Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas (2013)
YA/NA Fiction | Fantasy
“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.”
Book One: THRONE OF GLASS
pooled ink Review
I really enjoyed reading Throne of Glass but Crown of Midnight is what sealed my fate. I have been missing sinking my teeth into a good high fantasy and this was everything!! I know I’m late to the party but at last I’ve arrived. I’m officially part of the ToG fan club haha!
I read the first book in the series a few years ago but before I could think about book two I found a signed copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Maas on the shelf and well that was that. I eagerly awaited each ACOTAR release and swiftly fell in love with the series (and Rhys and Azriel lol). Since that trilogy finished I’ve been drifting about finding a gem here or there but oddly staying away from a lot of fantasy releases despite that being my favorite genre. I’ve thought about returning to the ToG series but, well, for whatever reason I never did. But now that the series is finished I marched myself to the library and checked out those six remaining books because I felt determined to finish this series for better or worse. Well, you’ve read my first sentence in this review so you know it was for better. I AM HOOKED.
Although Celaena remains the main character we get to spend much more time hopping between different POVs (namely Chaol and Dorian). And while the central conflict in book one was the competition to become the King’s Champion and (eventually) freedom, there was a lot going on beneath that bold pressing matter and in this book those nefarious magical threads begin growing bolder. Despite being a fantasy, magic played a seemingly small part in Throne of Glass however it is clear that its role will only grow with each book and I am SO excited about it.
There isn’t as obvious a central conflict in this book other than Celaena acting as the King’s personal assassin and Queen Elena continuing to push Celaena into a fate bound by magic. We see her friendship with Nehemia grow, and her relationship with Chaol ignite, and her ties to Dorian shift in unexpected ways. As far as Celaena is concerned she just wants to get her contract with the King over with and disappear beyond the horizon with her hard earned freedom, but there are forces much stronger and more powerful at play who refuse to let her run any longer because Celaena hides a secret and she’s been running for so so long.
Nehemia! We first meet her in Throne of Glass but her role grows (well, we’re privy to more information about her) in this book. Yay rebels and magic and unearthing ancient riddles but I really loved how Nehemia was not only written to be a fierce princess in her own right but as an example of true friendship for Celaena. I loved them together whether it was a girly sleepover or studying dusty tomes on Wyrdmarks or plotting ways to defeat the king’s mysterious hold on magic. She is a bold and brilliant character that I think everyone will remember even if her path can’t remain by Celaena’s side forever. Things happen in this book that were heartbreaking, life really explodes in Celaena’s face, and although it was gut-wrenching it also served a purpose. Gahhhh I hated it but at least it didn’t feel gratuitous? None of the characters in this series are safe from deeper pains than any should ever have to bear.
And can I just talk about Chaol for a second? It’s impossible to avoid all of the spoilers on the internet so I knew things would get, um, complicated between them, but oh my gosh I love him. I really liked them together and although I didn’t let my heart become too attached since I knew roughly of their fate and it all makes sense, I still couldn’t help but enjoy the moment while it lasted and oh how bittersweet a moment it was. I’ve seen a great split between readers either loving or hating Chaol…does that stem from the events in this book or…? Nah, don’t tell me. I should avoid any more spoilers if possible haha.
But boy oh boy does the plot thicken with this book! Crown of Midnight takes a “simply” more straightforward plot of a competition and explodes into the true launch of a fantasy series. Throne of Glass was good but it was but a narrow beginning, and while this book felt a lot like just the start of something, its promises are so much more overwhelming and epic. Characters rise and characters die, you will rage and cry and laugh and hope and by the final page you will grip the book fiercely with eyes wide at what is to come. Celaena is an epic badass, the story is taken to a whole new level, and I am screaming for it!! I’m so relieved that I checked out all of the books at once so I don’t have to wait to dive into book three!
Crown of Midnight will tear the rug from beneath your feet and send you tumbling into a chasm of epic grandeur that you will not be prepared for but will crave nonetheless. An epic continuation that will sink its hooks deep dragging you until the very end and you will go willingly, unable to so much as glance away from the page. This is but book two yet I am officially committed to this series and the destiny that awaits them all. Bring it on, I’m waiting.
Purchase Here: Crown of Midnight
Check out the rest of the series: The Assassin’s Blade (book 0.5), Throne of Glass (book 1), Heir of Fire (book 3), Queen of Shadows (book 4), Empire of Storms (book 5), Tower of Dawn (book 6), Kingdom of Ash (book 7)