… I knew what my fate was to be, and I embraced it. I ran toward it. Because it was the only way for things to begin changing, for events to be set in motion. But no matter what I did, Elentiya, I want you to know that in the darkness of the past ten years, you were one of the bright lights for me. Do not let that light go out.” Nehemia ~ Crown of Midnight
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller, YA Page Count: 418
Author: Sarah J. Maas
(If you are interested in my whacked summary of this book, I have included a link below!)
I had high expectations for this book being the second book to the Throne of Glass series and let me tell you. I was not disappointed! Thirty-six pages in, I was already hooked and very excited with where the characters and story were going. It’s like, the first book was a creation of a world and an introduction to fascinating characters, and this book just deepened that interest and those characters. I was very happy the story kept the feel of the first book.
There was even more high stakes than the first one and the intrigue was just enough to have your head filled with questions on what was actually happening under Celaena’s nose. It was more realistic in the behaviors of a court than the last book as well, with lots of good old-fashioned manipulating. And then, if that weren’t enough, on the side was the most romantic love story between Celaena and a certain amazing someone! It was so realistic, sweet and tough as all relationships are. The two seemed so perfect together it was heartbreaking. I don’t know if I’ve ever read romance done so well!
However, not just the romance, intrigue or action filled plot kept me wanting more, but the suspense! No protagonist seemed safe. I was constantly worried one of these beautiful characters would be snatched away from me in a blink of an eye! Not these people who make me want to cry, laugh and smile all at once! Seriously, warning, this book hurts the heart.
Celaena was a very well-developed main protagonist. I felt for her. I was her at times. Her pain, sorrow and happiness. Her strength. If it weren’t for her thoughts of killing people and her “occupation”. I might want to know someone like her in real life.
That said, she annoyed me sometimes with how much she just wanted to hate people. Kill people. She’s so volatile, it’s super frustrating. It’s like, please control yourself. I also very much appreciated the writer wanting to add more morality in the story, but Celaena isn’t a good person. She’s an assassin. And trying to suddenly make her seem like she kills for a good cause and she always did, like some Robin Hood when that obviously wasn’t implied in the first book kind of bothered me.
She also should know magic is a very real thing in the story because she basically won the tournament with the help of magic and is alive because of it, but she acts like it’s non-existent and that didn’t make sense to me.
I loved love LOVED Chaol too!! If you think he was amazing in the first book, oh man, you have to read this one. It was so hard not to wish he were real! Dorian’s progression was phenomenal too. They’ve both come so far!
The writing was very good. Really got you thinking about many important issues from slavery, to human behavior, morality and politics. It could be a little confusing to tell where the writer was going with the morals though. Sometimes they were very good and sometimes terrible. Going from mercy to no mercy in an instant. I was disappointed with that.
I am still disappointed with the paganism in this book for sure. That’s my main complaint along with the lack of morality in some cases but in truth, this is one of the best YA’s I have ever read.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘seriously?)
I loved the romance in this book as I said above. Very well done, very loving and cute and as much as there seemed to be a love triangle at times, Celeana was surprisingly faithful to her lover and I quite liked that. Even when she implied she’d sleep with someone else she realized it was wrong and some of that good morality came into play. It was surprising for sure.
Passionate kissing is often enough in the story, hugging, holding one another, and eventually, sex is implied. It’s implied several times through the two lovers closing the door of the room they’re in. Other than that, there are sexual jokes here and there like in the case of a man telling a woman he’d love to debrief her and finding a naked man in a room with a woman in bed. That sort of thing. A man raised in a brothel is also very prevalent in the story.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘constant’.)
The paganism isn’t as bad in this one as it was in the first but it is still prevalent. Some of the main characters talk of false gods and goddesses blessing and cursing.
What was more prevalent in this one though was witchcraft. It’s definitely considered a bad thing in the book which I was very happy with and almost exclusively used by villains but that didn’t keep the main character from using it. When she does by cutting her hand and chanting to revive a dead friend, she immediately regrets it and a bunch of bad happens.
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘constant cussing’.)
Cussing is kept to a surprisingly low minimum. The only words repeatedly used are, “bitch,” “bastard,” “ass,” and “hell.”
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘graphic violence’.)
The violence in the second book is very much like that of the first. The book immediately starts with Celeana doing the king’s dirty work as his champion, tossing him severed heads. However, Celeana is not what she seems and those she tosses before the king she didn’t kill but people that were already dead. She is saving lives indeed which is surprising. Through the story, she thinks of killing still though and threatens people that she’ll kill them in malicious ways.
Her past is investigated some too which leads to her massacre of the guards at the prison she was in. Hacking, slashing and different forms of killing are described as well as blood described. At some point, after witnessing a bloody, heavily gruesome scene and the death of someone she cares about Celeana goes completely berserk, out for vengeance and killing all she thinks are responsible. She does not give mercy even when it’s begged for.
Drinking, drugs or smoking: 1-10
(1 for ‘hardly any’ and 10 for ‘constant use’.)
Drinking and drunkards mentioned.
One of the characters in the story that is very prevalent was raised in a brothel. Some of his “clients” are implied to be men. This character loathes this and wants to get out of it. It is seen as a bad thing.