Aaah! This book ups the stakes a lot in terms of emotional involvement and the political backstory. Celaena may have become the King’s Champion, but her troubles aren’t nearly over yet. I drew parallels to Graceling when I did my first review (or in my review of Graceling), and they remain: the reluctant/ethical assassin, trying to find ways to take power back from the corrupt king who commands her.
The whole Chaol or Dorian stuff… I’m not really into that. The will-she-won’t-she doesn’t do much for me, and the whole anger and jealousy thing in this book… eh. I don’t want to see Chaol and Dorian’s friendship broken over this, so I’m really not enthralled with the opposition and discomfort between the two.
The end of the book is a game-changer, telling us who Celaena really is and what she is. The hints have been there all along, of course, little bits and pieces that we could piece together to figure it out ahead of time. So, not so much a surprise to me. There’s more background into other stuff, too: witches, the source of the magic loss in the world, Elena’s presence.
The writing is maturing here. I read that Throne of Glass was written when Maas was sixteen, and it still shows. Crown of Midnight is steadier, more mature, and more emotional too. I’m excited for the third book now, rather than just curious. Hope the library gets it in soon, or my sister takes pity and lends me her copy.