Crown of Midnight: Review

February 20, 2014 2014, 5 star books, fantasy, Kim 90 ★★★★★

Crown of Midnight: ReviewCrown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 27th, 2013
Genres: fantasy
Pages: 420
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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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?

Help. I’m drowning in a river of feels.

If you enjoyed Throne of Glass, prepare to be completely bowled over by Crown of Midnight. For me, Throne of Glass was “just” a 3.5, but this installment blew me away. Everything about CoM is more. More action, more badassery from Celaena, more world building, more villains, more mystery, more magic, and more romance.

The plot ascends to the next level. There are so many twists and turns. There’s magic, romance, betrayal, adventure, absolute heartbreak, and death. I can’t believe one book contains so much awesome. And even though the two biggest twists can be seen from miles ahead, the story is so engrossing, the plot so intricate, and the characters so easy to care for that I didn’t even mind.

This book took me on an emotional thrill ride. My heart went from soaring to absolutely devastated. No, really. Devastated. There is a thing that happens between two characters that completely slayed me. My jaw was hanging wide open at how heartbreaking and terrible this was. My heart still pangs with sorrow when I think about it now. I could’ve read this in one sitting but after this event…it was so sad, so taxing to continue that it took me awhile. Prepare accordingly.

Unlike in Throne of Glass, we get to see Celaena put her skills as an assassin to the test. She is absolutely vicious and lethal. It’s awesome. I think a lot of the perhaps disgruntled feelings toward ToG arise from the the fact that it is a book about an assassin yet she does absolutely no assassinating. If this aspect frustrated you I beg you to give CoM a chance. This is remedied and then some. You do not want to be Celaena’s enemy.

The character development was also really well done. I felt a marked improvement in understanding of all the main characters. Especially Dorian, who I didn’t much care for in ToG. He came off as way too arrogant and too much of a ladies’ man for my liking. Also, who do you think you are getting in the way of the perfectness that is Celaena x Chaol, sir?!? In CoM, he becomes a decidedly different character. There’s a very…interesting reason for this but I won’t spoil why. You’ll just have to read. ;)

Celaena continues to make my heart ache. All that sassy swagger and arrogance and it’s just a front. This girl has been through hell. The traumatic deaths of her parents, losing Sam, her time in the Endovier prison camp…it’s as if there is no end to her misery. And in this installment she’s in for even more loss and betrayal. It makes all of the positive aspects of her life (her friendship with Nehemia, her relationship with Chaol) that much sweeter for their unfortunate scarcity. One thing that I really appreciate about Celaena’s character is that for as kickass and lethal as she is, she is also very feminine. She is an unabashed girly girl. Feminine ≠ weak. I can never get enough of that messaging.

I’ve even given this my “feminist fiction” tag. There might not be anything explicitly obvious that jumps out but if this were a film, for instance, it would pass the Bechdel Test and beyond. The main character is a woman, her best friend is a WOC, and I think they talk about men/relationships once. Celaena is fiercely independent and not afraid to defy gender norms to the point of throwing it in the faces of the men around her, some of whom are in positions of great power over her. I love her.

The romance, oh my gods, the romance! Swoon. Chaolaena forever, okay? Chaol, Chaol, Chaol. How I could go on about you! Stolid, loyal, caring Chaol (he recently made an appearance on my favorite fictional crushes list). This pairing is perfect. I absolutely love the way their relationship is built up. They are truly friends first and their banter is the best. They just play off of each other so well. Celaena’s sassiness against Chaol’s seemingly impassive demeanor. I  love those secretly caring guys.

There is much here that should keep these two apart. Their loyalties lie in very different places. They could very well end up on opposite sides of a war if it comes to that. It makes it all the more enjoyable to watch them fail at fighting off their attraction. There’s a great deal of depth to their relationship and what they mean to each other. It made me teary (books almost never make me cry) seeing how each thinks of the other and all the little and big ways they show their love. Two lost people who found their homes. Now I’m getting teary again.

And that ending. There are so many places this story can go. The ending is wide open and exciting (but also gives me a lot of anxiety). Maas has deftly moved many pieces into play around the board and it’s going to be very, very exciting (but also nerve wracking) to see what happens in the upcoming installments.

I read this several months ago,but I remember I finished it with a sad little aching sorrow sitting in my chest. When I woke up the next morning it was still there and stayed with me for days. Even when I think of the characters now, I very easily get upset about their possible fates. I actively worry about them. You must all be okay, dear hearts. You must.

Strongly recommended for those who love romance-centric, girl power fantasy like Graceling or Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series. Just prepare yourself emotionally. It’s not going to be an easy journey. But it’s okay. You can come to me. We’ll comfort each other.

divider vine cropped

As a sidenote, I’d like to point out that the prequel novellas will be released in one collection, The Assassin’s Blade, on March 4th. These cover Celaena’s assassin work before her capture and imprisonment in Endovier. I’ve not read them yet (mainly because I’m scared of Sam feels), but I think I’m finally ready. Popular opinion seems to say you shouldn’t read these before Throne of Glass as it’s a step down in assassin action and badassery from Celaena. But I hear that they are a good lead in for the action in Crown of Midnight.

