Thursday, 13 August 2015

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas: Book Review


"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.

SPOILER FREE REVIEW
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Crown of Midnight just did it for me. It sealed the deal. I officially don't love any other author as much as I love Sarah J. Maas and her books. This second book in the Throne of Glass series was so good, especially towards the end, that I am literally going to die if I don't either have Queen of Shadows or Assassin's Blade by the time I am done reading Heir of Fire. To say that I absolutely loved this book is a massive understatement; the books just keep getting better and better! Not to mention that knowing this work of pure talent is just more reason for me to want to buy every version of the books in the future - paperback and hardback, normal covers and white covers. I don't doubt for a second that I will be one of Maas' biggest fans yet! With that, I might as well throw in that I also plan on buying Chaol's ring, the Eye of Elena necklace and the Damaris necklace as well from an awesome online store I discovered called Cadsawan. If you would like to as well, check it out here!:

CADSAWAN
This novel in particular had more in store for me than what the first did. Of course I absolutely loved Throne of Glass but the sequel held so much more in terms of betrayal, heartbreak and definitely magic! Nehemia has a bigger part in this instalment, where you will find out the truth about why she's really visiting the castle from Eyllwe and what she really knows about the wyrdmarks. Aside from the fact that the first novel was based on a violent competition, I feel like this book was more gruesome and violent than ToG and that makes it all the more interesting and gripping. At points I found myself mentally gasping over what had happened and wondering about what Celaena really went through while in the care of Arobynn Hamel; which pushes the fact that I still need to read Assassin's Blade with all the stories of Celaena's past. Even so, all the event's of which occurred in Crown of Midnight just made me love her more, no matter how messed up, lethal, or even feral she seemed to be.

In terms of relationship developments, there was a lot for Celaena to gain and a lot to lose, depending on who you're talking about. I feel sad about the fact that she decided not to be with Dorian from Throne of Glass as she felt it was a dangerous game to play whilst in the midst of the King of Adarlan, Celaena having any type of close relationship with the Crown Prince was doubtably something that the King would have any appreciation for. In the light of this, obviously Chaol felt the pressure lift a little and even though he knew he had major respect for Dorian, he couldn't help but feel drawn to Celaena's charming ways. Personally I don't feel like Celaena and Chaol match even though many of my Booktube friends seem to ship them together. I however feel like Celaena and Dorian are a better match, especially in light of the events which happen towards the end of this highly acclaimed novel. This book made me realise how much I love the theme of Faeries and magic. Originally I had first read ACOTAR so I didn't know yet that it was one of Maas' favourite things to write about. I had watched an interview with her and a Booktuber where she spoke of this love of hers for fairytales and writing her own versions, but I didn't realise how passionate she was about this particular subject until reading this novel. This is definitely one of the novels worth looking forward to reading ToG.

I feel like the development of Celaena's character and her personal preferences of what it will take to save Adarlan from the king and the whole of Erilea takes a turn for the best and she eventually realises what is right and who is the one to save it from destruction. Celaena really has come a long way in her eighteen years of life and I feel like she will never suffer enough with the King alive. The emotional destruction that she goes through moulds her and helps her realise what is most important in her life. With Queen Elena to occasionally appear and guide her in the right direction makes my heart warm. It wasn't until this novel that I realised the fact that Celaena never had a mother figure in her life (as far as I know - she could have had one while training with Arobynn but I highly doubt it) and I feel like Queen Elena, even being a spirit that can't be there 24/7 as it drains her power, is the best mother figure to Celaena and I really hope that she has more of a part in the following books - no matter whether she is spirit or not. If she was somehow resurrected from the dead, that would make my day and I bet it would make Celaena's too! Celaena needs more female figures in her life, and I'm sure there will be soon but I honestly wish that Elena could be more of a mother to her because if she deserves anything, it's the love of a mother who understands her pain, her struggle and her history.

Overall I have given this book a 5 out of 5 because it's too good not to read! I would read this over and over and never get bored (I would because I read Breaking Dawn eight times over and was still obsessed with it). I can't wait to get into Heir of Fire because I really want to find out what happens next in the rollercoaster of Celaena Sardothian's life and career as Adarlan's Assassin!


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