Becoming the King’s Champion was supposed to be the hardest task because what comes after is child’s play for Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s most feared assassin. But she soon learns that her loved ones are her weakness. And a jarring realisation about the trouble the King is brewing for the continent sends Celaena plummeting face-first into a ravine of troubles.
In my experience, very few sequels have kept up with the expectations that the first book builds, let alone be even better. But Crown of Midnight does it! It was delicious, it was unputdownable, and it was over in the blink of an eye.
Some of the relationships and bonds you read about in Throne of Glass take on even more meaning in this one, whereas some others undergo a jaw-dropping change. It was wonderful to see the character arcs dip and soar, displaying a greater range of emotions and developments.
There were times when Chaol’s jealousy (ugh!) came across too strongly and Celaena’s drastic change of personality became predictable. But these did not irk me too much to dampen my reading experience. Moreover, I love what the author has done with Dorian’s storyline. Those chapters, from his POV, were among some of my favourites in the book, simply because they held such promise!
Sarah J. Maas delves a little deeper into the world-building, and I could finally form a picture in my mind about the magic system, how it is rooted in Erilea’s history, etc. Also, how amazing is it that the magic terminology (Wyrd) resembles “word” as if reinforcing the notion that words have power.
The resolution of the climax would not have been convincing without that scene of Celaena being Celaena and letting her need for vengeance take over. But it is the ending of the novel that packs a punch, well literally! I sat there, rooted to the spot, unable to process for a moment the cliffhanger that the author has crafted.
Needless to say, I picked up Heir of Fire right after finishing this. And I’m now making my way through that tome.