Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: August 2013
Author’s Info: sarahjmaas.com
Wendy’s Rating: 3 of 5 stars
As much as I enjoyed Throne of Glass, one thing that bugged me (other than Celaena’s arrogance) was the fact that Celaena is supposedly the renowned and feared Adarlan’s Assassin, but beyond her own boasting, she didn’t do anything assassiny. Crown of Midnight initially made me believe I was finally getting to see what I wanted to see, but we quickly find out otherwise. The King’s Champion proves herself conniving, with questionable negotiations, but she certainly doesn’t prove herself deadly. It made me wonder if Maas was having trouble truly associating her character with the more negative aspects of being known as Adarlan’s Assassin – namely, the assassin part. This is remedied half way through the book when she unleashes her darkness in a way that I can only describe as Mary Sue the Ninja. The scene, which I could probably re-enact with Catwoman in a Batman: Arkham Asylum challenge map, was a bit too over the top for my liking.
My second problem with this book (other than Celaena’s arrogance), is the heavy focus on cloying romances. Celaena, now moved on from her romance with Prince Dorian, is paying more attention to the captain of the guard, Chaol Westfall, which, on top of her arrogance, results in a book that spends far too long being the kind of YA book that I don’t particularly enjoy.
Having to deal with all of this for half the book made it very difficult to continue, but I generally try to finish what I start. Fortunately, the actual plot picked up and started to move along at the half way point with Princess Nehemia’s plotting, the slow, seeping return of magic, and Queen Elena’s mysterious absence. We finally get to focus on the dark past Celaena is running from and the destiny she is trying her hardest to avoid.
The big revelation at the end still has Mary Sue smatterings, no matter how often Maas reminds us of what Celaena has lost and what she suffered as a slave in the mines, but it is still interesting enough for me to consider continuing. At the very least, circumstances seemed to have caused her to mature a bit. While I don’t want her to lose her arrogance completely, as it is part of her coping mechanisms, I do hope the swagger is toned down a bit for future installments – which I still am intrigued enough to want to read.