Hope everyone is doing well.
I am coming back slowly…this will sort of be like a soft launch type of situation. By that, I mean I promise I will be back in full swing soon but until then I shall leave you in the hands of one of my favourite book friends ever – Matt. We have shared a passion for this book series ( A Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas) for so many years and it brings me joy to share the review of the last book in the series.
If you haven’t read this series of books..please stop reading here and immediately I mean immediately buy it and start. You won’t be disappointed I promise. Plus there are obviously some major spoiler alerts – you have been warned!
Without further ado…here’s Matt’s review of Kingdom of Ash.
Question: How do you live up to the pressure of writing the final book in a timelessly brilliant series that already contains 7 superb tomes?
Answer: Write Kingdom of Ash.
So we come, to the end.
7 books packed full of intrigue, assassins, political scheming, magic, demons, prophesies and portals. But really this epic story hasn’t been about those things. It’s been about people.
And in this final book that is the case more than ever. Kingdom of Ash involves such horrors as torture, war, battle and like any fantasy worth its salt the end of the world (obvz lols). But its the struggles of the people involved as they search for any chink of hope that illuminates this novel.
It’s not just the good guys who give you pause for thought and compassion. Even a couple of the more dislikable characters share previously unseen insights into what drives their disagreeable natures. (Darrow, I salute you. A little bit, at least)
As darkness threatens to sweep away life as she knows it. Aelin’s gradual evolution is complete, from bratty and spoilt assassin to the suffering, tortured final hope of her people. We see Rowan doing what he does best, namely giving me a secret man-crush for his solemn, unbending love and devotion to her.
Dorian’s story is crucial and fascinating. As the slightly unhinged nature that we’ve seen since his collar was removed ends up driving him to not only face danger but pretty much smirk wryly in its face.
The King of Adarlan shows his ability to bear great responsibility with grim humour as he is forced to face hard choices, great peril and painful truths. Alongside him is Manon Blackbeak, whose personal crusade to unite the witches of all lands brings about glory and heartache in equal measure. If her story in this book doesn’t thrill and haunt you in equal measure then you must have a heart of Wyrdstone.
Chaol returns to the continent with his new wife Yrene, and the great army of the Khaganate. The Royal Family of Antica play a major part in the battle of their time.
We see the coming together of the big players from the different lands of Erilea as all who came to help Aelin’s cause rally as one. I can’t state enough the genius of how Maas has weaved the story together through the volumes of the series. Characters from the prequel and the spin-off combine with the usual suspects to form the ultimate dream team, albeit one dwarfed in size by Erawan’s hordes. Even a character from Book 1 of the main arc reappears, highlighting the masterly pre-planning that has gone into Throne of Glass.
We get to decide how we feel about the Fae marmite, Lorcan. You will see him wrestle with who he is and who he wants to be. We experience the paranoid worry of a hunted war general, Aedion. Maas treats us to more than one tense and thrilling battle between the very outnumbered forces of good and the forces of endless evil (I hope you don’t mind spiders people). And thats not even to mention Elide, Gavriel, the Thirteen and others. Their stories are intertwined and addressed in a masterfully well paced final flourish.
After the exotic visit that we paid to the Southern continent in Tower of Dawn we now return to places we know a little better. Morath and Doranelle are revisited as Rowan desperarely searches for his lost mate. Orynth welcomes the whole cast as a the platform for all that is EHH. PIC (inside joke alert).
Looming over the hopes and dreams of all of these unforgettable characters are Maeve (Grrrrrr) and the more genial but no less evil Erawan. KoA starts where EoS (Empire of Storm) finished, with Maeve quite enjoying Aelin’s unspeakable torture. Will Aelin even find the freedom to deal with the Lock? Will she even have the choice to sacrifice her own life for the greater good?
Not if the King and Queen of the Valg can help it.
By the end, Maas has quite brilliantly wrapped up all loose ends and as usual made us laugh, curse, gasp and yes, shed a tear or three. By this stage she has developed her characters so well. Each so well defined, that what they go through will impact you in some way. And that is the power of a great book, a great author and above all great fantasy.
The characters all feel so real to me. Their hardships as they reach this final chapter in the shaping of the future of their world had me rooting and fearing for them all.
Minor peeves – Maas as usual suffers from repetition of certain things. Phrases like ‘could have sworn’, ‘blood roaring in his/her/its ears’. Love interests hating each other until one is about to die then suddenly wishing they had said what they feel. Almost ever character being beautiful!
But hey, if theyre the biggest peeves that I can throw at this then that’s pretty darn good!
Overall this is an epic, action packed story sprinkled with phases of introspection, love, tragedy and hope against all odds. They both broke and lifted my heart, thrilled me, made me laugh, made me fight the lump in my throat. We have a superb and fitting end to one of the absolute best series that I will ever read. I’m just sad that it is over.
This series began for teens but ends as a powerful read for anyone who enjoys a strong, sometimes tragic, sometimes uplifting story, about people facing the worst that a world has to and still seeking to become better human beings (or better hunky Faes) despite it all.
Go get it. Or the blood will truly roar in my own ears!
Phewww that was like amazing don’t you think?? If you want Matt to write some more reviews be sure to let him know in the comments down below!!
Hope you enjoyed that and until next time,