Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Oh, I know what you’re going to say: Aislyn, why did you only give Crown of Midnight 4 stars? Aislyn, why did it take you so long to finish CoM? Did you crawl under a rock? Well my friends, I have an answer for you – I was MAD (so much in fact, I had to capitalize, bold, and italicize that damn word). So mad, in fact, that I put the book down for a solid week before I picked it up again. I turned into a dragon every time I thought about it, and I really wanted to go and smash shit like they do in Zombieland.
Okay I know that looks pretty pathetic but they smash the whole store okay. If you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen the movie, you need to watch it, like right now. It’s hilarious, and has Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and a fantastic plot. I’ve watched it so many times and I never get sick of it.
Anyways, I’m also going to say right now that this review will in no way be spoiler free. I’m going to rant a little before I get into my critical analysis so bear with me. I’m so angry I can’t be as vague about plot points so you’re getting the real shit here folks. Hold on to your hats.
First of all, Chaol Westfall deserves better.
Oh, I’m sorry. Let me say it louder for those in the back.
CHAOL WESTFALL DESERVES BETTER.
Right up until page 233 (Chapter 30) when all shit hit the fan and I lost my shit. I even COMMENTED on my Goodreads updates that if Chaol and Celaena fucked up their relationship I would scream and stop reading. I did scream, but alas did not stop reading – well I did for a week but still. They were together for literally a week, it wasn’t even 50 pages and then kaput – my ship was boarded, it sailed and then it FUCKING SUNK. I’ve already accidentally ruined it for myself that (s0 far) they don’t get back together. I’m livid. I don’t even care if you think I’m dumb for staying on board a sunken ship, but I refuse to let go. Chaol and Celaena were so perfectly imperfect together I just
I mean, the Captain of the Guard and the land’s deadliest assassin? The irony is too amazing to not pass up. Plus, their personalities worked together so well – Celaena is more rash and lets her emotions rule her, while Chaol is more critical and likes to have a plan; Chaol taught Celaena to open up to love again, and she taught him to forgive and forget (as best as one can); Celaena is rebellious and does things her own way, while Chaol is still learning that obeying is not always right. Obviously these aren’t set casts for them both, but it plays an amazing part in their relationship. They still had so to learn from each other I’m not only angry but disappointed that Maas ended their relationship so quickly. I think that if she had allowed it to progress, she could have developed their characters even further. Since I’ve only read the first two books I can’t say anything about the developments that happen in the following books, but I’m damn sure that Maas missed some prime character developing opportunity. Especially with the conclusion of Crown of Midnight, where Celaena forgives Chaol (for something that wasn’t his fault might I add) and tells him that she still values her relationship with him and even loves him. And they’re still not back together. What doesn’t make sense to me is that she says she doesn’t trust him, but she gives him the one clue to her past that would reveal who she really was – she tells only Chaol. So there’s a flaw there Maas, but I understand why it was done. Chaol is the only person who wouldn’t reveal Celaena’s secret since he loves and cares for her so fiercely. Of course his love is what sends her away from him, but you know, details.
I promise I’m almost done my ranting. I would also like to say that Nehemia’s death is not Chaol’s fault. Just because he didn’t warn Celaena about the threat on her life does not mean he was involved in her death at all. He wasn’t even in the castle. So I’m still mad at Celaena for blaming it all on Chaol, even though the book ends with her acknowledging that it wasn’t his fault. Yes he shouldn’t have kept the threat a secret but Chaol is still learning. He is learning that blindly obeying is not always right. So to everyone who says what he did was unforgivable I say har har to you, it’s called character development.
I think that’s all I had to say in regards to this subject. If you’re still here, thank you for reading/listening. Onto the critical analysis of the book.
Writing: Crown of Midnight really impressed me apart from the tragic events that occurred. I still really enjoyed Maas’s writing style and diction. The on thing I did notice, was that after someone I follow on twitter mentioned that Maas uses almost
too many hyphens, I really noticed this time around. I mean, there was a lot of them. I feel like I could legitimately say that there was at least one hyphen per page (might I add that this book is 418 pages), and with some pages containing five or six – that’s almost 600 hyphens. I’ve read 500 page books that have maybe ten in the whole novel. As for that con, I still found Maas’s writing to be engaging, thrilling, and emotionally heart wrenching. I found there to be very little clichés, and she started wandering away from the prince-with-daddy-issues trope with Dorian, something I was quite happy about.I was also pleased to see that Maas’s style was consistent with the first book, as I find some authors try to “up” their writing so the sequel doesn’t flop. Overall I was very impressed.
