Series: Throne of Glass #2
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Main themes: Friendship, Loss, Love, Magic
Rating: 3 stars
Warning: The end of this review contains spoilers.
In this second instalment of the Throne of Glass series, Celaena Sardothien is working as the King’s Champion. She fulfils her duty by assassinating any threats to the Crown but as she gets caught up in a world of mysterious beings and forbidden magic, it’s not long before she has bigger duties to fulfil. The First Queen of Adarlan herself has asked Celaena to stop an evil that threatens to tear their world in two, but the young assassin is conflicted as to what path she should take. Her life has become a very dangerous game, and one wrong move could ruin everything.
First of all, I’d just like to say how much I love the covers from this series! They’re beautiful. Anyway, I didn’t think I’d be giving Crown of Midnight 3 stars because I loved the first half of the book; it was exciting, cute, and engrossing. I especially loved the romance that had blossomed between two particular characters. However the second half was a bit of a disappointment. I didn’t particularly like the direction that the plot went in and so I thought it would only be fair to give a neutral rating.
So about the second half of the story… for me the storyline fell a bit flat. I think this was ignited by the death of one of the main characters. I didn’t like that this character was a tool to get the plotline going, and I didn’t understand why it had to take this character’s death for Celaena to suddenly realise that she wanted to use her position to attempt to save the word. Others might not have seen it this way but to me this character was a really important one, and so I felt that it was unnecessary to kill them off for such reasons (I’ve talked about this in a bit more detail at the end of my review.)
So because I found the death to be so unnecessary, it kind of had a knock on effect with what happened after. Celaena’s reaction to the death irritated me; I was kind of exasperated at the fact that she’d marked one of the characters as her enemy and nearly killed them because she blamed them (partly) for the death. I really like Celaena and know she isn’t perfect but it’s just that some of her actions and judgements had completely baffled me.
The second half wasn’t all bad though, the story picked up in the last 50 pages or so. The last shock revelation gave an interesting twist to the story and the possibilities of what could develop in the next book. So overall, Crown of Midnight fell a little short of my expectations but I’m still looking forward to reading Heir of Fire. It will be a complete change of scenery, more will be learnt about Celaena’s heritage and I’m pretty sure war is just over the horizon, so I’m optimistic about how much more interesting the story will get.
I didn’t want to include any spoilers in this review but thought it was important to talk about this one particular thing; the death of the character I’d mentioned earlier. So heads up if you don’t want to come across any spoilers!
Half way through the book, Princess Nehemia was assassinated by an ‘anonymous threat’. It was a shocking turn of events that had me taken aback. Being a woman of colour who was beheld as a fierce, well loved, and courageous leader made her such an empowering individual that added a bit of diversity to the story. And so I thought it was a shame for Nehemia to be killed off so quickly.
The fact that Nehemia’s character was a tool may not have bothered some but I couldn’t help but feel I’d been robbed of a great character for the sake of Celaena’s development; for her to realise that she wanted to investigate all the business with the wyrd gates etc. and fight against the king. I mean there’s nothing wrong with one character developing another but in this situation, I don’t think it justifies what happened to Nehemia. I just felt that her death was unnecessary.
But anyway, that’s what I thought about the death. I’ll miss Nehemia’s character, and I’ll especially miss no longer being able to read about her and Celaena’s friendship. This quote: “Celaena put a hand against her chest. How absurd—how utterly absurd and useless—that her heart still beat and Nehemia’s didn’t.” shows just how important their relationship was. I wish they could have gotten the chance to fight together but hope that Celaena will do everything to free Eyllwe, and to stop the king.