Book Review: Crown of Midnight – Sarah J. Maas

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Published: September 2nd 2014
Rating: 4.5/5

Warning: spoilers for those who haven’t read Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas ‘Crown of Midnight’ is the second book in the ‘Throne of Glass’ series by Sarah J. Maas.

I have already done review of the recent novels in the Throne of Glass series, but stumpled across this review that I have not yet posted. So this one of for those of you who are unsure as to whether to carry on with the rest of the series.
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The story is based around a young girl called ‘Celaena Sardothien’ also known as ‘Ardalans Assassin’. Currently residing in one of the most brutal prison camps, she is taken away by a young prince to compete to become his ‘champion’ by competing against other deadly criminals, such as murderers and other well-known assassins, in a series of test. If won then that person is to become the king’s champion and work for him (and by work, I mean kill for him) for several years to earn their freedom. After many strange events and visits from the first queen of Ardalan, Celaena wins the competition and becomes the kings champion.‘Crown of Midnight’ follows on from this story and starts during one of her assignments set by the king. I quite looking forward to begin reading this book as I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and fell in love with characters such as ‘Chaol Westfall’ – Captain of the Guard and ‘Dorian Havillard’ – Crown Prince. Before buying the book, I read the first two chapters online, just to make sure I was fully committed to continue this series. These first two chapters raised a lot of questions for me and had me really looking forward to carrying on the series.I found that this book, despite loving its predecessor, a lot better than the first with it having a lot more action, unanswered questions and great amounts of character development, especially the protagonist Celaena. There were no more petty girl-on-girl dramas or an obvious villain who we knew was going to get defeated in the end, which was one of the main things I didn’t enjoy about the first was book, it was a little too predictable. This book, however, is filled with mystery, friendship and responsibility,betrayal and rebellion, the makings of war and conspiracy and a wonderful introduction to magic and Fae.

Despite romance playing quite some part in both of these books, I felt more drawn to the relationship between Celaena and Nehemia, than Celaena’s romances with Chaol and Dorian  Both are incredible female characters that both show strengths and weaknesses, that have nothing to do with your regular ‘guy problems’. They’re both extremely developed and complex and the strong, loyal friendship between them was beautifully well-written. Maas shows that a friendship can be just as powerful and as important as any romance can every be.
Maas developed Celaena to be a very memorable character, especially throughout a vast amount of YA heroines. Celaena grows in this books and faces things no 18-year-old girl should ever have to face at such a young age, or even ever. She faces tribulations that test her abilities as an assassin and also her will and determination. Despite having her many flaws such as being aggressive and volatile, it is them that shape her and allow her to grow into to brilliant character she turned out to be at the end. I have my fair share of YA adult novels and have never come across such a strong female character like Celaena before. Most books I have read, with the protagonist being a female, are nothing like Celaena at all. She excels from the superficial ideal into a character we can empathize and grow with, learn from her mistakes and shows that there is more to life than boys and trying to be perfect.

In ‘Crown of Midnight’ she makes sacrifices and loses and gains so little, but in the end all of this brings her closer to her destiny and what she was meant to do with all the powers and knowledge of being the greatest assassin there ever was. She has relationships and love that grow and break throughout, but not once did she let this stand in the way of her ultimate mission.
‘Crown of Midnight’ is a notable addition to the ‘Throne of Glass’ series. With what I have read in this book, I expect bigger, more dangerous and heart-racing things to come for Celaena and her journey to save Ardalan from an unruly king. I am extremely excited to carry on Celaena’s journey in ‘Heir of Fire’ and have been told by many that this book is a lot better than its predecessors, so I have a very good feeling about it!

 

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