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Crown of Midnight | Thoughts

4 Stars.

"Because even from that first day in Endovier, this had always been about them."

Ok, wow! This sequel seriously stepped up to every critique I had for Throne. I'll focus on the main three:

Characters were immensely better developed, and I actually care about what happens to Dorian, Chaol and Celaena. The love triangle aspect takes a backseat and moves to where I'd hoped it'd go in a very matter-of-fact way. Simply put, what's going on in the rest of the story puts the love drama second - though believe me, it's in there with sweet, sexy, heart pounding encounters that made my heart ache throughout and at the end. No longer do we have shallow characters whose only describable traits center on vanity and beauty...avoiding spoilers I'll just say my main applause is for Dorian, where I say HELL YES! There's potential in him we don't get to see in Throne, not only with new developments in Crown but for him as a person and what type of king he could become. Lending to my second point:

The plot twists...oh the plot twists. While I vaguely expected the story to move along certain lines even in Throne, I wasn't too confident they would or even could based on how the author seemed content to write. Crown smashed right past any doubt I had that the story couldn't become an intricate web of history, magic and surprise. And the information we learn in the last few chapters...HOLY SHIT it had me turning back pages and rereading scenes again with completely different eyes, and running for my copy of Throne to do the same.

And third, blowing my last major criticism with Throne completely to dust, we get to see what Celaena is made of. All the talk of being the world's best assassin, all the vague stories of what she could do if she wanted, but we barely got a glimpse of before...well, we get plenty here. We're first shown a Celaena who has nothing to care for, nothing to fight for, but give this girl a reason and god damn she will put down anyone in her way. It. Was. Awesome. I reread some scenes twice over just to get the thrill of them again.

I found the writing to be better crafted as well - still some instances where I felt sentences were mediocre, but that is the editor in me :) All in all, I am very satisfied with the stage Crown has set for this series going forward, and I hope the next installments follow suit.

Virginia DeFeo