Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

Release Date: August 27, 2013
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Length: 420 pages

"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 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.


Protagonist: Celaena is back and this time it's as the King's Champion. Trying to keep herself alive and hold on to her own morals is hard though, when one slip up, one mistake could cost her everything. I've always loved Celaena's character. She's strong, independent, and at times down right ruthless. While she may be an assassin, and now one employed by the corrupt king, she also has a strong moral compass and will do whatever she deems necessary to ensure the welfare of her country and her people.

Romance: I just, I can't you guys. One of the things I loved about the first book was that while it did have an edge of romance to it, and a really great love triangle too, it never really filled in parts of the story. Meaning, it was never really filler, it was just an extension of the story rather than something to fill time between the better parts of the plot. In this installment though the romance moved way too fast and took up much too much of the story which left me feeling a bit uncomfortable. In fact, while I didn't really have a preference of who Celaena ended up with in the last installment, in this one I really didnt like a love interest purely because their relationship was going too fast. I felt that there was no real build up and maybe it's because I haven't read the first book in so long, but I just didn't really feel the chemistry. Also, another thing is I'm so confused, is there a love triangle anymore? Did Celaena choose? Or is there still a chance for (spoiler) to end up with her? Honestly I was so very confused and a bit irritated by the romance of this installment, especially since it's going to be such a long series.

World-Building: I loved the world-building in this book. In the previous installment there was very little that went on outside of the competition to become the King's champion, in this installment however, we get to see so much more including more political intrigue, rebellion, and knowledge about magic and what exactly happened to it. Celaena discovers some dark secrets and learns more about not only herself, but the corrupt ruler she is serving. This book goes beyond the set up of the first installment and begins to show readers the world beyond the castle of glass and show them the impact one tyrant can bring upon an entire continent.

Predictability: So I have to say that while I was spoiled on a few minor plot points, thanks BEA Heir of Fire line, for the most part i was extremely surprised at what occurred in this installment. While I'll get to the bombshell that was dropped in the ending during the next part, I'd also like to touch on a "Game of Thrones" moment that happened in this book. I mean holy crap there was no way I thought something like that would happen, in fact I vehemently denied that it was true until all the evidence pointed to the contrary. I mean there are some great twists in this book, but there are only really two that steal the whole show and this was one of them.

Ending: And the other one was the bombshell dropped at the very end of this installment. Now, before I get into that let's talk about the ending in general. Honestly it was a pretty strong ending, though it is the thing that confused and irritated me most about the romance, but let's not rehash that again. It really helped set up where the next book was going and Ill be interested to see what happens next. Now for the bombshell, I mean holy crap it was just... I mean I was surprised it took the person who discovered it so long to figure out what it was because he had his suspicions, he had the info he needed, but even with all the clues laid out before him he was so dense as not to figure it out when I had figured it out a couple pages before. The guy was dense, to say the least.


So one of the many things I was told about this installment was how much better it was than the first (and the first was amazing.) However, I'm not sure if it's the expectations I had or my own opinions on how the romance progressed but this, while great, couldn't really measure up to the first installment.


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