Thursday, September 12, 2013

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J Maas

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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?

What can I say? Celaena is simply a badass and I love her for it. She’s not perfect. Her personal history is littered with tragedy, betrayal and she is far from innocent when it comes to her life as an assassin. It’s amazing that despite all the horrors that she has endured and even carried out, she still has a sense of justice and compassion.  Yes, it’s weird to say that about an assassin.

Now that she’s the king’s champion, the lucky girl gets to carry out all his dirty work. She receives an assignment to rid the kingdom of potential rivals and insurgents, and the king rewards her for this. She doesn’t do this out of any loyalty to the king. She does it so that she can maintain her hard-fought freedom and also to protect the one she cares for. The king learned her weakness at the end of the last book and has used that to his advantage. But after the events of Throne of Glass we know not to underestimate this very clever and resourceful young woman.  He will just have to learn that on his own.

In Crown of Midnight, the king charges her with the task of bringing down a certain rebel. Problem is that she knows this rebel personally – someone who knows her past and she had considered a comrade. Instead of carrying out the order immediately, she gives him a certain amount of time to supply her with information on who may be leading a revolution so that she can try to save him while at the same time delivering to the king what he has asked for.

Tricky work it is entering into a web of lies and deceit because she hasn’t told a soul what she’s been up to and what she plans to do. Keeping Chaol and Dorian in the dark is a means to protect them. But it starts becoming a chore to maintain two faces especially to Chaol with whom she has become very close.

It’s nice to see Dorian and Chaol develop as characters. Chaol isn’t just the scowling hard-ass from Throne of Glass.  He’s someone who takes responsibility and loyalty to heart.  Dorian who has never been comfortable with the way his father governs begins to question his role and develops his own agenda.  These two fast friends who have Celaena’s safety as mutual concern become distanced slowly as their own secrets begin to draw them apart.

Crown of Midnight is just as fantastic as its predecessor and the ending had me just as stunned as some of the major characters. Oh it’s on!

~ Bel

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