What’s it all about?:
Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.
Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.
Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…
What did I think?:
Well, I must pronounce myself firmly on the Sarah J. Maas fangirl bandwagon after now reading the extraordinary follow-up to Throne Of Glass. For any readers who haven’t read the first book yet (and why not…hmm?!) I strongly recommend reading that before attempting Crown Of Midnight as it is assumed that you know a fair bit about what has happened in the previous novel. As I’m not usually a huge fan of fantasy I really wasn’t expecting to get invested in this series as much as I have and strangely enough, I enjoyed this second outing of Celaena & co even more. As a result, I now decree that the Throne Of Glass series is my favourite YA series EVER. It’s going to take a lot to top this, seriously! And never fear, this review will remain as spoiler free as possible for anybody who hasn’t started the series yet.
In Crown Of Midnight, everyone’s favourite kick-ass assassin, Celaena Sardothien is back, now hailed as the King’s Champion and personal assassin of His Most Horrible Majesty of Adarlan. The repugnant King has made it quite clear that if she doesn’t live up to his expectations (by murdering all of his enemies) than he will take it out on those she loves best – as if it wasn’t bad enough that her family died by his hands. Celaena is perfectly aware of the risk she is taking by not fulfilling his dark wishes but cannot morally kill another human being who has done her no wrong so she makes it her mission to personally warn the enemy she is supposed to exterminate and give them the chance to flee the country.
There are a few different threads in this story and one of them involves Celaena working with her friends mainly Princess Nehemia, whose people and country the Adarlan King is also slowly destroying, on a number of strange occurrences in the castle that appear to have a supernatural/magic basis. This is curious as magic was outlawed by the King a number of years ago yet all the signs point to someone using the most darkest magic for their own murky purposes. Celaena is also becoming closer and closer to the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall which holds its own problems as his loyalty should lie with the King.
Things move quite slowly in Crown Of Midnight until about halfway through the novel when quite literally, all hell breaks loose. Just when I thought I had every thing and every character figured out, Sarah J. Maas throws a massive spanner in the works and for each character, nothing will be the same ever again. I loved that we got to see a more vulnerable side of Celaena as she sinks into a vast and dangerous depression that before long, turns into an intense anger that fuels only a desire for revenge. But wait – there are more surprises in store! We learn of an intriguing side to both our heroine, Celaena and Prince Dorian that are wonderfully linked and pave the way for real excitement, more struggles and undeniable terror for the third book in the series, Heir Of Fire.
I love everything about this series – amazing characters that are surprisingly human which we see making mistakes and suffering a great deal. There is the forging of beautiful relationships and friendships and the horrific agony of loss. There are out and out villains like the King of Adarlan and then other characters whom we’re not sure if we can trust or not. The world-building from the author is immense and so intricately plotted that you could almost imagine this world actually existed. Finally, we get a mixture of slower, more thought-provoking scenes combined with those that are so action-packed and intense that I honestly felt quite short of breath just reading it! This is a fabulous follow-up novel that has cemented Sarah J. Maas as one of my favourite writers and I can hardly wait to read Heir Of Fire. The bar has been set so very high… can any other series come close?
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):