Here’s where the series takes off, guys. Like I said in my Throne of Glass review, even if you thought TOG was “meh,” I still HIGHLY RECOMMEND you pick up books 2 and 3 and 4…
If you haven’t read TOG, you can read my review here.
Now for my thoughts on TOG Book 2, Crown of Midnight…
When I first finished Throne of Glass, I wasn’t completely sold on continuing with the series. It could have either gone a brilliant way or a not-so-brilliant way.
Lucky for me and you, Sarah J. Maas did not disappoint. Crown of Midnight starts in a few weeks after where we left off in book 1, jumping right into Celaena’s new life as the King’s Champion.
Maas expands the world of Adarlan and the conspiracies that rule the realm. We get to see more of Celaena’s past and how her past sins weigh down her present actions. That being said we also see the depths of Celaena’s darkness, which were terrifying and fantastic.
One thing I loved about TOG was the brilliance with which Maas writes the interpersonal relationships between the characters and that continued into COM with a pacing that kept you guessing what would come next.
Throughout this book, you get a wide gambit of feels from elated joy and hope to all-consuming rage and inconsolable grief.
And that’s all I’m going to say for non-spoilers. Go read COM, then come back and we’ll discuss!
ALL. THE. FEELS. All of them.
First off, I’m going to straight-up claim that I had shipped Chaol and Celaena since the first chapter of TOG. I know a lot of people ship Celorian, but I just couldn’t get behind it… So the first two thirds of COM were a lot of fun for me.
But shit went south fast. So very fast. 😥
When Nehemia had that conversation with Elena about “I know what I have to do,” my immediate thought was PLEASE DON’T KILL CHAOL! Then he got kidnapped…
I did not expect Nehemia to die. Not at all. I know the king mentioned the threat, but I just thought it was a political move to keep Chaol busy and out of the way.
Before I jump into the shit storm that was Celaena finding Nehemia’s body, let’s discuss the fight scene! I LOVED that Maas gave it to us in Chaol’s POV. It really showed the terrifying glory that is Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s Assassin. And I think we needed this to separate us from our girl in order for us to accept her attempt on Chaol’s life later. Way to go, Maas!
And now for Celaena’s grieving. It’s an unadulterated, animalistic thing, and the way Maas depicts it – from clawing Chaol’s face to singing at Nehemia’s grave – is a glorious piece of characterization that really sets up the events of the following two books. Was I the only one sobbing when she was pounding her chest, singing the Fae language? God. Maas captures the raw pain of grief so beautifully.
Which brings us to the portal, poor Fleetfoot, and the CELAENA-AELIN-FAE REVEAL! I had a feeling Celaena was Aelin – Stupid Archer Finn. But Maas does this brilliant thing with Celaena’s narrative where it feels like there’s this very clear divide between the two women… Nope, Celaena’s totes the Lost Queen of Terrasen. And her fire power! Mushu would cower at Aelin’s feet.
And I just realize I haven’t even mentioned Dorian yet in this review… woops. Ok, Dorian fans, please don’t crucify me for this, but I’m just not sold on him yet. He’s another pretty prince who doesn’t know where he stands. Blerg. He makes good choices in the moment, but he just doesn’t seem to have any real agency. He just looks around for others to define a stance for him to take. His pure heart is his saving grace for me. He’s so willing to accept people for who they are and that’s fantastic, but I need to see him take some chances and make decisions before I can really appreciate him as a character.
But Chaol doesn’t really make good decisions either. His decision to send Celaena to Wendolyn was incredibly misguided, but I loved Heir of Fire too much to really hate him for it. Tee hee.
You can see my review of the third Throne of Glass book, Heir of Fire, here.