Author: Sarah J. Maas
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Audiobook Length: 12 hours 43 minutes
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.
Crown of Midnight is a continuation of the first novel in the Throne of Glass series. As the series moves in a linear timeline, it is best to read them in order as each subsequent novel will spoil the previous one. Assassin Celaena Sardothien has defeated her final opponent, Cain, even though she was drugged, to become the King’s Champion. This story takes place a couple of months after the last one ended and the king has now tasked Celaena with killing unfavorable citizens. One of these citizens is an old acquaintance of Celaena’s, Archer Finn, as the King suspects he is the leader of a rebel movement. These rebels seek to overthrow the king and restore the long thought dead, Princess Aelin Galathynius of Terrasan, to the throne. Celaena sets out to investigate as this is not the Archer, she remembers only to find that this is true, so she agrees to make a deal with him. In exchange for his life, he must give her information.
As the story moves forward, there are pieces from the previous novel and the novellas that start to add up and it is nice to see everything slowly begin to come together. There are still many questions that do not have answers, so I hope to eventually find them within the writing. The story follows Celaena’s new role and how she is trying to discover more secrets while keeping some of her own. As there were not many examples of her ability as an assassin in the first novel, it is nice to see her use her skills more in this one. The main plot of the story focuses on a certain secret that is hinted at very briefly in the writing but is possible to put together for those familiar with the genre. The entire structure of the story does work better in this novel compared to the previous as the reader is already familiar with the core characters, so it is easy enough to add in the new ones. While I enjoy all of the details, there were times where it felt as if this novel and the previous could have been combined into a single story. There are some details with the characters and the worlds, but I think it could have read the same if the two books were combined.
In terms of romance, it is difficult to fully get behind almost every person immediately falling for Celaena. After ending her growing relationship with Dorian, the Prince of Adlan, he began to develop nicely as a character. While I enjoyed him in the first novel, a lot of his presence surrounded his connection to Celaena. It was nice to see him still connected with her without the romance and I’ll be curious to see how it furthers develops over the rest of the series. However, as Chaol, the captain of the guard, is acknowledging his lingering feelings for Celaena in this story, the love triangle angst does continue to play a role. As someone who is not a huge fan of this, it was not my favorite part of the story and I hope that something changes where this is not continued for the rest of the series. Chaol and Dorian are both amazing, but love triangles just are not fully for me, but this storyline is perfect for those that do not mind them.
Overall, the Throne of Glass series is moving along nicely as I like the characters and plot, so far. While there are a few elements that were predictable, there were many that were surprises. The general structure of the writing builds up the plot nicely, so it kept me invested to find out what will happen next. The love triangle is not my favorite, but there is enough other material to keep me invested. I greatly enjoy this set of characters as they make mistakes, and all are growing. Many of the characters introduced at the beginning of the first novel are not the same characters by the end of this one, so I cannot wait to see how their development continues. I look forward to seeing what the third novel, Heir of Fire, brings next!