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Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass)

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas 5 gazillion stars for this - it was so good I can't even put words together about it right now. So, I have done my best not to completely fangirl as well as give anything away here. Continue reading with the idea that I had to completely hold myself back and if you have not started this series yet...what the heck are you waiting for...seriously - go do it now.I've been waiting what feels like forever for this book and boy did Sarah Maas come through. This was the one book I had to leave BEA with and thank the lord I got my hands on a copy. If it would have any influence whatsoever, I would offer up cookies or my first born child for the next book - just putting that out there.Crown of Midnight picks up with Celaena acting as the King's Champion. A lot happens in this book and there is also a lot revealed. I'm not going to go into any of it because I don't want to give it away but if you enjoyed Throne of Glass, you will really like book two. I felt like the pacing was well done and it was the perfect mix of action, mystery, swoon and snarky banter. Celaena is still one of my favorite characters...ever. She is still arrogant, tough, smart and sarcastic and I love this about her. She also now has people that care about her and that she cares about. Celaena knows she is playing a dangerous game that could end badly (for her, Chaol, and/or Princess Nehemia) but she is willing to take chances and do what she feels is necessary to stand up to the King. There was also a point in the book where it was clear she is good at what she does and seeing it through Chaol's eyes made it even more impactful."She was a whirlwind of steel and blood. As he watched her cut through the men like they were stalks of wheat in a field, he understood how she had gotten so close to touching Endovier's wall that day. And at last - after all these months - he saw the lethal predator he'd expected to find in the mines. There was nothing human in her eyes, nothing remotely merciful. It froze his heart."The love triangle still slightly exists but not in a way that overpowers the rest of the story and not in the way you would normally assume when you hear love triangle. It is key to the progression of the story and allows us to see just how much Chaol and Celaena are fighting their attraction to each other. It also shows us how their interactions are impacting Dorian and his feelings for both Celaena and Chaol.Chaol - I love him. It is as simple as that. He truly cares for Celaena and he forces her to see things that she normally wouldn't and that is probably what I loved the most about their friendship/relationship. "Believe me, Celaena, " he snarled, his eyes flashing, "I know you can look after yourself. But I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn't, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens."She blinked. "Oh," was all she managed.I mean...that alone is enough to make me love him. Add in the 50 other items I tagged in my book and you would probably agree with me.I loved seeing the evolution of Celaena's relationship with Dorian. We know from ToG that Celaena has put a stop to any potential relationship with him but Dorian is still trying to get beyond that. Eventually they come to rely on each other for support during some very difficult times where both of them are questioning who they are and their purpose. Celaena's relationship with Princess Nehemia is just as strong as it was in ToG and she is her first real girl friend. When something happens that really tests Celaena, my heart was truly breaking.Can I just say - there are so many swoony moments and parts I loved that I thought I was going to run out of sticky tabs to mark them in my book. Once you read this, you will completely agree with me and see why Chaol will be on my favorites list forever.So there you have it. I don't think I gave away any secrets here. If you enjoy fantasy and a great story that just happens to include some of my favorite characters ever, I highly recommend you check this out. Maas does a wonderful job of creating characters you can care about as well as a great story that just sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages until you get to the very end. I was unable to put this down and can't wait until book three comes out...that's soon, right??**This review is based on an ARC.