Book Review

Kingdom of Ash: the end of an era

What can I say about this massive novel other than OH MY GOD WHAT A MASTERPIECE.

I loved EVERY SINGLE PAGE. With this end to the Throne of Glass series being 980 pages – there was A LOT that happened, and I obviously will not be able to capture everything in this review. This review will most likely be spoiler free for the first half and then the second half will contain spoilers that I simply HAVE to talk about, but I will be sure to put a disclaimer warning everyone not to proceed unless you’ve read it or like me absolutely love spoilers. You do you. (although I managed to not be spoiled at all!)

First and foremost, I know a lot of people are talking about the length of this novel and the fact that its nearly 1K pages. I’ve read several reviews saying that the length was unnecessary and that AT LEAST 200 pages could have been cut. Honestly, I thought the length was perfect. Yes, it is long. Yes, it is a commitment to read it and get through it. But this book is written so well, and the story is so fantastic that I flew through it and it was over before I even realized I was close to the end.
Also, to those that feel it should have been shorter I just want to say I hear you, but to someone that absolutely LOVES this series (and I consider it my favorite) I would have been fine with it being even loner if that’s where Sarah felt the story needed to go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A major point I want to talk about with a lot of Sarah’s books is that she portrays mental health/illness/awareness incredibly well. Without spoiling anything there are a lot of parts in this book that speak indirectly on something tragic happening to a character and how they handle it. I think she does a wonderful job portraying that it is OKAY to NOT BE OKAY. It is okay to need time to deal with the pain and suffering in your own way and on your own time. I love how some of the characters in this book deal with situations like that.

The world building in this novel and in Tower of Dawn was tremendous, and such an improvement from her earlier books. I can see her growing as an author and I love where she is headed. We were able to see so many new and even various places in Erilea and I loved every word of it. I was happy we got to experience more of this world outside of Adarlan.

Another way Sarah has grown as an author is by showing us the amount of character development she puts in to these novels. I thought Kingdom of Ash in particular showed how characters have changed and grown throughout the whole series and I loved seeing it all come together and how it impacted their role in everything that happened.

Okay, on to the SPOILER section! So, if you have not finished and don’t want to be spoiled TURN BACK NOW!

The first thing I want to cover is Aedion. He seriously bothered me throughout the ENTIRE book. He was being such a self-righteous, pompous ass towards everyone but especially Lysandra for shifting to Aelin and impersonating her (WHICH IS LITERALLY WHAT AELIN INSTRUCTED HER TO DO), and Aedion just couldn’t get past the fact that his Queen didn’t “trust” him enough to tell him. That wasn’t the case at all, we all know how Aelin operates and it’s a “you don’t need to know until my plan is revealed to the world” scenario.

Because of this he was bitter and cold towards Lysandra for most of the book and took until she was knocking on deaths door for him to realize how terrible he was being. Thankfully she is a strong woman and all but told him to f*** off until she was ready to deal with how awful he was towards her.

Again, with Aedion (I swear most of my issues with this book revolved around him) his anger towards his father was SO DAMN DRAMATIC I could not handle it. He is so angry towards his father for, in my opinion, no valid reason. His father didn’t even know Aedion existed until Queen of Shadows and all he wanted was to be with him, protect him, be a father towards him. All Aedion did was be bitter and aggressive with him. Well, what goes around comes around and Gavriel ended up dying in the last battle and now Aedion will never get to have his father. Only then, only when Gavriel put his life on the line for Aedion did he finally see how mistaken he was. I cannot roll my eyes hard enough at that.

I know that there quite a few people out there who straight up won’t even read Sarah’s books anymore because of some insensitivities portrayed throughout her stories. The one that irritates me the most is in Empire of Storms Aedion makes a comment about loving men and women and that it’s more about who they are as a person rather than whether they are male or female. But I am also bothered by the fact that this was a one sentence in another massive book and then it is literally never brought up again. I was truly hoping it may have been explored a little in this book.

Okay, can we talk about Dorian for a minute? Just a minute? Because holy god did Dorian show some serious character development and an unholy amount of power all of a sudden. I feel like his power was seriously amplified in this novel compared to the previous books. Suddenly he was able to “absorb” other powers? He killed the spider that could shape shift and then he taught himself how to shape shift? I don’t know if I should be impressed or terrified. I think his power exceeded even Aelin’s and definitely went unchecked. But even with that I am happy that him and Aelin together tried to forge the lock and seal the Wyrdgate but in doing so Dorian’s power was diminished and Aelin lost the majority of her fire-bringing abilities.

I loved this part of the story because to me it showed that they are still flawed, they are not all powerful but even without their power they can still lead and rule with conviction.
The saddest part of this book to me and I’m sure many others was when the Thirteen (minus Manon, because main character ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) gave up their lives to the yielding to ensure the Witch tower would be destroyed. The sacrifice they made, and the heartbreak Manon went through was absolutely heart wrenching. I did not see it coming at all, which made it an even more fantastic and emotional plot point. When that chapter was over, once I was done sobbing I had to put it down and walk away for a while to collect myself and return my heart rate to a resting pace.

I know this review was wordy and long (the longest I’ve ever written!) but I felt it was necessary to convey my feelings toward this book and the series as a whole. I thought the ending was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. The last page alone had me crying like a baby curled up in the corner (the flowers guys, the flowers). I thought the end of this series was more than I could have ever hoped for these characters that have become my friends. Even though I won’t be able to read these books for the first time again I am happy I will be able to thoroughly enjoy them in my rereads, because this series deserves nothing less than being read and loved all over again.

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