12 Days of Christmas 2018, Reviews

Review: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

When I think about how the Throne of Glass series is over, I get a little teary eyed. Not only are the ToG some of my favourites, but it has literally been with me my entire university career. I remember getting the first book just before I started university, and now I’ve finished it as I’m nearly finishing my degree. How wild is that?

In all honesty, I really liked the book. No, more than liked. I loved it. I thought that it was a wonderful homage to the previous books and the characters we love. And while I do think that we got more of some that others, I’m really happy with how Sarah ended it. I’m going to go kind of in depth, so just a warning that there will be spoilers!

Lets start out with the good. I am so happy with how she treated Aelin’s trauma, and how she showed Aelin and Fenrys’ support system. SJM really showed how psychological and how deep the trauma went, and I think even at the end Aelin showed signs it of. Which is so true. Something like that would presumably be something that sticks with you forever, and showing that even with Rowan she was changed was a really powerful and telling decision in her writing. The experience also showed just how deep the bond went for both Fenrys and Aelin, and I really appreciated how even after they escaped from Maeve they still were the only ones able to help each other.

A quick note on the other relationships: I REALLY liked that she didn’t end with a solid relationship for Manon and Dorian. While I do like their relationship, I think that leaving it open is really good. They both have so much going on, it makes more sense for it to be a casual thing, and they both have a lot to work on. Chaol and Irene – love. Sartaq and Nesryn could have their own novella and I would read it in an hour. Aedion and Lysandra got to a good place in time and I’m glad they did, because Aedion had his head up his… hmmm… butt. Overall, I’m so glad that SJM ended everything nicely.

Now I’m not going to lie, I also cried for nearly the entire last third of the book. The Thirteen, Gavriel, Darrow. They were all so sad but valiant, and I think that these deaths really showed how much SJM loves her characters. They died protecting and fighting for who they loved, and the respect given to them, almost reverence, was really what got me. If you’re going to kill characters, then do it this way! (But please, limit the heartache, KoA was almost too much to bear).

Something that normally bugs me a lot is how people have to give up something that is a major part of themselves. Like in Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed gives up his alchemy. In KoA, Aelin gives up her human form, and also most of her fire magic. Again, while this would in most cases not make sense to me, I really get it here. Aelin’s fire was such a central part of her character for the past couple books, but taking it away really ties together the beginning and ending of the series. Celaena started the series with no fire, and Aelin ends it with very little. Either way, she was never defined by this power, and I think that was a very nice touch.

Equally nice was how Sarah ended it with goodbyes. It was basically a way for us to say goodbye to the characters that we have all gotten so attached to. When they were leaving it was almost like they were saying goodbye and thank you to us readers, and I thought that that was really touching. That plus the kingsflame made it a perfect way to say farewell and to know that everything was okay.

I really loved this book if that wasn’t obvious, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that this was a 5/5 in my books! Talk to you all tomorrow as I go over some of the books that I’m going to be reviewing!
~ Mon

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