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If you had told me I would end up loving a Chaol-centric book at the end of Queen of Shadows, I would not have believed you. However, the new setting and new characters introduced here made this my favourite book so far in the Throne of Glass series.
I loved the establishment of Antica as an idealistic world that Adarlan could emulate if Aelin and Dorian won the war. How surprising that paying people for their work, treating them equally, and holding everyone accountable to the law regardless of status, could create a happy society! It is an interesting contrast to how power is passed from one generation to the next with a khagan’s death. While most of the khagan’s children seemed more than capable of killing their siblings if their right to power is questioned, they still seemed like a solid family unit grieving the loss of one of their own.
Yrene is possibly my favourite female character in the Throne of Glass series (it’s a close call with Lysandra, though). Her healing ability is impressive, as is her drive and character. With everything she’s been through, the fact that she has always planned to return to Fenharrow to help her people is admirable, and as an outsider to the characters we know so well, it was an interesting perspective to read. In addition, the time she spent with Chaol, trying to heal his spine and uncover information that could be useful during the war, provided an excellent slow evolution and development of these characters that I loved reading.
It was also nice to see the world more from Nesryn’s perspective. Even though Adarlan has always been her home, it’s not surprising to see how much more she seems to belong in Antica. The time she spent with Sartaq and the ruks contrasted the witches and wyverns, and
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