Monday, August 19, 2013

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Title: Crown of Midnight
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

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?

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.

Rating:   photo 5-1.png

the Throne of Glass series (thus far)

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1)The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass, #0.2)The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.3)The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4)
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)The Assassin and the PrincessCrown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

About the author:

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

Find Sarah:

Website | BlogTwitter | FacebookGoodreads | Pinterest


  1. I couldn't agree more. This book was perfectly done. I'm with you, I couldn't tell it was a sequel. It was fast paced, heart racing and just so good. I have got to read all the novellas. I've not read a single one.

    My Friends Are Fiction

  2. I haven't started this series yet but it makes me SO happy when people enjoy the 2nd (&3rd...) books. There is nothing worse than a strong first book that goes downhill as the series continues.

  3. There are so many novellas! I'm with Kristen, I haven't read a single one yet! I really enjoyed the first book so I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Your review has just made me even more excited... awesome review, Jen! :)

    - Sadie @ Lyrics.

  4. Ooh, nice! I am so ridiculously excited for this book even though I still haven't read the first book. I love the sound of this one being better than its predecessor and I love fantasy!

    Random, but Maas really reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence.

  5. Is this series really going to be 6 books? I've heard that. I've been avoiding the series for obvious triangle reasons, but every review I've seen about this one has been GLOWING. Now I'm conflicted! Should I jump on the train?

  6. OKAY I'M GONNA READ THIS SERIES ASAP! I PROMISE. I haven't read the 1st book, but you make me giddy about it all because I love when a sequel is just AMAZING, so amazing that you didn't realize it was a sequel (thanks to the sequel stereotype of being blehhh). You hooked me.

  7. Well said, lady! I wasn't the biggest fan of Throne of Glass, but Crown of Midnight totally won me over. I'm really excited about where this series is going, especially towards the end with Celaena's new journey. I'm glad Celaena's real identity was revealed (although it was SO obvious, even in the first book.) Hopefully that tidbit of info will become important in book 3. I loved the development of the characters, especially Dorian.

    Anyway, I CANNOT wait for the next installment!

  8. Great review! That's it, I need to go out and get this series now. I've read so many rave reviews of this lately! It sounds like it has everything, romance, action, adventure, awesome characters.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence


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