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?
Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s for this eARC! This title will be released on August 27th, 2013.
It has taken me a week or so to write this review. Why? Because I CANNOT HANDLE ALL THE FEELS I AM FEELING. STILL. EVEN NOW. Sarah J. Maas, someday I will meet you and cry at your feet because alksfkasdjbfsdfb. Erm. Anyways…
The book picks up a little while after the competition that named Celaena the new royal assassin, and alerted her to goings on in the castle that were magical and dangerous. She has gone on numerous missions for the king, each time bringing back the head of the person she’s slain. This is having an impact on her relationship with both Chaol and Dorian, but she doesn’t dare tell them the truth—that she isn’t actually killing the people, and the heads are from corpses already dead. But when Celaena’s next target is someone she trained with as a young girl, someone who is in deeper than it seems with people she never would have suspected, the lines begin to get cloudy. It seems that everyone is lying and everyone is hiding something, something world changing. Even Celaena herself.
To start, let’s talk world building. Let’s talk about Sarah has such a concrete grasp over not just the city, but the entire world that her characters inhabit. Celaena doesn’t do that much travelling, but the new sorts of people and lands that are talked about are so well fleshed out, yet explaining them never interrupts the story. If I could just have a speck of Sarah’s world building talent, I’d be a god.
If you were worried that this book would be any slower than the last … don’t be. If anything, Sarah upped the ante. I read this book all in one sitting because I was physically incapable of putting the book down. There is always one thing after another after another after another.
The characters were once again spot on spectacular. Celaena is kick-ass-amazing, as always, and Dorian and Chaol are still … *bats eyelashes furiously*. I appreciated Dorian and Celaena’s friendly, respectful relationship, but all my energies went into what happened between Chaol and Celaena. You can get annoyed if that sounds spoilery, but trust me—it isn’t what you think. The only other love triangle I’ve been this invested in on ALL THREE points is Cassandra Clare’s Will/Tessa/Jem. After what happens between all of them and what is revealed about all of them, I honestly cannot tell which one Celaena will end up with—or which one I want her with more. Either way, I take the loser for her affections because *drool*.
Also, this book let me in on the fact that no character is safe. Chomp on that one for a bit.
In the end, I’m still fantastically amused on how I react to these books. Right from the get-go, I can always predict what’s going to happen in the end. However, what happens in between A and Z throws me for three dozen loops and by the time what I expected to happen happens, it doesn’t mean what I thought it meant at all and I have no idea what’s going to happen next. I know that doesn’t make sense, but … well, I can’t go spoilering y’all, so it’ll have to do.
Though I love to read, I have a very small number of authors whose every word I hang on, whom I would follow over a cliff, who I stalk on every social media and whose fandoms I invest myself in on a hourly basis. Sarah J. Maas is one of those few authors. She was there after Throne of Glass, but Crown of Midnight just cemented her place there for eternity.