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.
There’s a lack of direction in Crown of Midnight that’s hard to overlook. The story is enjoyable, and it may be heading in an interesting direction, but there are a lot of unnecessary pages here. So much time is spent building up relationships to throw them away for illogical reasons. Men seem to be interchangeable, and Celaena has no idea what she wants.
Celaena’s motives made no sense to me. At first, she’s going on these missions for the King to kill his enemies and is actually saving them by faking their deaths while they flee in the night to start over elsewhere under new names. Then, when Nehemia approaches her to take a larger role in the plans to overthrow the King, suddenly she’s just trying to pay her debt and earn her freedom? If that were true, she would’ve been killing these people and not putting herself and her freedom at risk. And then, after Chaol is kidnapped and Nehemia is killed, Celaena is so overcome with grief and guilt she goes from an insane killer with no morals to free Chaol to overwhelmed with depression over Nehemia’s death back to an insane killer to take down Grave. She seems to be everything at once with no explanation or logic and just fills the role required by the plot to keep it moving.
I was hoping for worldbuilding and character development. While there might be some potential in Heir of Fire, if Celaena’s riddle for Chaol and Dorian’s new powers actually start to come into play, the only thing that really happened in Crown of Midnight was the death of one of the only interesting and seemingly important characters. With a lot of unnecessary relationship drama and unexplained magic, I was fairly underwhelmed.