Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format Read: Paperback
Published by Bloomsbury Australia on October 23rd 2018
Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. 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.
I’m still amazed at how far this series has come, compared to when I first read the draft iteration of Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas on Fictionpress. I still can’t quite believe that we’ve come to the end of Aelin’s journey after seven massive tomes. It really is the end of an era…at least for now 😉
After leaving us on one of the worst cliffhangers — and having to wait two years for the seventh and final instalment — I was pretty hesitant at first to dive back into Aelin’s world, knowing the fate that awaited her. But I also just wanted to get to that final battle and make sure my favourite characters survived the war that had been looming two steps behind for the past two novels.
Coming in at just under 1000 pages, Kingdom of Ash (KOA) was a beast to tackle, but for me, it was all worth it. I’ve been invested in this series since its very beginning, goddamn I badly wanted to know how it will finally end. And what a journey it was.
It’s definitely a bit hard to even know where to start with this review, considering all the different moving parts and the dozens of characters the series follows. Kinda like how I imagine George RR Martin has been feeling for the last decade while trying to finish off The Winds of Winter. There’s too many plotlines and story arcs that it just overwhelms you and a break does sound great thank you very much.
But alas, I’m not GRRM, so I guess I better get on with this review. I think the best way to articulate my thoughts will be to share them in reference to the key characters and their roles in this final book. Let’s kick off with…
- Nesryn, Sartaq and everyone else from the southern continent — I don’t mind Nesryn, Sartaq and his siblings. I enjoyed getting to know their history in Tower of Dawn, in fact I preferred it over Chaol and Yrene’s storyline. In KOA, I felt like they didn’t get as much page time as they deserved, considering the massive impact their calvary had on the war. Sarah has hinted that there may be future books focusing on other parts of Erilea. I hope we get to go back to the southern continent if that’s the case.
- Elide and Loran — Eh. To be honest, I never really cared about their relationship. It was just super cliche and a bit bland. Cute, but thank you, next.
- Chaol and Yrene — Speaking of bland couples, for some reason I just never got into the relationship between Chaol and Yrene. Sure, I enjoyed it while their relationship developed during Tower of Dawn, but it was still super vanilla. What I did enjoy, was Yrene’s healer gifts and her badass, no fear attitude. If it wasn’t for Yrene, Chaol’s whole storyline would have been a big snoozefest for me because it dragged on and on and on.
- Aedion and Lysandra — Poor babies, left to defend Terrasen all by themselves after what happened in the previous book. Every time either appeared on the page, I feared for the worst. And to make it worse, Aedion was pissed off at Lysandra for half the book due to the scheme that she and Aelin had planned in the event of anything bad happening to the queen. Tensions and stress spiked every time they stood close to each other, mainly due to Aedion being a stupid, stubborn boy. Poor babies, all I wanted to do was push them into a room and tell them to make up, because honestly, I just couldn’t take how stupid the fight was. And I just love how great they are together.
- Fenrys and Gavriel — You know what, these two really grew on me in this book, especially Fenrys. I didn’t mind Gavriel either but he was really just…there…for most of the book. I actually wouldn’t mind hearing more about their history with Maeve. I think there’s definitely a lot of interesting stories that have yet to be told.
- Manon and The Thirteen — I honestly don’t even know where to begin. There are no words that can truly encapsulate the pain and amount of tears I shed during their story arc. Honestly, I couldn’t even fathom that that was how their storyline would go so you can colour me shocked. Manon as always, has stolen my heart — she continues to be that bloody fierce Ironteeth witch we first met, but she also comes to realise that it’s okay to have emotions. That it’s normal, and it makes you stronger. Thank you Sarah, for introducing us to a character like Manon — she’s not someone I’ll be able to forget any time soon.
- Dorian — Okay, so Dorian’s story arc went from weird to just wtf. Poor baby is still trying to find his feet following his enslavement by Erawan. He remains confused about his feelings for his father, and whether he deserves the crown to Adarlan. All of the above…understandable feelings to have. It’s not what I mean when I say wtf to his story arc though. No, what I mean is View Spoiler »honestly how the hell did he manage to master the art of shapeshifting in a manner of days, let alone weeks. Just why? This type of consistency irritates me. Just because the guy has magic — yeah, yeah raw magic — doesn’t mean he can just master this skill because a Valg spider told him to look instead himself. I just can’t…it’s way too convenient. « Hide Spoiler
- Aelin and Rowan — To be honest, I don’t really care about Rowan (I’m still not over Sam) so let’s just say he was Rowan as per usual and move on to Aelin. Aelin, who had already suffered so much in so many hands, who continues to sacrifice not only for her country but for the whole of Erilea too. This girl, I honestly just love her so much. She’s grown up so much throughout this series that it’s hard to believe that the real timeline only really spans around a year (which honestly I think should have been a lot longer, considering everything that happens over the course of the series). I’ve never met another character like Aelin — someone that’s so self-sacrificing despite the shit she’s been through. This girl deserves a happy ending, in this world and for all of eternity.
Honestly, despite some wtf moments and some characters that I was less invested in, I thought KOA was an amazing conclusion to a series that I’ve dedicated so much of my time to. I know for others that this book may have dragged a bit, but for me, I savoured every last word. It’s hard to let these characters go, but I’m glad with how the series ended. Considering how trash I am for anything that Sarah writes, I would not say no to another novel that explores other parts of this world.