Published: September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Adventure
Pages: Hardcover, 565
Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?
The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Timesbest-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.
I knew this book was going to be different than the first two, more so than how the first was different than the second. I knew the Celaena wasn’t going to be in Adarlan anymore, and I was so hoping for a map of Wendlyn. I have a thing for maps in the books, I like to follow the characters as they go through the story. I was disappointed not to find one of Wednlyn, but the same one of Erilea that the other two books had.
I was also once again disappointed that there was no pronunciation guide! I know they can be found on the internet, I don’t want to have to put the book down just to remind myself how a word is pronounced every time. I would also like to see a character list. There are new characters, old characters, so many characters that I’m starting to have trouble remembering who they are, what they said, and what exactly happened in their past. And I know I’ll be saying the exact same thing for the next book as well.
But I don’t judge a book on just the maps (though I’m more likely to read if they have one and there is some kind of journey), or if the author organizes their characters in a master list at the back of the book. I guess I just got spoiled with the Inheritance Cycle. Which is a completely different review, and if I ever do, will be one heck of a review given my mixed and muddled confusion about that whole series. Did you know there’s going to be another book? Seriously Christopher Paolini, first a trilogy, then four books, now five? I think it might be about time to stop.
Anyway, sorry about the brief interlude. I really like this book, more than the second or first one, but they don’t deserve any less recognition. They are amazing, but what makes this particular book so fantastic is the fact that it builds on everything that happened in the first two. There is some real and serious character development here, though I still feel like there’s something I’m missing. The events and reasons for the character development are a little vague but I still like it.
We get to see a really dark side of Celaena in this books, not anything like we had before. I think the event that happened in the last book broke the assassin and I can understand, it still makes me sad. But Celaena just lost her will to live and it was going to take a lot to bring her back from that dark pit she fell into. She grows, not just her powers, but as a person. She finally accepts who she really is and starts making the right choices.
And that brings me to Rowan. I hated him at first, I truly did, and I kept hoping someone would just come and make him go away. But, as time went by, I started to see something glimmering underneath everything that was going on. Slowly, and without my knowledge or permission, I came to care about Rowan, no matter how he treated Celaena. And then I realized how much I loved these two together! Their friendship, if it can be called that (they really don’t like each other for most of the book), is beneficial to them both, though you don’t really realize how until later. They hate each other so much that they actually start to find results in the situation they’re in. I need more, more, more. I just love the dynamic they have going, especially at the end of the book!
And Maeve. I really want to hate her, but there isn’t enough interaction that made me hate her so much I wanted her to die. It was more of an inconvenience, and if there had been more of her, I think I would have gotten what the author was trying to show throughout the books.
While this book was about 5/8 about Celaena, Chaol and Dorian were having their own trouble back in Adarlan. There’s not much I can say without spoiling everything in those sections of the book, but they add to the story, and you suddenly realize what Celaena is going to be up against when she returns. And Dorian gets his own romance, and I was happy about, though it wasn’t as involved as it could have been.
There is about 1/8 of the book that’s about a character that’s new. I read those sections the first time, and while interesting, I had a hard time keeping my focus. In my opinion, you read it once, you know what happens, move on. I think the reason I don’t like these parts of the book is because (something else I learned from the Inheritance Cycle) I really start to hate books that jump from one perspective to several others. Yes, I will admit that it adds to the whole book, and we get a glimpse of what else is happening, but part of me can’t helping thinking ‘this could have been one of those novellas. It could have totally been book 3.5.’ But, to be completely honest, I think it adds more to the book than it takes away, so that’s all I’m going to complain about it.
I really like how we learn more about Celaena’s past. Like really, I think those were my favorite parts of the book. After being in the dark so long about what exactly happened, I was so happy to finally know! I didn’t feel like learning it was drawn out, I think finding out about her past is in exactly the right place at the right times.
Oh, and a warning about the ending. It’s heart wrenching. Out of the blue, hardly any clues, what the heck! I once again find myself, and one of my favorite characters, shocked, stunned, angry, and so many other emotions that I just can’t sort them out. But I do have to admit, the ending is a great lead off for the next book.