For this first feature of the month Victoria and I decided to focus on Crown of Midnight, which will be published this month on August 15th in the UK/ANZ and on August 27th in the US. A great epic fantasy series, Victoria saw the story unfold on FictionPress years ago – and is being particularly nice and not spoiling it for me! She introduced me to the novellas and Throne of Glass and it wasn’t long before I was hooked.
To kick off our series of articles about Crown of Midnight, we decided to put together a playlist on Spotify. The songs we’ve chosen remind us of a particular scene, and below we’ve explained why we chose that particular song and which scene we’ve paired it with.
To listen to the playlist, please click the banner below:
We would love to hear your suggestions and add them to our playlist – just leave a comment and we will add your song on Spotify!
If you have not yet read Crown of Midnight and do not wish to read the spoilers, please stop here! If you do want to read the rest of this article, please highlight the text that is between the square brackets. 🙂
Another Dance – Dario Marianelli
Pride and Prejudice fans will recognise the song instantly, but I associate it with the atmosphere you would find in the parlour where Celaena meets Archer. Sophisticated and light, with everyone thinking of themselves as the most important person around and a lovely chatter filling the room.
Pictures at an Exhibition: Gnomus – Mussorgsky
When I was first introduced to Baba Yellowlegs, I pictured her as a small, cunning and vile creature, just like a gnome. Mussorgsky did an excellent job of translating the character of a gnome in his work and listening to this particular piece, I feel it depicts Baba and her caravan very well.
Violin Concerto I – Philip Glass
The ominous and fast-paced tune make me think of Celaena’s escapades in the corridors below the castle. Running away from the creature, trying to make sense of the place and the thing that is running after her, and the moment she meets Dorian: hope and confusion, dread and relief.
Playground Love – AIR
At last, Celaena and Chaol! Reading this particular extract, I needed something soft, tender, slow, just like this song. It illustrates the couple’s feeling during the night and the morning after, and the voluptuous and soothing melody fits the mood nicely.
Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary – Henry Purcell
This is the song that springs to my mind when I think about the funeral of Nehemia. When you think of the young Eyllwe princess, the song is completely out of character, too formal and awkward. And that’s exactly how I pictured her funeral: a typical Adarlanian ceremony that had nothing to do with the traditions that Nehemia followed in Eyllwe.
The Nutcracker, Waltz of the Flowers – Tchaikovsky
I think this is automatically my go-to song for any scene with a ball. I can just imagine a sea of Adarlan’s dancing lords and ladies with big, swishy ball gowns and dazzling jewels at a glittering ball, and this music reaching Celaena and Chaol waltzing in the garden in a world of their own.
Songbird – All Angels
I really wanted to find a song to fit Chaol’s birthday dinner with Celaena. I chose this one because, listening to the lyrics, the couple are happy and everything’s wonderful. For this one evening the two of them can do something normal and not worry about the chaos they’re caught up in. The song is quiet, subtle and loving and to my mind is a wonderful fit.
Budget Meeting (King Arthur Original Soundtrack) – Hans Zimmer
When Celaena goes to the warehouse to rescue Chaol, this is definitely the type of track I have as a mental sountrack. It’s big, it’s epic, you can imagine whole armies clashing to the sound of this music. While Celaena doesn’t exactly take on an army, quite honestly, the mood she’s in I wouldn’t put it past her. This track is long and there’s a sad, melancholic pause about seven minutes in where I can just picture her reaction when she finds out what Chaol’s done and what’s about to happen, before it builds again for a tragic finale.
Goodbye My Lover – James Blunt
These last two songs I’ve chosen are as much about impressions of characters as well as scenes. Listening to this song after I’d finished the story reminded me both of Nehemia’s death and Chaol and Celaena’s separation. Sarah J. Maas writes Celaena’s grief and at the loss of her friend so heartbreakingly well there may or may not have been teary eyes and copious amounts of chocolate involved in the aftermath of reading it. And since there are few songs I’ve listened to which are as gut-wrenchingly sad as this one, it seemed a fitting choice. But as well as Celaena saying goodbye to Nehemia it also made me think of Chaol. There’s another heartbreaking scene which I absolutely refuse to divulge where he realises just how he’s lost and utterly breaks down, and as he comes to understand the consequences of what he’s done the lyrics in the chorus as well as the overall tone really struck a chord.
Made of Scars – Stone Sour
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this one’s about Celaena. I was thinking about events and the losses she suffers not only in Crown of Midnight but also long before, and while she may be a deadly assassin we see throughout the novellas, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight that her heart is not made of stone, and thinking of that life and all she’s gone through this song popped into my head. Plus a lot of the ‘scars’ have violent histories and it’s never difficult to picture Celaena fighting to this sort of song which definitely reinforced the impression.]