I just realized after my last post that I never posted my review for this book. My bad. As with my other reviews of mid-series books, there will be spoilers from the previous, so if you haven’t read Throne of Glass then don’t read after the cut. ‘m totally serious about those spoilers! I bolded (is that even a word?) the text and everything. I’m not going to hold anything back so you have been fully warned. Unless of course, you don’t mind the ending of Throne of Glass being spoiled for you or the happenings and goings on of Crown of Midnight then by all means, read away.
At the beginning of Crown of Midnight, we are a couple months removed from the competition that made Calaena, the King’s Champion and she has already been sent out a few assassinations for the King. When she gets back from her latest, she’s given the task of killing an old friend, Archer Finn. The King suspect Archer of being part of a rebel group in Rifthold and he want’s Calaena to kill each member one by one. Calaena, can’t believe that the Archer she knows would ever be apart of such a conspiracy so she sets out to convince Archer to give all the info on the rebellion as he can before she helps him fake his death. Meanwhile, Chaol is struggling with all his brooding feelings. He has having trouble with guilt of killing Cain, even though he totally deserved it and also with his feelings for Calaena. He’s trying to keep things professional, after all she is a professional killer. The King’s champion to boot. It wouldn’t be proper. He knows how much his friend, Prince Dorian feels (felt) about her and it would seem like too much of a betrayal to start something with her. Prince Dorian is also smarting from sorta being dumped. I mean, he wasn’t officially dating Calaena or anything but he definitely felt something for her. He can also see that despite how both Calaena and Chaol are trying to hide their feelings for each other how much they do care and it hurts but he’s ready to move on. Also he has far more pressing matters to be concerned about, like all of a sudden he has magic. Magic has been outlawed by the King and even the Prince, the heir to the throne wouldn’t be exempt from punishment of death if he was found out. After Princess Nehemia saved Calaena in the competition, they have become close friends. The kind of friend that Calaena has never really had before. So all of this should be a set up that something bad to happen.
The first part of the book, Calaena is busy searching for anything to get on the King so she can get out of his service. She first tries to dig up dirt on the rebellion on to dismiss it since their big play hinges on finding the long lost heir to the Terrasan throne, the Kingdom to the north that Calaena is from. She immediately dismisses it as a possibility, a little too quickly if you ask me. She also starts looking more into the mysterious language of wyrds and what they have to do with the King’s plans. All is going well. If you may recall my post where I worried about two of my favorite characters, yeah here what that was all about. Calaena and Chaol finally got over all their doubts and fears about how they felt about each other and you know, finally got together. They were happy and I was happy but all of that was short lived. In a surprise move, Nehemia is brutally murdered and Chaol knew there were threats against her and didn’t tell Calaena about it She feels betrayed because if she knew then she would have done everything in power to save her and that failed her friend by not being there to stop it. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I really understood why she was so upset with Chaol for not telling her. He is the Captain of the Guard after all and as such he is told many things by the King and it’s his job to obey. It wasn’t like he was choosing the King over Calaena but only doing his job. But Calaena is a girl who has never really had many friends. Most of her life has been about life and death and most people feared her then loved her. Nehemia was different. She saw Calaena for who she was. Not as an assassin or killer but just another girl. So losing Nehemia and Chaol’s indirect action towards it was too much for Caleana to handle and she snapped. Boy, did she snap! It’s actually quite epic in a very brutal, violent and incredibly sad way.
By the end of the book everyone is a little broken. Calaena starts to realize that Chaol isn’t truly to blame for Nehemia’s death but still can’t bring herself to fully forgive him either. Chaol, discovers that Calaena is part Fae and because all things magic is outlawed comes up with a plan to send her to Wendlyn, a country across the sea that so far has fended off the King’s attacks. He didn’t know until after she’s on the boat, who she really is and that sending her to Wendlyn, he either put in more danger or made her more dangerous. And Dorian is all alone dealing with his new found magic, which again is outlawed, and no one to talk to. Especially now, that Calaena is away.
This book was brutal to read because for that brief, shiny moment there was a hope for something more and then have it completely crash down around them. It’s an exciting ride though. The big reveal at the end was pretty obvious to anyone who was paying attention. The seeds were planted from the very beginning when they were escorting Calaena to Rifthold for the competition. How we get to the big reveal though is full of twists and turns that it makes it a little more forgivable. I really didn’t see Nehemia dying. I was so sure it was going to be Chaol. Thank goodness for that but he’s not out of the woods just yet. When the King finds out who Calaena truly is and how he has sent her to the one place that could help restore her powers, he will not forget whose idea it was to send her there. It will not be pretty for the Captain. I’m very curious as to what kind of magic Dorian really has and how it relates to what’s going with the King’s plan. I’m wondering if it’s a plan or unplanned side effect or just mere coincidence. I do hope he learns how to use it soon because I have a feeling he’s going to need it like now. To say I’m enjoying this series would be an understatement. I’m really loving it. I’m trying my best not to barrel through the next one since the fourth book doesn’t come out until September. Self control when it comes to reading has never been my strong suit, though.