Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – book review

Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. Maas | Fantasy | 420 pages | Bloomsbury USA Children’s | 4.51 on Goodreads

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.

This review does not have spoilers for Crown of Midnight however I do state how I felt about what happened so please come back once you’ve read this book if you don’t like knowing personal reactions or if you consider them spoilers.

THE HIGHS

There are authors who write battle scenes and you think ‘That was cool.’ And then there are authors that write action-packed, gory scenes filled with rich description and butt-kicking that makes you want to set fire to things because you think ‘Yes, that was awesome. I can do that’. Sarah J Maas belongs to the second category. I can’t pin point the exact thing she does that makes me enjoy her fast paced scenes so much. It could be the way she can shift the atmosphere so abruptly with the use of a single sentence or it could be her little quirks that make her writing so unique from the others. It’s all about the fight scenes in this book and they are stunning.

Something that comes through more in this book as opposed to the first book in the series is how clever the structure is. Sarah j. Maas chooses her POVs very carefully and I think her decisions on whose eyes tell the what events give an amazing effect. There’s a bunch of characters in this book that only get a page or two of their view point because although we only get a short time with them, they are people who are affected by the war It’s easy to forget sometime when politics are discussed that actually talking about actual people in the kingdom so those little snippets were great additions and I absolutely loved them!

We dived deeper into Celeana’s history in this book which I really enjoyed. as much as I loved getting to know her personality and brief snippets of her past in Throne of Glass, I really enjoyed having that time to discover some new things now that the competition is over and it would make more sense to develop it a little more in Crown of Midnight. Celeana’s history just gets more and more interesting as the book goes on and it was one of the prime motivators that made me fly through this book. As a person who hasn’t read the novellas yet (and I’m thinking I won’t pick them up until before the fourth book comes out) I really enjoyed that.

THE LOWS

The lack of Dorian in this book made me kind of disappointment because I really grew to love his character. That’s not really a spoiler because there was never a concrete reason for ti. We see him around but his points of view are rare. Half way though the book I’m was still so frustrated. ‘Where is he? Why is he not here? Someone should go hug him and make sure he is okay.’

The beginning was a lot slower than what I expected. Nothing special happens in the first 100 pages and we also get a medium-sized information dump with a couple of new names in there too which slowed it down more than I would have liked. Of course the story is hardly missing amazing fight scenes but the beginning could have been a little faster paced to get the my attention and bring back the world a little faster.

And just a short and an unpopular note: I really didn’t enjoy Chaol’s character in this book. Not one bit. I found him irritating and quite inconsiderate in this book. Expanding on that would lead to spoilers but that was my overall view on his character in this book.

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“But death was her curse and her gift, and death had been her good friend these long, long years.”

I realise that I’ve pointed out more lows than highs but I read 200 pages in one sitting (which is a lot for my reading pace) so it was pretty hard to put down and deserves all of the five stars.

RATING: [5/5] – I’m not sure how this would rank directly with Throne of Glass because it was quite different but I enjoyed it immensely.

RECOMMEND TO: I would recommend this series as a whole to people who enjoyed Game of Thrones (both book and TV show) and The Bone Season.

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