I have so many feelings. So many. I mean the big "twist" at the end, I saw coming. Most people did, right? But it wasn't about the twist, it was about the journey getting there. It was about secrets and Chaol. What is going to happen? What decisions are going to be made? Who will be the next to die? Crown of Midnight came out in 2013 and it's the second book in the popular Throne of Glass series. I know a lot of people have read it, but obviously not everyone, so I will try to be vague about any spoilery information. Seriously through, this book was better than the first, better than the novellas and I don't know if it's the plot, but I think Sarah J. Maas's writing seemed more mature and engaging. I feel like there were many more feelings and secrets woven through the tale.
Should we talk about Celaena? She's just so much more complicated than I thought after reading Throne of Glass and The Assassin's Blade. She seemed so much a "girl" in the first book. While she could fight, she liked pretty things. She found her first friend. She had a crush on the prince. But there is so much more to her. She has changed in all kinds of fantastical ways. By the end of this story, many of those girlish things have fallen away. She's an assassin, a warrior. She's in love. She's not above revenge. Though sometimes her emotions guide her down dark paths. She has so many secrets, most of which she tells Chaol, but he has to figure the rest out himself. I am also left wondering if there are more.
Speaking of being an assassin, Crown of Midnight was definitely more violent than the first novel. That was something I think I mentioned when I read Throne of Glass, that for being called "Adarlan's Assassin", she didn't really kill a whole lot of people in that story, nor did she do as much fighting as I would have expected. That has all changed. Someone hurts Celaena or one of her very few friends, watch out. They're pretty much toast. She might give off the impression of being a young, blonde, pretty girl, but she's deadly. The scene in the warehouse was fantastic. So, was the last big battle. Secrets and swords flying.
In the first book, I think I felt bad for Chaol, watching Celaena and Dorian, but this time, I felt bad for Dorian. He seemed so distant from both Celaena and Chaol. He needed a friend, but all he found was Roland. I thought Roland was one thing, but in the end, he ended up as possibly something else. Dorian just seemed so alone. He has changed so much too. He's more than just a prince with a crush.
Chaol is still my favourite though. He's torn, through so much of the novel. Who holds his loyalty? What is he willing to do for Celaena? He can appear stoic and hard, but he's so full of emotion. His interactions with his father tell so much. What Chaol is willing to do and sacrifice shows so much of his character. By the end of the book, I just want to hug him.
The characters definitely make this series for me. Not just these three. Nehemia is wonderful and sad. Elena is full of secrets. So is the King. Archer was a great addition. Even Ress seemed to know when to act and when to be quiet. I'm interested in how Dorian's little brother Hollin will develop, portrayed as a young brat, he can't be that way forever. Yellowlegs was wicked. So was Duke Perrington. I wonder what's going to happen to Kaltain and Roland. There are so many questions still.
Crown of Midnight is the book that has definitely hooked me into the series and I can't wait to read the rest. It's so hard not to read the synopses for the other books. Looking at the covers, as lovely as they are, I think they give away a little bit too, especially Empire of Storms, the 5th (sort of 6th) book, which is is out in a few days. I'm hoping to pick it up and the rest of the series too.