Date of Publication: August 27 2013
Series: Throne of Glass #2
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul 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.
I gave Celaena Sardothien another chance after not enjoying Throne of Glass.
Crown of Midnight is an entertaining novel. It has an interesting plot and mythology that, I admit, I was suspicious of, up to a certain point where it completely won me over. There was a plot twist that I totally didn't expect, and when it came, it kind of "saved" my opinion of this series because all my questions and concerns were answered.
My feelings for Celaena also evolved from irritation to, well, not irritation. I think Crown of Midnight helped me understand her character and her reactions. I'm still not completely won over because I feel like Celaena is a bit of a hypocrite. She does awful things yet she is still righteous, judging people for the stuff they do yet this same moral code doesn't seem to apply when it comes to her. Also, the level of violence she is responsible for personally is a bit staggering, and I don't think she's very accountable for her actions.
One of my surprise favourite characters is Dorian. I adore Dorian. Dorian has his own storyline in Crown of Midnight and I feel like he was quite human. What I like about Dorian is the constant contrast between what he feels and how he acts. As a prince, he has grown up to be diplomatic under a ruthless father. Fate has some shit in store for Dorian, and his parts were probably my favorite of the story. On the other hand, I'm still not completely sold on Chaol. I mean, I think he's a nice guy and all, but he's really not a character I find very compelling. He is so solidly loyal, and reminds me a bit like a puppy. He made some decisions he'll have to live with at the end of Crown of Midnight, so I'm hopeful that his character will grow.
There is a bit of a love triangle in Crown of Midnight, but it is resolved rather quickly. And, this is a positive: I didn't find Crown of Midnight to be a romance masking itself as a fantasy. There was some romance, but it had its role furthering the plot. It wasn't the entire plot, and I liked the way it was handled, if not the specifics of the characters' actions.
Learning about Adarlan was also a highlight. The king's sinister hold on the kingdom, and the means behind his conquest were introduced. In fact, I think Crown of Midnight introduced the series better than Throne of Glass. Crown of Midnight advanced the plot more, while Throne of Glass was all about the characters. And I recall thinking most of the characters didn't interest me in ToG, so there has been some progress!
Ultimately, Crown of Midnight made me so much more interested in Celaena's series. It was an engrossing read that was often exciting. I think the story had improved, and I hope to see more improvements as the story progresses! And yes, I will finish the series because I am now quite hooked on the plot.