Crown of Midnight (2013)

Plot synopsis

Celaena Sardothien has won the King’s contest and has become his champion. She’s been sent to kill various targets in the name of the King, and while she is bringing back souvenirs as evidence to her crimes–we quickly find out that she hasn’t killed any of the targets. Instead, letting them run and disappear never to use their true names again. She could be killed for the deceit. She gets told a new target, Archer Finn, who she knows personally from her past. Things start to not add up, because Celaena has never known him to be brave enough to be part of a rebel forces.

All the while, her relationship with Chaol Westfall has been growing and they spend about a week together in true happiness before it is all ripped away from them. Her closest friend Nehemia Ytger is brutally murdered in her room while both Celaena and Chaol were in the city. Chaol and Celaena’s relationship burns to ashes in that moment and it never really fixes itself for the rest of the book. It turns out Nehemia had orchestrated it all, even her own death because she knew it would take that push for Celaena to decide to take an active stance against the King. Another huge reveal happens later, when Celaena, Dorian and Chaol fight against a monstrous creature and Celaena goes into a portal to save Fleetwood and Chaol. In another realm, Celaena transforms into a fae and things start being pieced together.

Chaol comes up with a plan to get the King to send Celaena to Wendlyn, under the guise of killing the people in charge there so they can’t pose a threat to the King. However, right before she leaves, she gives him a message and all is revealed. Celaena Sardothien is actually Aelin Galathynius–the lost princess of Terrasen. He just sent the King’s biggest threat to what could be her biggest allies.

My thoughts

Chaol and Celaena’s relationships is one that I loved the first time around when reading this book, but this time, I couldn’t help but feel as though he was living in an imaginary world with her. When faced with who she is, or her past and abilities, he cowers away from her. He does not love her unconditionally, and it shows.

My love for Dorian Havilliard really shows in this one because he is dealing with his own problems and yet, he still tries to be there for his friends and loved ones while not wanting to burden them with the truth.

Celaena Sardothien, who will henceforth be called Aelin when discussing her, is one of the coolest written characters I have come across in a really long time. She’s flawed, undeniably so which makes her incredibly interesting to read and get to understand. When she reaches that point of ‘Killing Calm’ that she calls it, she’s terrifying. She’s unstoppable. And yet, she’s capable of showing vulnerability and she’s able to be soft, and wielding. She’s written realistically and I love it. I can go on and on about her but I’ll leave it at that.

Crown of Midnight was really fun to read, because there are so many different layers to what is happening in the story and it was something I couldn’t stop reading once I had started.

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