I also feel that I’d be remiss if I did not mention this short scene, The Assassin and the Captain, that takes place immediately prior to the events of Crown of Midnight. A must read for Chaolaena fans. Enjoy!

kim teal

90 Responses to “Crown of Midnight: Review”

    • Kim

      I KNOW, PILI. I know. My poor, poor babies. I really hope they’ll be okay someday. It’s just destroying me in the meantime. Have you read the novellas?! I just finished them and was wrecked all over again. I have *so much more* respect for Celaena now. Ugh. It pains me every day not to have Book 3. This wait will surely kill me.
      Kim recently posted…The Impossible Knife of Memory: review

        • Kim

          You are my favorite person.

          I know that Book 2 was at BEA last year. The mere thought of getting Book 3 in my hands in just a couple of months is emotionally overwhelming. I actually seize up with joy and terror.

  1. Paige Garrison

    I feel like I need to give Throne of Glass a second chance if the second book is this good! I had issues with Celaena when I read book 1 so much that I didn’t finish it (which, granted, was as an ARC months before the book came out so I wonder if things changed/I’ve changed). You aren’t the only reviewer who I’ve heard love these books, so I want to give them a shot (I feel like I’m missing out on an excellent story)!

    • Kim

      The second book is soooooooo good. Outstanding, really. I can understand how Celaena comes across as annoying but, especially having just recently read the novellas, I forgive her for every flaw. She deserves to be as cocky and arrogant and silly and superficial as she wants to be. Honestly. She’s just been through too much. But that’s just my opinion. She also grows tremendously throughout the series so there is that.

      This series is poised to become a truly epic fantasy. I’ll *always* recommend giving it another shot.
      Kim recently posted…The Impossible Knife of Memory: review

      • Paige G

        I’m definitely giving it another shot, then! Especially if the novellas explain a lot of things (I’ve been told that, bound up, the novellas act as some sort of prequel which is awesome). And despite her annoying qualities (which, to me, was more a fault of the jacket copy. I was promised assassinations! I want my assassinations!), I really did appreciate how Maas made Celaena both a badass, but also have really feminine qualities (loving dresses and chocolate, etc..) because I do find that in a lot of YA you either get super girly, damsel in distress type heroines or super badass, most of the qualities are so traditionally masculine it would be easy to change the pronouns, but no middle of the spectrum girls that can be badass and take care of themselves but at the same time want to be wooed and go to the parties and wear the dresses.

        You’ve converted me, gonna reread.

  2. Simran

    I thought the sequel was even better than the first, to be honest!

  3. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I love this book so freaking much!! *sigh* oh gosh. CHAOL CHAOL CHAOL. I had so many Chaol feels and just reading your review makes me smile and sigh and also my heart ache because yes, everyone MUST be ok!!! Also, DO read the novellas! They are so amazing! That’s interesting that people say it’s a step down from action? I actually felt like there was more assassin-y action in those than in ToG. And I know the Sam feels may break your heart, but oh gosh, it’s worth it so much. I read them before ToG so at first I was like I don’t know what’s going to happen because I hear everyone going crazy over Chaol and htis guy is named Sam… but. I agree with the comment a few above me that I’m definitely anticipating Arobynn and Celaena’s reunion. It was something that made me SO MAD after the novellas that I was a little sad that nothing happened wiht Arobynn in ToG. Anyway. Heir of Fire will be amazing and I just CANNOT WAIT. :)
    Wendy @ Book Scents recently posted…Book Bangin’ – Vampires!

    • Kim

      Yessssssssss. Chaol. All the Chaol. I am glad to find someone who not only loves Chaol so much, but also loves the series! I can literally fangirl forever about all this!

      Oh my goodness, I cannot WAIT to read the novellas! The hardback collection should be in my hands in only a few days and I will absolutely devour it. I must’ve worded it incorrectly because I meant that Throne of Glass is considered a step down in action from the novellas and not the other way around. I haven’t been thoroughly destroyed by a reading experience in quite a while. And honestly, I’m looking forward to it. Sarah has a way of destroying me that I’ve found few authors I have. I can’t wait to meet Sam and I’m already so sad to lose him. :'(

  4. Laura

    I didn’t like Celaena at all in “Throne of Glass”, actually, I really came to despise her and put the book aside, disappointed that a fantasy story whose blurb promised such a great read turned out like that. But after this much fangirling I’m thinking about giving the series another try :)
    Laura recently posted…Personal Library Kit

  5. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I had to just skim this one…because a) I was fangirling too much, and b) I’m only just finishing Throne of Glass (and IT IS SO AWESOME) so I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. But I’m totally awed of the author’s writing skills. She manages to make the worlds sound ancient and cultured, but the dialogue isn’t brain-numbing. I luuuuurve that.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…The Firebird Mystery by Darrell Pitt

    • Kim

      Oh my god…if you think Throne of Glass is already awesome YOU ARE GOING TO DIE with CoM. Absolutely die.

