Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)
by Sarah J. Maas
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a hardcover (Barnes and Noble exclusive edition)
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Kingdom of Ash was a giant epic conclusion to the Throne of Glass series. Just under 1000 pages of craziness from start to finish, another Empire of Storms in terms of plots and near misses and millions of POVs to keep track of.
I love this series and I’m glad it’s over. It ended well, but I’m also frustrated.
Something happened to the series after Queen of Shadows and I’ve been frustrated ever since. When I read Empire of Storms the first time, I was eager to get to a conclusion and there were just so many characters and plots and schemes to keep track of and I felt the same way reading Kingdom of Ash. There was so much happening and no conclusion in sight and POV switches and near misses and just.. so many pages of it.
I have to admit, I feel a little manipulated by all of the secrets and scheming and near misses, characters being saved just in the nick of time with more deals and sacrifices. The constant POV shifts felt manipulative as it was cliffhanger after cliffhanger, lives in the balance, schemes with different characters, back to battles, back to someone in danger, back to traveling.. dealing with it for 1000 pages just got frustrating.
I’m glad that the main characters are important and that we care about them and don’t want them to die, but I feel like Maas should’ve just upped the stakes and killed someone off or stopped throwing more obstacles in their way if they aren’t going to actually do anything to prevent said character from achieving said goal. I can’t even imagine how frustrated Aelin’s court must be if I’m getting frustrated as the reader by not being clued into certain plans time and time again. For real, it’s a good thing so many people are immortal because they should have gray hair and blood pressure issues at this point if they weren’t. If something is clever and it will work, can we just talk about it so I stop worrying so much instead of brandishing it at the last second like a “gotcha” moment? I would enjoy the plotting and planning sessions of the characters if they revealed said plans ahead of time. I’d even say that’s an aspect of reading fantasy that I enjoy.
Kingdom of Ash wasn’t bad and there was some pretty amazing moments. I wouldn’t be so frustrated if I didn’t care so much about the characters, but I’m just glad it’s over and I’m not totally convinced that it was a great book. I never accused Maas of being repetitive or over the top while everyone who dislikes her books did, but Kingdom of Ash was kind of repetitive and over the top and I just feel like Maas should’ve been getting better, not worse, with the writing. (seriously how many times can I be reminded that Rowan smelled like pine and snow?!) Prove your haters wrong, Maas, and stop the repetition. A lot of the phrases or repetition of phrases and overall gist of the story slid a bit into the ACOTAR series territory (which I do love, but recognize as a completely different type of series), as if she was being influenced by her other books. I miss the early Throne of Glass days when there was less Fae mating and matching everyone up and more heartache and loss and strength.
Overall, if you’ve made it this far, keep reading, it would be insane not to just finish it. It ends well, there’s a lot of wrap up afterwards, and it’s worth the page count to see it through to the end. But for me, I’m just glad it’s over and glad I don’t have to sit through another book like that because I’d lose my mind. And that’s ultimately why I’m only giving it 3 stars. Maybe if I go back and reread it now that I know what to expect, I’ll appreciate it more, but I shouldn’t have to feel that way, so I’m rating it with my gut now.