Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

In a word: “Wow”Crown of Midnight

In a sentence: “Holy Crap! I can’t wait for the next one!”

The sequel to Throne of Glass is even better than the first book. Now the King’s Champion, Celaena Sardothien must carry out the assassination orders of a king she hates. Despite her new role, Celaena is able to make a life for herself as the love and friendship she found grows. But as life in the Glass Castle becomes more dangerous and unrest in the kingdom grows, Celaena must choose between protecting herself and those closest to her and risking everything for the good of the kingdom.

The Throne of Glass series is like Game of Thrones for YA readers. Maas delivers epic fantasy with complex, imperfect, and driven characters. Her novels are completely thrilling and unexpected. With each book, readers learn a little bit more Prince Dorian, Chaol, Nehemia and Celaena. Crown of Midnight uncovers more of Celaena’s secrets as tragedy strikes and forces Celaena to face her past and choose her future. The action in this installment in the Throne of Glass series was incredible; Maas is clearly building to a grand finale the will redefine YA Fantasy.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass HardcoverSo, I am a little late with this review, Throne of Glass was published last year.  However, I assume there are enough people who have not yet read this great novel–that this review is still relevant.  Especially with the sequel coming out in 11 days.

Throne of Glass  tells the story of  Celaena Sardothien.  The beautiful and deadly young woman known as the Assassin of Adarlan, is brought out of her imprisonment in the salt mines of Endovier to the glass palace.  To win her freedom, she will fight in the competition to become the champion of the king she hates.  Her struggle becomes more perilous as competitors begin to die gruesome deaths outside the arena, and as the hatred and anger she hides behind are tempered by the unexpected love and friendships that develop.

Celaena Sardothien is an excellent heroine.  Though at times the combination of her expertise as an assassin with her beauty and her other incredible skills may have you wondering who the hell this girl is, Maas mitigates her Mary Sue-ish character with believable personality flaws. She invites you to laugh at Celaena, but she also moves you to cheer for her and cry with her.  Celaena portrays a surprising complex and imperfect morality, formed in her mysterious past, that makes her a delightfully Byronic heroine.

Other characters, such as the Crown Prince and the Master of the Guard are simpler–but show the promise of more depth to come as their stories unfold.

The story itself is a classic fantasy.  The fraught environment that Maas created for her characters will lead to a great series.  However, midways through Throne of Glass, I began to wonder how Maas was going to be able to tie the story together.  She has a lot of seemingly disparate plot pieces occurring simultaneously–from the tyrant king, to political intrigues, a bloody competition,  unexplained deaths, ghosts, mysterious pasts of her characters, magic, and a love triangle all vie for your attention in the first three quarters of the book.   Maas is able to bring everything together in an exciting ending! She struck a perfect balance between giving readers the answers and conclusion they craved and leaving them wanting more.

I am eagerly awaiting the sequel Crown of Midnight, releasing on August 27th 2013.  I hope we will find out more about Celaena Sardothien before she became the Assassin of Adarlan.  I am dying to uncover the secrets around her past!

 

If you enjoyed this novel you will also enjoy:

  • The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
  • Trickster’s Choice  by Tamora Pierce