      I agree. Ms. Maas is very skilled. I read an interview with her that really impressed me with all the thought and care she put into her world building. She cited as an example that she has silk dresses in her world, so it led her to thinking “Well how?” and she followed that down and had a whole backstory for the silk, how it gets produced, collected, and shipped around the world. That’s such a minor detail to me but it shows how much effort and love she’s put into this series.

      So excited for you to get to Crown of Midnight. Prepare to be utterly destroyed. :)
      Kim recently posted…Half Bad: Review

  6. E

    I loved Game of Thrones (about to start number two fairly soon… I have a rather wonderful large pile of books waiting for me) so this sounds perfect! Will keep my eyes peeled – thank you for the thoughtful review :)
    E recently posted…Signs of Spring

  7. Faye @ The Social Potato

    I really need to get this one! I read Throne of Glass months and months ago but I remember enjoying it very much. It was one of those rare cases where I actually enjoyed a love triangle instead of abhorring them. Even though I wish Calaena had a wee bit more backbone, she was such a lovely character throughout. You just made me excited for Crown of Midnight even though it’s been released months ago! And a third book is on its way, too! ><

    Awesome review, Kim! :)
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

    • Kim

      Oh if you enjoyed Throne of Glass you are going to *love* Crown of Midnight!!! Yeah, as love triangles go, I rate the one in ToG as “tolerable” which is as high as my love triangle scale goes. So there is that. Celaena goes through a ton of growth as a character in this installment. You will not be disappointed! I am so glad to hear I’ve made you excited about this book. Read it read it!!!
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

  8. Van

    I’ve been putting off this sequel just because of the first book. I guess now would be a good time to start reading it lol

      • Van

        Finally! I was able to finish it just last night! It took FOREVER because, well…priorities, ugh ;)

        Well, I gotta say that it’s much improved from the first book. I really enjoyed seeing Celaena actually doing some action, compared to the first book, where the whole book was her getting ready to do some action. (although, I haven’t touched the first book in years, so I may be missing something here, lol)

        At the same time, though, I can’t see how she could have been the “best” assassin in Ardalan. It really annoyed me when I would see her barely getting out of death situations. I mean, how can you be the “best” when you always need other people coming in to save you?! Every time there was always someone to the rescue, or by some sheer dumb luck she was able to escape.

        But the ending totally justified the book as a whole for me. I mean, the revelation was very predictable (what reader didn’t already predict Celaena’s true identity?), but Chaol’s final thoughts were just so…AGH! Lovely lovely head-splittingly lovely! And now we have to wait til the next book comes out!!…just a few more months..
        Van recently posted…Legend: What’s the Appeal?

  9. Amy

    I’ve decided to get off my behind and start The Throne of Glass series. I own the first book but have yet to read it. At least I know from reading through this to not be frustrated and quit the series if i’m not feeling the first book.

    • Kim

      Yes, read it, read it! It’s really not bad at all. Just be aware that there will be no assassinating going on in a book about an assassin. It’s basically elaborate, yet entertaining, set up for an epic series (six books). Just sit back and enjoy ToG. Then buckle in and *prepare* for CoM!
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

  10. Elizabeth

    This sums up not only my feelings about Crown of Midnight but the series as a whole so far! Throne of Glass was probably a 4 star read for me, and I understand why some people weren’t totally digging the book, but I try and beg every one I know who hasn’t experienced CoM to give the series at least another shot until they read that because OHMYGOD. It’s so good. It was probably my favourite book of last year (that slot is tied with SRB’s Unspoken). I read the novellas between ToG and CoM which I think was really perfect, because it addresses some things in the first book that you clearly won’t get answers about elsewhere as they appear in teh novellas. I also read them back to back (well the first four, I haven’t read the fifth yet), and honestly they read kind of like an entire novel on their own as well. It’s the first time I’ve really cared about novellas – I can’t think of any others I’ve ever read (and with the exception of the Abhorsen novella I’ve just discovered I think it unlikely that I’ll look at any others as well)

    And I have been a Chaolena shipper from the start and there DAMN WELL BETTER BE a Chaolena by the end of this (I’m actually really terrified about that. I have a feeling the next couple books are not going to include fun times with Chaol and Celaena. Yerghhhh)
    Elizabeth recently posted…Allegiant (Divergent #3) – Veronica Roth

    • Kim

      Yeah, I agree with you 100%. If after CoM you still don’t like the series, it’s not for you. But there’s a strong chance you’ll love it since it sure is a ride. It was one of the very, very top for me last year. I *still* feel sad about it and I can’t say that any other book I read in 2013 affected me that way.

      I’m going to read the novellas as soon as the HB arrives at my door! Yeah, I’ve heard that’s the recommended order and I’ll probably agree with but won’t know for sure until after I read them. The fifth novella *scares me so much* and I don’t even know Sam yet. The poor dear. I’m so excited to get all that backstory and to see a bit more of Erilea. So strange to think that everything has been self contained to the castle so far when *so much* has happened. Now that we’re getting out into the wider world in the upcoming books the potential for awesome feels endless.

