Friday, March 10, 2017

YA in Review: Crown of Midnight (Sarah J. Maas)

First of all, this post will essentially be Spoiler Free, however as this book is part of a series, it will contain spoilers from the previous books that are necessary to explain parts of the plot of this installment. Any comments by other users will not necessarily be spoiler free, so read at your own risk. Ready? Here we go!

Crown of Midnight is the second novel in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Now, if you adored reading the first novel, I'm sure you've decided to read Crown of Midnight, but if you want to know if it's worth a read, here you go:

What it's about:
Celaena Sardothien, formerly prisoner in the Endovier salt mines, formerly Adarlan's Assassin, is now the King's Champion. After winning the deadly competition in Throne of Glass, Celaena is now in the service of the corrupt King of Adarlan. That doesn't mean she signed over her loyalty when she wrote her name on the parchment though. Instead of following the King's orders blindly, Celaena schemes to do things her own way while still trying to keep her head, and finds more than she bargained for in the process.

Why it's worth a read:
  • Celaena the assassin - there you are! We finally get to see proper glimpses of why this girl was a famous killer. Yes, she still loves her pretty things and all of that, but it finally feels more believable
  • As with the previous book, there is mystery, fighting, suspense, intrigue, romance, and magical elements
  • The romance has more depth, the fighting is more brutal, and the mystery and magical elements add a whole new level to these books
  • Once again, a pretty quick read. This one also took me three days to finish (I was reading like crazy, but a week is probably a pretty reasonable estimate)
Where it disappoints:
  • Although the magical elements from the first book are elaborated upon in this installment, some of it feels like Maas needed a way to keep the series going and chose to put this in. It doesn't always fit, and can feel out of place
  • If you like to remain consistent with shipping characters together until the end of a series...give this a pass. You will change you mind more times than you can count throughout these books
  • There are definitely still a lot of moments where Celaena isn't overly believable as an assassin, but we have leaps and bounds of improvement here, and start to understand more about why she is this way
  • I definitely am contradicting myself a bit...but it's one of those series where the ideas are cool, but there are a lot of places where the writing falls flat and isn't very believable. 
Final Thoughts:

Crown of Midnight is a large improvement on Throne of Glass. There is a significantly greater degree of character complexity, a greater depth in plot lines, and some nice and gory assassinations (yay!). In saying that, I'm betting you can guess that Crown of Midnight gets more violent than its predecessor. Not to say that it is anywhere near one of the more graphic books I've read, but it's a great foray into gory assassin type books if you are unsure how you feel about violence. There are more mystery and intrigue elements here which bring in more magic and such which is cool. I would definitely say that if you found Throne of Glass at least enjoyable in its idea, then you will probably enjoy Crown of Midnight a lot more. So, if you are in it for the story and can get past a lot of character flaws, then I would give this a read. But if you are looking for a good quality novel with well fleshed out characters, give this whole series a pass. It improves in later books, but not enough to justify a read if the lack of those things bothers you greatly.

What did you all think  of this book/this series? Please leave a comment if you'd like further reviews of this series, or a more in-depth, highly spoilery analysis.

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