This book was MUCH heavier, scarier, and more heart-wrenching than the first book in the series. The politics are more twisted, the manipulations and machinations more wild, the magic even more incredible and terrifying. The events in this book will change Celaena–and those who care about her–forever. It’s powerful stuff!
There is a bit more softness, and even a bit of humor, in this book. As Celaena evolves, Ms. Maas really has the writing talent to help us see it, however subtle. There are mysteries and plots, and some terrific, unexpected twists in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. I couldn’t wait to get into bed at night to race through this one! Even though I sobbed like a baby through a lot of it. This is some hardcore epic fantasy, folks, and it feels like the ride has barely started!
This universe just grabbed me and won’t let go. One of the things that really makes this series unique is Celaena Sardothien, the sort-of heroine. I say “sort-of,” because she is really more of a protagonist than a straight-up heroine. She has serious–and understandable–flaws. Generally, we don’t see killers, especially paid assassins, as heroes. There are extenuating circumstances to her place in life. You really should read THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE, which includes all the short prequel stories for the series, imo. Technically you don’t have to, but I think they provide some really important background that explains how Calaena got to be who and what she is, as well as what is truly at the core of her, beyond the labels she carries.
This book is a terrific mixture of magic, fantasy elements, suspense, action, and romance. It sets up what will become a truly labyrinthine and epic story on a strong foundation. In fact, it’s hard for me to review this book alone, because I immediately went on to the next one! It all feels like one giant story, in which I can’t quite remember which events happened in which book. I’d say that’s a good sign, at least for me.
My only complaint is that the series isn’t finished yet, and it’s going to drive me nuts when I get to the end of the current final book!
Ooh! Before I forget, I LOVE the elves in this universe. But I can’t remember if we actually meet any in this book or not! Don’t worry, there is PLENTY to keep you occupied in THRONE OF GLASS. Ms. Maas really deserves her accolades and popularity. Her writing is really strong, and she creates a reality where there are no shining, perfect heroes, but real characters with real flaws–even though they are unmistakably creatures of a fantasy world! I’m really enjoying this roller coaster ride!
Lavender in Bloom Lily Velez
Publication date: July 25th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France…
Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.
Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.
Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.
Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.