      Oh I’ve been Chaolaena from the beginning too. Go away, Dorian. And any/all men who are new characters (who the hell is this Rowan Whitethorn I see on Sarah’s Pinterest? STAY AWAY, SIR!!! Stay away) who think they’re going to get in on this. No. As much as it pains me, I agree. I don’t see our shipper hearts having anything so much as a bone thrown our way until…I’m gonna say maybe mid Book 4. Seems about right to me. And that hurts.
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

  11. kimbacaffeinate

    Wonderful review Kim, I loved book one but agree this was a stronger book and how often does that happen. Completely agree about the feels and I am on edge waiting for book three’s release. My heart needs to see what happens, but it flip-flops just thinking about it. Gads
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Three by Kristen Simmons

    • Kim

      Yeah, CoM is the complete opposite of “Book 2 syndrome.” It scares me a little since this was *so* good where can you go from here? But I trust Sarah. I think we’re in store for even more excitement, danger, and intrigue! Book 3 blurb promises, “…more heart-stopping action, devastating drama and swoonsome romance…” No! I have had enough devastating drama! My god! Ugh, it’s killing me. And if that “swoonsome romance” is Celaena with anyone but Chaol I will walk out of my window. The fangirling is strong with this one. It’s also 100 pages longer than CoM at a whopping 530. I am alternately happy and frightened. So frightened.
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

    • Kim

      This series makes me fangirl so hard I swear to god if Chaolaena is not endgame I will walk off a cliff.

      Yeah, that was pretty decent fangirling. Those two are dangerously close to OTP territory for me. Very close.

      Celaena honestly scared me with her ferocity and viciousness in this book and I LOVED it. I can only imagine what is going to go down in Book 3!
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

  12. Brittany T

    I absolutely adore Celaena. This series is nightly underrated in my opinion. I’m glad it’s getting some much needed attention. The second book was great for me b/c as u said there was a lot more delving into character backgrounds and shed some light on some things I was curious about. Can’t wait for the novellas even though I’ve read all but 1. Heir of fire will be fantastic I know it!

    • Kim

      I really love her too! I think she’s definitely misunderstood often. I just feel so bad for the crap hand she was dealt in life. She’s already been through more than enough before Book 1 even starts! And then everything just gets worse. Poor girl.

      The character development was one of my very favorite aspects of CoM. Especially for Dorian but also for Chaol when I think about it. Sarah really just did such a wonderful job making these characters and this world so fully realized. It’s hard not to care for them.

      I bet I know which novella you haven’t read yet. The one with ALL THE SAD. I pre-ordered the novella collection HB so I’m telling myself I will, I *will* finally read super sad soul destroying novella when it gets here. I am as ready as I’ll ever be.

      Heir of Fire is going to be EPIC. Do you follow her Pinterest board for the series? All of her Book 3 related pins make me practically bounce out of my chair in excitement. It looks incredible. Bloodthirsty witches and dragons and bromance journeys! Agh!
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

  13. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I love this series. I love Celaena. I love Chaol. I love Nehemia. I love Dorian *sobs*

    And yeah, there is so much going on in this book. I read it MONTHS ago, and even just sitting here thinking about it, I’ve got that feeling of DREAD that I carried through the book. You just know that something is coming, but you don’t know what, and you don’t know when . . . GAH.

    But there were so many other cool things (like the carnival), and the questions about Celaena’s heritage getting answered, and yes, THE ENDING–what do I do now?! Serious book hangover ;)
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Slumber by Samantha Young

    • Kim

      I really love them all too! Well, maybe Dorian a bit less, but he really grew on me in this installment. I felt bad for the dude.

      SO MUCH happens in this book. Particularly the second half. What. And yes! Dread, absolute dread. Dread and shock and a pervasive sadness were all I felt reading the second half of this book. It was so heartbreaking.

      I really loved all of the revelations we got. Even if they were a bit obvious it was still fun and she was BADASS. I can’t wait to see what other discoveries are in store for Book 3…

      That ending. I think I fell to my knees too. What. the. hell. Neeeeeeeed Book 3 now. Need it like air.
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

    • Kim

      Yes, it’s so strange. They really emphasize that she is an assassin when, really, that’s not what the story is about. It’s about Celaena discovering (or re-discovering) everything else that she is *besides* an assassin. It’s a pretty traditional epic fantasy “journey of discovery/find your destiny” story but this isn’t even obvious until the end of Book 2. CoM is definitely worth giving a shot, I think. I’ve seen people who didn’t even like ToG end up *really* liking CoM. In any case, if you still don’t like the series by CoM then I think you can definitely know that it’s not for you.
      Kim recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!

