Monday, July 29, 2013

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
Wow. So, I’m like still in this post-book haze. What an amazing book 2! It was definitely worth waiting in line for an hour to get this ARC at BEA. Though I wish I got it the day I happened to be standing behind the author in line at Starbucks…then I could have gotten it signed. The book comes out in a month, so you don’t have long to wait for it. But, oh how you need to be waiting for this one! I actually enjoyed it more than I did the first.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about reading all about the jobs the king required of Celaena. After all the fighting and training of book 1, she is now officially the king’s champion. And it’s not like there’s ever a dull moment for a champion of an evil king. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Celaena in book 1. But all the hate was gone in this one. She has definitely stepped it up here. Instead of complaining and whining about things, she actually does them!
Rebel Celaena is a force to be reckoned with. She’s killing, fighting, defending, and learning all the time. And I loved seeing how far she has come in the right direction. When her beloved friend calls her a coward in this book, I would have agreed in book 1. But here, Celaena is doing all she possibly can to defy a king who has murdered everyone she ever loved (in her past). She truly has become a hero in this one.
I also super loved the romance! It is another love triangle, but the good kind, promise. The kind that’s believable and revolves around so much more than instant love. The characters Maas writes are real people with real problems and personalities and this gave the whole fantastical world so much more depth. Plus, things get a little steamy for a while with my favorite boy, so I was very happy.
A lot of things are learned about Celaena’s past –things that were only briefly alluded to in book 1. And while the major twists/suprises were things I had a feeling might be coming, I loved how the author introduced them. Not everything is ever all explained at once. The readers get Celaena’s past in fragments, fragments that need to be packed up and stored away for future reference and puzzle solving later.
The book is layered with riddles, magic, mystery, and suspense. And all bets are off for Celaena when a loved one is kidnapped, someone close to her is brutally murdered, and the next person on the king’s list who she’s required to kill is an old friend from the past. There’s tiny tidbits of hope and references to possible future revolution. There’s a lot more magic and death and politics. But there’s more love and chocolate cake too.
I can sort of see where things are going in the series, and I am so beyond okay with the direction of it all! There’s a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, but I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t one.
All in all, there isn’t really a negative thing I can say here. The book has it all: assassinations, kidnappings, court politics, magic, secret passages, mythology, libraries, love triangles, spying, killing sprees, slavery, prison sentences, and so much action and suspense that I literally could not put the book down until I finished it (I was up till 4:30 am reading). The plot, mystery, and characters have improved since the last book. I cannot wait to see what Celaena does in the next one. I highly recommend this book to fans of Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce. It so gets a 10/10.

1 comment:

  1. Eeeee, SO excited to read this! I was so bummed that I wasn't able to score a copy myself because the egalleys on NetGalley are only available to the US and the UK. But I won't have to wait too long now!! If possible, you've made me even more excited for this in your review, Nori! It just sounds TOO good.