In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
It may have been a mistake to read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series before this one… The writing itself is much more juvenile here, and I don’t think it has anything to do with this being a YA series.
I didn’t believe Celaena’s motivations for many of her actions and found parts of this story boring. The romance felt forced and rushed, and the competition was a joke. I thought she would be battling these killers and criminals; instead, they’re standing around naming poisons, competing in archery, and climbing walls.
I found the Fae/magic components too fleeting and vague to contribute much to the story and instead made the plot more complicated than necessary. I’m hoping that this comes into play later and starts to make more sense as the series continues. I’m also hoping for more worldbuilding and character development in Crown of Midnight because so far everything feels underdeveloped.