My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, following the adventures of the assassin Celaena Sardothien and her friends, the prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and Princess of the Ellywe Nehemia.
Whereas I did enjoy the first book, Throne of Glass (review here), I found it difficult to read (I read it whilst travelling), and I found the plot and characters a little clichéd. This book, however, was a breeze to read. I love Maas’ prose, and her use of foreshadowing is divine. There’s more action, more romance, more assassin…ations? More everything… and it works really, really, well.
What I particularly enjoyed is the fact that these characters really develop during the novel, becoming multi-dimensional and interesting. They make mistakes, they say the wrong thing… and it makes the whole book so much more enjoyable. There’s twists and turns, unexpected surprises, right up till the last page.
Chaol, for me, became much more fleshed out in this book, and became a character in his own right. Dorian got his own scenes and secrets and, as a consequence, became a character rather than a plot device. Celaena turned darker, and actually killed some people, for once. Novel, for an assassin. Are these characters clichéd any longer? Not at all. They’re interesting, fleshed-out and explosive when put together.
Is the plot clichéd? No. It’s dramatic, full of cliffhangers and mystery and ultimately satisfying – sub-plots are set up and explored, and I feel that the focus isn’t exclusively on Celaena – we spend time focusing on Chaol, Dorian and Nehemia, both separately and when they interact. Theres a really nice balance between the character’s perspectives.
The world-building here is also great, delving further into the history of the world and setting up an intricate world and conflict that will (presumably) play out in later books.
If you were on the fence after Throne of Glass, this book is really, genuinely, worth the read. It’s good. Like five stars good. Reading it, I kept on comparing it to the Harry Potter books. Yeah, THAT GOOD.
So, I have a problem. How are any other books of 2016 going to compare to this first read? And how am I gonna cope until I can get my hands on Heir of Fire?!