Plot: Other than a certain turn of events, I can’t complain about the plot of Crown of Midnight. It was fast, engaging, and had so many twists I thought I was on a roller coaster. I thought the aspect of Dorian possessing magic to be an awesome twist. I also loved how we learned way more about the Wyrdmarks, and the lore surrounding them. Another thing I am angry about, apart from Chaolaena sailing and then sinking, was Maas killing off Nehemia. I wasn’t very impressed with her killing off the only (known) woman of colour character in the series. I’m hoping she will introduce more PoC or clarify on present ones. Otherwise I will be disappointed at this attempt of “diversity”. I didn’t see Archer as the schemer behind Nehemia’s death, but he was a complete idiot if he thought it would make Celaena trust him. I wasn’t the least bit surprised when it revealed that Celaena is really Aelin because I accidentally read spoilers oops, but I do think that it would have been a great twist if I hadn’t of known before. Overall I really enjoyed the pace of the book. It never felt slow, even when I got angry.
Characters: There were only a few new characters introduced this book, one of them being Archer, who I disliked from the moment we met him. He seemed so shady, and when I learned he could “out” some of the rebels I was very skeptical of his sparkling personality.
AND THEN he revealed he planned Nehemia’s death and I knew Celaena was going to cut him into little chunks of meat and that made me happy
as awful as that sounds I have no regrets he had the golden ball of hope that is Nehemia killed he will never be forgiven. I also learned that I can hate the king even more than I did before, as he didn’t even care about Nehemia’s death because she was standing up for her people. Such a scumbag he is.
Celaena: I really enjoyed the progression of her character in this book. I loved how we almost saw an unraveling of her; she revealed another facet of her already complex personality with Nehemia’s death. I was also super thrilled to see that darker side of her we didn’t see as much in ToG and I have to say I was impressed. She was as ruthless and cold as I imagined her to be. But I also love how she can be soft and caring, as we saw when she was with Chaol. Her humour was also entertaining, especially when she was discussing things with Mort. I was impressed with the developments she made when forgiving Chaol about not warning her of Nehemia’s assassination threat, and the fact that she had grown enough to still trust him with her most important secret
besides the fact she said she couldn’t trust him hahahahaahha it’s fiNE. I’m not going to lie, I’m excited to see Celaena’s development in Heir of Fire even more, since she will be interacting with completely new characters, and I have no doubt it will be interesting.
Chaol: My heart tugs for Chaol. Poor guy can’t catch a break; he hates his father, his first love cheated on him and left him, and now Celaena
does doesn’t trust him because of a scheme that he was unfortunately just a puppet in. Maybe it’s my soft spot for Chaol, but he just seems like this soft puppy that needs love and I want him to have all the love in the world (while we’re on this topic I picture Chaol as a German Shepherd, because he’s friendly to most, extremely loyal to those he loves, and will fuCK YOU UP if you hurt those loved ones).
He doesn’t deserve all the bad things that have happened to him, when he’s always tried to do the right thing. I think my heart grew three sizes for him when he swore to himself he would do anything to protect Celaena even if it meant sending her away from him, and if she was still skeptical of him. I also thought it was hilarious how he figured out she is Aelin and like lost his shit, as if he didn’t expect her to be 1000x cooler and dangerous. All in all Chaol deserves better, end of story, case closed.
Dorian: I was much happier with Dorian’s character in CoM. I didn’t find him to be as whiny or pretentious as he was in the first book, apart from him complaining about Chaol and Celaena, but since he is a human he is allowed to get jealous, the poor guy. I was also super happy to find out he possessed magic, and I am really excited to see how it plays out in the series. I do have to say that I like his development of putting other’s feelings first, where he offered Celaena his support no matter what even though she had chosen Chaol over him. I was happy to see his character grow more than it did in ToG. As long as he keeps this up, I think my opinion about him will greatly change.
So that’s my
extremely late review of Crown of Midnight! Let me know your thoughts on the book, and if you disagree or agree with any of my opinions, I love having discussions about books. I promise my review for The Young Elites will not be up this late. Keep on reading!