Release Date: August 15th 2013
Published By: Bloomsbury
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
After 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 choice.
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
Review: Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for uncorrected proof of Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas has continued to build an amazing world and has strengthened an amazing plot by incorporating danger, discoveries, secrets, deceit, hope and pain in this amazing sequel. Crown of Midnight if full of deadly surprises, where danger comes to new heights and no one is safe.
Celaena is back – and she is bad-ass! In this action-packed sequel, the royal assassin’s ruthlessness is on full display – she is truly lethal and dangerous. However her loyalties may not exactly be where they seem. Calaena started this journey fighting for her freedom; but now she has more to fight for – for the freedom of others, for people she has grown to care about, and for a future that she herself barely dares to dream about. Celaena will find herself pushed to fight for what and who she cares about – but at what cost?
Now that Celaena is the King’s Champion, she must find ways around his orders without raising suspicion that she defying the terrifying King. Her treacherous actions are seemingly going according to plan, until Celaena is ordered to her to kill a person from her past, Archer. While she is trying to find a way to save Archer from the King’s orders, she learns that the King is not the only thing she should fear; she uncovers truly terrifying secrets, that there is more evil in Rifthold than she could have imagined and she finds that there is even more to fight for than she originally thought. Friendships will strengthen, love will be found, and lives will be lost.
We also get to find out about Celaena’s past – and her past was not kept secret without reason… her biggest secret is a game changer; not only for herself, but for those she cares about, the kingdom and for those who may be relying on her even if they don’t know they should have any hope left at all.
But Celaena is not the only one who has secrets uncovered. Nehemia plays a very important role in this book – she has many secrets that are uncovered, and I am sure many more are still hidden. We also get to unearth some secrets of Chaol’s and Dorian’s; as Chaol’s past comes back to haunt him, we learn more about this reserved Captain, and as Dorian tries to be a better person, he finds a strength in himself that he could never have imagined. Other characters also start to show their true colours, or their agendas are starting to become exposed, and we see that not everyone is what they seem to be. Along with finding more about the characters from the Throne of Glass (and the novellas), we also meet some new characters – some seem shady, others are amusing, but they all have a part to play.
During Crown of Midnight, Celaena seems to find herself and happiness – until events unfold that threatens her new-found happiness. Celaena is pushed to her limits, and this is where she becomes her most lethal, ruthless and merciless. Although Celaena is fierce, sarcastic and smart, there were moments where I became very frustrated with our protagonist – as she becomes very self-involved, stops trusting in herself and those she closest to her, and as a result she starts to make decisions that could prove deadly. If there was anything I did not like about this book it was her reaction to her grief and how quickly she dismissed someone she cares about. But, on the up side, I left this book seeing that Celaena had once again found herself – a newer, stronger version, and also seeing there is a possibility that she will once again find the happiness that can only be called “home”.
Crown of Midnight is full of twists, plots and intrigue. The sub-plots of this storyline are complex and interesting, and as pieces of the puzzle start to move into place, new pieces are thrown on the table to jumble up the puzzle a little more. There is a lot of character and plot development and we get to discover a lot of new things about the Fae, magic and the evil in Rifthold… and that there are some truly dangerous forces that threaten everyone, and everything. I rarely find I like a sequel as much as the first book in a series, but I actually liked this one more than Throne of Glass. This is a stunning sequel which not only moves the story alone at a nice pace, but provides enough mystery to keep you turning the pages, with the right amount of information about the past or current terrors and just enough hope for the future.
“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”
“The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at <removed spoiler> and realised she was home.”
“you remind me of what the world ought to be. What the world can be.”
“Who said anything about shame?” She gestured down to her naked body, even though it was covered by the blanket. “Honestly, I’m surprised you’re not strutting about, boasting to everyone. I certainly would be if I’d tumbled me.
“Does your love for yourself know no bounds?”
“What does that mean?” he demanded.
She smiled sadly. “You’ll figure it out. And when you do…” She shook her head, knowing she shouldn’t say it, but doing it anyway. “When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn’t have made any difference to me. It’s never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’ll always pick you.”