Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

8:46 PM

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | Rating: ★★★★☆

There had never been any line between them, only his own stupid fear and pride. Because from the moment he'd pulled her out of that mine in Endovier and she had set those eyes upon him, still fierce despite a year in hell, he'd been walking toward this, walking to her. So Chaol brushed away her tears, lifter her chin, and kissed her.

I opened Crown of Midnight with equal parts hopefulness and hesitance. On one hand, I knew that Sarah J. Maas has this gift of words--fleshed out characters, the world building of A Court of Thorns and Roses. On the other hand, I wasn't altogether wowed by the introduction to the series in Throne of Glass. I liked the characters and the plots just fine, and it was enough for me to pick up this book, but not enough for me to sit still and read it straightaway.

In fact, if I'm being quite honest, I was on the verge of setting the book aside for the first quarter of it. I felt not unlike I did during Throne of Glass in the sense that it was just okay. I enjoyed it but wasn't captivated. In true Sarah J. Maas fashion, however, when I picked it up again and stuck to it the novel was as compelling as it could get. Back were the elements of violence and intrigue; a word of royalty and the probability of magic. Not to mention friendships, romance and enemies.
It has all the makings of a fantastic novel in its prime--thoroughly making up for the lackluster beginning with a high stakes middle and mind-blowing end.

Crown of Midnight, if any indication of what's to come, sets the stage for an even higher set of stakes come the third novel. We can't see clearly with the loss, the breakups, the revelations (I mean--hello! TWO. MASSIVE. ONES. I. CAN'T. SAY.) but we know that this is only the beginning once more.

Let's talk magic: I SEE YOU, SARAH J. MAAS. Bringing your magic out into the world and spreading it through to certain characters. I liked that in this go-around, it felt far more like the fantasy novel I knew it could be. Dorian's developments were interesting and could lead down a very dangerous path that I am dreading and anticipating. Celaena is bordering on a very dangerous path, too, with all her roads to self discovery; her newfound relationship, an old face coming back into her life and the even present looming threats of the king. That's not all that is up her sleeves though; like, the fact that she has one massive bombshell to be dropped within the final pages. Chaol is... I'm still not sure what to think of Chaol? He means well, I think, and he has the chance to really flesh out in future installments but... eh. I am underwhelmed with him.

We lose one very prominent presence this time around, too. And I have to say, I was utterly heart-broken. I know it's been a few years since the novel itself was published but I won't say their name and spoil any newcomers but--holy crap. I had to shut the book for a moment to cry and mourn the loss. Especially after we receive answers as to why they died, who did it and what secrets they were keeping. Excuse me. I need a tissue. Again.

Overall, Crown of Midnight was so much better than the first installment and while I am not sure I'd go to say it was outstanding, it was full of suspense and drama. It built onto the world further and developed characters, relationships and more that was lacking in Throne of Glass. Further--its cliffhanger ending made me want more, more, more.

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