Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Children’s 

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: Throne of Glass

Pages: 420, Hardcover

Release Date: August 27th, 2013

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png 

Summary from Goodreads:

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?

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coffee to goCoffee To Go: CoM most definitely does not fall into the second book slump. The world gets much more mysterious and the stakes get higher. Maas’ writing is beautiful and captures her characters’ emotions perfectly. I feel like I love this book so much that all of its perfect aspects blend together. If you liked Throne of Glass, you will most definitely be hooked on Crown of Midnight.

 Characters—

Celaena: She goes through some serious trials in CoM and grows quite a bit. I got to see much more depth in her. I liked her in Throne of Glass, but she seemed very similar to other fantasy female protagonists. In CoM, she veers off onto her own path. You’ll get to see so many different sides of her, some good, some…not so good. If Celaena was real, I know that I would want to be her friend!

Chaol: Torn between his feelings for Celaena and his duty to the King, this guy has a lot on his hands. He makes some mistakes in CoM, but those mistakes only make me love him even more because they make him human. Basically, all I can say about Chaol is… *sigh*

Dorian: At the beginning of CoM, he was kind of just…there. I wondered why Maas continued to keep him as a main character, but she has her reasons, and let me tell you: they are good! He’s still kind of a pansy, but I admire his growth and budding bravery.

Nehemia: So pretty much she’s awesome. Her web of secrets gets bigger and bigger and, well, you shall have to find out the rest by reading! No spoilers!

The World—

Maas continues to unveil new surprises and plot twists that relate to the mysterious events of Throne of Glass. Maas describes the narrator’s actions so capably that the reader gets a clear mental image of the narrator’s surroundings. I loved getting to finally see more of Rifthold too! Maas is just really talented at world-building. In high fantasy, worlds have to be fantastical (of course), but also believable. If a world is completely ridiculous, people aren’t going to care about it or its people. Maas accomplishes both crazy fantasy elements and highly believable elements.

Final Thoughts—

If I could get you to read ONE sentence from my review, it’s this: Maas’ prose is absolutely beautiful. The depth of emotion she creates with words astounds me. Without spoiling anything, I will say that you will get your heart broken if you care about these characters. I experienced moments of swooning and moments of eye-rolling and moments of clutching the book to my chest. Get lost in this beautiful and deadly world! Oh, and don’t forget about the triple POVs. Maas uses third person and switches primarily between Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian. It definitely adds to the story.

Memorable Quotes—

“She did not have a beautiful voice. And many of the words sounded like half-sobs, the vowels stretched by the pangs of sorrow, the consonants hardened by anger. She beat her breast in time, so full of savage grace, so at odds with the black gown and veil she wore….the lament poured from her mouth, unearthly and foreign, a song of grief so old…”

“’Why are you crying?’ ‘Because,’ she whispered, her voice shaking, “you remind me of what the world ought to be. What the world can be.’”

***A HUGE thank you to Literary Lushes for allowing me to be a part of their ARC tour! Go check them out! :)***

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Source: Bought Kindle Edition

Genre: High Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Series: Throne of Glass

Pages: 404 (Hardcover)

Release Date: August 7th, 2012

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

 

Summary from Good Reads:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

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Coffee To Go: Loved it! Go read it and you won’t regret it, I promise. The world is both glamorous and dark. Celaena is complex and the emerging plot is even more so. This story will keep you guessing until the end and doesn’t spell out all the answers for you. It leaves you excited for its sequel (Crown of Midnight) and doesn’t even have a cliffhanger. I’m excited for more of the action, mystery, and romance that dominate Maas’ writing!

Characters—

Celaena: Don’t get on her bad side. She’s ruthless, has a dark past, and has seen more at eighteen years old than most see in a lifetime.  I love a heroine who can truly take care of herself. You will see character transformation in her, although it’s very subtle. She’s a survivor, through and through. I love that she can still appreciate the romance of a ball and the beauty of a gown even in the face of multiple enemies, both seen and unseen. However, her assassin skills (or lack of) confused me. First she’s perfect with every weapon and then she’s vomiting while training? Hmm. I do admire her perseverance; she knows what she’s capable of and won’t stop until she gets there.

Prince Dorian: He’s a playboy with a sensitive side. He’s a prince willing to speak out against his dictator dad for what’s right, he loves to read, and wants to marry for love in a world where royal marriages are nothing more than tools for political advancement. All of that to point out his naïve idealism. He seemed shallow to me, still more a boy than a man. I liked him alright, but I couldn’t love him.

Captain Westfall: *double sigh* Built, brooding, and handsome. He’s all duty and restraint which causes others to constantly misunderstand him. I know we love those misunderstood guys! He is my favorite character in Throne of Glass. He understands Celaena more than either of them realizes which makes their relationship really beautiful and strained. I got to see him grow oh, so much as a person over the course of the novel. The more I found out about him, the more I admired him. Here’s the thing: he’s not swoon-worthy. Dare I say that he’s more than that? I wish I could explain why, but that’s for you to find out when you read the book. He’s different from most YA heroes and I like that about him.

Nehemia: Can someone say coolest BFF ever? Say hello to the inventor of feminine power. Maas uses Nehemia as a catalyst for multiple events and characters within the story. She’s as strong, if not stronger, of a protagonist than Celaena.

The World—

Adarlan, the kingdom in which the novel is set, has a medieval feel to it. Most of the story takes place in the castle, most of which is glass. The story is full of secret passageways, court politics, and banned magic.

The Themes—

Freedom

Honor

Survival

Final Thoughts—

This author knows how to write a good quote! I constantly found myself highlighting something because she got her point across so well. This book is definitely worth the read. While some plot elements seemed too perfectly wrapped up, its plot is well paced and it’s great for someone looking for an entertaining fantasy read.

Memorable Quotes—

“Libraries were full of ideas—perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

“We each survive in our own way.”

“The giant glass building was full of shadows and light.”

“There was strength in his face that she found to be achingly beautiful.”

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