Kingdom of Ash - Sarah J. Maas

Goodreads Book Blurb:

Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

Series / Genres:

My Review:

solid, good read:
4/5
I loved the finale to the Throne of Glass series. Unfortunately, it’s one of those false highs; it feels excellent once you finish but doesn’t totally hold up when you go back and think about what happened.

I’m disappointed that all the new characters introduced in Tower of Dawn were either pushed aside or forgotten. Sure, Chaol is still around, being all important, and Yrene steps up to do her thing when needed, but where was Sartaq? And Hasar? Was Kashin even mentioned? I would’ve gladly forfeited some Aedion time to get more from our Antican friends. Aedion was judgemental and entitled, ignoring and belittling Lysandra as she’s running herself ragged to do what’s needed. All the other characters improved as the series continued, but Aedion never matured and seemed the same from his first appearance.

The definite highlights were Dorian and Manon. It took seven books but Dorian finally became interesting. His plans were generally pretty terrible, but he managed to get through with some impressive twists. And as the book continued, he got better and better. And, honestly, Manon is my idol. Strong and unafraid, she killed it; the amount she experienced and evolved in this book alone was breathtaking. I shed plenty of tears while reading, and most of them were for Manon.

I’m always impressed by Maas’ world-building and character development, but this book could have used some serious editing. I don’t think almost 1000 pages were needed to get us to this highly predictable ending, and the narrative felt repetitive and even unnecessary at times. As I said, I really enjoyed Kingdom of Ash – it’s just more of a superficial enjoyment that doesn’t hold up well to criticism.

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