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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas {3 Stars}

Crown of Midnight is the second in the much loved Throne of Glass series that I seem to be the black sheep about still ;-). There aren’t any big spoilers to worry about below, so no worries there. I had listened to the previous book and novellas on audio and the narrator really didn’t click for me, so I decided to read Crown of Midnight physically to see if that helped my reading experience with Celaena ;-).

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas {3 Stars}

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #2)
Published by Bloomsbury on Aug. 27th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 418 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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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.

3 Stars

Strengths:

  • I love how much more magic and fantasy elements played a role in Crown of Midnight. I had been disappointed by the limited amount of actual fantastical things previously, so exploring the castle’s magical depths was awesome!
  • Celaena is starting to grow on me, perhaps because the voice in my head is less annoying than the narrator for the audiobooks ;-). She also seems to be maturing, which is always nice to see in a character across a series.
  • I had a fair number of questions from the first book and novellas and Crown of Midnight finally starts answering them. I need answers!
  • Each book of this series manages to pull of an ending that keeps me hooked and wanting to see what happens in the next book! Crown of Midnight does an excellent job of revealing enough of the iceberg that I can see things are going to get epic eventually and I’m pumped.

Weaknesses:

  • Given how much people don’t like love triangles these days, I’m amused that the love triangle in Crown of Midnight didn’t bother more readers ;-). Which boy will she choose? I honestly don’t care, sorry :(.
  • I was reading an ebook borrowed from the library for Crown of Midnight and was very disappointed to see some pretty bad typos in a finished book! Just gives a bad impression ya know?
  • So there are supposed to be these witches that are really evil and do horrible things. Celaena meets one in Crown of Midnight and guess what her name is: Baba Yellowlegs! This is one of the weirdest and most absurd character names I have possibly ever encountered. The play on Baba Yaga is painfully obvious despite the apparent attempt to be clever and the Yellowlegs thing is just the cherry on the ridiculous sundae. Oh and yes, she literally has yellow legs…. It would have been one thing if this witch didn’t show up again, but she is a pretty important secondary character for moving the plot along and I just could not focus on the story while shaking my head at that freaking name. /rant
  • The first half of Crown of Midnight went pretty slowly for me. Celaena was going around doing spy things and being sneaky, but nothing really happened that was exciting until the halfway point. I hear Heir of Fire is better though, so I’m hopeful!

Summary:

Crown of Midnight did not manage to turn me into a squealing fangirl obviously, but I’m seeing potential in the world being very slowly built. I will be continuing on to Heir of Fire because it sounds like that one really blew people away and I’m forever hopeful it seems, haha. I do have to say that I think my tendency towards adult fantasy is interfering with my enjoyment of the Throne of Glass books because they borrow so heavily from common tropes in adult fantasy that nothing seems all that special to me. Any other readers of adult fantasy get that feeling?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I’m not a big fan of love triangles and I usually don’t really care who the main character chooses either. Still, I want to read this series and am very excited about the idea that the main character is an assassin, so I hope this series doesn’t disappoint me. I’m focusing on finishing a few other series first though.
    Hellen recently posted…Review/Reseña – The Martian (El marciano) – Andy WeirMy Profile

    • Haha, you’ll probably end up skimming through a bit of romance then though apparently the series gets stronger as it goes and I’m hopeful about book three!

  2. This is one series where I was not the black sheep. I loved Crown of Midnight because it was fun and Chaol got some deserved romance time. lol
    I just finished book #3 Heir of Fire and I think you are going to like it too. All characters develop and grow up, more answers, more history, no love triangles, dragons, witches are explained more, …
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  3. If it helps, I remain the black sheep who still hasn’t read anything in this series. ;) I have to ask, are you as bothered by the pose on this cover as I am? It’s reminding me of a bad Michael Jackson or Elvis dance move. ^^;
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    • I’m clearly not since I didn’t notice it ;-) But I do see that now! Also the tight pants, hehe! You probably should stay away, I think it would really annoy you to be honest D:

  4. I’m a huge fan of this series but I can see why you don’t like it based on your points. The witches name is pretty funny but they play a much bigger part in the next book. Sorry you didn’t like it much but at least you gave it a try! :)

    • Haha, but 3.5 means I almost really liked it ;-). I hear that HoF is where it’s at, so I’ll definitely still be reading that sometime!

  5. Heh, you’re not alone. I didn’t like the first two parts of this series much, either, but like you said – they’re just interesting enough to make you keep going! But Heir of Fire is seriously good (it threw me a little because I was expecting another mediocre read) and Ironteeth witches, for example, are great. I’d keep going if I was you, give Maas another chance.
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    • Haha, sounds good! Everyone keeps reassuring me that I’m not crazy and should stick with it, so how can I resist??

  6. I’m excited to see some improvement in your feelings toward Celaena. Maybe by the end of the series you’ll like her… *gasp* LOL. I like that she’s so flawed, since it allows us to see growth.

    I agree with you, I was really happy to see more magic in this book than before – and that continues :) I preferred this one to Heir of Fire, but I actually think you will like Heir of Fire best. Can’t wait to see what you think.
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    • Haha, maybe I’ll ask her out to coffee ;-) I normally really like flawed characters but I honestly think she reminds me of the mean girls in high school, ha!

  7. Ashley Christy says:

    I remember talking about the audio for Throne of Glass with you when you review that. I’m glad reading made a difference, but I will say that Maas definitely improves with each book. I was pretty ambivalent about book one, I liked this one, but Heir of Fire is where it really started to click for me. Partly because the love triangle is basically null (also, I never really considered Dorian a serious contender? Because, well, Chaol), the faerie plots are explored in depth rather than tacked on, and the witches are explored MUCH more. It is obvious they are going to play a large part in the remaining books (and I actually like what she did with them, especially compared to Baba). Just know that it does start slow. I’m trying to be vague and non-spoilery. :)

    As a fan of adult fantasy, I do agree that this series is not groundbreaking. It is full of tropes and the big *omg twist* was pretty easy to predict. It isn’t my favorite YA series, either (hey there, Finnikin). But, I do find that I enjoy it the more it progresses and that I’m excited for book four’s release this fall. I’m also looking forward to hearing what you think of Heir of Fire. (God, could I use any more parentheticals?)

    • That is EXTREMELY good to hear! I really needed reassurance from someone with the same reading background of adult fantasy as me to be fully reassured, haha. I’m hoping that HoF does the trick for me, now to find the time ;-)

  8. I’m picking this one up next week so I am super glad to come across your review! Baba Yellowlegs?? Really?! Not looking forward to that!
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  9. I’ve had my eye on this series for awhile and I’m looking forward to your next review. It is sometimes hard for me to read YA because I feel, for the lack of a better phrase, talked down to.

    “Well ya know Bob, since you are obviously deaf, dumb and blind, let me explain what is going on right under your nose.”

    Drives me nuts. An adult feel, for me, would be a plus.
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    • Haha, I definitely know what you mean. I don’t feel like this series suffers from that as much, just trope overload!

  10. I am glad you mostly enjoyed this and am intrigued enough to continue! Heir of Fire is good, there’s lots of world building and character development and magic and setting up of an epic plot to come in the last three books. Some people have complained it was slow but what was developing was interesting so I didn’t care!

    I haven’t read enough Adult fantasy to really comment on how much it’s drawing from then, but then again they’re probably tropes I love to read about so I don’t even care haha
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    • Awesome, I think that is definitely what I need Heir of Fire to be haha! And perhaps since I’m used to adult fantasy pacing, it won’t even seem slow ;-)

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