  14. Melliane

    Oh I have this one and the first one since my birthday but I still need to getinto them. I’m really curious to see how they are mainly after the wonderful reviews I see everywhere.
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #82

  15. Lauren @ Love is not a triangle

    I didn’t start this series when the book came out, because all I heard was LOVE TRIANGLE – seriously that phrase drowns out nearly everything else for me. BUT BUT everyone has told me that it disappears in this book and that 2 ups the swoon but also the action, and is by FAR a better story. I only skimmed your review, but it is very encouraging to see how much you loved this one. Of course, I’m nervous because a 6 book series could go ANYWHERE, but my plan is to get a sense of #3 and then read the first half of the series as one entity. Though maybe I’ll be convinced to read this earlier, as I’ve seen nothing but raving about it.
    Lauren @ Love is not a triangle recently posted…Dangerous by Shannon Hale

    • Kim

      Yeah, I don’t blame you. I *hate* love triangles with a fiery passion. I don’t even like “well done” love triangles where it isn’t obvious who the winner will be and both guys are great. I always have a favorite and it just presents an element of anxiety to the story that I hate experiencing.

      That being said, yeah. Book 1 has a love triangle. But! It is officially ended by the end of the book. I decided to go ahead and read this series only after I found that out. For me to give a 3.5 to a book with a love triangle is a strong compliment to that book. In terms of love triangles, it is super bearable. What everyone has told you is correct! No love triangle + more swoon + more action=better book.

      I am also nervous. Very, very nervous. I understand that in the original version of this story on FictionPress that Celaena had many suitors. But, I also have heard that this is basically a completely different story than the original. Who knows. It just wouldn’t make any sense to me. The pairing in Book 2 is set up so beautifully and so epically…it would really be baffling were they not to be endgame. Waiting for Book 3 reactions might be wise. I am actually terrified to read it though also dyyyyyyyyyyyying for it. It is conflicting and overwhelming!

  16. Sashana

    I didn’t really enjoy Throne of Glass (it was a 3 star read for me) but I’m going to continue the series after reading this review.

  17. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    I recently read Crown of Midnight as well and thought it was fantastic! Such a step up from the previous novel and I didn’t even know how that was possible. I am with you in being on team Chaol! He’s so dreamy, loyal, supportive, perfect for her. I need to read the novellas too, I can’t wait! Lovely review Kim.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Blogging Slump? You’re not alone.

    • Kim

      Yay! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it! It’s nice to hear that even those who really liked ToG were also blown away. It really was such a ride. Chaol *is* the best. The ending left me with such anxiety for their future. Ugh, 4 more books of worrying. Can’t handle!

  18. Johannah

    Nice Review – well, the parts I read. I did skim a lot of it (honestly) because I haven’t read Throne of Glass yet and I don’t want to run into any spoilers. I apparently need to read the first book so I can read the second to be blown away. ha ha!!

    I feel like I’m getting further and further behind with new books that are coming out. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to keep up.
    Johannah recently posted…Water color Art

    • Kim

      It is fairly free of ToG spoilers but I’m glad you liked what you saw. :) Yeah, ToG really isn’t bad *at all* it’s just not “oh my god amazing!” Especially when comparing it to CoM it’s like night and day. ToG just now lives in the shadow of its successor. I hope you’ll love it, though. It *is* hard to keep up with the ever growing TBR list. I feel your pain!

  19. K.

    Great review, Kim! I haven’t really tried reading Throne of Glass because for some reason, I always felt it was a little too…juvenile? But you have some really strong words in here like “slayed”. I want to be slayed :) And I love that you admit that the first book wasn’t that great because it just gives hope that it’ll get better. Ugh, another one to pile onto my TBR ;)

    • Kim

      Thanks, K! I totally get what you mean about Throne of Glass seeming juvenile. It is a little bit, but I think that is on purpose. When I think of Celaena in Book 2 and then think back to Celaena at the beginning of Book 1, there is a huge difference. She does go through a lot of growth. In retrospect, Book 2 gets so sad and so dark that it makes me kind of appreciate how silly Book 1 could be at points. The feast before the fast in a way. Skimming through it for this review I actually liked it a lot more than the first go round since I know the characters all so much better and it was nice to return to simpler times for a second!

      Yeah, this book really did a number on me. It’s so very, very happy and swoony and wonderful. And then a super devastating thing happens and everything goes to hell. It’s just awful. The ending leaves you feeling very helpless and heartbroken. I read this in September and I’m still not over it. You must come and commiserate with me if you end up feeling similarly!

  20. Kate Bond

    I’ve had this on my Kindle since the day it was released, and I still haven’t read it, because the first book just kind of annoyed me. You’ve inspired me to give the series another chance! Huzzah!
    Kate Bond recently posted…Crown of Midnight: Review

    • Kim

      This makes me very pleased but also very anxious! I hope you’ll like this one more. Or least be less annoyed. It’s very different than Book 1. It’s also much darker! I forgot to mention that. You must let me know what you end up thinking!

    • Kim

      Celaena and Chaol are epic. They’re just so lovely and heartbreaking. Need moar now! Poor, poor Celaena. Girl needs a serious break.

