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?
WARNING: contains spoilers
Crown of Midnight really deserves to be on Nuša’s favourites list. Don’t get me wrong, I love Throne of Glass, but this one just shaded it’s sister big time. Everything just … improved.
‘What the hell just happened?‘ were the exact words after reading it. And really, what the hell did happen? Wyrdkeys, portals & other worlds, witches, Fae magic, headaches & flapping wings… It’s hard to prepare for the plot twist when you don’t even know what you’re dealing with. And when you do put the puzzles together there’s still so much to discover. But then again I like surprises and this book satisfied me. Throne of Glass focues more on the plot while in Crown of Midnight there’s a deeper exploration of the world we got so little information on – we get to know more about other kingdoms aside from Adarlan but there’s still plenty to discover about Erilea. There’s even a mention of politics I myself would’ve like to see more of in the first book, even though those rebels are idiots and the King of Adarlan scares the poop out of me. Magic became a bigger part of the story and we recieve information on what exactly magic is and how it works and the thought of how much we don’t know about it yet makes me very excited. Each of these things made me more involved in the series and I have nothing against that.
It’s hard to read the very best part of the book while watering 6280275 plants my mother has, but I somehow managed it and I’m pretty proud of myself.
Celaena has developed quite much. She made a big improvement on caring about people other than herself in Crown of Midnight, which didn’t really felt like she was doing in Throne of Glass. We get to see her vulnerable – that was really interesting to read, especially from someone of who we are used to as a strong, self-important, badass woman. We get to know about her past too – I suspected Aelin was Celaena the first time Princess of Terrasen was mentioned, still, when the information was revealed it made me even more eager than before to start other books in the series as soon as possible. She’s playing a dangerous game – for Adarlan’s deadliest assassin she’s not so heartless as one could think she is. Big thumbs up for that bravery! Although she doesn’t actually kill the victims the King has chosen, in other situations we still get to see Celaena turn into the assassin we heard so much about.
Which brings me to Celaena’s darkest parts of the books.
The old man took one step toward Celaena. ”Enough! We have enough enemies as it is! There are worse things out there to face!”
Celaena slowly turned to him, her face splattered with blood and eyes blazing bright. ”No, there aren’t,” she said. ”Because I’m here now.”
*goosebumps* Yaaaaaaaaaas! Is it bad that I absolutely looove the dark side of Celaena? This was before Nehemia’s death where she actually snapped, but come on, you have to admit this is some pretty badass stuff. I’m glad she didn’t let Archer go – for a second my anger rose and ‘I mean, Celaena, I know your heart is actually good and all, but please oh please don’t let Archer get away with it‘ were my thoughts just before she calmed my fears and killed him. (Game of Thrones watching much, Nuša? Yeppp.)
Many people started to hate Chaol already after reading Crown of Midnight. Me? I still love him, no matter what. Hardcore Chaolena shipper right here. But while I love how their relationship slowly progressed and it was more than fun reading their scenes together (Chaol, you smooth wicked man ;D), it’s visible Chaol has some difficulties with accepting Celaena for what she does. He’s never got to see the actual assassinting and of course he doesn’t approve of it, but he doesn’t know Celaena that much to know that she actually has a heart made of gold beneath all that play. Who can blame him, really? It was also interesting reading his arguments with himself over where his loyalties lie. This lill (okay, no, big) cinnamon roll cares for Celaena so much that he would even go so far as to sending her across the sea. After everything, after her almost killing him without a second thought, after him seeing her dark side, after him discovering her Fae form secret, he still made sure Celaena would get a chance of safety. I admire him so much for that.
I feel like Chaol and Dorian kind of … distanced themselves from each other in this one. And me don’t likey. Yeah, there’s so much going on that there really isn’t time, but I’d still like more scenes with them, where there’s no jealousy, no tension, no Celaena between them. They’re like the ultimate bros, you can’t just take that away from me.
As for Dorian and Celaena’s relationship: I like how it developed. Celaena was really sticking to her words and just wanted them to be friends. I like that. In the first half of Crown of Midnight I was a bit angry with Celaena – it felt like she treated Dorian like poop. I didn’t like their arguments nor the ignoring between them, not one bit. But as the book went on, Dorian finally accepted her wish and I’m really glad Celaena had someone by her side. I’m sure I’d be glad if Chaol was that someone too, but I don’t mind Dorian taking that part because that boy is golden (and plus, it’s understandable why Chaol isn’t playing that role).
And whaaaaat, Dorian has magic?! And the rarest and deadliest magic, at that. Hell yeah! Let him be another badass character. I think his struggling with this new Dorian is one of the reasons why he and Celaena became much closer. It sort of made him grow as a person too. Dorian became a much bigger part of the story and I’m so up for that.
I looooooooove Mort and its sass. Just throwing that out there.
As I said before, Nehemia isn’t a part of my most likeable characters, but I coped with her somehow. It still got on my nerves that she was still hiding so much, but the irritation with her was somewhat smaller than it was in the first book. Although her calling Celaena a coward did piss me of quite a bit. Maybe that’s why she isn’t particulary my favourite – because she wasn’t afraid of hurting Celaena’s feelings with those words, as long as that meant Nehemia could accomplish Celaena’s cooperation for helping to free the slaves with that. Ah, I have mixed feelings…While I think it’s really brave what and why Nehemia allowed that, when it came to her death … Well, Celaena’s reaction broke me more than her actual passing. Don’t even ask me about that girl in the Calaculla mines. Is that cruel?
To sum up everything – Crown of Midnight is a masterpiece. Finn. If you have given up on the series with Throne of Glass please continue. It gets much better and you won’t be disappointed.