Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: CROWN OF MIDNIGHT

Greetings! I do not have a MMGM book for you, but I do have a review for a YA book! Today I will be sharing CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, the second book in the THRONE OF GLASS series. I did a review on the first one a little while ago, and you can view it here.

Before we begin, I want to warn that there will be spoilers for THONE OF GLASS. As CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is the sequel, it is impossible not to spoil THRONE OF GLASS. Please be aware of this when reading this review.

You have been warned...


CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is the work of the amazing Sarah J. Maas!

My summary:

Celaena Sardothien, the king's Champion, knows she serves a man with a black heart, and she has been working against the king by secretly smuggling her targets to safety. But as she uncovers secrets hiding throughout the castle and within the hearts of the people around her, Celaena finds herself on thin ice. And after a succession of terrible events, she must confront the secrets that lurk in the shadows and decide exactly what her next move is.

Goodreads tells us:

"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.
 


My review:

Before I really start my review, I feel that I should come out and say it: of the three currently out, I must admit that CROWN OF MIDNIGHT is my least favorite. That does not mean it is a bad book. Rather, THRONE OF GLASS set the bar so high that I wanted to see CROWN OF MIDNIGHT do amazing things. To be fair, I was expecting to be able to give CROWN OF MIDNIGHT an above five rating. And although it was wonderful, it wasn't a five star book.

I think this may be, in part, because I already knew one of the big mysteries that drove the plot. I had guessed it the first time I had read THRONE OF GLASS a looooong time ago, and then I learned that I was correct when I told my friend who had read both THRONE OF GLASS and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT my suspicions.

One would also think that I would have learned from my experience with THRONE OF GLASS to read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT when I didn't have a few other things I was juggling. Unfortunately, I was not smart enough (or, more precisely, not patient enough) to wait until I could REALLY focus on CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. When I reread the series before the fourth book comes out in the fall, I may do another review on CROWN OF MIDNIGHT just to be a little more fair.

Now that I've educated you on my position, I will really review CROWN OF MIDNIGHT.

Once again, I loved the three-dimensional personality of Celaena. Sarah does such a great job making her a real person. We saw more of her insecurities in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. I think authors sometimes forget to add insecurities to a character if it isn't part of the immediate plot, so I was very glad to see that Sarah had made them part of Celaena.

I also saw a lot of growth in Prince Dorian, which may have been a result of a big change (I really can't say any more without spoiling it) that took place. I really liked seeing him as a larger part of the conflict because he didn't do a lot in THRONE OF GLASS.

Admittedly, I am not a huge Chaol fan. Because most of Chaol's part in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT was related to the the mystery I mentioned earlier, I was just kind of "meh" about him.

As for the very minor characters, I saw the same thing happen where they didn't get a lot of development. However, the minor-but-not-quite-as-small characters received more development in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT than I saw in THRONE OF GLASS.

Sarah Maas' writing style is still as brilliant and addicting as ever.

If I ignore the one mystery I uncovered, the plot was pretty surprising. However, that mystery was a big part of the story, so I don't know if I can really say that that the plot in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT was as stunning as THRONE OF GLASS's plot.

Because of, well, everything explained above, I think I feel like CROWN OF MIDNIGHT should get a 4.3 out of 5.

I will be reviewing HEIR OF FIRE, the third book in the THRONE OF GLASS series, on May 18th. I hope to see you there!

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