  21. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I was not the biggest fan of the first book but REALLY enjoyed this one! I think I needed to see Celaena perform all those tasks she was bragging about. She’s a bit more worn down, a bit less brash and cocky (I really just wanted to smack her in the first book — you’re only 17! Shut up about your “awesome” self, already!), and I appreciated that.
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted…Speed date with Arin: THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski

    • Kim

      Yeah, Celaena goes through *a lot* in this installment. She’s almost a completely different character at the end of Book 2. I enjoyed her swagger, though. It made me sad, also, since it’s really just a front she wears as a coping mechanism for her traumatic life. Sad times. Really glad you enjoyed this installment. :) I think that things are only going to get more and more exciting!

  22. Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I really didn’t enjoy Throne of Glass, but I’ve heard so many positive thoughts on this installment that I’m re-considering my decision not to continue with the series. Still, I think I’ll wait to see how all seven books play out before picking this back up. Wonderful review, though, Kim – I’m excited to add this back to my TBR and hopefully pick it up soon! :)
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Review: Live by Mary Ann Rivers

    • Kim

      I am so happy to hear that you’ll give Crown of Midnight a chance!!! I hope you’ll love it. I will be very envious of your wait free reading experience. :)

  23. Wendy Darling

    KIM. I have had TOG as an ARC since months before it came out and never got around to reading it, but your review of COM has me kicking myself that I haven’t done it sooner. (But yay, I don’t have to wait for the better book!) I love books that stomp all over your heart, so I am really excited to start this now. It’s funny, even though this has been out for awhile I haven’t read many reviews, and certainly none that made me want to drop everything and read the series immediately. Well done, you. Now I have to meet this Chaol person.

    • Kim

      :D :D :D :D

      Aaaaaaaaahhhh! That is the highest compliment you could pay me!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. Now I’m so scared you’re going to hate them. “That Kim sure has terrible taste in books.” is a thing you will say as you regret your decision to read them. haha.

      And yes. Chaol. It is very important that you two should meet. Haha oh man. Your heart is just going to be ripped out, though. *sigh*

      Do keep me updated on your reading experience. Eagerly anticipating your thoughts now!

  24. Kate @ Ex Libris

    Chaolaenaaaaaa!!!!!!!! Something I really loved about this book was that there were two scenes that take place in broom closets. One made me blush and one made me cry. I loved this book so much and you were right about it being MORE. Now I’m all impatient for book 3, all over again!
    Kate @ Ex Libris recently posted…Tin Star By Cecil Castellucci

    • Kim

      This comment just ruined me. You are so right. Oh my god, the sad broom closet scene. Ugh. Don’t cry sweet darling, Chaol. Don’t cry. :'( Heartbroken all over again. Book 3 get into my hands now!!!

  25. Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon

    I felt much the same as you did about Throne of Glass. It was fine, but it wasn’t really remarkable, to me anyway. And then I heard that this series is going to have 6 books in it. I had just assumed that it was going to be your standard issue trilogy. After hearing that I was really conflicted on whether I wanted to continue the series or not. There are just so many other books that I want to read, I can’t spend time reading big series that I don’t love.

    However, I’m delighted that you and so many others are reporting a huge upswing in Crown of Midnight! These positive reviews are making me think I need to give this series another shot. Thanks for the review!
    Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon recently posted…Anne of Green Gables Gets a New Look

    • Kim

      Yeah, this is going to be an epic fantasy with the first 2 books basically serving as build up and catalyst to the journey portion. I’d say definitely give Crown of Midnight a shot! It is such an improvement over ToG. If you still don’t care the series after CoM I’d say it’s probably safe to ignore the rest. You just might love it, though! :)

  26. Amber @ Books of Amber

    I wasn’t a fan of Throne of Glass, and was going to quit the series until my friend forced this upon me. I’m so glad she did though, because it was so much better! I loved Dorian in this installment, and I’ve now completely fallen in love with Celaena. I was indifferent towards her in ToG but in this one skdhfkjhdfkjhd. I am soooo excited for the next book.
    Amber @ Books of Amber recently posted…Grave Mercy by R.L LaFevers

    • Kim

      Awesome. I am glad you were pressured into reading this ha. Since you ended up liking it and all. I agree, there was a marked improvement in Dorian and Celaena’s development. I’m just so excited because I think the series can only go up from here. There’s a great big journey we’re going on in Book 3. Can’t wait!

  27. Michelle{bookhangovers}

    Holy “HURRY THE HELL UP DELIVERY GUY”!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m waiting on the arrival of Throne of Glass. I order it on V-Day and I can not wait to delve into this series!!!! You are only AMPing up my excitement thank you very much :)

    • Kim

      Yay! I am excited for you! You are in for a treat, but also a lot of heartbreak. Bring the tissues.

  28. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    “One thing that I really appreciate about Celaena’s character is that for as kickass and lethal as she is, she is also very feminine.”

    THIS. I know a lot of people had issues with Celaena’s ‘girliness’ in the first book, but I absolutely loved it. It comes across so naturally to me, and suits her so very well. I love that she is able to be so fearless and brutal at the same time. And ALL THE CHAOL FEELS. He is fast becoming one of my favourite love interests of all time. I’m nervous about what might happen to his and Celaena’s relationship in the next installment (especially given the length of this series), but I will definitely be shipping them to the very end. Brilliant review, Kim! :)
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

    • Kim

      Oh I love it too! I completely agree with you. It does come off as natural and just a part of who she is. I mean, this is a girl who has been through hell. She was just enslaved for a year at age 17! She’s allowed to take pleasure in pretty dresses. It doesn’t make her shallow. I thought it rounded out her personality well. Feminine does not equal silly or shallow. That’s just misogyny.

