Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Why I chose this book:

The day this book arrived on the shelves, I was at Barnes & Noble ready to take this book home with me. My anticipation was no match for the emotions this book wrought within me once I finished. When is the next one coming out?

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publish Date: August 27, 2013
Format: Hardback 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
Buy: B&N || Amazon || Indiebound

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. 

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

The 4 things you need to know about this book:

   1. This world is not all dandelions and rainbows. 
   This book deals with the darker side of the world -even the darker side of Rifthold An evil menace is rampant in the glass castle, prostitution and issues of that sort are found in the streets of the common city, manipulation is the main form of gaining information. All of this is wrapped in a pretty bleak bow of lies, betrayal, and death. It honestly contains pretty grim themes. So be wary if you are looking for a light read with happy people and rainbows and butterflies.

   2. No one is purely good or purely evil. 
   Piggy backing on the idea of evil, Celaena mentions that there is no true evil or true good. All people have both. Even your view of Celaena changes throughout the bulk of the novel. She makes choices and acts in ways that you see in shades of gray and not as right or wrong. It is both. Justice is skewed and not what society thinks it should be. Justice and punishment fall into the hands of mere men and women, and again, neither are they good or bad, they just are. It’s a very interesting theme for a YA book to tackle, and Maas does so with finesse (Maas 198).

   3. Crimson red -the color of blood. 
   Just like the last book, the sequel is just as bloody -if not more -in certain areas. Maas does not paint an unrealistic picture, so there is a lot of bloody description. However, there are scenes that are given shorter descriptions where Maas actually takes out some of the more gruesome acts such as torture.

   4. Definitely for high school teenagers. 
   Crown of Midnight contains some other mature content outside of the bloody violence introduced in the books related to sex. I will not say who lies with whom, but I will say that clear boundaries are made, and I was pleased to see that it was related in a very positive fashion. It emphasizes a woman and man’s consent with taste and a lovely amount of romance. There is no outright explicit content in this novel. 

    Final Notes:
   Out of the two novels (Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight), this was definitely my favorite! I loved the first one with a fierce passion, but this novel spoke to me for some reason. Maybe because of how raw and real it was. I also loved that it didn’t shy away from the coldness of her job as an assassin; it described it in a real way. It didn’t fantasize it, nor did it do it injustice by making it seem like a fun job to do. Because, let’s be real, the people who find a love and joy in killing others has something wrong with them. 
   Sarah J. Maas has become one of my favorite novelists. With Throne of Glass, she jumped to my top 5 favorite authors, which is extremely hard to do. I will buy every single book she comes out with.

*Also, note that there are novellas in ebook form that tell you of various stories in Maas’ world that you might be interested in. So check it out on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The hardback version of these novellas will be published in March 2014. 

I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads.

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