Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher- Bloomsbury USA Childrens 
Release- Aug 27th 2013
Pre-Order - Amazon / B & N/ Chapters

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.But her heart never wavers.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?
My Thoughts: 
Crown of Midnight is the stunning and highly anticipated sequel to the fantastical debut novel, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
Celaena Sardothien, has been busy with orders to destroy the Kings enemies or anyone who he believes is a threat to his throne and she has made good on her end to dispose of any of these conspirators. She may have won the contest that named her the Kings Champion, but she is a far cry from being his butchering puppet. She will play his games for the time being, for now Celaena is in the perfect position of power and she must use it if she is to find the source of the King's powers and what his true intentions for Erilee are. But Celaena is also bound by other fates in this world and secrets kept even from the ones she cares about the most. When the king orders Celaena to assassin a man that she knew from long ago, things are set in tumbling motion that will force her to make a choice about what and who she really is and where her loyalties and heart truly belongs.

Wow! What a sequel!! What a story!! What a twist!!!
The minute I read Thrown of Glass last year, I knew that I was instantly hooked on this epic high fantasy journey and couldn't wait to see what happens next. I'm thrilled to say that Crown of Midnight has pasted my expectations making this outstanding masterpiece even better then the first book and making it an instant favorite.

Amazing! Really, that's all I can think of to say about Sarah Maas's fierce story telling. I absolutely adore and commend her remarkable talents for writing such a detailed imaginative world that has all the electrifying elements I love in this genre. Suspense, mystery and intrigue were laced in Throne of Glass but Maas has taken us one step further into this world and giving us even more mysterious to uncover and secrets to seek while hanging on the edge of madness and magic, unstoppable action and an unattainable but undeniable love story that will simply take your breath away.

There is so much going on plot wise I don't know where to begin or what to give away. The first half of the story is slowed down enough to get us inside Celaena's head now that she's the royal assassin. She's made to be shown as terrifying and merciless and awed and praised by her skills, but behind closed doors she's still the same charming-arrogant girl who likes to read and eat chocolate cake and gives the Captain of the Guard a hard time. There is very little politics in this one and has moved on to all-business as we see first hand just how frightful and remarkably gifted Celaena's deadly skills truly are. This is also where the love story is developed and all I'm going to say is that it made me a smile from ear to ear and made my heart so happy it hurt, but good times are sadly shortened as the plot quickly shifts and turns off to an unexpected new direction that surprised me. We already knew there was magic in these books but adding a paranormal element can be tricky when it comes to high fantasy, and yet, Maas pulls it off beautifully, fueling the fire to a roaring twist that will have readers on the verge of their seats.

There is so much I want to say about all these amazingly characters. I love them all so much.
Celaena truly is one wicked force that I wouldn't want to be up against. This is a girl who has survived so many obstacles in her young life and can be a vicious, cold, fierce, fearless, unflinching and unforgiving little thing when she or someone she cares about is threatened. This is one girl you do not want to piss off or betray. But we do see a side to Celaena that is warm and intimate and playful and as rare as those times are, it's those moments I like to savor just a little bit longer before we have to go back to the gritty and gruesome that is very much apart of her world. I had a lot of favorite scenes but the two that come to mind the most is the payback and breakdown moments. I've never read such raw emotion. It was both beautiful and horrific in the same breath.
Chaol Westfall is my favorite thing about these books. This man completely owns me.There is just something incredibly sexy about a man that wants to protect a women who is already highly capable of taking care of herself and yet it still kills him every time Celaena is in harms way. I love the way he looks at her with respect, fear and awe and accepts her for who she is. He really is like an entirely different character from the last book. Be gone is the harsh and bitter Captain of the Guard and is replaced by a fierce friend and companion.
I'm very fond of Dorian, Prince of Adarlan. He's a good man and I believe him to be a great King one day. I also think he's one of the better men in Celaena's life and I was upset with the cold shoulder she gave him in the beginning. I don't think it was deserved and glad it turned around in the end. His character took a rather surprising turn that I wasn't expecting. Not that this is a bad thing, but it's definitely different and I'm looking forward to seeing where Maas takes it next. And then we have Princess Nehemia who ending up becoming larger then life in this installment. Her character too, was a staggering surprise. 
And last but not least, I have to give a shout out to Mort. He's a very...unusual and animated addition to this story but I loved the comical relief and insight (or lack there of) he provided in this sequel. 

Bottom line, I can go on and on praising this epic fantasy, but I think you get my point. I couldn't have loved a sequel and series more. Sarah Maas was born to write high fantasy. I laughed, I cried, I cringed. My heart was pounding, my mind was spinning and my jaw hit the dame floor. I was completely consumed  from the very first page till it's gasping conclusion. This is what reading is all about my friends, to escape into greatness. Fans of high fantasy will want to invest in this brilliant and magical world. It will blow your mind and melt your heart and still have you begging for more, more, more!!! 
Next please!

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