This review contains mild spoilers.
Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood—but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, puts those she loves at risk.
Torn between her two protectors—a captain and a prince—and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom …
Yes, yes, yes. The difference in writing style and maturity is evident from the very start of this book. I love Celaena’s return to her cunning self. Her pride seems to have calmed down and while she’s confident in her abilities I no longer find her as incessantly arrogant. I’d love to know her emotional reaction to killing people. Does she enjoy it? Has she always justified her assassinations by convincing herself that she was killing bad people? Did her time in Endovier change the way she thinks about it at all?
I like the way Celaena and Chaol’s relationship is developing. It definitely feels more interesting to me than Celaena’s relationship with Dorian in Throne of Glass. As the story progresses, I’m finding more satisfaction in Celaena and Dorian’s platonic friendship than I ever had in their romantic involvement.
With more reliance on the supernatural plot elements, the story really starts to flourish. Not only is there magic to spare, it’s getting darker and more entwined with the king’s plans to eradicate all magic. I’ve been keen to learn more about his motivations and I’m thrilled that it’s becoming the central plot of the series.
There’s one big plot point in this novel that I’m not going to spoil for anyone who hasn’t read the book. But I will say that it didn’t have a huge emotional impact for me. I’ll be honest: the internet spoiled it for me before I ever picked up these books so it wasn’t a surprise. But while reading I felt like everything was happening so fast that I could barely feel upset before the plot was moving on.
The ending had been semi-spoiled for me but the execution was still amazingly enjoyable. So much so that there was definite glee and face-palming from me for the last few pages.
Crown of Midnight is a much stronger book than Throne of Glass. The characters are developing rapidly, the writing has improved, and the plot is becoming truly worthy of the high fantasy genre. I can’t wait to see where Sarah J. Maas goes with the series because it looks like it could turn out to be truly magnificent.
I rate it ★★★★