      Oh, Chaol. He is becoming a real all time favorite for me too. I am SUPER NERVOUS about what will become of this epic ship. I actively worry about it. I am legitimately frightened of reading Book 3. When I actually have it in my hands it might just sit there and stare at me for days because I’m overwhelmed with all the bad things that could possibly happen. Please don’t devastate us even more, Sarah. :(

      I will say that I am really looking forward to the Chaol/Dorian epic bromance storyline for Book 3. I bet it will be super touching and full of bro feels. Aww.

    • Kim

      The ending was basically Sarah J. Maas carving out my heart and then handing it back to me. Gee thanks. But, I mean, I *am* absolutely dying to read Book 3. And 4 and 5 and 6. Gah. So you glad you love them! :)

  29. Natalie Crown


    They are short and the quality isn’t the best, but I just can’t get enough of this world! Meeting Sam is torture, I grant you. But meeting Arobynn was amazing and I want him to end up being the villain of all villains in this series tbh. He’s my fave sort of villian, the charmer that you aren’t entirely sure of…but YEAH. READ THEMMMM.

    I haven’t really seen anything about book 3 tbh. I have JUST made a pinterest though so now I know how I’m spending my evening…
    Natalie Crown recently posted…Book Tour Update

    • Kim

      Oh I plan to read them and soon! I pre-ordered the HB novella collection. I’ll read it as soon as it arrives in my hands. Until then I’m still preparing ha. Poor, poor Sam. And yes, Arobynn…I am excited to meet him. Charismatic villains are my fav. :)

  30. Nadia

    “Chaolaena forever, okay? Chaol, Chaol, Chaol.” S A M E.
    I died a thousand times over because of all the Chaolaena in this book.

    I have mixed feelings about the series being 6 books. I’m worried the “love triangle” will be dragged. I DON’T WANT TO LOSE CHAOLAENA. And I’m upset because of all the waiting, we are not getting any younger here. But I’m SO excited to see this world and its history be more developed! Everything’s so interesting, especially Celaena’s heritage. I can’t wait for Book 3!

    • Kim

      Yeah, those two just absolutely destroyed me in both the best and worst ways. Please be okay, babies. Please. *frets*

      I’m not even so much worried about a love triangle as a love rectangle or maybe a love pentagon. My understanding is that the original Queen of Glass story on Fictionpress had quite a lot of suitors for Celaena. But I’ve heard that the Throne of Glass series we know and love is quite different from QoG so far. Hopefully that extends to Celaena’s love life as well.

      I mean, I just really wouldn’t understand it, though. She really set up Chaolaena quite epically in CoM. The way they regard each other and the things say to each other…it would seem very cheap if other love interests popped up.

      Here is my conjecture based on what I understand from Book 3 Pinterest pins and the Book 3 description:

      So Book 1 was essentially just set up. The central mystery was basically a build up of all the mythical/legendary elements of the story. A primer on them. Book 2 is the catalyst that sets our hero off on her journey. Book 3 is the beginning of scoping out to a much more traditional epic fantasy narrative. The first two books were essentially contained to the king’s castle. We’re really now just at the beginning of the actual journey portion and there are several story lines to cover. We have Celaena’s adventures, the Dorian/Chaol bromance journey and the new character Manon Blackbeak. I think things are also positioned in such a way that the series could go into completely unexpected territory. I mean the Wyrdkeys control pathways into other universes. We could very well end up going to other universes at some point in this series!! There’s more than enough potential for me to understand why this is 6 books without being *too* worried.

      But yeah, I understand your worries. Boy do I ever. Celaena and Chaol are my actual favorites and after CoM I know that Maas will not shy away from devastating us. Don’t do it, Sarah!

  31. Savannah

    ME TOO! I’m still drowning in a river feels since I read this book last year! GAH! That ending nearly killed me. Good thing I was in the car at the time and on my way to an reading event so I had plenty of time to think and process it. Since we were in the car, I told my husband the entire story. And you know what he said,”Is this a movie? I want to watch it.” He was so intrigued by what I just read that even he was like, lets watch it. LOL. Super excited for the next book to come out.
    Savannah recently posted…Cover Reveal: Final Stand

    • Kim

      That ending is pure evil. I can’t imagine having been out anywhere in public and be expected to function socially after finishing this book. After the unspeakable event I cannot even allow myself to contemplate happened, I gave myself a day or two and then just set aside a few hours to power through the rest of the book. It was so hard to do. Just too sad. At the end I was just curled up in a ball on my bed going “Why, Sarah??? Whyyyyyy?” I am glad your car time was enough for you to process, though! Hehe, I would *love* to see a movie version of this story one day. Particularly with the epic turn that the series will be taking from here on out it would be amazing. *sigh*

  32. Emily

    The Chaolaena feels – they were strong in this one. I can’t believe we have months to wait until the next installment and another 3 books after that! How will our poor shipper hearts survive? Anyway, great review! I also still feel the impact of the ending, despite having read it months ago. Excited and scared to see what happens next to these characters!

