22 January 2016

Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

I tried to get more involved in this series for the second installment, especially since a lot of my friends really enjoy it, but my conclusion is still the same after reading Crown of Midnight: it's still not my favorite.

The fundamental flaw with this series is that it has too many layers.  When done correctly, this characteristic can work strongly in a series's favor.  Unfortunately, my take on Crown of Midnight is that Maas works it into a bit of a jumbled mess.

Let's start with characters.  Even though I just read Throne of Glass late last month, I had a hard time distinguishing between the princess and the chick looked up in the dungeon because she was the one trying to marry the prince or something and came to court with the duke of something rather another.  There are a lot of characters in this novel, and none of them really stick out in my mind.  For instance, I thought these two aforementioned characters were one person from the first novel for some reason.  Then we have Chaol and Dorian and Celaena.  The romance between them and the love triangle feels as forced as ever and annoys me even more in this second installment than the first one.  And even though Celaena seems to have made her choice about who she'd rather be with, the love triangle is far from other, as Maas insists on throwing speed bump after speed bump between these trio.  Since I still haven't gotten an attachment to any of the characters (their characters only evolve/change when Maas bends their characteristics based on the needs of the plot, which bothers me), it's just annoying at this point.

Then we have the plot, and the many layers to it.  It's all a jumbled mess at this point.  We have a magical talking door knob, a ghost of a princess, a long lost member of royalty, magic showing up unexpectedly, secret catacombs beneath the castle, strange magical beasts living in said catacombs, an assassin trying to kill people sneaking into the catacombs, plots to overthrow various monarchs/governments, and Fae to boot.  Have I left anything out?  Oh yeah, the main plot - Celaena's mission to kill everyone that the king ever disliked (which she doesn't do, which causes a spiral of other messes).  Oh, and portals to other realms where magic acts differently.   And I'm sure I left something else out as well.

And yet, with all that said, I still want to like it.  It's original, even if it isn't all together engaging.  I just wish Maas would have narrowed the scope of what she wanted to accomplish with the series; I feel like then she would have been more focused with the writing and not so scattered with the plot, and I could have enjoyed it a lot more.  But I haven't given up hope entirely (though I do hope this stupid love triangle dies ASAP).

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