads.com)


So, I hopped on the Throne of Glass bandwagon just recently, but I have to admit that I did so quite hesitantly. The first book didn't thrill me as much as I thought it would, but I continued to hope that the series would improve as the story progressed. After all, A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is currently one of my all-time favorite novels, so how could I not keep giving Maas' most popular series a chance? 

In my review of the first book, I compared Caelena to a Katniss-wannabe. In other words, I thought her character came across as too forced, too badass and unrealistic. Thankfully, Maas seems to tone her protagonist down a little in this sequel. Don't get me wrong: she's still willing to kick butt and is as iron-willed as ever, but she didn't rub the wrong way nearly as often this time. Woohoo!

Once again, the romance didn't exactly thrill me. It was definitely a step up from the first book (which was fairly blah), but I still wasn't on the edge of my seat. Here's the thing: I know that Maas can write an epic love story when she wants to because of ACoMaF. She's demonstrated immense talent in that department, so I'm kind of just like... where is the to-die-for romance? Is it coming? It has to be coming... eventually... 

The main reason this book exceeded its predecessor is that it holds a much more intricate and captivating story. The first book mainly centers around Caelena's battle to become the King's Champion, and it didn't strike me as entirely original. Now, Caelena is the King's Champion, and therefore her duties, secrets, and relationships become more strained and questionable. 

Maas has an incredible knack for character development, but I've noticed a trend: it takes her a while to set them up. I have thought both of her first books were meh, but by the time the second book rolls around, Maas has figured out who her characters are and where the story is going. She's extremely talented, and I expect to see that talent growing over the course of her future novels. 

I had read online that there is a certain event (which we shall not discuss here) that really kicks the series into gear. Thankfully, that event took place in this sequel, so now I am ready. Batten down the hatches because this series is about to take readers for a spin. Plus, that cliffhanger? Somewhat predictable but still exhilarating nonetheless. 

Overall, I'm thankful to see this series improving. This sequel surpassed Throne of Glass by a landslide, and I'm hoping the next novels will continue to do the same. If you haven't already jumped on this bandwagon, then join me. There's still room at the back! 

            

When I began the second book, I just didn't see why everyone was ranting and raving about it. 
Now that I've finished it, I'm ranting and raving, too.