February 2020| Reading Wrap Up

Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

*** SPOILERS FOR THRONE OF GLASS (because this is the sequel)***

Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series. In Throne of Glass Celaena becomes the King’s Champion. This book is about the experience that she has being the Champion. The struggles of having to kill for someone she hates, and all of the judgement she gets for it. The mysteries in this book were fascinating, and the addition of magic (that was seen at the end of Throne of Glass) into this story added another element to it that I loved. This books brings us closer to side characters and learning more about them was exciting to me. I loved all the side characters and hope that we continue to learn more! The main thing that I disliked with this story were all of the secrets between characters. Especially because I truly believe it goes against the character’s personalities and relationships. I don’t believe it is something that they would have done, it seems like the secrets were there to move the plot along. Some devastating things happen that could have been avoided if there weren’t so many secrets.

Pros: gained more information on side-characters, mysterious, magic system was interesting, wrenched my heart.
Cons: so many secrets that were unnecessary and unbelievable.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/05/crown-of-midnight/

Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Rating: ★★★★

Legend takes place in what used to be western United States, but is now the Republic. It is a story of a girl named June – who is trying to become a top military leader – and a boy named Day – who is one of the most wanted criminals in the Republic. June’s brother is murdered and Day is the main suspect. This is a story full of mystery, hardship, relationships, and trust. One of the things that I love about this story is that it has so many themes, there isn’t just one main element to the story, there is a lot going on. What we are lead to believe at the beginning of the story quickly shifts and changes as the story progresses. I love this complex aspect of the book. It also has two wonderful main characters who both believe that they are doing good, even though some might see them as “bad guys”. I appreciate when books have complex characters that are morally gray. It leads to great morality discussions which I believe are important to grow. Though I did love the two main characters, I did not enjoy parts of their relationship that developed because it seemed too fast and unrealistic given the circumstances. It seemed forced to me.

Pros: complex story arc, morally gray characters, good pacing, full of surprises.
Cons: main character’s relationship seemed unnecessary and unrealistic.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/08/legend/

Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

Strange the Dreamer is about a boy named Lazlo Strange whose dream is to go to the lost city of Weep. He is a junior librarian who spends most – if not all – of his time in the library, so it seems like he will never fulfill that dream. However, one day a band of warriors from Weep show up requesting that people come with him to their city. This begins a huge journey for Lazlo, who wants more than anything to solve the mystery of Weep. I love Laini Taylor’s writing; Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favorite series ever, and I was not disappointed with this story. The writing was just as beautiful, and the world building was complex and thorough. I loved the characters, as well as the relationships that evolve between them. The magic in this book was surprising and interesting, not what I was expecting at all. The only thing that I did not care for was that it was pretty slow in the beginning. I still liked what I was reading, it was just a little slow for my taste.

Pros: plot twists, beautiful writing, interesting magic system, intriguing mystery.
Cons: pacing was slow in the beginning.
Full Review: https://classicsquidney.com/2020/05/13/strange-the-dreamer/

Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Edition: paperback

Goodreads Summary: From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

The Throne of Glass and Shadow and Bone series are two of my most anticipated series to read of the year. Since I can’t choose between the two, I am planning on going back and forth between the two. I loved Throne of Glass, but the ending was odd and therefore I didn’t have the highest expectations for Crown of Midnight. I was unexpectedly surprised with how incredible it was!

Likes: I had no clue where this book was going to be going with how Throne of Glass ended. However, I really liked it! The mysteries, the secrets, and the new discoveries kept me on the edge of my seat. The entire book Celaena is trying to figure out a certain mystery, and I loved getting snippets of information continuously throughout the story. This is one of the only books that made me cry and cry and cry, want to throw it on the ground, and yet, still love it. There were parts that had me crushed, wanting to hate the book, and somehow I don’t. There are few stories that I have found that can make me feel this way, and though I want to put it in the dislikes – because this story broke me – I won’t, because that is a sign of beautiful writing.

Dislikes: There are so many secrets between characters and honestly there is no point to a lot of them. This frustrated me throughout the whole book, and made me honestly angry with one of the actions a character took that completely changed the story. If the characters would have just talked then so many horrific things wouldn’t have happened and that was annoying. There was so much trust between many of the characters so it doesn’t make sense that they wouldn’t share information.

Overall, I did love this story. It had added elements that the first book didn’t have, and though I thought I wasn’t going to like that, I ended up really enjoying it! There was more political intrigue in this book, more insight into Celaena’s background, and more POVs in this story which I loved. The only dislike was the catastrophes that could have been easily avoided if characters would have just talked with each other. However, I loved it so much and it ripped emotions out of me that most books can’t. Because of this I rated it five stars and can’t wait for the next one!