Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

4.5/5 Stars
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children
Published August 27, 2013 

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads): From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil. Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances - not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.  Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie ... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

This was such an amazing sequel to Throne of Glass! It was able to so effortlessly tie in all the elements of the first book and pack an even bigger punch. Sarah J. Maas is an excellent writer and has definitely become one of my favorites. There's just a way to her writing that keeps you wanting more; she's able to draw you in and keep you there. Crown of Midnight was certainly much crazier than the first book, maybe even a tad bit better!

Crown of Midnight features, I think, some of the best character development. Celaena continues to surprise me in every way possible. In this book, she seems really, genuinely happy for a good chunk. Then, of course Sarah J. Maas had to throw in that terrible plot twist. Aside from this though, Celaena really continues to open up about her past and show us who she really is. Celaena is such a badass character and is not afraid to inflict terror in anyone who stands in her way, and although it is an admirable trait, I do find myself a bit terrified of her at times. Celaena is deadlier than ever, and the thing that she spent so long trying to keep locked up, has finally spilled over. This leaves her a ticking time-bomb and one I certainly wouldn't want to get in the way of.

I really enjoyed how Sarah J. Maas tied together all the characters into one giant, tangled plot. Each character was related to certain actions in someway, which then led to another crazy mishap, to yet another situation. Dorian really stood out to me in this book, because we really got to follow him on his journey. Even though he spent quite a bit of time sulking, I feel like he really kept the plot of this story together and was able to push it forward despite all the tragic happenings. I really like what Sarah J. Maas did with his character and I think his storyline is going to be exquisite and super frustrating at the same time, but overall rewarding. Chaol really continued to sell it for me. I thought his character development was monumental, because we finally got to see a softer, kinder side to him. The plot of this story really set a clear and direct path as to what the rest of the books in this series will follow, and I think it's brilliant.

There were so many aspects of this book that I really enjoyed, but I loved that there was a larger sense of mystery. We spend a lot of time following Celaena as she tries to solve this crazy mystery, which is definitely what kept me captivated and intrigued. There was so much more action and blood spilling infused into this plot - it was such a wild ride. I really cannot wait to see what happens in Heir of Fire. After learning so much in this book, there are endless possibilities as to what will occur next. There were a lot of small details that went into this book to assist the main points, and they really sold it for me! Kudos, Sarah J. Maas.