Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Review ~ Crown of Midnight ~ Sarah J. Maas

 Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Published: 27th August 2013

By: Bloomsbury

First line: The shutters swinging in the storm winds were the only sign of her entry.

Last line:  Chaol sank to his knees.

Source: netgalley

Throne of Glass produced one of the most kick-ass heroines of last year in the form of Calaena Sardothien.  The first book was fantasy meets The Hunger Games and had me gripped from the beginning as did all of its major players.  Waiting for Crown of Midnight was as a result utter torture!

I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book, especially seeing as Caleana is such an unpredictable character.  So I guess my only answer is that I was expecting more than I got.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot going on, it’s just that all the action really seems to kick off in the final third of the book and all of a sudden you have a ton of plots weaving together at the same time that you somehow need to make sense of.  The first two thirds are on the whole dedicated to plot building it seems, although I have to say there are a few nerve-wracking moments for Calaena in there!

The relationships between Calaena and Chaol (love him!), Calaena and Dorian and Dorian and Chaol all play a major part in this story but again in the first two thirds it was predominantly scene setting or recapping. What happened was primarily inner monologue and moody looks but when it did kick off well oh my goodness! I was very pleased!  There was a lot of sympathy flowing for Dorian in this story.  Boy has he got a lot on his plate! Without giving anything away it seems to be coming at him from all angles and I just wanted to hug him by the end as I did Chaol! It was also good to see other characters return such as Princess Nehemia and of course Fleetfoot (the puppy!) but there are also some fab new characters in this book such as Mort the talking doorknob (?) and Archer Finn who certainly adds some spice. We are introduced to magic in this series, a world which has been deemed illegal but which has big consequences for more than one character in the next instalment.  There is also a lot more politics in this read and it seems like both of the factors which play a major part in the last of the three instalments.

I guess there wasn’t a great deal of surprise in the ending given the way in which many of the mid-series books that I’ve read have concluded recently but still it had the desired effect I guess which to make me hanker after the next read! 

I guess all this sounds pretty negative and I don’t mean it to be.  I did really enjoy Crown of Midnight, I guess it just wasn’t quite as powerful as I anticipated it being after Throne of Glass.  I really hope Maas turns up the pressure for the grand finale. There’s certainly a lot for her to tie up and more to the point I hope by the end of it all we have a happy Dorian and an even happier Caleana and Chaol!

Rating: 3.5/5  I was expecting more from Calaena than I got in this sequel.  That said, there’s a lot happening in here, there’s loads of lovely Chaol and the ending provides a really good backdrop for what promises to be an explosive finale.  I still can’t wait to get my hands on it


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