2014

Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #1, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

ShipSo I should have gotten a review out for Throne of Glass ages ago, given that the second book of the series already came out and all. I absolutely love this series to death but as you all know…life gets busy and blogging, as much as I hate to admit it, gets pushed down my list of ‘To-Dos.’

Anyway, after finishing up Crown of Midnight, I realized I wanted to—needed to—get my thoughts down on paper. Talk about being completely blown away! I mean part of me was prepared for whatever Sarah J. Maas had in store for us but it still hit me pretty damn hard in the end. I haven’t felt so…well…magical…since I finished reading the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I’m still on cloud nine and I’m still reeling at the story that Maas takes us through.

If you haven’t picked up this series, I’m literally ordering you to do so now. Throne of Glass sets things up for an epic beyond epic story to come and Crown of Midnight will put you on an emotional roller coaster that’ll probably take a year off your life (totally worth it though!). And…if you haven’t read the ridiculously amazing novellas introducing you to our favorite heroine, then do so now because you’re truly missing out on a quick-witted kickass assassin, devastatingly charming prince and a perfect…oh-so-perfect Captain of the Guard to keep you entertained.

Throne of Glass Summary

Throne of GlassAfter serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Crown of Midnight Summary

17167166From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul 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.

To be honest with you all, this review will probably just end up being a written version of a shrine to the Throne of Glass series. And most of all…the love triangle that probably has about a truckload of people gasping for air at this very moment. And because I am about a year or two late reviewing this spectacular series, I’ll go ahead and skip right to Crown of Midnight and start from there (while adding random commentary from the previous novel).

Celaena Sardothien begins her journey as the King’s Champion, hunting down rebels by the King’s order as a formidable henchwoman should. Except…she’s not actually killing them and covers it up by faking their deaths. After ending her relationship with Prince Dorian in Throne of Glass, Celaena and Dorian become nothing more than acquaintances with awkward memories of a romance that still has me confused as to how on earth they were ever drawn to one another to begin with. Which is fine…

…because Celaena’s relationships with Chaol Westfall in Crown of Midnight begins to grow and grow…and grow. And it grows so beautifully and so perfectly that I want to literally shake Maas’ hand for creating a perfect romance between Ardarlan’s Assassin and the Captain of the Guard. I love their banters, the way they spend time with one another, and I love the way they just…fit together like puzzle pieces. Dorian becomes this nuisance and all I can see is Chaol Westfall and how deserving he is of all things good. It’s like the Amon Byrne syndrome…except Dorian is not Han Alister and therefore cannot compete for our main character’s love. Maas gives us an epic romance in Crown of Midnight which is absolutely terrifying because this is only book two of the reported six book series. Two.

Which means things can change and things probably will change. I’m scared to even think about it because Crown of Midnight sealed the deal for me. Chaol has to be it. He has to be the one and though there’s plenty of time for Dorian to develop throughout the series, I don’t think he can ever make my heart skip a beat like Chaol and his charming ruggedness.

18243700All things said…I’m still a Sam fan. Now he had me swooning in ways you can’t imagine. Think Chaol but deadlier and Dorian but more charming. Chaol might be the better man but Sam…oh Sam…was the one who captured my heart when I first started this series with the novellas. I blame it on him for being the first and the most equal to Celaena out of the three when it came to wit, arrogance and temper. Not sure who Sam is? The Assassin’s Blade — released just today — has him bundled up in a package just for you.

The plot of the series in Crown of Midnight explodes as well into an intricate story of lies, love and friendship. Nehemia, the Eyllwe princess and Celaena’s best friend is still staying at the glass castle and provides a wonderful complement to Celaena who is often surrounded by men. Nehemia also becomes this blob of questions and cryptic riddles and by the time her story comes to an end, I was blown away at how big of an impact she had on our little assassin. There are also these insane, creepy castle exploration scenes that our characters take part in every now and then that gave me the absolute chills! I mean when you’re a hundred feet underground in old ancient tunnels plastered with wards to keep evil out (or in), don’t you at least have the instinct to tell someone you’re going to go knock on death’s door? But I love the magical component that Maas has added in to this series in addition to the Fae back story.

Regardless, Crown of Midnight is filled with love, deceit and tragedy, and when you reach the end of the book…you just know that something big is going to go down. We’re not just talking about a silly ol’ bad guy with a few minions. I’m talking Lord-of-the-Rings-epic-save-the-world kind of action. I read the fictionpress.com version long long ago and can barely remember the details of who, what, when, where and why. I imagine about a million things have changed since Maas’s publishing journey took off but what I do remember is how much the events that took place in Wendlyn in Celaena’s story had inspired me to write high fantasy altogether. I honestly can’t wait for book three because the ending— oh, the ending — well…you’ll just have to read yourself!

The music theme I chose to represent Crown of Midnight is Into Eternity from the Thor: The Dark World soundtrack. I hear it playing during the heartbreaking moment where Celaena’s world shatters into pieces. That pivotal moment where everything changed and the scenes that followed that will eventually determine Celaena’s fate. It’s quite beautiful actually. Hope you enjoy!

Rating: 5/5

Music Theme: Into Eternity by Brian Tyler from Thor: The Dark World Original Soundtrack

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