I finished Kingdom of Ash around two weeks ago now and I was at a loss for words for so many reasons. For the start I’ve been a fan of this series since only the first book was out and the prequel short stories.
*ahem* Spoilers ahead for the stories up to Kingdom of Ash, so if you haven’t read the first five books look away, or be spoiled.
I loved the character Celeana Sardothien, I thought she was fun and badass. She was the character my seventeen year old self at the time felt energised reading about. I loved how the story grew and took this massive turn in Crown of Midnight that I could never have expected ever – hello Aelin. The story plunged in to the world of the fae and this huge plot to stop the Valg demons. IT became HUGE. And I loved it. Heir of Fire was awesome. Honestly, I need to sit down and do a thorough re-read of this entire series when I can finally get all my books in one place.
Aelin/Celeana always had these mad plans that were fun to read about and usually only became apparent to the reader by the time her plan was in action. It was fun to read but I grew tired of these wild surprises by Empire of Storms. I still liked the surprises but I began to want to be in the know. She always felt a bit distanced. I don’t know if this was because I changed as a reader (I’m 23 now and I like to think I’ve changed and I know my tastes in books have too).
I was never a Chaol fan, he grew more intolerable for me as the books went on and so I was distraught at the idea of an entire novel for him. I tried to read Tower of Dawn and I did DNF it and then reaped the spoilers online so I was ready for Kingdom of Ash. I did quite like Yrene in the short story before she got Chaol-ed (it’s a verb now).
In the same vein there were aspects to the stories that irked me, how everyone was beginning to pair up and find love. This is a fantasy series so my disbelief is somewhat suspended but not to the point everyone finds love. So when people began to break up in Kingdom of Ash I mentally cheered that on for some damn realism. Heartless? Perhaps.
This is series amazing and evolves with every story. Celeana Sardothien even read differently from her prequels as an assassin. Sarah J Maas is amazing at writing books about characters who change, even in her other series the characters are so effected by the world and the events that transpire. Sometimes authors don’t capture this and their characters seem almost like they’re made of rubber. So I don’t think Kingdom of Ash could be reviewed as a standalone, it definitely wasn’t written as one. I like to try and rate books apart from what transpired before as if they could stand alone in their own awesomeness. But I don’t think I can with Kingdom of Ash because this was an awesome series and while I didn’t love Kingdom of Ash it is the end of a series that I would and will still call one of my favourite series of all time.
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
3.5 / 5 Stars
I read someone else’s review on Goodreads and they summed it up perfectly for me, but their comment has long since been buried and I can’t find it. What they basically said was, “they go to war…. and then another….and another war….and another war….” The story really hammered in the fact this is basically a WORLD WAR and everything is HOPELESS but we fight with HOPE. The odds weren’t in Terrasen and its allies’ favour. I felt that was very hammered in. I also don’t enjoy books about wars so it really wasn’t for me (I haven’t even read Lord of the Rings). I also didn’t like how a character who only appeared not so long ago was integral to ending the damn war.
It was LOOONG. So Long. Too Long. I agree with a lot of people that some of these tiny battles could have been cut out.
Aelin’s torture was brutal and that’s another thing with these books. They change so much I honestly don’t know what I was going to be reading. Like brutal torture, or pretty detailed sex scenes. I don’t mind reading sex scenes but I like to know that I’m going to be? Throne of Glass wasn’t detailed – I don’t recall it becoming detailed until Queen of Shadows was it? Correct me if I’m wrong.
Speaking of those kind of scenes, I liked the evolution of Elide and Lorcan’s relationship as well as Lysandra and Aedion. I honestly just loved Aedion as a character and his struggles in the war and just rallying Terrasen. This book developed such a love for the idea of Terrasen.
I enjoyed the take on the gods. I like how they were perceived as gods and beyond the characters comprehension. But how they could potentially be just powerful beings from another world. I also liked how those gods’ histories also felt like legends and fairytales for Erelia.
Which brings me to the prophecy. Harry Potter inspired my love for a good ol’ prophecy. I like how we see how effected Aelin is by it and how it weighs on her as a character.
I love that we got some Aelin and Rowan. Aelin deserves all the damn happiness in the world.
Aelin was still a badass, swords and plots and fire-breathing bitch queen magic.
Dorian was awesome and his part in the story was amazing. He personally helped me understand Manon better and grow to like her journey.
The ending was fitting.
So overall, I rated the book 3.5 stars. I wouldn’t read this again if it wasn’t for the novels before this as the style of story wasn’t for me. The novel was also so damn long and could have really been 200 or pages shorter. However, I was invested in the characters and as a whole I felt it wrapped up the series fairly well. It can’t be rated as a stand alone and this rating doesn’t reflect my feelings on the entire series which I suppose I’d give a …
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas