Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass)

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas Three things to start with: 1) I'm still a big Chaol fan. Love him. 2) The end of this book is insane. Insane. 3) This review will contain Throne of Glass spoilers. If you haven't read the first book, consider yourself warned.Now the rest. If you have read Throne of Glass then you know some of Celaena's past and that she has now become the king's assassin. You also know how the relationships between her and Chaol and Dorian left off. If you haven't read Throne of Glass, I think you might be completely lost. As fun as this book is, you should definitely start with the first one.Crown of Midnight starts as you might imagine with Celaena doing the work the king has given her as his new assassin. And she kicks some serious ass. She is definitely a dangerous assassin. And a sneaky one. Chaol and Dorian are still there, brooding and handsome as ever. So is the king, who is still super creepy and full of secrets. Nehemia and Fleetfoot also play big parts of this book as friends of Celaena's. And we get to meet some new people: Archer, Mort, Baba Yellowlegs, and Roland just to name a few. Each character plays an important part in the story and I admit that I wasn't always right about how their stories would play out.As far as the story goes, there is a lot going on. Assassins, romance, murder, political intrigue, mysteries, magic, heartbreak, everything is here. I think because I had so much time between reading the first and second book, I forgot a lot and had a hard time getting back into the story. I also haven't read any of the novellas, so I'm not sure if events mentioned in this book were covered in the novellas and if reading them would have helped or not. The book is told from the third person, so we bounce around from character to character. It helps with the world-building and getting the full story but the transitions between scenes were very abrupt. The beginning especially felt all over the place to me and didn't really have a good flow to it. But it eventually settled into a nice rhythm and definitely picked up for the last 25% of the book. I read the last quarter of it very quickly. Everything was happening and I was dying to know the answers. We get some answers, some very big answers, but are left with more questions and a very open end that sets up the next book well. I'm looking forward to the next adventure for Celaena and hoping we'll get a lot more from Chaol as well. And with four more books to go, I think I'm going to get my wish.Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought there was a lot going on and I had trouble with the transitions from scene to scene, but I really liked the characters, both old and new, and the ending. I really liked Celaena in this one as well (who is apparently inspired by Arwen from LoTR, Cinderella, and Velma Kelly from Chicago). If you've been waiting for a book with a real assassin, this is it. She doesn't hold back. I liked that she really focused on solving the problems she was presented, not depending on anyone, not wavering in her choices, and trying to do the right thing. She struggles with her job and wants her own freedom but also knows that she is going to have to play a bigger part in freeing her people than she originally thought. The story gets much bigger in this book and the corruption is much deeper than we've seen. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story, especially after that ending! There is some romance in the book, but it is most definitely not the focus. So don't read this one if you're looking for a sweet romance. Or a love triangle. Celaena has made her choice and the book sticks with that. I would recommend this book most definitely if you loved the first in the series. I would also recommend this series if you like epic fantasies and political corruption. Now I just have to mention one thing that did bother me during this book. I won't go into details about it because that would be a little spoilery but I will say that parts of this story that present itself during this portion feel as if they were added simply to prolong the series. I know there is a lot of love out there for this series and for Celaena (because she is a true kick-ass heroine that isn't whiny or boy-crazy or co-dependent or apologetic or any of those things that we can usually find in YA female heroines) and I include myself in that group. I also have confidence that Maas will tell a great story. I just hope that it continues to be amazing and doesn't veer from the feel of the original story. I say this just because I know it began as one story, then it became a trilogy, and now there are six books planned. I'm just worried. I shouldn't be, though, right? It will be amazing.