Author: Sarah J. Maas Publisher: Bloomsbury Published: 15th August 2013 Pages: 432 Format: Paperback Source:: ARC from Netgalley Add It:Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US
Summary: An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
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?
This is one of those reviews that is incredibly difficult for me to write. Why? Because I so badly wanted to love Crown of Midnight. I wanted it to be one of my top ten books of 2013, just as Throne of Glass was one of my top ten of 2012, but it just didn’t happen that way for me. And, more than anything, my disappointment in my own expectations has made it really hard to see the true merits of the story. Now, thinking back on the story, I can certainly see how much I did actually enjoy it and while I didn’t fall in love with it like I had hoped, I still really liked it and I know that, that feeling is one that will never go away. Thus, it is now that I can say with some certainty that Crown of Midnight is a great read and one that is worth the read.
All Falls Apart
The problem I had with this book that stopped me from truly enjoying it was the slow beginning. For me, the first part of the story just seemed to drag on without much of anything actually happening. I could see afterwards in the second part why it was necessary, but it just took too long for me to really get into the story. I kept putting the book down and was able to walk away from it for long periods of time without thinking about it again which is never a good sign. But, despite that, the writing style was amazing and I know that others have loved the first part as much as the second part so I’m aware it could just have been me or the mood that I was in. The second part, on the other hand, was exactly what I had been hoping for when I started reading Crown of Midnight. It was fast-paced, full of action, mystery, and complicated, twisting plots that just had me turning the page again and again. This part of the book pulled the story together for me and made me fall in love with it all over again.
In the first book, Celaena is shown as a well rounded character who is fierce and powerful and this is only shown further in this book. It shows, also, how human she is and how flawed she is from all that has happened to her in her life. Celaena is a character who has a soul, who doesn’t just take everything in her stride that is thrust her way but gets hurt and damaged and struggles to deal with her emotions, but that when time needs, she is strong and capable, powerful and intensely fierce. A warrier when she needs to be, a human being when she doesn’t, and I absolutely adore that about her character and I love that Sarah J. Maas doesn’t just push away her emotions.
In this book you see a lot more to Chaol and Damian as well and I really enjoyed that about it. Just like Celaena, both of these characters are shown as having flaws and weaknesses while also being strong and powerful. Chaol will do everything he can to protect Celaena but he also has a job to do, he’s caring and a true gentlemen when he wants to be but also a fierce protector when he needs to be and I think that makes his character so brilliant. Dorian on the otherhand is such a sweethart. He has a lot on his shoulders, a lot going through his mind and he struggles to deal with some of it but he always takes it in his stride, never allowing his emotions to ruin his decisions. He is strong in a different way to Celaena and Chaol and I just absolutely adore that about him. Dorian, is by far, my favourite character in the book and I really look forward to seeing more of him in the next book.
There is no denying that Sarah J. Maas is an incredibly talented writer. Her prose is so well-written that you can just imagine it happening in front of you. Her descriptions are perfect and she just manages to get characters and dialogue so amazing. It is hard not to feel like she is a truly great writer and knows how to put words onto a page that make you keep wanting to read on. While I may have struggled with the first part of this book, it was the way it was written and the amazing characters hidden within that kept me going. If it had been any other writer, there is a high chance that I would have put the book down and completely walked away from it, but because Sarah J. Maas still managed to keep me turning the pages when not much was really going on, it shows how brilliant the writing style was. It is because of this that I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series, and while I wish there will be more action and fast-paced scenes, I know that even if there are slow moments again, I won’t give up on reading the words written.
Or Run Away
So, all in all, this book was one that I did really enjoy. It may have been a slow start but eventually it picked up and kept me turning the page quickly. It held a captivating story within it and really forced me to keep reading until I got to the very last word on the page. While it didn’t live up to my complete expectations, it was still a book that I enjoyed reading, one that I would happily re-read and one that got me completely and totally excited for the next book in the series. The thing to remember, the thing that I need to keep reminding myself, is that our own expectations and the opinions of others, should never shape our own thoughts and feelings about the books we read. It should always just be about the experience of reading and I know for a fact that I was incredibly glad that I picked up this book as it led to me experience a whole bout of emotions, and essentially, took me to an entirely new and magnificent world. If you’ve read Throne of Glass, then you should definitely give this book a read. And if you haven’t, I can only recommend that you definitely read Throne of Glass straight away!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **