Book Reviews

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass series #2) by Sarah J Maas

Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 418
Rating: 2/5

Book Synopsis:

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

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.

My Thoughts: 

This book kind of dragged for me, to be honest.  I was over the excitement of picking up a new SJM novel that I had with book 1, and Crown of Midnight lacked the strategy and cleverness of the ACOTAR series.

Praise for Crown of Midnight:

  1. Set-up rest of series: Even though Crown of Midnight isn’t the first book in this series, it almost felt like a prologue to the next 5 books for me.  Throne of Glass was getting Celaena in the castle. Having read Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass Series #3), I can say that much of the time and words put into Crown of Midnight are just there to set up the rest of the series.  While reading it may not be the most fun thing you’ve ever done, it is necessary.  And the rest of the series gets GOOD!  So, push through Crown of Midnight as best and fast as you can – greatness awaits in Heir of Fire!

Opportunities for Improvement: 

  1. Shallow plot: Even though there was a lot of action in this book, it was shallow action.  I’m used to SJM novels having about a million layers to peel back, which is part of why I love her writing so much.  With Crown of Midnight, what you read was what you got, and I can’t say that I loved what I read all that much.  It all seemed very cliche: an evil king who wants more and more and more, a crown prince who’s good and kind and noble, a rebel movement.  Cliche.  There were a few silver linings, namely: Dorian’s storyline, getting to see Celaena’s true killing power unleashed, etc.
  2. Lack of character development: All of the characters felt shallow.  All of them.  I think Kahol is the worst for me.  He’s so flat and dull it’s like I can’t tell him from a piece of cardboard.   As can be predicted from the ending of Throne of Glass, Kahol and Celaena finally become a couple in this book, but why?  Why do they even like each other?  I don’t feel like I even really know either of them, because of the lack of character depth, so how can they know each other enough to like each other?  The only character who had an ounce of depth was Nehemia, and even she got on my nerves, because she has a “holier than thou” attitude about her.  She annoys me in a way that I think Celaena annoys a lot of people, because she’s too perfect.   She’s beloved by her people for defending them.  She doesn’t fear retribution for standing up for what she knows is right (and she does know what’s right, because she’s practically perfect in every way.)  She’s beautiful, elegant, intelligent, classy, and badass.  She’s just too much in my opinion.

I left out a lot of things in this review in an effort to not spoil it for you if you haven’t read it.  Basically, it was a placeholder for me.  A way to introduce the rest of the series.  I didn’t really enjoy it, but I did enjoy what comes after it immensely, so my recommendation?  Power through!  It’ll all be worth it when you start to see a glimpse of SJM greatness in Heir of Fire.

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