My copy came from: I purchased the Kindle version from Amazon.
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Review: An excellent ending to a good series.
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas is the last book in the popular Throne of Glass fantasy series. This is a series I’ve gone back and forth with throughout all of the entries. There’s too much cheesy romance and cringe-worthy sex scenes, the characters are all somewhat similar with every character being thin, beautiful, and usually ends up being some type of royalty in disguise, but there are some memorable characters (Manon and Lorcan are my favorites) and some truly spectacular scenes. Much is the same in this book. There are the silly sex scenes between all of our main couples (another issue I have with this series is that everyone is paired up), there are the battles between good and evil, and once again, Aedion’s scenes were all terribly boring. I think Aedion might be the most boring character I’ve ever read. And Maas tries to make him interesting, but he just feels like a typical strong warrior character that deals with fighting and battle strategy, and I am just bored by these things. I diligently read his scenes, but looking back, I could’ve skipped them and not missed much.
Still he searched. Still he hunted for her on every dusty and forgotten road.
And sometimes, he spoke along the bond between them, sending his soul on the wind to wherever she was held captive, entombed.
I will find you.
The strongest, most emotional sections of Kingdom of Ash involve Manon and the Thirteen, and Lorcan and Elide. No surprises here that I loved these scenes, as they involved my favorite characters. Aelin continues to be a character that I like to read, but that I don’t quite like as a character that much. I find her to be overly arrogant and dismissive and rude towards others, but she’s quite fascinating in that she’s so powerful and she is truly a wildcard. I never know what she’s going to do, so even though I don’t feel any emotional attachment to her, I’m interested in her story.
Still Aelin remained there for a moment longer, just beyond the gates to her city. Her home. Still she pressed her hand to her chest, feeling the heart thundering beneath, feeling the dust of every road she had traveled these ten years to return here.
For this moment. For this purpose.
So she whispered it to herself, one last time. The story.
Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom…
I did struggle with remembering all that transpired in the previous books (and I just finished Tower of Dawn, book six in the series in May!), and I finally had to read quick recaps of the previous books online in order to remember who was who and what the connections were and why some characters were angry with others. The books in this series are not short (Kingdom of Ash is 992 pages per Amazon), so there is a lot to remember by the time you get to the end! I recommend reading these books all in a row, so you can keep all the characters and plotlines fresh.
Who do you wish to be?
He was not any of them. He was—he was nothing but himself.
A man who had known loss and pain, yes. But a man who had known friendship and joy.
The loss and pain—they had not broken him wholly. Without them, would the moments of happiness be as bright? Without them, would he fight so hard to ensure it did not happen again?
Who do you wish to be?
As this is the last book in the series, I was looking forward to seeing how Sarah J. Maas would end this story. I think the ending was great. How the Maeve and Erawan plots were wrapped up was good, and we read some spectacular battles and emotional reunions, and read some sad goodbyes, and oh, those goodbyes were seriously sad. But not too many sad goodbyes, and this is where I think the ending for me, felt more along the lines of Twilight. Where the stakes for the world are so high, but the majority of our characters come through unscathed. It doesn’t have the devastating consequences of say, Harry Potter, and it felt a bit too easy when all was said and done. I think the ending needed to be pushed just a bit more towards devastating for a true save-the-world/final battle between good and evil to be believable. While I did enjoy the ending, I think there was a chance here to take this series just one step further that was missed.
Her name was Aelin Ashryver Whitethorn Galathynius.
And she would not be afraid.
But, my nitpicking aside, this was an enjoyable read and was one of my favorites of the series. Each character gets their chance to shine, and I appreciate that Maas has everyone be a hero in different ways. Not all of the characters are great fighters, but they each get a chance to show what strengths they have.
Bottom Line: A great finish with some truly spectacular scenes.