Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

Shit seriously just went down. Oh wow, where do I start with this sequel? I wasn't even sure I was going to read it when I recently finished [b:Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1335819760s/7896527.jpg|11138426] and found it entertaining but a poor excuse for fantasy. You want to know what [b:Crown of Midnight|17167166|Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1375810518s/17167166.jpg|21581860] felt like? It was like the author listened to every piece of criticism I could have thrown at the first book, listened to everything I loved and everything that irritated me... and then wrote a perfect kind of book. The kind I wanted the first one to be; the kind I hadn't dared to hope she might produce in this sequel. There was more action, more nastiness, more character development, more surprises, more complications, more sexy, no love triangle - all of this and a well-placed, never-saw-it-coming twist. Ms Maas, consider me impressed.

[b:Crown of Midnight|17167166|Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1375810518s/17167166.jpg|21581860] takes a huge step away from the tame romantic/bitchy drama of its predecessor and opens up a story that is a bigger, bloodier and meaner than I think many readers will be expecting. Celaena gets to fully explore all aspects of what it means to be an assassin in this book; she is tested constantly and you can see her growing and changing and learning as the story progresses. And this story is one tumultuous journey of extremely high ups and unbelievably low downs with Celaena taking relationships to all new levels and watching others fall apart. Old enemies resurface and we start to get a glimpse of just how big the picture Maas is painting for us actually is.

One of the strengths of this book is having no idea how it's going to end. You might think that's a given, but [b:Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1335819760s/7896527.jpg|11138426] introduced us to a plot that was fairly easy to see mapped out. We are told of the challenges Celaena must compete in and win, we know that's what the book is moving towards, and it isn't too much of a leap to assume that (one way or another) Celaena is going to emerge victorious. Not in this book. This book starts with a blank slate, any mysteries or troubles that are to come are completely unknown to us - so every turn the plot takes is a surprise and every surprise is thrilling. I can't wrap my head around just how much better this sequel is. Maas has already grown as a writer and storyteller, making me wonder what she can possibly have in store for us next.



The characters are also so much better developed in this book. Maas is brave enough here to allow the main characters to make mistakes, do the wrong things and test our ability to like them. Well, I don't know about you, but the new dimensions to their personalities, their faults and weaknesses, only served to make me like them more. Dorian surprised me most of all. In [b:Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1335819760s/7896527.jpg|11138426], Dorian feels like something of a plot tool, a pretty little obstacle to Celaena and Chaol's romance. The scenes with him felt like filler between the parts I was actually waiting for. But not in [b:Crown of Midnight|17167166|Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1375810518s/17167166.jpg|21581860]! In this, Dorian emerges as an interesting character with secrets of his own; he makes sacrifices for the people he loves and his importance to the bigger story starts to become apparent.

In short?

[b:Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1335819760s/7896527.jpg|11138426]...
Romance, love triangle, pretty dresses, one-dimensional characters, little action...

[b:Crown of Midnight|17167166|Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)|Sarah J. Maas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1375810518s/17167166.jpg|21581860]...
Badassery, twists, nastiness, betrayal, more action, magic, secrets...

If you were so-so about the first one and considering *maybe* reading this, you have my thumbs up.