Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas Review: Best love triangle ever

January 27, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher:Bloomsbury
Source:Purchased
Date Published: August 2, 2012

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

It’s not often that a book like Throne of Glass comes along, with it’s epic fantasy lands capturing and captivating me into a land filled with royalty, assassins, outlawed magic, romance, beautiful dresses and different kingdoms. I knew I would love it after countless recommendations from other bloggers, and it surely lived up to its name.

I now see why Celaena Sardothien is everyone’s favourite heroine, she’s beautiful, kick ass, alluring, intelligent and deadly, but her vibrant personality makes her come to life. Moments of vulnerability, a sharp wit, arrogance and alluring charm really flesh out her character, and the book delivers wonderful character development throughout. Every line delivered is with sarcasm, sharp wit and humour which is entertaining and hilarious to read. She’s not totally perfect however, as the Celaena we first meet is arrogant, ruthless and bitter after being imprisoned for years. I liked her strength and dedication, as well as her vulnerability which made her all the more believable as a character.

“I’m already notorious as an assassin – I don’t particularly feel like being notorious for sharing your bed.” – Celaena

While the book is mostly centered around a tournament to find out who the King’s Champion will be, it also features a healthy dose of mystery with the competitors being slowly killed off in a gruesome way. Celaena takes it upon herself to investigate these murders to find out who is behind them, while she’s also strengthening and honing her skills for the tournament. With horror, magic and hidden secrets hidden between the Castle’s walls, this part of novel reminded me of Harry Potter in a way.

With her charm and wit, she’s captivated two sexy guys under her spell – Prince Dorian, and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol. This is a love triangle that is done well, it will have you rooting for both guys who are both suitable companions. Dorian is charming and handsome, who is attracted Celaena because she treats him so differently to all the other ladies of the Court, but he’s the Prince of a Kingdom who has taken everything away from her. Chaol is a man of honour, responsible for training and disciplining Celaena but he also puts his duty for the Kingdom’s safety first, and an assassin is first and foremost a threat against the Kingdom.

“I think you have far more attractive suitors vying for your attention. I’m boring company to keep.” – Chaol

She haunted his thoughts, made him wish to do grand and wonderful things in her name. – Dorian

The romance, like the various subplots of mystery, history and politics, is weaved intricately into the story without losing sight of the plot. Celaena doesn’t turn into jelly at the sight of these two men but instead, plays them to her needs to win the tournament and attain freedom. There is a lot of witty, teasing banter between both of the males and Celaena, which is exciting to experience.

An honourable mention goes to Princess Nehemia, one of the castle dwellers who quickly becomes friends with Celaena. She is exotic, feisty, honourable, wise and loyal to her own kingdom, and she shows Celaena how you can be family, even though you don’t share the same blood. Her knowledge of the ancient magic of Wyrdmarks makes her a valuable source of knowledge for our assassin.

“Something about him makes me want to beat in his face.” – Nehemia 

Throne of Glass is a superb debut in high fantasy for YA readers, and it truly deserves all its praise. Rarely do you find a multi-layered book that does everything well, from the romance, to the action, to the plot and romance. What truly makes Throne of Glass shine are the characters are the heart of the novel, two strong male leads and an incredibly memorable heroine.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher review copy
Date Published: August 15, 2013

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

If you haven’t read this series yet, you have to read it now. It’s the best YA fantasy series I have ever read, and the sequel is somehow even better. Crown of Midnight  is an incredible sequel, delivering even more intrigue, action and romance than the first.

While Celaena Sardothean rarely practiced her trade in the first novel, the book opens with her performing her duties as the King’s Assassin. She walks into court room dropping her target’s head in front of the King. It appears that the Celaena we know from the first novel has hardened, now that she’s taking instructions from the king, and we knowingly witness tense relationships with her two suitors, Dorian and Chaol.

Our assassin has a few secrets up her sleeve with surprise reveals in Crown of Midnight. She shows us her ruthless dedication and manipulative side, and an event will have her unleashing all of her fury and rage at the world. Even Dorian and Chaol add their own dose of kickass to the mix, and I was pleased to find how action-packed the book was throughout.

