Book Chat | Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (reread)

“If they wanted Adarlan’s Assassin, they’d get her. 

And Wyrd help them when she arrived.” 

Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

Synopsis

After 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 her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

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. 

After 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 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 four 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.


Review

Caitlynn: Crown of Midnight gave so much to the Throne of Glass world. It really helped to build the characters and give us more of a glimpse into who they actually are. I truly think that Crown of Midnight should be talked about so much more than it is. I’m sticking with my original rating of 5/5 stars!

Jenn: I’m so happy that we are rereading these books. This novel in particular did an amazing job of building our characters and developing a foundation for the story. I believe this novel was the one that truly invested me in these character’s lives. I would still have to agree with my initial rating of 5/5 stars because of the foundation that his book created for the rest of this series. I loved this book just as much the second time around.

Eden: Crown of Midnight was a novel in the Throne of Glass series that I’d always considered the weakest in the series. It wasn’t until I reread it that I realized Maas used it to create more dynamic characters and a story line that would be able to span for another four books. More so, some of the most pivotal foreshadowing occurs in Crown of Midnight, making it even more of an interesting reread. Overall, I’d give it 5/5 stars.


Discussion

Jenn: How does this book compare to the first for you?

Eden: I really liked Crown of Midnight. I felt like Throne of Glass was a really good introduction and Crown of Midnight built everybody. I didn’t really care about Chaol or Dorian or even Celeana until this book. We knew so little from Throne of Glass, even after having read the rest of this series at this point, going back and looking for the clues it was really wild to me the clues that she left.

E: The first time I read it I thought it was a really good build in the characters. In the reread it was nice to go back and look at parts that maybe I’d glossed over or I didn’t understand the importance of a certain moment. I felt like I got so much out of it.

Caitlynn: I liked that I already knew what was coming so I could focus on the details this time. I’m a very fast reader when I don’t know what’s coming. I also really like dialogue, so most of the time when I’m reading I find myself skimming long passages of description and just reading the dialogue. So, this time going through I was able to focus more on everything else. It was so much easier to focus on that kind of stuff to see what’s happening.

E: That’s a really good point. I also gloss over description because I want to see what they’re saying to each other and what they’re thinking.

J: Reading it this time, it’s hard because I don’t fully remember what my thoughts were the first time. I know I liked it and I know that I was really rooting for her and Chaol. So, that was different this time, because you know…

C: The end of Crown of Midnight threw me off the first time that I read it. I was like “Her and Chaol were okay to get back together at the end!”

J: I’m glad you brought that up. The first time I think I was so into the drama of it all that I wasn’t really bothered by things. But, this time I was like “You are acting like a fucking child Celeana. Get over it! You are overreacting with Chaol and what happened. That’s not a normal response.”

C: I was sitting there just like, “Can you listen to him?! Can you let him explain?! Please just let him talk to you!”

J: I think the first time we were all just suspicious of everything.

C: We had no clue.

E: No clue!

J: Sarah J. Maas is so good about making your feel uneasy throughout a book and not knowing what’s going to happen. She does not leave a lot of clues throughout a book. When you look through the entire series you pick up on them. But, there is not blatant foreshadowing or anything like that. A lot of times when reading other books you can kind of pick up on the rhythms of it and see where it’s going. She does a really good job of not even mentioning feelings about certain aspects. Even with Celeana she doesn’t even tell you where she’s going at times. She does a great job to make it so you don’t know what to expect.

E: That’s what I love about her writing. This story is somewhat different. But, it’s also very similar to many fantasy novels. You have the kingdom that’s been taken over and you have the one hero that’s trying to save everything. But, what makes her writing stand out is that I don’t know what’s going to happen and I can’t really predict. She will just through random shit in there and you’ll be like, “Oh, well that was one way to do that.” So, I do love that about her writing.

J: It’s really understated. It’s just a line that you think is just to add description. By the end of the book you’re like, “That’s why that line was in there, damn.” Throughout the series she’ll be describing like a place she’s walking past. Then all of a sudden that’s a major plot point now at the very end!

C: It was like Elena at the very beginning with the blood ties thing. It’s just a thrown away statement.

E: I want to find that statement because when I read that I went, “How did I not know what to expect?”

C: There’s one point when she’s sitting talking to Nehemia and Nehemia tells her she looks happy and Celeana responds with, “I am happy for once.” I was like, “Oh no! Oh no! It’s all going down hill from here.”

E: She says blood ties can’t be broken and you’re just like-

C: “Okay weird prophet lady.”

E: She is like the equivalent of Dumbledore in my opinion.

C: What rules of the realm are there that she can’t just tell Celeana what to do?

E: She’s dead and an omniscient figure. How is she not able to explain every little thing happening?

J: Also, Mort the stupid door-knocker thing. You have nobody else to talk to. You have all day, you can’t just explain it?

E: I understand the idea behind not telling her. The idea is that she has to grow and become this particular person to do the things that need to be done. So, they need to guide her there. But, as the reader you’re like, “Damn it just tell us!”

C: Imagine how much easier everybody’s lives would have been.

J: “I can’t be here for very long.” Every damn time.

E: I do quickly want to go back to the Chaol thing. I agree I was like, “You’re acting like a child right now and she is, she’s 18.” I dislike Chaol so much that I just was rooting for her to get on the boat. So when he says “I love you” and she just gets on the boat and never says anything I was really happy. It was solid.

J: See, I always liked Chaol so I can’t really see it from that perspective.

E: Rereading this book I saw the importance and the foundation that this book gave for this series. Before, I didn’t really see the importance. But, this time I see how important it was for our characters.

J: What I did like about this book compared to the rest of the series is that I really got to see Celeana before everything went down. We got to see her as the assassin and who she was on her own, outside of the novellas. She becomes very different based on her setting and who is around. So, it was nice to see her independent of that.


Have you read Throne of Glass? What did you think? Will you read it?

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