Published: October 23, 2018
Read as: Audiobook from Audible
Average Goodreads rating: 4.7
My rating: 5
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. (from Goodreads)
Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …
I finished this book nearly two weeks ago now and I still think about it every day. I think at this point we have all at least heard of this series, whether some would like to have or not. You can’t hardly log onto Goodreads or walk into a bookstore without one of Maas’s books reaching out to smack you in the face. She has become a major force in the fantasy publishing world. For the most part, I can’t complain about that.
When it comes to the first six books of this series, I will be the first to tell you that I was not entirely impressed. I don’t think that, during my first read through, that I gave any of them more than 3.5 stars. To say the least, I was not only excited for the last book of the Throne of Glass series to be released but, in the end, decided that I had already invested all of that time into the first six books and I might as well wrap up the series.
I am so very glad that I did.
Within reading the first chapter of Kingdom of Ash I could already tell that it was going to be entirely different than the rest of the series. The story reached out and pulled me in the way no other Maas book had since A Court of Mist and Fury (and we all know the disappointing note that initial trilogy ended on). I was hooked, good and proper.
The story quickly whisked you away back into the world of fae and humans, fights for life or death, and carefully crafted magic. There was no preamble, no waiting around for chapter after chapter for something to happen, you as the reader were thrown right into the action. It was absolutely wonderful. I hate books that have long introductions and build up. Since this world had already been crafted page after page, book after book over the last 6 years you needed no more world building, no more character development. It was time for all of the building blocks to show their hands, for better or worse. It was time to see if Terrasen would fall in a last glorious battle.
One of the many positives I have to say about this book is that it does not focus nearly so much on Aelin and Rowen’s romantic entanglements, as the other recent installments have, which was a breath of fresh air. This book is supposed to be the massive final battle between good and evil, had the focus been too much on their love story once again it would have severely taken away from the story. Instead, you get more of their internal struggles as they fight toward their final battle for the fate of the kingdom.
Another point I would like to mention is how well most of the underlying stories were wrapped up. For an epic story that has taken place over seven books, there were many back stories that needed to reach their proverbial climax before the end. Luckily, I feel like most of them were addressed appropriately. There were a few loose ends but those could easily be filled in by the reader’s own imagination which I believe was the point.
And, for a pleasant change, Maas was finally unafraid to rip your heart and soul to shreds. I know, that makes me sound half a bubble off plumb but it is true! Reading most of her works, I’m mostly keeping A Court of Wings and Ruin in mind here, I have never been concerned over the fate of an important character, even if it may have seemed that they were in perilous peril. It never truly felt like anyone was in actual danger which, in my opinion, takes away from the story. It removes a lot of my emotion from reading if it never seems like any of the characters are ever truly in danger. In Kingdom of Ash I certainly felt as if characters were in horrible, nail biting, toe curling danger. Constant, horrible, magnificent danger even and I loved every second of it. No one felt safe and it kept me on pins and needles the entire time.
I hope anyone who is on a fence about reading the conclusion to this series decides to pick up the final book. I am so very glad I did and it was everything that I wanted it to be. You’ll laugh, cry, gasp, sob, and shout for join as you embark on Aelin’s final journey. It has been worth every page, every single word leading up to this point. I promise, you will not close the back cover feeling disappointed. You will do so with a tear in your eye and your heart full.