Bryan is back and so is Celaena Sardothien! The first in our four sequel episodes, check out Sarah J. Maas’ second book in the Throne of Glass series.

Bryan’s quick summary:

Celaena is now the King’s Champion … or in other words: his top assassin. Having been pulled from the salt mines and pitted against all the others in a cruel contest, when Celaena won, she knew she’d be required to do the King’s bidding.

Which really means killing all his potential opponents.

While the work is distasteful, Celaena carries it out with cold precision, raising the eyebrows of her two previous suitors, Chaol, the Captain of the Royal Guard, and Dorian, the King’s son.

But unbeknown to anyone, Celaena is playing a deadly game. One that would be fatal for her if the King were to know.

And now the King has given her a killing spree task that will prove to be her undoing unless she can stay one step ahead of the intense political posturing and the hidden power the King seems to command.

Crown of Midnight is by Sarah J. Maas

So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)

1. (Robert) This story is great! So much more riveting than the first book. The twists and turns are fast and furious, and we see plenty of Celaena in full action (what I was missing from Book one!). The characters are sharper and more believable in their motivations. It’s a leap above Throne of Glass.

NOTE: There is implied sexual content (though not explicit) and PLENTY of violence and gore. Older YA readers only.

2. (Robert) The story starts completely in mid action (in media res) and you know you are already off on an adventure. I unfolds with new characters, snappy dialog with good repartee between the main characters. We also get some more back story slowly unwinding, and more about the problems with magic vanishing – and the threat of its return.

3. (Robert) I liked the much deeper twists and plot elements. Celaena really has to keep her wits about her on almost every page, and this is what we love about this character. It’s as if she has grown into her King’s Champion role, and her sassiness and streetsmarts has risen several notches to keep pace. If you loved the first book, the second is going to be a treat.

What did we think from a writer’s perspective?

1. (Robert) I liked the complexity in the this story: a much more mature and interwoven plot in this sequel. Maas has “maasterfully” incorporated editorial feedback from Throne of Glass; polished and sharpened her writer skills and written a wonderfully thrilling book. This is how to do a sequel in a series – and who wouldn’t want to read on! The great chasm that opens up between her and Chaol is really good (quite raw and emotionally believable).

2. (Robert) We get some new revelations thrown out, and there are some genuine “I didn’t see that coming” moments, without it being silly. There’s lots of foreshadowing too, so the combination of these two makes for a great reader experience where some of what you expect to happen plays out (this is enjoyable) and some throws you nicely and makes you want to read on to find out what happens next! (Especially a fantastic mid-point involving Nehemia!)

3. (Bryan) I still think that all these hidden corridors which are only behind tapestries are a bit weak: why does no one else other than Celaena seems to accidentally discover these? I also found all the POV changes far too frequent (many within one chapter) and jarring for me. I wonder how this works in the audio version?

Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:

1. Great new characters, sharpening of the old ones and some meaty action make for a great sequel!

2. I can see why Sarah J. Maas commands a decent shelf presence in my local stores, and this series is only getting better. Love to see it on Netflix or similar for a binge-watch!

3. Celaena is growing into a fully-fledged character we’ll want to follow, a killer with a conscience!

Prompt of the Week:

You are given a mission by your ruler that is impossible to decline and impossible to achieve without revealing a deep and dark secret. How do you turn this to your advantage and gain the upper hand?

Write your response to the prompt or the show in the comments!

Click here to check out Crown of Midnight on Amazon

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