Even more than the first, Crown of Midnight involves multiple layers of deceit, secrets and betrayal that will have you constantly guessing throughout. Sarah J. Maas holds no bars when it comes to deaths, mentions of gore and the horrors of the castle, which adds a morose and threatening air around the castle.

The romance in Crown of Midnight was done beautifully again, with Celaena choosing the man that is the most right for her and all she stands for. Others have mentioned how every guy seems to fall in love with Celaena and that’s certainly the case here. Luckily the Captain of the Guard is someone I can certainly get behind, with his loyalty, dedication and protection of Celaena being at the forefront of his mind.

Overall, Crown of Midnight was a brilliant follow up to the first novel with the series creating a hardcore fandom worldwide. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read this series and can now join everyone in waiting eagerly for the third book – Heir of Fire.

Thank you Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this book for review – and for replacing my misplaced copy! 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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55 responses to “Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas Review: Best love triangle ever

  1. I'm still reading the novellas! I got to book three and have completely fallen for the character Sam who doesn't seem to be in TOG and COM so I am paralysed because I can't bear anything to happen to him! I don't know if anything does but my heart!! I need to read these soon because they sound epic and I have the paperback and kindle versions lol!

  2. I actually suffered a two weeks book hangover after finishing Crown of Midnight in January. The book was just amazing. A total mind f*ck. AND THE ROMANCE. OH MY GOD THE ROMANCE. I probably shouldn't get started on that or i'll never finish this comment. But basically I wanted Celeana and Chaol to hook up since book one and was so invested in their relationship I totally cried several times while reading these books because I was upset they weren't ripping each other's clothes off. And other times I was giddy like a child when well…..

    Great review 🙂

    Lily @ Lilysbookblog
    Lily recently posted…When is a series ending… a good series ending?My Profile

  3. YES YES YES! It's so great that you like these two. I have to agree with you, best love triangle ever! Normally I hate them, but all the characters are just so well-written and developed, I've become attached to all of them. Have you read her novellas as well? They're fantastic as well!
    Chantelle recently posted…Review: Afterworld by Lynnette LounsburyMy Profile

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed both of these, Jeann! ToG is one of my favourite books, and I loved the sequel even more. I agree that it's even better! I'm completely nervous about what might happen next, but I can't wait to find out. Hopefully Heir of Fire will be just as impressive as its predecessors. 🙂 FANTASTIC reviews.
    Sam @ Realm of Ficti recently posted…Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica RossiMy Profile

    • I personally love following a series and the hype around the next books when it's still fresh. Otherwise it's too easy to fade into the background and forget to read it lol. I know what you mean about the agony waiting for the next one though, especially when there's a cliffhanger!

  5. I really tried to enjoy Throne Of Glass, but just couldn't. The magical aspects added to my frustration, it was Assassin's Creed mixed with The Hunger Games and I just couldn't gel with the characters. Have you read the novella series? It's supposed to be even better.
    Kelly recently posted…Australia Day: A Guide For Non AussiesMy Profile

    • Ooh I need to pick the novellas up! Haha I love that comparison with Assassins Creed, that's perfect! A shame it was frustrating for you Kelly. Are you planning to read the sequel?

  6. Dude I have been meaning to read this series for evah!! I really have to give it a try it sounds amazing and excited and all of the awesome feels! Plus i love it when book 2 is just as good as the first that so rarely happens I find. Thanks for reminding me I fail and reading these and should thus kick my own arse until I accomplish this! 😀
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Minders by Michele JaffeMy Profile

  7. Oh wow! 5 stars for both books in the series??? Definitely checking this out! I have seen it in GR quite a few times but wasn't really in the mood for anything fantasy. I was actually just thinking today that I want to read some sort of love triangle lol

    I kinda skimmed your review on the second book since I plan to read the first but great reviews Jeann! I am def intrigued with the solid 5 star ratings 🙂
    Amir recently posted…Review: Girl with the Cat Tattoo by Theresa WeirMy Profile

  8. YAAAYYYY I'm so glad you finally read these! It's one of my favorite series 😀 Celaena is just a total badass and I love Chaol <3 Me + this series basically ends up being a lot of flailing and "AAAHHHH"-ing, haha.

    Ooh, how did you feel in CoM, just before the second book/half started? When THAT happened? I was so dying right then! I honestly COULD NOT believe that that just happened, haha.

