Book Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of MidnightImage
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: August 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
4/5

            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?
Image

            Crown of Midnight was a prime example of how fantastic a sequel can be. Where other sequels fall flat, Crown of Midnight takes this complex story to new heights.  It is possible that perhaps Crown of Midnight is even greater than Throne of Glass.
            Celaena develops and becomes considerably darker than she appeared in Throne of Glass and I was eternally thankful for that. With the life that she had lead up until this point it seemed strange to me that in the first book that she was so footloose and fancy free. She starts to develop and question things that she had already known, and we find out a whole lot of things regarding her past that I actually hadn’t seen coming. She falls in love, she is betrayed, she is lost at times and finds strength to continue on even when everything becomes bleak. She amazes me with her ability to forgive but not forget, to let go but to still hold others accountable to their actions.
           The romantic encounters are more realistic, and at times made my heart swell up with intense happiness and other times deflate with sadness, it’s clear to me whom I want Celaena to end up with if she does indeed choose either Dorian or Choal. She’s a complicated character and so are both of these men, and no matter who she chooses in the end, I’d be happy just knowing that she’s found love, peace, and acceptance with someone.
            Crown of Midnight switches point of view within the chapters and normally I don’t enjoy that very much but I felt it was important and needed and kept me captivated despite by previous grievances with novels that do this. Sarah J. Maas did an absolutely fantastic job integrating characters and giving everyone their own personalities and voices, no one person sounded too much like the other.
             The book ends on a bit of a cliff hanger as Celaena embarks on a completely new quest and her story continues to grow. I’m eagerly anticipating the third book in this installment and this is definitely turning into a series I wish was already completed and published because I’m biting my nails with need and want for the next part of the story.
Image

Advertisements

Book Review: Fire

Fire (Graceling Realm #2)Image
Kristin Cashore
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: 2009
Publisher: FireBird
4/5

                It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.
                This is where fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.
                Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, the royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.
                If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

                                                                ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________________

                I really enjoyed Fire. Despite complaints that I’ve seen in regards to Fire character I found her engaging and believable because I know firsthand that beauty can be a curse. Beauty can also leave you feeling entitled and considering Fire is so very desirable I find her to fit the role quite well.
                Fire is sweet, sensitive and trying to figure out how to deal with her past while forging a happy future, the sins of our past can really detour us from the potential we all hold and I believe Fire does a fantastic job bringing that to light. I was very pleased that she did out use her powers for selfish gain and that her uses of power were to either defend her-self or help defend the kingdom.
                I really enjoyed the character developments and how the relationships between characters evolved and changed throughout the course of the book. I found all the characters had a strong voice, strong personalities and were all easily imaginable as I read through the book. They all blended in nicely. My only issue with character development was with Leck, since he is mentioned in the prologue I figured he would have a more definitive role in ‘Fire’ however, he was hardly mentioned at all and I found that part of the novel to fall flat, which is why I’ve given Fire four stars instead of five.  I was really looking forward to his development and the issues he’d bring so I was very disappointed in that regard.
                Thought that Kristin Cashore did a great job describing grief; grief is a dark, depressing, and horrible feeling, it was written truthfully and in a way that you identify with.
                I really enjoyed this novel and I am very much looking forward to reading BitterBlue.
                Have you read Fire? What did you think about it?