Thursday, April 13, 2017
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
The second installment of Maas' widely popular Throne of Glass chronicles...and I still don't know what to make of them. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this book but I wasn't crazy about the first and I'm not sure this one improved my opinion or not. Let's just dive right in.
Celaena Sardothien is now the King's Champion, spending her days out on missions and doing his bidding. But she's anything but loyal. She waits for the day when she's able to earn her freedom from her hated enemy and leave the kingdom of Adarlan far behind. But strange things start happening throughout the castle, an ancient magic is on the rise, and Celaena's best friend, the princess Nehemia, is urging her to join the rebellion against Adarlan's king. Celaena's soon caught up in plots and learns forbidden secrets and she's going to have to decide her fate once and for all.
One thing I liked about the previous installment in this series is that Celaena, as a character, is a delicate balance of both masculine and feminine characteristics. She'll kill people and chop up bodies but she also likes to dress up and be girly. While that's still here in this book, it starts to become and issue. The biggest problem this book seems to have is tone and Celaena herself is the reason why. One minute she's on dangerous missions and chopping up body parts and faking deaths and the next it's date night and honest-to-goodness shopping spree days! This rather random behavior adds to the overall indecisive feel that this book has. Celaena is the star here, it's her story, and so when she's being wishy washy and whining, the story suffers. The story has built up how she's this powerful person and yet she complains about wanting to be a normal girl. Now, Celaena is only eighteen years old, so a little angst is normal in a character like this but when you've gone on and on about how amazingly awesome this character is, you just want to smack her upside the head and tell her to get over herself.
Just when I thought this book had lost me, however, it started to pull me back in. Whenever I felt like, "I can't take it anymore. I'm done with this book. It's dumb and I don't want to read it anymore," the story picks itself back up and gets better. Half way into the book, things greatly improve. The action is faster, the mysteries start to become interesting, and things are actually starting to get accomplished. Sadly, there's no end to Celaena's moping (you could argue it gets worse up until the last ten chapters of the book) but there's enough going on to where they don't focus on it as much. The plot of the story really managed to surprise me. There are two big reveals near the end and (keeping this spoiler free) only one of them really surprised me. The one that got me, however, was really well done.
While the story is Celaena's, I do wish they'd do a bit more with the others. The only character with significant growth in this book is Dorian, who struggles with both losing Celaena's affections to his best friend (which is handled beautifully, by the way) and developing magical powers that could very well get him killed by his own father. There's real conflict here and it helps that Dorian is such a good character, down-to-earth and genuinely caring. His parts helped to pick the story up just when I was getting tired of it. Chaol, the captain, is also a good character and the interactions between him and Celaena in the first half are okay but in the second half? It is just a mess. It's the ever-so-overused cliche about how one "lied" to the other and it's all a big misunderstanding and they have to mope and...urgh! It was painful. Apart from them, there are no real characters that leave a lot of impact. It tries with Dorian's cousin Roland, who is just kind of forgotten as the story goes on, and Finnick Odair...I mean...Archer Finn, who is a bit better and does contribute to the plot but doesn't seem to have much in the way of personality, at least until the end.
As I said before, I wasn't crazy about this book but it didn't lose me completely as I was afraid it would at one point. There are still three books in this series to go and I'm honestly up in the air about continuing or not. Maybe I will, one day, but it's not a priority based on what I just read. In the end, I'll say that, if you're going to read this book, wait for it on paperback!
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Find me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer and Follow me on Twitter @Michelle_Beer88 for updates.
Next Time: You think your relationship is complicated? Try being married to a dead guy.