Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Just Finished Reading … Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight
by Sarah J. Maas
To be published in the US on August 27, 2013
by Bloomsbury Children's

Source: e-ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Connect with the author: website | Twitter | Facebook.
Summary from Goodreads: 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?
My take: Being a somewhat new-to-fantasy reader, I wasn't sure what to expect from Throne of Glass when I read it last year. While I loved the world that Sarah Maas created and the characters who inhabited it, I also thought that, for a book about an assassin, the book was a little … tame. So I was hoping that the next installment would be a little more … intense.

Well, Crown of Midnight definitely delivers.  I'll try to tell you how while avoiding spoilers -- and believe me, you do want to avoid spoilers for this book.  Crown of Midnight seemed much edgier to me -- the body parts go flying, there's some serious romantic action, and even a male gigolo. There were some plot developments I was expecting, but other things that really took me by surprise. There's one particular incident that hits Celaena pretty hard. There's also a major character who discovers something very interesting about him or herself, and some very interesting developments in the love triangle department.

I do think I can talk about the love triangle without spoilers, because I have no idea how it's going to resolve.  I was not the biggest fan of Dorian in Throne of Glass, but after reading Crown of Midnight, I really like both him and Chaol, which means certain heartbreak -- for me.

Then there's Celaena.  In the first book and up to the first half of Crown of Midnight, Celaena seemed almost too-good-to-be-true -- beautiful, competent, self-assured. She can kill a man with a paper clip, but she's also a huge girly-girl and loves shopping for things like fur cloaks, perfume, sweets, and books. Just as I had decided that she might be a little too perfect, she got hit hard by the aforementioned event. While I can't say I was in favor of that plot development -- in fact, I was pretty shocked and dismayed by it -- it did allow me to see Celaena in a different light -- uncertain, emotional, even vulnerable.

Like Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight is told from Celaena's, Chaol's and Dorian's alternating third person points of view. As a reader, I prefer one POV switch per chapter, but this series does switch around mid-chapter, and at least once mid-scene. Though these POV shifts didn't bother me that much in the first book, in Crown of Midnight, the POV switches that occurred during one action scene made it feel a bit choppy and confusing to me. But this is my personal preference as a reader -- others may completely disagree. (Note: It also could have had something to do with the fact that I was reading an eARC. In my paper ARC, there is extra spacing to indicates a POV shift.)

I'm a big fan of this series. All in all, I really loved the direction that Crown of Midnight took the story. Absolutely no draggy second book syndrome here -- Crown of Midnight was chock-full of new revelations, action scenes, heartbreak, revenge, and sacrifice. I'm definitely on board for the next installment. In fact, I can't wait to see what happens. If you haven't tried this series yet, I definitely recommend that you check it out.

I'll be giving away a signed ARC tomorrow on Freebie Friday -- be sure to stop by!

30 comments:

  1. I'm glad this sequel was a little more exciting for you! I really need to fins time to start the series. :)

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  2. I was very unimpressed by the first book (your description of it as on the tame side speaks to me) so I hadn't had much interest in continuing this book. I'm still not that enthusiastic despite your promise that it gets more action-filled.

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    1. The first book was much tamer than I thought, but I really enjoyed this one...

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  3. I still haven't read the first book...

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  4. My copy of this book arrived yesterday and I'll start it tonight. I can't wait. I'm so glad you enjoyed and I loved Throne of Glass so I'll love this one for sure :)

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    1. Yep, people outside the US get to read this earlier!!

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  5. I haven't read the first one. It sounds good, but I'm not sure if it's for me. I don't read a lot of fantasy.

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  6. This is one that I am dying to get my hands on! I'm not sure about the whole gigilo thing, but I am really looking forward to more action.

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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    1. Heh -- wasn't sure what to call him. I just kept thinking of Richard Gere and "Call Me" by Blondie….

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  7. YES! It delivers! I have this book and need to get to it ASAP! Loved this review.

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  8. ACK! I can not wait to read this!

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  9. A lot of people LOVE this series, and I'm glad to see that you are one of them. I'm also happy to hear that this story has much more assassinating. But I'm not sure if it's going to be for me. I've decided to wait until it concludes to decide, based on everyone's reactions. My heart just can't take more love triangle drama.

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    1. Yes, this triangle is going to get bad, I think. I actually don't mind … for now. I think I like both guys, but as you know, I've been in that situation before and then realized that I actually wanted a certain ending.

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  10. Jen! You did such a good job discussing the book without any spoilers. I've been wringing my hands about writing this review because I don't know how I'll be able to avoid them at all.

    And I'm with you on not liking Dorian from the first book, but actually enjoying his growth in this one. And Celaena. Because I think what happened was the first time I actually felt like I could relate to her. I didn't notice the POV shifts midscene, so now you've got me feeling a bit uncertain 'cause if that's the case, I've definitely got to at least skim before writing my review...

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    1. It was SO hard to write without spoilers.

      As for the POV thing, I was reading on a kindle and that didn't help, because the spacing is wonky at times. When I look at the paper ARC, I see that the POV shifts are indicated by extra spacing. But there is at least one action scene where the POV shifts between Celaena and Dorian multiple times and … that's not my preference as a reader.

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  11. Ok, THIS review makes me reconsider Throne of Glass. I was initially excited about that book--but then a lot of the reviews said it didn't live up. But then you go and say that Crown of Midnight is edgier w/ serious romantic action (Capitol "A" action or lowercase?? Nevermind...)??? Ok, I may have to do this thing after all....

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    1. There is ALL kinds of action, lower case and upper case. I think you'd like it!!!

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  12. I'm glad to hear the next book will have more action and more plot development. I enjoyed the first book, but I had a few problems with Celaena. One minute she's tough, non-trusting assassin, and the next she's practically melting for Dorian. I just wanted her character to be more consistent. So I'm hoping in Book Two, I'll get more background on her and perhaps more character development. Thanks for the great review!

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  13. AHHH this book! <33 And Chaol<33 And asdfghjkl; I loved this one, full of fun.

    Lovely review, Jen! <33

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  14. Never heard of it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    Andreea

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  15. I sadly didn't like the first book and never finished it. The only thing I liked was Prince Dorian and then Chaol had to come in and be a butt head and make it a love triangle and I really disliked him on top of it. I was very bored in the first one but glad to hear this one is a bit more exciting. I might get it from the library and scan through it like the first one because I thought once she became the kings assassin or whatever she is that it might pick up.

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  16. I really enjoyed this one, and while I like Dorian, I am all for Chaol and Celeana

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  17. Oh I know this romance is going to kill me! I loved both guys in the first book so yikes! I'm glad there's more action though! This is my next read on my shelf and I'm super excited to give it a go!

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  18. I only skimmed this review because I haven't read the first book yet, but it's awesome when a book two is even better than the book one! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Jen, I really need to start TOG soon.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  19. Loved this one...even more than the first book! I love and hate everything that happened in this book, and I can't wait for more. So glad this is an actual series and not just a trilogy! Also, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the ARC! :D

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