Crown of Midnight (#2) by Sarah J. Maas
When I read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, I definitely enjoyed it, but felt that it was more about the hype than it was about the actual book. Now – I kept hearing over and over again that this second book was SO much better and that you needed to continue with the series. That the series just keeps getting better and better. I was wary of this, which is why I put off reading this second one for as long as I have.
Oh. My. Gosh. This was FANTASTIC!!! Just oh so fantastic!! Just WAY BETTER than the first – like BOUNDS better!! I was super surprised actually at how much I loved this one compared to the first. I definitely can see what people are saying about how this series just gets better with each book – I am definitely excited to see what comes next.
My non-spoiler review of this book: I wished the beginning wasn’t as slow as it was; I loved the character development that happens, especially with Celaena; way more action packed than the first; and a better book ambience. Since this is a second book in a series, I will say no more – so, if you do not want to be spoiled, do not read further! 🙂
Oh. My. Gosh! Let me start with the shift in mood with this book compared to the first one. This second book was way darker right from the beginning, which was great!! This book starts super dark in following Celaena as the King’s Champion and steadily grows as Celaena discovers the dark secrets behind the King and within the castle. Sarah J. Maas did a great job creating an intriguing air of dark mystery and imagery that definitely lingered with you.
Now for our badass female protagonist, Celaena!!! I picked up the first book because of how Celaena was portrayed as this badass assassin, but was definitely disappointed in her character development in the first book. Whooo!!! Did that change in this second book!! YAAASS!!! I was pumped! Celaena is way fierce in this second book, and definitely way scary. You do not want to meet her in a dark alley after having pissed her off! Her fierceness and her scariness increase throughout the book and it’s easy to see why she was talked about as being so feared in the first book. Celaena has a fierceness that she intentionally keeps bottled up, almost to protect herself and those around her, but when she lets that fierceness loose, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
In general, there is so much more character development for everyone in this second book, outside of Celaena. We see so much growth between Dorian and Chaol’s characters; in ways outside of their romantic affiliation with Celaena. We see Dorian grow to start to disagree with his father, the King, and start to even realize that there might be something amiss with how his father is conducting his reign and behavior. And with Chaol, we start to see some more substance to him than being the brute force in the King’s Guard as the Captain.
Along with the dark ambience with this book, I was definitely feeling all the feels!! To be more specific, when Princess Nehemia died…I was surprised at how many feelings I felt! This whole scene was so dark and gruesome, and it tore my heart to see how this impacted Celaena and how it completely changed her almost immediately. Nehemia was one of few friends to Celaena that genuinely believed in her good nature and you could see how much it started to impact Celaena for the good. It was heartbreaking to start to see how Celaena started to push everyone else around her away.
Of course, I have to talk about the ending. Say what?!?! o_0 The whole battle at the end was action-packed and had my heart racing as I read through it. This was definitely one of the parts of the book that kept me gripped and I had to keep reading!! I couldn’t put it down at this point. It was gruesome, it was scary, it was action-packed, and it was a whole lot of Celaena badass-ness!!! Now, the reveal of Celaena’s fae heritage wasn’t a huge surprise to me to be honest. Throughout this second book, the fae is referred to quite a bit and that’s where I started to pick up that Celaena may be of fae heritage. What did shock me, though?! When it was revealed that Celaena was the lost Queen of Terrasen!!!! This was something that was building throughout the whole book and I definitely didn’t see this reveal coming!!
Needless to say, I am pretty stoked and ready for the rest of this series. I’m hooked! You got me Sarah J. Maas, haha! I also ordered the third and fourth book UK covers, just because I think I may like them more than the US covers? I cannot wait to get them and start getting through them!! 😀