An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.My Review:
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?
I already loved the previous novellas (review here) and Throne of Glass (review here), so I had high hopes for Crown of Midnight. And it did not disappoint.
How do I do this review without fan-girling all over the place and talking about all the spoilers floating through my head? Don't worry, I'll hold back my spoilers.
So yes, I loved this book. Crown of Midnight continues our journey into Celaena's life as the King's Champion. Right from the start we are thrust into her life. But being the Champion is just one of many, many plotlines, circumstances, and layers that we find. Not only are some previous issues carried over, but new ones are introduced. This story is a magic-filled, mystery-layered, intriguing fantasy ride. What starts as her newest task from the King, becomes more than Celaena had imagined. You want action? Yes, you'll get plenty of action here. You want mystery and suspense? Oh, you'll get that in boat loads. You want romance? Swoon, you'll get romance and ooey-gooey sigh-inducing feelings. You want heartbreak? Yep, sorry to say, you will get that too, and may even shed a tear or two.
Celaena continues to kick butt up and down this book. She's awesome. But she's still young, and I found the contrasts in her characters really well-written. She's almost a contradiction at times. She plots and plans her assassinations one moment, then flies off the handle in the next without a thought for consequences. She wants her freedom and then blows a bunch of money on meaningless trinkets. She's passionate and fierce, yet full of vulnerability that she tries to hide. Her relationships in this book take many twists and turns and I found my heart breaking for Celaena and everything she's gone through. And there is so much left for her to do on the horizon. But will she stop running and embrace it? And will that destiny hold a HEA? (No, seriously, Ms. Maas, I would like to know.)
Chaol and Dorian continue to play pivotal roles in this book. Is there still a love triangle? Well, yes, a little, but probably not the way you think. And it is not the main interest of the book. But regardless of that, Chaol and Dorian continue to be important characters in the story and Celaena's life. I really like the differences and similarities between these guys, though I personally have a favorite. Nehemia's friendship with Celaena also plays an important role in the story and Celaena's life. All of these people, though purposefully or not, force Celaena to take a long hard look at herself, at who she is, at who she needs to be versus wishes she were. Everyone wants to be "normal" at some point, right? But Celaena must face the reality that "normal" may never be her reality.
So no great spoilers here, but if you like a story full of fantasy and mystery, complex characters and relationships, twist and turns, love and heartache, look no further and keep reading this amazing series. My only complaint? That I don't have the next book in my grabby hands right now. Not that it was left with a major cliffhanger or anything. Just because the writing is that good that I just want more.