Mini-review: ‘Crown of Midnight’ by Sarah J. MaasPosted: September 12, 2018
“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.
After I reviewed Throne of Glass, I had a few people tell me to persist, because the story gets better. I liked the first book well enough to continue (I just thought Celaena was all talk as far as the “greatest assassin in the land” thing goes), and I’m happy to report that my advisers were correct.
This book is better than the first one. There’s less focus on pretty dresses (although they do get a mention) and more on scheming, stalking, stabbing and snogging — not necessarily in that order. Also betrayal, magic and bad guys. I love the magic in this series, and the ancient mysteries. I am so there for those.
My main reason for not giving this book the full five-star treatment is that I occasionally found Celaena annoying, and more than a little dense. There is one point in the book where she’s given a riddle, and the first part of the answer is blindingly obvious, but it takes her an age to figure it out. (When another character mocked her for taking so long, there was vigorous nodding on my part. Although, to be fair, she had other stuff going on…) I also found her reactions to a couple of key events in the story a little … well, erratic? It’s hard to say more than that without spoilers, but I’m sure that those who’ve read the book know what I mean. 😉
Still, my initial complaint that Celaena was all talk as far as the killing goes was addressed to my satisfaction (though I don’t know what that says about me!). I’ve already downloaded the audiobook of the third in the series, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.