Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
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
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
Oh man, I am SO glad that I read this book!! What started off as a rather tame, yawn-worthy series has really expanded gloriously in this book, and I loved it. I ended up zooming through it in every spare minute that I had at work today, finishing it in a few short hours because I was sucked in from the very first page.
I had so many issues when it came to the first book. Our heroine was too bloody perfect, there was a love-triangle, I didn't find much about Celaena believable, and it seemed to drag on and on when the conclusion was already pretty clear.
This book is pretty much the opposite of the first one.
I really loved what Sarah J. Maas did with her characters in this book. The ones in the first book were kind of flat and one-dimensional, the types that you can find in almost any fantasy or YA novel out there. It frustrated me a lot, especially Celaena - I almost stopped reading more than once, because I was just so disappointed with the characterization.
In this book we get into our character's heads, and it doesn't feel as though we're wrapped up in a romance with main characters who just happen to be an assassin, a prince and a captain of the guard. No, in this book shit gets real, to put it bluntly, and it was a breath of fresh air to see Chaol, Dorian and Celaena learn and grow - not necessarily together, unfortunately, but the process still wonderful to watch nonetheless.
Beyond the characterization, the writing is just fantastic. In contrast to the meandering snooze-fest that the first book was at times, this book is tightly-plotted. Not only that, it's filled with action and betrayal and magic and a hint of romance, with intrigues and plots that will make your head spin, and more than a few secrets to be discovered throughout the course of the novel. It keeps you guessing and gets your stomach churning, and it doesn't pull its punches, either.
And that ending... If you don't immediately want to pick up the next book, I will be surprised.
In essence, it was awesome. Highly recommend that anyone who is hesitating over this series because of the first book at least give it a try for this one!
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