Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Source/Format: BEA 2013 || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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.(from Goodreads)

When I finally snagged a review copy of Crown of Midnight, I started it with equal measures of anticipation and trepidation. It felt like I’d been waiting for this sequel for so long that I’d built it up in my head, weighing it down with expectations that I feared it would not live up to. Fortunately, Maas completely sliced through all my worries with this incredible follow-up to her debut. The book showcases Maas’ writing to its full potential, certainly exceeding the first in its demonstration of skill and story. I absolutely loved it (as I’m sure everyone who follows me on Twitter is clearly aware of)!

Whereas Throne of Glass was heavily character-driven, Crown of Midnight has equal measures of character development and solid story. The lethal combination that these two elements make is incomparable, and Maas effectively wields her words to make it happen.

Celaena Sardothien returns in this novel, quickly demonstrating her bad-ass fighting and admirable stealth when she is tasked with assassinations by the king. Her skills were displayed prominently, leaving me dazzled with how capable she was. The things I loved about her - the intelligence, curiosity, compassion, loyalty, a penchant for pretty things and books - all resurfaced in tandem with that. In a way, it was as if the girl I had wanted to see in the first novel finally made her appearance -- and it was amazing. Readers are also treated to stunning revelations about Celaena, most of which made me love her more.

Familiar friends and foes also return, including Nehemia, Chaol and Dorian. Nehemia’s friendship with Celaena has grown a lot. It still warms my heart to think of them sharing confidences, challenging and helping each other. I’ve always enjoyed reading about female friendships in novels and theirs is admirable, in spite of their marked differences.

Prince Dorian completely surprised me, and I bear much more affection for him now. He has begun to take part in the politics of running the kingdom, and the games of subterfuge that are involved. His growing political savvy, his selflessness, his courtly manners and developing maturity really drew me to him. He has quite the journey ahead of him, based on this book, and I am certainly eager to see the end results.

Captain Chaol Westfall, however, is still my favorite character. He’s still stubborn and commanding, easily appealing to me as a capable man in uniform. This story allows us to see his vulnerability, particularly when it comes to his past and to Celaena, and that just made me fall for him all the more. His presence in this story is markedly more noticeable, and it pleases me that readers will be better acquainted with him. I’m particularly glad, of course, being a solid member of Team Chaol -- and I certainly hope more of you will agree after this! He's irresistible, really, and that's all there is to it!

Crown of Midnight has earned favorite, stars-and-hearts-in-my-eyes status because of its incredible story. Throne of Glass is entirely outdone by the intensity and creativity of this novel. There are quite a few elements that make up this story - political deception and maneuvering, stronger magical lore, back-to-back shocking revelations about all sorts of things, an intensely sweet romance that made me giddy and made me cry - and they’re all set against the normalcy of the day-to-day routine in the castle. I was incredibly addicted to this book, and Maas certainly deserves praise for being so clever with her writing. She really dove deep into the meat of her story; the end result is this deeply twisty tale that has me begging for more, more, more.

The ending of Crown of Midnight deserves a mention because it’s so good. It’s a solid ending, one that left me in complete shock and dismay and all jumbled up emotionally. But it also left room for development, and I’m fairly certain other fans of the series will be like me and wanting even more (right now, if possible).

I am completely and utterly in love with Crown of Midnight! Maas has managed to write another story that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning, eagerly anticipating what happens to these characters I’ve fallen in love with. This follow-up has cemented the series as one of my all-time favorites, and I eagerly anticipate the rest of the books to come.

11 comments:

  1. I don't even know if there is anything more to say....I know how you feel about this book...you know how I feel...and how we both feel about Chaol. Seriously. This book is brilliant and now I'm thinking about it all over again and want to to re-read immediately! I cannot get enough of this world and Calaena is one of my absolute favorite female heroines. Love your review! :)

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  2. HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET?!?! I was so pumped to get it at BEA and then...it's just sat. I must read this ASAP or I'll need to revoke my book blogger card ;)

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  3. So glad you loved Crown of Midnight, it sounds amazing. I'm so excited to get to this one, Celaena finally gets the assassin attention she deserves. :)

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  4. Stars and hearts in your eyes, huh? Will those eyes look at me askance if I tell you I still haven't managed to read the first book yet?! *hangs head*

    This sounds amazing, Alexa. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, I really need to dust off my copy of the first book to read, too.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  5. I feel like a silly school girl after reading this review! I totally adored this book... adored doesn't even begin to cover it! And seriously, you are the cutest fangirl over this book. :)

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  6. <33333 CROWN OF MIDNIGHT <333333 CHOAL <33333333 CELAENA <333333333 SJ MAAS <3333333333

    Gosh my love for this book knows no bounds. And this review was seriously amazing Alexa! Really captures all that is this book!!!!!!

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  7. All the hearts and stars and exclamation points for this book! And this Chaol! But especially this book!

    I totally connected more with Dorian in this book, too. I'm so glad you're as in love with this book as you hoped to be (and as I am)! *waves Team Chaol banner proudly*

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  8. THIS BOOK WAS SO AMAZING. I liked Throne of Glass a lot, but this one really was so much better in so many ways! The ending just...blew the whole story open, and I am so excited about what it means and where it's going to take us.
    Also, CHAOL IS DREAMY. I love him.

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  9. Are you kidding me? Your review is SO COHERENT. Mine is no match, haha. And obviously, I agree with every thing you said. So let me keyboard slam about it more:

    "In a way, it was as if the girl I had wanted to see in the first novel finally made her appearance" YES! I loved Celaena in ToG, but I missed her badass assassin side, and this book definitely made up for that. She is just my favorite female character EVER. Well, next to Hermione, Katniss and Rose Hathaway from VA. I love her. So much.

    And agreed to what you said about Dorian. I liked him just fine in ToG, but I didn't love him, and this book definitely made me do that. His growth is amazing, and I love his changes - especially when it comes to politics! But of course, my heart still lies with Chaol because he's Chaol and he's wonderful and the best and amazing and oh my god, I want to cry. WHY IS HE SO GREAT, ALEXA, WHY.

    *coughs* I'm okay.

    "Throne of Glass is entirely outdone by the intensity and creativity of this novel." Another YES. I loved ToG, but looking back, it can't even be compared to CoM. Like I said in my review, it's, in every way, bigger and better than ToG. I would reread if I thought my heart could handle it. I even cried when my hardcover came in. THAT'S how emotionally stable I am, haha.

    Look, I just wrote you a book! Anyway, loved this review, lady! Very well-written and surprisingly coherent, haha. Wow, this series.

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    Replies
    1. I don't even know why my Blogger account isn't liked to this comment, but oh well. It's me! Haha.

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