Rating: 4 stars
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.
Like Throne of Glass, I found that I enjoyed reading this book. I found the story to be captivating, wanting to find out what Celaena would do after the competition. She is exactly the same character I remember from this book’s predecessor, except she does go through some development of her own whenever an unfortunate event occurs with one of her dearest friends in the castle. Her development was a shift I never saw coming and made me appreciate her character even more.
One element of Crown of Midnight I enjoyed was the emotional pull I felt as events unraveled. A lot of things happened in this book. While I sometimes had a hard time keeping track of everything, I felt like there was a lot more deeper emotions in this one than I experienced in Throne of Glass. I think part of it is because as Celaena continues to stay at the castle, she starts becoming closer to the people around her. To the point when something happens to them, she does everything in her power to protect those who she holds dear.
I also enjoyed seeing the politics at play in this series. Celaena is conflicted throughout about her actions and that the king will find out what she’s done. She’s stuck between making a lot of serious choices, resulting in consequences occurring that shake up her character. In this book, we finally see an emotional side to Celaena that we haven’t experienced before. She feels pain, regret and anger at some of the choices she’s made, but ends up continuing to do everything in her power to fix her wrongs. To the point where some of her serious relationships falter due to the hurt and pain she’s experiencing.
Another favorite part of this book for me was seeing Dorian’s character continue to grow. He’s the king’s son, yet he’s completely different from his father altogether. The way his development progressed surprised me because Maas changed him in ways I didn’t see coming. But they are changes that made sense to me in the overall story.
Like with Throne of Glass, so much happens in this book, which I see as both a good and bad thing. It’s good because the story is progressing in ways I didn’t see coming. But it’s bad because it can sometimes make it hard to continue reading, due to the overwhelming amount of information presented.
I also found myself wondering what the king’s perspective is of everything going on. Yes, I get he’s not heavily involved with some of these events, but they do impact him too. Especially the magical elements that are included in the story. I know he’s technically the villain so he’s not going to have a bigger role in the story arch until things really start rolling, but I think it would’ve been nice to see what his perspective is of what’s going on in his castle. It’s his kingdom so I feel like he’d definitely have some clue as to what’s going on at some point in the story.
However, Crown of Midnight was still a fantastic read. I enjoyed all of the fantasy elements in the story and I feel like the characters are continuing to make me invested in what’s going to happen next. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series to see where Celaena’s journey takes her.