Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: 08/27/13
An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
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?
My thoughts on the book:
I went into Crown of Midnight with impossibly high expectations, and Maas somehow managed to exceed them. This book is fantastic, not to mention the best novel I've read all year. Crown of Midnight is even better than Throne of Glass, and I didn't think that was possible. The character growth in this novel is astounding, the plot is intriguing, and the ending left me wanting more. Maas' writing is wonderful, and she maintains an air of mystery throughout the entire book. The pacing is perfect, and I love each of my favorite characters even more now. Crown of Midnight cannot be missed.
Celaena becomes an even more complicated character in this novel, and while she is a bit selfish at times (and called out on it by several people), she grows immensely. I really enjoyed learning more about her and watching her grow. Chaol completely and totally won my heart. I still like Dorian, but I simply adore Chaol. He is the most selfless, strong, intelligent, and caring character in the novel. We get to learn more about him and his past, too, in this installment, and the more I learn, the more I love him. He's just amazing *dreamy sigh*. Dorian needs to grow a set, but he's trying. He does grow a lot as a character in this book, and he is becoming more likable. However, he's still so naive and weak that he just doesn't make a good match for Celaena, in my opinion. Like I said, I still like him, but I don't like him for her. The king is even more awful this time around, and we get to learn more about how he colonized and oppressed so many nations. We are also introduced to some new characters, such as Roland, Dorian's creepy cousin, and Archer, the courtesan. Each character, regardless of how big of a part they play in the book, is well-developed and unique, which adds a feeling of reality to this fantasy novel.
The plot is intense, action-packed, and full of mystery, suspense, and emotion. I could not put this book down. As the story unravels, many of Celaena's secrets come to light. Every time I thought I knew everything there was to know about her, another secret was revealed. Just like in Throne of Glass, Maas puts Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian through so much that it's hard to tell if they'll all make it to the end or not. Also, there is a lot of emotion in this story. I laughed and cried several times while reading this. Because Maas' characters are so real, it's easy to become attached to them and care about what happens to them. When something bad happens, I end up crying right along with the characters. When something funny happens, I laugh right along with them, too. The pacing is spot-on, and Maas' writing is beautiful. The descriptions and continued world-building are clear, and it's easy to picture the world in which Celaena and company live. I enjoyed the political angle of the story, too, and I was happy to see that colonization and oppression are addressed. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, and while many of the questions brought up in Crown of Midnight are answered, new questions are introduced in the last chapters. So now I'm counting the days until the next installment is released.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to absolutely anyone. This series is one of the best that I've ever read. If you haven't read Throne of Glass yet, you're missing out. If you've already read and loved Throne of Glass, then you have to pick up Crown of Midnight on August 27. You will not be disappointed.
Pre-order Crown of Midnight today!