Title: Crown of Midnight

Series: Throne of Glass, Book #2

Author: Sarah J. Maas ♥ @SJMass

Published: August 27, 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

Pages: 432

Source: Net Galley

Goodreads Summary: An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

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?

Goodreads Average Rating (as of 08/23/2013): 4.62

See Christina & Celeste’s review of Throne of Glass (Book 1) here. {Hint: They thought it was phenomenal.}

  • Christina was absolutely blown away by this second installment. It’s going straight to the top of her top shelf. ALL THE STARS!

**Special Note:** An e-ARC of this title was provided by the publishers via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review an any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this galley and not from the published version.

Let me preface this review by saying that I am so very sorry for the amount of fangirling you’re about to witness. I tried to tone it down several times, but my love for this book has reached astronomical proportions and simply can’t be contained at this point. You’ve officially been warned.  Now, to try to give this some sort of proper review which will be hard for… many reasons.

Initial Thoughts and Rating: ALL THE STARS! TOP SHELF! BEST. SERIES. EVER! Actually, I think this book goes beyond all the stars and has been upgraded to nightstand status because I need it near me at all times. Crown of Midnight had more punch in one page than most books have in their entirety. It was the perfect blend of badassery, high fantasy, swoon, and mystery. I was a flaily, heart-fluttery, air-punching mess of emotions throughout this whole novel. It was like I was on a roller coaster, and there was only one direction and speed in which it was heading- up and fast as hell. Sarah J. Maas’s second book has it all, so you had best prepare yourself. Huge secrets will be uncovered, there’s swoons and love around every corner, pain and loss so unbearable it’ll take your breathe away, and above all else, Celaena, our beloved badass, shows up bigger and better than ever, dishing out snark and swinging her blades like you’ve never heard or seen before.

If you haven’t started this series yet, shame on you better jump on the bandwagon now. If you’ve been eagerly awaiting Crown of Midnight‘s publication date (good on you), then you’re in for an amazing ride! This book delivered in all the ways that I expected, yet never could have imagined it would.

The Lowdown: I’ll keep this part purposely vague because so many secrets are uncovered in this book and I would hate to spoil it for anyone. So, in this novel, Celaena fully steps into her role to fulfill her duty as the King’s Champion, eliminating his targets and doing his bidding. But when sleeping dark forces awaken and a looming threat makes it’s presence known through whispered spirits long since passed, Celaena will be forced to make a decision that puts a lot of lives in danger, especially herself and the new people in her life that she’s grown to love and care for. Loyalties are tested, some bonds are broken, and the fight is more fierce than ever.

In this book, we’re reminded just why Celaena was so feared and revered as Adarlan’s Assassin.

“She was a whirlwind of steel and blood. As he watched her cut through the men like they were stalks of wheat in a field, he understood how she had gotten so close to touching Endovier’s wall that day. And at last – after all these months – he saw the lethal predator he’d expected to find in the mines. There was nothing human in her eyes, nothing remotely merciful. It froze his heart.”

My Thoughts: Let me start this by saying that I’m writing this review after my second time reading it, and it was still just as amazing as it was the first time I read it. The first read-through, I devoured every page and interaction. This time, I took my time and savored every detail. This intricacies of this book are fantastic, and my love for the world that Maas has created knows no bounds.

I’m not going to lie, after having finished Throne of Glass last year, I didn’t think Sarah J. Maas would be able to top it. I felt like it had everything that made the perfect sort of novel: a kickass heroine I could root for, swoony hero(es) that made my heart flutter, action, adventure, intrigue, and more action. So, I went into this novel with high expectations because the first installment was so amazing, but admittedly guarded because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype I had built up for it in my mind. And thank all the sparkling pretty princesses that I was wrong. So very, very wrong. She took every single detail that I loved about the first installment and only built on it further, making this second book even more unbelievable that I could have hoped for it to be.

Though I will rave about the awesome that is Throne of Glass until the cows come home, I honestly felt like Maas stepped more into her own in this novel, showing us just how much of a master wordsmith and world-builder she could truly be. The writing appeared to be tighter, executed more flawlessly to deliver the biggest blows at all the opportune moments. The layers in which she bent, twisted, and oh-so-carefully constructed the plot, left me in awe time and time again. The enthralling world of writhing evil and petite girls that rival the most gruesome and feared of creatures held me spellbound from cover to cover, and the layout and depth in which she wrote this story is unmatched by many. But most importantly, the author’s power rest in her ability to manifest a host of characters, both main and secondary, that were written and developed in such a way, that I appreciated them exponentially more. It was a story that I felt very much a part of, like I was present and breathing the same air the characters were and fighting alongside them every step of the way.

Swoons: This book is packed to the brim with them. My heart gets all pitterpattery just thinking about it, especially a certain moment and creative use of a broom closet. Hot damn.

Swoony Teaser: 

“Believe me, Celaena, ” he snarled, his eyes flashing, “I know you can look after yourself. But I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”

&

“Dance with me Celaena,” He said again, his voice rough.

Rec it? Abso-freaking-lutely. A thousand percent recommending this novel to anyone and everyone that will sit still long enough for me to shove it in their face. (I’m not joking about this either. Seriously, I flailed to the female post office worker about it for ten minutes when I was sending off my ARC to get signed.) It’s not often that I can say that a book has something for everyone, but this series honest-to-goodness does. Furthermore, the book doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, but it does have one hell of an ending! It was brilliant and amazing and I’d say it left me speechless, but I’ll go with rambling and flaily instead. I’m not sure who I have to marry or sacrifice or do unspeakable things to, but someone just say the word and I’ll be on it because I need the next book like Celaena needs cake.

Consider me a fan of this series and this author for all time!

♥ A very special thanks to Bloomsbury USA and Net Galley for allowing me to preview a galley of this title.

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