Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas


Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Goodreads 
Release date: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: #2 in the Throne of Glass series
Source: BEA
Rating: AAAAAAAAAHHHH SDFGHJHGFGHJ FEELSTRAVAGANZA also Chaol. Action, danger, Chaol, shocking developments, Chaol, my heart in shreds, Chaol. Plus Chaol.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

 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?



Warning: There be spoilers for book one and the prequel novellas in these waters. Ye be warned.

My review of Throne of Glass
My review of the Throne of Glass novellas

I STRONGLY, STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ THE NOVELLAS BEFORE CoM. They're not one hundred percent necessary, but I'd say they're about eighty percent necessary. Also, they're really good. I guarantee you, you'll be confused about certain things if you haven't read them. You will understand Celaena better, you'll understand the world building, and you'll meet SAM. Come on. You NEED to meet Sam.

The cover: I approve so much of this redeseign. Celaena is a bamf, the colors are all fiery and awesome, and I covet her hair. It's Celaena in a nutshell.

The story: Okay. So. So.

I don't know how to write about this book. Like, all I want to do is fling sobby and swoony gifs at you and then say THE END, but that won't do, will it? You guys and the publisher people and my own conscience demand a little coherency. So I'll try.



Crown of Midnight is an action-packed, rollercoaster ride of a book that will make mincemeat of your emotions, and it is, I feel, an improvement on the already glorious Throne of Glass. In my opinion, the strength of this series has always been the characters. I care about Celaena, Chaol (CHAOLLLL), Dorian, Nehemia, and Fleetfoot the dog like they're my best friends. I swoon and squeal so violently when good things happen to them that I accidentally knock water glasses off nightstand (true story). And when bad things happen, I cry like my eyeballs are god damn Niagara Falls, and my heart is in a barrel and Sarah J. Maas has pushed it over the edge and made me forget how to metaphor.

Also true story: I read this most of this book on the plane coming back from BEA. My advice: DO NOT DO THIS. Because you will be feeling such THINGS, but you will not be able to express them because the evil Armrest Nazi currently jabbing her elbow into your ribs will give you strange looks. As if it's abnormal to weep silently into your airline-provided blanket at 30,000 feet. Yeesh.




Celaena is, as ever, my favorite. I just love this girl, in all her brash and brilliant glory. She won the not-so-coveted position of King's Assassin at the end of Throne of Glass, and now finds herself as the person who must do all of the evil king's dirty work, alienating the two boys who love her and the best friend who sees the good inside her. The relationships in this book just tug on my heartstrings, you guys, even the love triangle, which is as un-love-triangle-ish as you could get. Celaena is NOT a flip-floppy, wishy-washy girl. She makes choices, and she lives and dies by them. There's grief and strife and love all around. Nehemia and Celaena are an awesome pair, full of fire and female empowerment. I even love Dorian and Celaena int his book. Dorian is dealing with some... things that I can't talk about, but suffice it to say I gasped so loudly at his revelation. It was the best thing to ever happen to this character. That was the part of the mythology that made me go OH, DAMN, in a good way.

Now. Chaol. CHAOL.

 

I think I've been Team Chaol since the very moment he appeared in Throne of Glass, which is on, like, page two. He is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever, and he gets all the awards for being stalwart, honorable, and just plain old sexy. He and Celaena are perfection together. Kudos to Maas for writing an almost-couple with such UST that I die a little just seeing their names on the page together.

 

 Obviously, because I'm so openly, blatantly, VIOLENTLY Team Chaol, any comments I make about their journey in CoM will reveal the way things go down, so I'll just tell you that a) something happens between them that actually made me scream with joy, hug my book to my chest, and dance around my bedroom, and b) something happens between them that made me want to FLING AIRPLANE PEANUTS AT EVERYBODY ON THE PLANE OH MY GOD HOW DO PEOPLE SURVIVE THIS BOOK HOW COULD SARAH DO--

Okay. Okay. I'm calm. Let's not talk about that anymore. Seriously, this book isn't perfect--I'm not a huge fan of the mythology, the final Celaena-centric revelation is like NO DUH, and there are an awful lot of scenes of people wandering secret passageways at night and/or reading books in the library after dark--but holy CRAP is it good. It's been awhile since a book affected me this viscerally and emotionally. The plot is pretty aces as well, and the climax... is insane. Oh my god. That thing in the... and then down below in the... AND THEN CHAOL WHEN HE... and Dorian... AND CELAENA OMG.



SORRY. I just... GAH. It's been over a month since I read this, and I'm still not over it. Also, the very last scene is a thing of heartbreaking beauty. Sarah J. Maas, you wonderful jerk.

