I shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve forgotten so much about the earlier books. It’s been nearly two years to the date since I first read Crown of Midnight, the second book in the bestselling Throne of Glass series. I always stated this book was one of my favorites, and I don’t think that’s changed at all either.
This review will contain spoilers! You can read my initial review of this review (with spoilers!) on Goodreads.
Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release date: August 27, 2013
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Length: 418 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “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 initial rating for this book was 4 stars, and it hasn’t changed, simply because the plot and characters are so well-developed in book 2. This definitely doesn’t suffer from that “second book syndrome” as other series tend to do. Again, I can’t get over how much I’ve forgotten! I remember some of the major plot points, like what happened to Nehemia (*cries forever* I’m still bitter about this even though the death of a close friend is really what Celaena needed to push her over the edge and accept her fate and who she is), and Dorian’s magic. We’re also introduced to the Wyrdgates, Wyrd keys, and Dorian’s magic! And hey, I have this crazy theory in my head now which probably won’t come to anything because I’m horrible at predicting how books or series will end! 😜
I still like Chaol and Dorian, though I’m torn with Celaena and Chaol’s romantic struggle. He allowed her to be more herself as well, so when their split happened, I’m still coming to terms with it as well. Chaol is a rather complex character, with his loyalty to the king and the Crown Prince. He’s smart though, and because I can’t quite remember what happens in the next few books, I’d be happy to see him question the king’s decisions a bit more. It appears the king trusts Chaol a lot (once wishing Chaol was his actual son, not Dorian), and I’m living for the day when Chaol throws all this crap in the king’s face. (Okay, so I’m really hoping he does this in Tower of Dawn).
Also, Archer. I just want to curse him to a thousand horrible realms, though Celaena did a pretty good job of him, to be honest. I forgot how he manipulated Celaena. He truly caused the rift between Chaol and Celaena, and I don’t like it! (Mainly because I’ve never been a Rowan fan–so sue me, I don’t care!) I really don’t think Chaol needed to tell Celaena about the threat against Nehemia. He knew she would worry and he didn’t want that for her, but I think their friendship shifted too quickly to a romantic relationship, straining and disillusioning them both.
The ending definitely made me rate this book so highly, and even if I could reread it for the first time again, I would still say so. Maas does a fantastic job subtly introducing characters and key places that play a larger role in the series, i.e. Dorian’s magic, the wyverns, Baba Yellowlegs and entire role of the Witch clans–so many things I didn’t give a second thought to at all.
My only problem now is that I have to read Heir of Fire and it’s my least favorite book of the series. Maybe my opinion will change since a majority of the series is now out, but still, lol.
There’s still time to pre-order Tower of Dawn before it releases on September 5th! There are a handful of exclusive editions (which you can read about here) and if you pre-order, you can submit your receipt here for the pre-order swag (which I’m really excited about, to be honest).