Celaena, Adarlan’s most dangerous assassin, has won the King’s gruelling competition. She is now the King’s champion and contracted to do his bidding for the next four years to win her freedom back. The King sets her to work, killing off potential traitors and rebels but the unwilling Celaena has got a few tricks up her sleeve yet. With whispers of amassing rebel forces and secrets between those who once trusted each other, Celaena must keep her wits about her as she tries to figure out what is going on and what demons are lurking in the dark.
Read on to find out more…
NB. If you haven’t read my review of Throne of Glass (#1), then you may want to read that first here.
After the action packed and exciting debut to the Throne of Glass series, the sequel, Crown of Midnight, gets off to a slow start. There’s still a lot of world and character building to be done as the relationship between Chaol and Celaena is mapped out, Dorian’s family history is explained and the King’s plans for domination are slowly revealed. The story focusses much less on Celaena now, widening its scope to include many other members of the court and various characters’ histories.
The romance between Chaol and Celaena was surprisingly passionate and whilst I wouldn’t exactly label it ‘mature content’, it certainly implies some very adult things (wink). As with Throne of Glass, the romance isn’t cringe-worthy or childish, it does seem realistic and passionate. Celaena is often seen to be a cold-blooded assassin but Chaol turns her into an ordinary girl with ordinary feelings. That said, at no point did I think she was ‘silly’, which I think is the right word to describe a lot of female YA protagonists in love, which I was glad about.
I’d definitely say this series is aimed at older teens and young adults because the characters are all mature, working people with ‘real-life’ problems. This is a dark fantasy tale that seems to just get darker with each new chapter. This series gives you real monsters that bite, not sparkling vampires and I just wish they would make this into a film so I can see these demons take shape.
Now can we just take a minute (or hour) to discuss the ending of Crown of Midnight. My eyes were glued to my Kindle for the last few chapters and I think a hurricane could have blown my home away (Dorothy-style) and I still would have continued reading. Celaena is – ? Chaol said – ? Dorian has – ?! There are at least half a dozen questions burning on the tip of my tongue and I am desperate for answers! I actually re-read the last few passages of this story again as soon as I finished because I couldn’t believe what was happening and I needed to check I hadn’t just made it up in my head!
To conclude, Sarah J Maas has swiftly become my favourite young adult author and she certainly knows how to surprise her fans. Although the first half of this book was a little sluggish, S J Maas throws down plot twist after plot twist in the second half. I have never read a book that has gone from good to extraordinary in the space of just a few pages. Crown of Midnight is full of mystery and intrigue and as soon as you think you’ve got all the characters sussed out, a new piece of information is revealed to completely change that.
Onto Heir of Fire we go…
Have you read the Throne of Glass series? What did you make of it? Let me know in the comments below!
If you haven’t read my review of Throne of Glass yet, check it out here.