Published on August 27, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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"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.
Two months have passed since Throne of Glass and Celaena is the King’s Champion, going about to do his dirty week and eliminate enemies to the crown. But there is more at work than she can possibly imagine and it will change everything. It certainly changed everything for me because damn. This book.
If this book did anything for me, it solidified Celaena’s motives and background, which I guessed early on but finally received confirmation on. Crown of Midnight explores the rebellion growing within the empire as rumors abound of the lost princess of Terrasen rising to lead the people in revolt. Celaena plays her part at first as she aids others to freedom, reuniting with old friends and growing closer with newer ones.
And by that I mean Chaol. Her and Dorian were a thing in the last book but she ended things, knowing her position would cause problems and not willing to bring the prince into them. But her and Chaol are another matter. What starts as a nice friendship is flung into a romance that went a little fast for my tastes but I’m happy she found happiness.
Except as far as I’m concerned Chaol is an ass and can go to hell. Sure, he had his reasons but he’s definitely getting on my nerves now.
I’m glad that she retained her friendship with Dorian, at least to a degree. Those two have so much in common but not at the same time, but I have a feeling they’ll need each other soon enough to survive whatever the king plans to unleash on the empire. Dorian must be protected at all costs. As for their romance, whispers of it endured here but I don’t think Celaena will go that route again so I really hope Dorian finds happiness of his own.
Also, Nehemia is one hell of a mastermind. Enough said.
Outside of the characters which I adore, the pacing was a bit rough this time around. For a good chunk of the book, it moved along fairly slowly as Maas set-up for not only an action-packed ending but the mother of all cliffhangers. More of the world is revealed too as we get into magic — both good and bad — and creatures that shouldn’t exist. There’s definitely a larger plot at work here but only a little has been revealed.
Though I wouldn’t say I liked this one better than Throne of Glass, the ending has convinced me to pre-order the next book because I need it as soon as it’s released. Too many questions left open and after all that Chaol has done, and what Celaena did in kind, there’s going to be hell to pay for both of them and the people they’re loyal to. Which I need to know. Now.