Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Mass

18005628Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Mass  

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publishing Info: Kindle edition 2013 by Bloomsbury

Pages: 432

Star Rating: 4/5

Back Cover Summary:

She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But does she have the heart of a killer?

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. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade – while pretending to do the king’s bidding – will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn’t the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she’s made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple…

The final book in this series, Kingdom of Ash, was recently released, and here I am still on book two, Crown of Midnight! I have some catching up to do. Having loved the first book, I was excited to read the sequel. I was wondering where the plot would go, as Throne of Glass was focused on the competition, which finished at the end. For once, the sequel is most definitely a step up from the first book.

Crown of Midnight was slow to start. It didn’t have much direction to begin with, as the tournament from the first book was over, and there wasn’t much suggestion of where the plot would go next. However, the pace picked up as it went along. While Throne of Glass is very much focused on the competition and character relationships, this book widens the picture and focuses more on the bigger plot. There is a big turning point about half way through that I did not see coming. It turned the plot in a new direction for the rest of the book, and by the end there were even more surprises.

There were a lot of revelations in this book which seem to be setting the main plot for the series in motion. In some ways, it was information overload, as there was so much new stuff to take in. With all the revelations also came a lot of fast-paced action. I was totally gripped, especially in the second half. I had no idea how it was going to end, which made it more suspenseful than Throne of Glass, which was in some ways predictable.

In Throne of Glass, I thought Celaena didn’t come across as the deadly assassin her reputation describes. However, this book changed my view for various reasons. The deadly assassin described emerged in this novel, which made me feel better about the whole concept. In book one she had seemed too soft. After reading Crown of Midnight, the layers of her character make a lot more sense.

The development of the relationships between the characters in this book, especially between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian, made for interesting dynamics. I like that their friendships aren’t just stationary, they evolve with the plot. The individual inner conflicts for each character are also well written.

Despite a slow start, this book was full of action and plot twists that kept me gripped. My emotions were dragged one way, then another way, in the way only a really good book can do.

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