Hi guys! How is everyone doing?
Sooo…. I’m behind on my reviews. I know this isn’t anything new, but there is no way I am going to be able to catch up in time for the end of August if I do full review posts for all 6 books that I have finished in the last month. 😦 I hate being so behind schedule; especially as after a few weeks my thoughts about a book aren’t as strong as they were when I originally finished reading.
I was going to not review some of the books I didn’t get round to writing about in July, but some of them are really good and definitely worth a mention! My compromise? Mini reviews!
As the title of this post suggests, this week’s compilation is a Crown Edition, as the two books have the word ‘crown’ in their title
(genius, I know)! So, at long last, let’s get down to reviewing Crown of Midnight and Three Dark Crowns! ❤
Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published: 15th August 2013
Acquired: Bought at local bookshop
Rating: ★★★★☆ [3.5]
Book Blurb:: Crowned by evil. Bound by duty. Divided by love.
Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood- but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, puts those she loves at risk.
Torn between her two protectors- a captain and a prince- and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart of the fate of a kingdom…
Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series. It starts off not long after the ending of Throne of Glass, where Celaena becomes King’s Champion and his royal assassin. She has been killing all those whom the King wants eradicated… or at least that’s what everyone thinks she is doing. In fact Celaena has been faking the targets’ deaths, and allowing them to escape. So far no one has found out, nor have there been any sever consequences. But when one of her old friends and colleagues is next on the King’s list, Celaena’s lies may finally catch up with her, and puts all those she loves at risk in the kingdom of Adarlan.
I was a bit undecided about this book for a long time, especially as I found Crown of Midnight had such a slow start! I really didn’t care about what was going on during the first third or so, and it wasn’t gripping me as much as I’d hoped. This book was stuck at a three-star rating up until we read more about Celaena’s assassin mode, and she is involved in a kidnapping. But from that point on it became a lot more dramatic, and I couldn’t stop reading! 🙂 I was concerned a bit for Dorian though; I mean he’s so ignorant/naïve, and that makes him dangerous. But I do feel for him a lot!! ❤
I really enjoyed Celaena’s badass assassin scenes (I would’ve liked a few more to be honest), it became fun and intense really quickly. ❤ She is supposed to be the country’s leading assassin, so it was great to finally get to see her in action 🙂 The second half was very dramatic, with a lot of twists and reveals! The ending was super tense; I am SO glad for Celaena’s decision with the villain, as I thought for sure she was going to go the other way! Crown of Midnight didn’t end on a cliff-hanger as such, but after the intense last scenes it definitely made me want to read more in the series!
The only thing I will say is, much like I felt in Throne of Glass, I still don’t think the romance is necessary. Maybe I just don’t like it as much as both love interests are just as likeable… but it’s more likely that I just don’t think the love element is required in such a fantasy novel. It didn’t add anything to the plot at all, but that’s just me 😛
I will admit that a few weeks after reading it I don’t have any special feelings towards this book. But, all in all, it was a good read, with a great ending as always. I can’t wait to see more about Celaena and Dorian’s storylines going forwards!
Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published: 22nd September 2016
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Acquired: Birthday present last year
Rating: ★★★★☆ [3.5]
Book Blurb:: In every generation on the island of Fennbirn a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown, all possessed of a coveted magic.
Mirabella, fierce elemental, can spark hungry flames with the click of a finger.
Katharine, a poisoner, is known to be resistant to the deadliest of snake bites.
Arsinoe, a naturalist, is rumoured to have the ability to bloom the reddest of roses.
But becoming the Queen Crowned is not just a matter of royal birth. These three sisters must fight to the death for the throne, and on the night they turn sixteen the battle begins. Only one queen can inherit the crown.
When this book was published last year I was SO pumped for it. Not only does the premise sound absolutely amazing, but the UK edition released a cover for each of the queens, and they are all gorgeous. I love a story with poison in it, so of course I had to get the poison queen edition:
It is so divine, I adore the green tones on the spine ❤ ❤ I was so so happy to receive this, and I saved it until I felt ready to dive in to the world.
Now I’ll be honest here, despite my bias for this book before reading it, Three Dark Crowns was honestly not what I expected AT ALL. I thought the competition would start a lot earlier than it did in the book, and even then I thought all the princesses would be living in the same castle together, subtly trying to kill each other. But… that wasn’t the case. They didn’t even meet until the end, so it was a lot of preparing and talking about becoming Queen, and very little interaction between the main characters. Boo.
Three Dark Crowns is told in multiple POVs, each chapter focussing on a princess residing in their respective part of the island. Although it made the plot feel a tad slow and disjointed at times, it definitely helped me empathise with each character. I certainly finished the book not knowing who I should root for!
Mirabella’s personality also took me completely by surprise, and as a result I really didn’t think it suited her at all. Her perspective was so different to follow compared to Arsinoe- and Katharine’s chapters, as Mirabella is so isolated she doesn’t know anything that the other two do, and feels completely different about everything. But, it was interesting to see how rumours can manipulate things and escalate certain events throughout the book 🙂 I enjoyed Katharine’s poison-training chapters, and Arsinoe’s struggles were very interesting to read. They all have completely different personalities, and it was cool to see how they all reacted to their looming destiny (or death, who knows).
Oh, but a big NO to Joseph! He is such a dick.
Despite my confusion with how this book played out, I have to admit I love the concept and world here! It hooked me and kept me reading, that’s for sure. Each part of the island is so, so different, and I liked how as a result there are basically three worlds in one; all with their own cultures and traditions. I think the descriptions could have been a bit more vivid, but I loved it all the same! ❤
And, oh my gosh. That last chapter killed me.
Arsinoe’s very last comment completely took me by surprise, and that line ALONE has me itching to read the sequel!!!! I’m so interested to see how it will all play out for the princesses going forwards.
Overall Three Dark Crowns was not what I expected at all. There are certainly pacing issues with this one, but it has a certain charm that kept me interested in the storyline. Despite my mixed feelings, that last chapter completely won me over (sly tactic Ms Blake, very sly), so I am certainly anticipating book 2- One Dark Throne– which is due to be released next month.
So, that concludes the Crown edition of mini reviews for this week! I really need to get my butt in gear and catch up with my reviews, but it can be so hard to make my feelings read well! Hopefully I can get back up to speed soon- bear with me!
Have you read either of these books yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! ♥