Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, book #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Source: ARC from publisher for review (thanks to the awesome Jen for picking it up for me at BEA!)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
This. THIS is how you write a sequel! I couldn't even tell this was a second book, there was so much action and intrigue going on. And now my heart is broken and I want to forget what I've read until I have the rest of the series in hand. Of course, that's not going to happen, so I'll just get on with it.
First, how much do you love the new covers? I think they're so representative of Celaena, especially what we learn of her in this book. She just has this "otherness" about her that really comes through on these new covers, but you'll probably understand that more after reading Crown of Midnight. We knew from the previous book that under her cold, hard exterior, a normal girl lived. And even though we continue to see her callous behavior in this book, her brutal quickness as an assassin, we also get to see even more of the girl she truly is, the girl who wishes for a simple life away from court stratagem and a merciless king, especially in the ways that she endeavors to maneuver around such palace intrigue.
If you enjoyed Throne of Glass even a little bit, you're going to love this sequel. The writing is tighter, the details more prevalent, and the action more exhilarating. And that's saying a lot, what with the battle for the King's Champion in the first book. But this is a well-rounded sequel, full of romantic interludes (YES!) and higher stakes. And let's not forget the enigmatic new characters that are introduced, for they are just as essential to the plot.
Archer was difficult for me to get a read on at first. It took ages before I realized he was not one of Celaena's fellow assassins, despite the fact that he trained with her at the Assassin's Keep. I'll leave it to you to discern the true nature of his "occupation". ;0) Baba Yellowlegs, on the other hand, was creepy from the get-go and I had no trouble determining that this witch was trouble. And I mean witch literally, not as a euphemism for something else. She has metal teeth for crying out loud! I see the altercation with this character coming back to bite our favorite assassin in the arse.
As for the romantic interludes I mentioned, it does seem that Celaena has made her choice, though certain developments in the second half of the book do leave one wondering. Not where her heart lies, but what will become of it. Both Captain Chaol Westfall -- am I the only one who didn't realize that name was pronounced Kale? I was pronouncing it with the CH, d'oh! -- and Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard have proven to be great friends and allies of Celaena's...and also great admirers. But there is no room for trust in this threesome, apparently, at least not until it's nearly too late for them all. This lack of understanding between them all did lead to rather a lot of complications, without which I don't think we would have learned half the truth from Celaena. They all have their secrets, but Celaena's carries the most of all of them. And though we discover quite a few truths before the end of this book, I do believe she carries still more. But would you expect anything less from Adarlan's Assassin and the King's Champion?
Death. Betrayal. Love. Misery. Sarah J. Maas left no stone unturned, no feeling unearthed in this fantastic sequel to the equally amazing Throne of Glass. Celaena undergoes quite the transformation in this book, and she (and the book) are all the better for it. Crown of Midnight is shocking and painful and lovely, and I can't wait to see what's in store for Celaena et al. If you're looking for an amazing new fantasy series with a killer attitude, look no further.
the Throne of Glass series (thus far)