Book: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas, Audible Inc, November 2013
Book Info: Audiobook purchased via Audible, Inc. Running time: 12 hrs, 1 mins. Audiobook performed by: Elizabeth Evans. Also available in hardcover, 432 pages from Bloomsbury. Audible * Amazon * Goodreads
I listened to the first two books in the Throne of Glass series back to back, which is my favorite way to experience a series. OK, ideally I would have waited until the third book was out but this was a nice compromise. This installment brings drama, heartbreak, and game changing reveals as it ramps up the intensity. I loved the first book (here’s my review) and am even more impressed with the sequel. How often can you say that?
In the first book, Throne of Glass, the world building is set up nicely and we get acquainted with the key players in the series. In the sequel Crown of Midnight, the author gets to have more fun with the characters and push some boundaries. The action, romance, and suspense build to higher levels of intensity. And excitingly, Celaena gets to strut her stuff as the assassin only hinted to in book one.
As the king’s champion/assassin, Celaena has to do his bidding, no questions asked, in order to earn her eventual freedom. She has some trusted allies in the kingdom including Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, Dorian, the crown prince, and Nehemia, a visiting Princess. This series has one of my favorite love triangles currently in YA, since I’m quite fond of both Chaol and Dorian. Depending on who your favorite is, you may be in for some pain as the romance takes a turn for the angst. (But there’s still more books in the series for the author to fix things, right?)
For me as a contemporary fan to rate a fantasy series 5-stars is pretty unusual. But man, I just eat these books up! Sarah J. Maas weaves a great story no matter what your preferred genre is. There are so many emotional highs and lows in this book that you know as a reader not to get too comfortable when things seem to be going too smoothly The plot moves in unexpected directions and effortlessly weaves magical elements into the story.
There is character development with all of the key players in this installment. Celaena is more confident, calculating and kick-ass when she needs to be, while also keeping her softer side. And there are new dimensions to explore in Chaol, Dorian and Nehemia in the sequel. There are so many surprises in this one that I just have to be vague about all the exciting developments in this one.
I again listened to the audiobook, performed by Elizabeth Evans. With all of the action in Crown of Midnight, Evans keeps up by reading with more intensity. She matches Celaena’s growth beat by beat and gets you good and wrapped up in the story. Evans makes all the characters sound unique and with their own personalities so there’s never any doubt as to who is speaking. She uses an appropriate tone for the romantic, action, and quiet scenes and reads with a brisk pace. This 12-hour audiobook just flew by and I was anxious to keep listening to it.
Be warned that this book ends with a big cliffhanger that will leave you clamoring for the sequel. The next book in this 6-part series is Heir of Fire, due out this fall. There’s plenty of time to catch up with this series before then!