 

Book Three. Give it to me right this second, Book Gods, and I promise not to go all Celaena Sardothien on your asses. ALSO ALSO! A little birdie at BEA told me there will be... at least SIX books in the series! MORE CHAOL FOR ME TO NOT SHARE WITH YOU! Also, lucky for you guys, Goodreads is giving away five copies of Crown of Midnight. GO FORTH AND ENTER! Go forth and experience the heart-wrenching, soul-crushing pain and horror and wonder of this tremendous sophomore novel. Your therapist will thank me.

If you don't look like this at the end... you read it wrong. Or you're a Vulcan.

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the tip to read all of the novellas before Crown of Midnight! I just got CoM and was tempted to dive right in, but I'll be reading the prequel novellas first now.

    I am also very much Team Chaol, but I do like Dorian as well. Love triangle done right!

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    1. Yay! You won't regret reading the novellas first. You get so much more depth.

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  2. I didn't read the novellas first and am sad that I didn't--I don't think it made me CoM reading experience any less but AHHHH, WHY HAVEN'T I READ THEM YET?? I do NEED Sam. Sigh. Okay...think I'll be reading them sooner than later. Thinking an entire series re-read is on my to do list. Great review! I loved this book so much.

    My Friends Are Fiction

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    1. YOU DO, YOU DO NEED SAM. And no, I don't think they'd lessen your enjoyment of CoM, but I guarantee you you'll understand certain things that passed you by! But yes, this book is glorious. Thanks :)

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  3. I think I did look like that at the end. At one point I was reading by cell phone light so as not to wake a BEA roomie!

    Also, to most of this post: yes.

    Also also, I feel like that first Ryan Stiles pic is of him going "Your little dog, your little dog" to the camera during Weird Newscasters on Whose Line and I have no idea why that is in my head lol

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    Replies
    1. OMG NO I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. That might be what Ryan's saying! (A lot of Whose Line episodes are very firmly planted in my brain as well)

      Yeah. I was a total traumatized shell at the end. The book destroyed me!

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  4. This, YES, exactly! I just, I have no words. All the Chaol, and then the yay stuff and then the NO WHAT WHY OW stuff and then the ending SOB. And Dorian, and Nehemia. Ahh I can't even. Your review is perfect.

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  5. THERE'S GOING TO BE 6 BOOKS IN THIS SERIES?!

    o_0

    *dances around the room*

    OMG I love these books! And, YES, CHAOL! I heart him so hard with Celeana. But I gotta be real, I loved Dorian more in this book. But not as a love interest, just as his own character. I found him sorta irritating in the first book, but I couldn't get enough of him in this one. I wanted him to be in ALL THE SCENES! lol

    But I did really love the romance between C and C. It felt more adult than YA in terms of their feelings and everything, but that's okay. A little maturity now and then goes a long way. ;-)

    Also also when omg when that thing happens and she doesn't talk to him and he's all YOU KNOW and I JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT! (Sorry for the craziness, but didn't want to spoil anything there. lol)

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  6. THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS BOOK EXACTLY. I was having all sorts of violent reactions with nearly every chapter, both good ones and bad ones! I love that this book makes me feel to the EXTREME, seriously. And unlike you, I did not call that ending at all. But like you, I am TEAM CHAOL and therefore, I will gush over him too! <3

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  7. Loved it too :) And you did a great job at describing my feelings exactly.
    Since you liked this one, may I suggest the book Grave Mercy? I loved that one for the same reasons I loved this one. Kick-ass girl, headstrong guy who can keep up with her, and a smart plot.

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  8. Yes to all of this! I thought for sure that this was the middle book of a trilogy, I'm intrigued by what a six book series will look like, now that the "big twist" has been revealed (or confirmed, for those of us who have been suspecting since ToG). Count me as someone else who vastly prefers the redesign, if for no other reason than the original Throne of Glass cover looks eerily like the author's jacket photo, which is either creepy or super narcissistic. I'll second the rec for Grave Mercy. I'm all for books where the guy acknowledges and respects the heroine's badass status.

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  9. Yes to all of this! I thought for sure that this was the middle book of a trilogy, I'm intrigued by what a six book series will look like, now that the "big twist" has been revealed (or confirmed, for those of us who have been suspecting since ToG). Count me as someone else who vastly prefers the redesign, if for no other reason than the original Throne of Glass cover looks eerily like the author's jacket photo, which is either creepy or super narcissistic. I'll second the rec for Grave Mercy. I'm all for books where the guy acknowledges and respects the heroine's badass status.

    ReplyDelete

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