I need to learn that I don’t do well reading too many books at once. My reading speed gets signifantly slower whenever I try to juggle too many books. In my case, too many books at the same time means 4 or more. But yesterday I went to bed really tired, telling myself that I would only read 3 or 4 chapters and then turn off the light. I shouldn’t have chosen this book to read before going to bed. Three or four chapter became a quarter of the book, and I ended up staying up way later than I should. And then I was forced to go to sleep with that feeling of emptiness that creeps up whenver I finish a good book.
But before starting the review proper, let’s borrow the synopsis from Goodreads (original can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17167166-crown-of-midnight?from_search=true):
“An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
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?”
This was a very different book from Throne of Glass, in my opinion. While Throne of Glass focused on the competition whose winner was to become the King’s Assassin, Crown of Midnight didn’t have anything similar to that, and thus it does not have as much action than the first one. Crown of Midnight is, in fact, on the slow side when it comes to pace. That only changes toward the end, in the final third of the book. And, of course, it ends with a big revelation and a cliffhanger of sorts.
I was not expecting that revelation. I’m not going to say what it’s about, only that it has a lot to do with Celaena’s past. Much of the mystery about her (Who is she? Who were her parents?) is stripped away at the end. I thought it was going to be something big, but I never, ever, thought it would be this big.
As I already mentioned, there is not much happening in terms of big events until the end. However, we learn more about the characters, particularly Chaol, who shows a softer side on this book. Celaena also surprised me with some of her choices. Besides getting to know more about the characters introduced in Crown of Midnight, we are also introduced to some new characters, such as Mort (loved the little guy) and Roland (didn’t love the guy). We also had to say goodbye to some characters (I’m not spoiling, but be prepared for heartbreak).
There were also some interesting romantic developments. Not spoiling anything, but I’d just like to point out that I’m Team Chaol at the end of this book. It might change in the future (Dorian still has four books to make his case), but for now, Chaol is my guy.
Furthermore, as befitting a second book in a series of six books, this one made the big questions seem even more relevant, while adding other questions, as well as some partial answers. I expect that the next book will pick up the action, given how Crown of Midnight ended. I hated the way it ended. Again, I’m not spoiling anything, but be prepared for a frustrating end (it’s not a bad ending, it’s just frustrating).
Rating: 4 out of 5.