    I'm so glad you loved ToG and CoM! It's going to be a long, long wait till Heir of Fire…
    Celine recently posted…Review: Mind Games by Kiersten WhiteMy Profile

  9. I absolutely loved the prequel novellas, but haven't started the first book yet! I really can't wait to read more about Celaena and her adventures. I've heard Crown of Midnight is heart-breaking, so I'm a little afraid.. the last novella made me cry already.

  10. First off, how do you pronounce "Chaol"? LOL!

    Anyway, Kate read book 1 and wasn't impressed at all. But I think it's only because she's read a lot of high fantasy books that she really loved and couldn't help but compare this to those other books. As for me, I haven't started on this yet. I'm not a huge fan of love triangles, but as you said, this one makes you root for both guys, which to me is a hard choice. Who's team will I be on here?! Lovely reviews, Jeann!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Blog Tour + Book Review 119 : Nogiku Series by SJ PajonasMy Profile

    • Ah yes if you are into high fantasy this book will probably pale into comparison to huge epic adventures. But from the space here they've done really well with all the elements of the story. I think you should give it a go Dre

  11. Oh no! I just finished Throne of Glass (like a few hours ago) and didn't really enjoy it. D: The gruesome deaths of the competitors were my favorite part of the novel, of course. 😉 I'll still read the sequel, since everyone's been raving about it, and I hope that it's better than the first! Great reviews Jeann! 🙂
    Aimee recently posted…Mini Review: Defiance by C.J. RedwineMy Profile

  12. ahhh! I love this series. Crown of Midnight was definitely a lot better than Throne of Glass both in terms of the character development and the actual plot. And the love triangle is definitely quite a good one- I'm on Team Chaol, but I really really love Dorian as a character too 😀

    Can't wait for Heir of Fire!
    Nara recently posted…Quick but Important Question!My Profile

    • Ah yes, I did read your review and kept it in mind while reading Throne of Glass and I could totally see what you meant about the telling rather than showing. But yes – 2nd book blows it all out of the water! Thanks hun!

  13. Oh my gosh, I am so going to read these now! I wasn't all that interested because sometimes it's hard for me to get into fantasy like this, but whoa, I need to meet Celaena. I loved all those quotes you shared.
    Christy recently posted…Red Rising by Pierce BrownMy Profile

  14. Only read the THRONE OF GLASS review because I haven't yet picked up CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by gosh, now I want to so bad. I agree 10000% with what you said about all how so many elements go in to making this book as awesome as it is. They all balance each other out so well 😀 AND YES, THE LOVE TRIANGLE. *Happy sigh* Great reviews!
    Alise recently posted…Discussion: I don’t DNFMy Profile

    • Thanks Alise, oh my gosh you must read Crown of Midnight now! I'm so glad I read them back to back because that was the perfect way to enjoy this series and to see the progression of how awesome it got. Oh Chaol and Dorian!

  15. I can't WAIT to start Throne of Glass!! It's eyeballing me from my TBR stack on my bookshelf. I'm pretty keen to get back into the epic fantasy. I usually avoid it because a) they're usually HUGE books, and b) I feel like most sound the same after a while. But these ones sound jaw-dropping awesome. Great reviews!!
    Cait @ Notebook Sist recently posted…Australia Day Blog Hop: meme buster editionMy Profile

    • I know what you mean about epic fantasy, it's not my preferred genre of choice but I just love how this one packs a punch in its relatively short length! It is so awesome Cait, I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

  16. Hurray! I'm so glad you enjoyed this Jeann! I too was engrossed into Celaena's world, and I'm ecstatic that you were too! I definitely agree that the character development was amazing, and that Celaena was an amazing protagonist. So far, I've only read Book 1, and I didn't see much of a love triangle; but I'm guessing that it will be more progressive in Book 2. And to hear you say that it's "the best love triangle ever" seriously makes me giddy!

    As always, fabulous review Jeann! Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely have to pick up Book 2 pronto! 😉
    Zoe @ The Infinite T recently posted…Landry Park: The Whole Shabang!My Profile

    • Oh the love triangle is awesome Zoe I enjoyed it so much in the series arc! No problems, the series was incredible and I'm glad I don't have TOO long to wait until the next book. Please pick it up soon, you won't regret it.