“She’d learned the only skills that could keep her safe. To escape death, she’d become death.”
Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.
Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably the hottest new fantasy series.
Crown of Midnight is one rare book that leaves me thinking about the book every minute that I have to put it down because apparently I don’t have any choice since life sometimes get away with my reading. And long after I finished the book I still find myself replaying most scenes in my head. It captivated me and put me to trance that I only find myself trapped inside this fiercely entertaining tale of assasin and magics.
The story follows Celeana Sardothein as she become the King’s Champion after winning a vicious competition from the previous book, Throne of Glass. As a Champion her duty is to disposed or kill every name given to her by the King. She is practically under the King’s command after threatening the lives of those close to her such as Captain Chaol and Princess Nehemia. Celaena is bound to do the King’s dirty bidding until she earn her freedom. It is not an easy task for her as it requires more than an assassin’s skills. She needs not only to be physically tough but also to be smart in order to obey the King’s commands without losing her self and her beliefs. And as she do her job she can’t prevent what others will think of her. Even Prince Dorian, her friend can’t fathom her job. Dorian didn’t anticipate the extent of what Celaena needs to do for his father. But Celaena have no choice but to obey, and as she fulfill her duty, she discover more things about the King and the palace. There are lots of secrets, mysteries, and betrayal, and Celaena needs to take a step forward, claim her rights and embrace her destiny in order to make things right not only for her but for everyone around her.
Sarah J. Maas writing is simply enchanting. She easily lured me into this new world of assassins, magic, and adventure. I get sucked right into the story, never wanting to leave. In fact I savor reading every words and pages of this book. It took me longer than my usual reading time to finished this, not because I struggle reading but because I am so enamored and captivated with the writing and the story that I savor every little details of it. The way the author describe each scenes, places, magics, characters and their feelings were so richly detailed and alive. My imaginations is soaring high while reading those vivid scenes and settings. The way Maas describe scenes like the Rena Goldsmith’s performance is so entrancing and powerful that even if there’s no actual lyrics I can still understand and feel every emotions that the song want to imply. The characters emotions were also vivid and palpable. It’s so easy to feel every ounce of emotions they all went through.
The world building is simply stunning. Sarah J. Maas easily drawn a rich and intricate world in this fiercely entertaining fantasy adventure. She weaved exhilarating adventure in an edgy world of Rifthold – from culture, events, political set-up, crimes, and magics. And even if it is clear that there are more world building left for the future books, Crown of Midnight offers enough details for readers imaginations to play with. Celaena’s world is drawn with enough imagery for me to enjoy and experience the beauty and edginess of her surroundings.
Celaena Sardothien as the main character is simply striking. I really like how Maas developed her character from all the novellas up to here. Celaena started as the self-centered and boastful assassin from The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, then to the resilient but soon obedient trainee from The Assassin and the Desert. She become the forgiving protegee from The Assassin and the Underworld, then to the loving and caring girl in The Assassin and the Empire. After that she shows her bravery and cleverness as the assailant girl in Throne of Glass, and now she become the loyal, fiercely, and self-sacrificing person in this book, Crown of Midnight.
Describing her as kick-ass character is definitely an understatement. Not even multilayered is close enough. Because Celaena was weaved by Maas as all strong and vulnerable, fiercely and friendly, determined and stubborn, mature and childish, vain and insecure, assassin and lover. I really love how she can be both at the opposite side of spectrum but still managed to be one. The contrast of her character make her not only unique but also highly remarkable.
“But death was her curse and her gift, and death had been her good friend these long, long years.”
Captain Chaol and Prince Dorian were both developed too in this installment. Compare to the previous book, these two gentlemen both shown growth and depth, especially Chaol, who’s finally lowering his shield and taking down his wall. He open well enough in this book that I can’t help but love him more. As for Dorian, he got his own things to deal with beside with his feelings for Celaena. He also finally starting to questions his father as he gradually uncovered things around him.
Another thing remarkable in Chaol and Dorian is the friendship they have. Even with so much tension between them as Celaena finally making her choice, Chaol and Dorian still value their friendship. As expected there are some changes between them but despite of those certain changes these two men respect each other no matter what. Even with so much jealousy between them and Celaena these two gentlemen never overstep each other. They don’t even talk about their situation and feelings but still they managed to understand and respect each others, as well as regards Celaena feelings and decisions.
Beside with the fiercely entertaining world and wonderful characters, Sarah J. Maas also drawn an intense story in this book. There are lots of surprises, and unexpected twist as Sarah combined the gritty plot of assassin, richly built Kingdom, political conflicts with magic and folklore. And with the characters having their own personal issues too, a lot of emotional rides is on the line. As Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian works their feelings along with their responsibilities and beliefs there are more tensions and more issues playing out which simply makes the story emotionally-packed. Add the magics and adventures your heart will surely sped-up while reading.
Celaena and Chaol relationship finally push a little forward, but like any relationships it is not all happiness for them. There are conflicts and issues that tested not only their relationship but also their strength as an individual. All the things that they went through in this book were amazingly done. Sarah J. Maas perfectly crafted a complicated affair with enough tension and romance. Celaena and Chaol story is orchestrated in a way that makes me vulnerable as I read. Reading the things that happened to them makes me experience the ups and down of emotions in one reading. It shuttered me, piece me back together only to rip me again and again and again.
Sarah J. Maas is at the top of her game. She spins gorgeous and intricate fantasy adventure in Crown of Midnight that combines gritty and exciting story telling with its unique fantasy world. With the presence of impressive protagonist, political intrigue, murder, mystery, and magics you can only expect the best from this book. Sarah J. Maas riveting narrative pulls no punches as it reveals Celaena Sardothein’s legacy and true self.