September 17, 2014

Review by Alex: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 420
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: You'll have to ask Alex, my guest reviewer for the day!
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From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

This may be the most difficult review I ever write. Mostly because I have SO MANY FEELS, and I’m like GET IT TOGETHER, LEX!

act normal

And that is simply impossible.

Let me tell you about my Crown of Midnight reading experience. I started crying around the 35 page mark and didn’t stop until halfway in, at which point my conscious mind sort of blacked out and my subconscious read the rest. Maybe that’s a bit overdramatic, but it’s not far off.

Granted some of the crying was joyful tears. The first half of the book is pretty much everything my hearted ever wanted for my loves. Celaena, Chaol, Nehemia, and Dorian were doing their thing, with a wonderful mix of mystery and struggle and happy moments and heart-melting relationship development, and only Dorian wasn’t getting a reprieve from his hardships. Then, in one moment, it all went to hell.

The second half of Crown of Midnight changed EVERYTHING I thought I knew about this story, about the characters, about the world. Everything changed. And it was supposed to! We’ve all read those books that blind side us because the author lost control or wanted to add cheap shock value. There was NOTHING cheap about how Sarah maneuvered the narrative. She made it very clear, through the actions of one character in particular, that this had to happen to kick-start Celaena into action. Because she could not continue down the path she was on, doing the King’s bidding and earning her freedom in a few years. Like every hero/heroine, Celaena has a purpose (otherwise, what’s the point of reading about them?), and she can’t escape it no matter how much she wants to.

Thinking about it now, this whole book reminds me of an Anberlin song, “Never Take Friendship Personal,” that I think emotes a lot of what happens to Celaena.

Reading Crown of Midnight… obliterated me, because the emotions were all so real and strong and personal. Every single character goes through life changing moments, and Sarah shows those changes and the mere beginnings of the repercussions therein. And she does it all… perfectly. There is no better word for how well she wrote this book.

In fact, this book should come with a 21 and over warning label, because after I finished reading…



I thought the world building in Throne of Glass was incredible, but Erilea EXPLODES to life in Crown of Midnight. There is so much more going on than we originally thought. It’s the growth that we see in this book that pushes this series beyond the realm of ordinary high fantasy story-telling.

Regardless of all the hell that occurred, I can’t properly express how much I LOVE every single word Sarah wrote. And, Sarah, THANK YOU. Thank you for what you have given me and every other reader that your words have touched.

Alexandra Ray is an aspiring Young Adult Fantasy writer. She is currently working on a high fantasy, very loose retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. She is a former poster on and the livejournal community The_Write_Away. She loves all things Disney, first gen Digimon, Pokemon, and crime shows that don’t take themselves too seriously and often finds herself daydreaming of pirates, mermaids, and faeries. You can follow Alex on her Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.