    • Kim

      This one was rough on us, Em. CoM is simultaneously the absolute best and the absolute worst for Chaolaena shippers. She brought us up so high. Then she gave us the lowest of lows. Why, Sarah, whyyyyyy?!?! Celaena has been through enough already. Leave her alone! My shipper heart is so nervous and frightened about what’s going to happen. I need Chaolaena to be end game. I *need* it. Can’t believe we’ll be waiting 3 more years for a resolution to it all. I also need to stay away from that Pinterest board because it torments me. What do those images mean?!?! Aaargh. Terrible.
      Kim recently posted…Crown of Midnight: Review

    • Kim

      The covers are *gorgeous*. I love them. A vast improvement over the original. I saw some in the bookstore one day and I did feel sad for only having the ebooks. One day in the distant future when all six books are out I’ll probably obtain the collection. Just too pretty!

  33. Bethzaida (bookittyblog)

    I’ve been wanting to read this books since BEA last year. I haven’t because I started reading Throne of Glass and didn’t feel like it was for me. So I put it aside and never picked it up again. Now I have to read it ASAP so I can get to Crown of Midnight!!
    Bethzaida (bookittyblog) recently posted…Pic2Book Wednesday Challenge #87

    • Kim

      It took me a little while to really get into ToG. I mean, not much really happens overall. It’s lots of pretty dresses, some assassin competition (which is cool but it’s really not action oriented until the very end), and a little bit of love triangle. CoM is like a completely different series, though. In the best way possible.

      You must let me know if you end up liking Crown of Midnight! Probably you will need some comfort and support after finishing. It’s a doozy.

  34. Natalie Crown

    When I read Throne of Glass I enjoyed it but that was all. Crown of Midnight BLEW ME AWAY and suddenly I was obsessed. I devoured the novellas and now I’m tapping my fingers waiting for the next book.

    It was just so FUN to read, full of characters I care for. GUH. I love it and I love your review. You sum it all up perfectly.

    Especially this part:

    ‘This book took me on an emotional thrill ride. My heart went from soaring to absolutely devastated. No, really. Devastated. There is a thing that happens between two characters that completely slayed me. My jaw was hanging wide open at how heartbreaking and terrible this was. My heart still pangs with sorrow when I think about it now. I could’ve read this in one sitting but after this event…it was so sad, so taxing to continue that it took me awhile. Prepare accordingly.’

    I SCREAMED AT THIS BOOK. That’s how much it got to me. And the twist at the end was obvious, but it was my favourite sort of twist so I don’t careeeeeeeee.

    The great thing is that Maas improved so much with Crown of Midnight, that I hope she continues that steady rise. Each book could get progressively better and can you just IMAGINE the possibilities?

    Of all the books I have loved recently…there is one scene that I am anticipating with desparate need… CELAENAS REUNION WITH AROBYNN. Give it to me. Oh my god, give it to me.
    Natalie Crown recently posted…Book Tour Update

    • Kim

      Yeah, Throne of Glass is enjoyable enough but that’s it. This installment is something else, though. The vast amount of improvements from Book 1 to Book 2 really amazes me. I’ve been browsing the author’s ToG Pinterest board and I cannot contain the excitement from the Book 3 related stuff. It looks like there are going to be DRAGONS!!!!!! Also, super creepy witches with sharp teeth holding bloody hearts in their hands. Sign me up. From what I can tell it looks like everything is only going to get more epic. CANNOT WAIT.

      This book destroyed me. It just broke my heart. When “that part” happened I was just sort of floundering in shock and sadness. What what what?? This can’t be happening?!?! That would never happen! Why??? Why?!!? Ugh, just terrible. I hope that that is “peak sadness” for the series because I cannot take much more. And yeah, this was just such a great reading experience that it’s possibly hard to care about the obvious twists.

      I haven’t read the novellas yet so I don’t have super strong feelings on the eventual reunion with Arobynn. I do know that I just want her to kill him. POOR SAM. I don’t even know him yet and I am already so sad about his fate. How can I read the novellas already knowing what will happen? Why does Sarah J. Maas keep making terrible things happen to her characters? :'( I’m steeling myself to read them.

  35. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    I can’t wait to get The assassin’s blade. I loved the novella’s and the cover is gorgeous!

    This book has all the feelings. I’m also a Chaol/Celaena shipper, so I was more than happy with the romance in this book. They are so cute together. Celaena is one of my girl crushes. There is something about her that makes me want to hug her (although I think she would stab me in the back) She is so flawed and real, I like her :) I also can’t wait what Maas is going to do after such an ending! There are so many possiblities.

    And what did you think when THAT happened.?It has to do with the lost of a certain character. *teary eyes*
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Early Review 235. Anthology Grim.

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