Title: Kingdom of Ash
Series: Throne of Glass, #7
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: YA fantasy, romance, paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★★
READERS BEWARE: This review has KoA spoilers.
The final battle is here.
Aelin Galathynius has vowed 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. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…
With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.
Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.
(This synopsis is from Goodreads.)
I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t know if Sarah J. Maas could do it. I didn’t know if she could pull an epic ending fitting for an epic series. I was scared, after what I heard about for Game of Thrones. I heard that the finale was less than stellar, and it has made me a little apprehensive on finishing the last season. Will I eventually watch it? Yes (but I was spoiled over who ends up on the throne THE DAY THE LAST EPISODE CAME OUT. Nope. Not salty. At. All.). Anyway, that fear that the ending would be disappointing has translated into all the other epic series I’ve been into, including Throne of Glass. I was scared that the series would be ruined by a terrible ending, but boy, was I wrong to doubt the queen herself!
The last book was honestly an emotional roller-coaster. One moment everything is fine, and the next moment everything is falling apart. Then, right when you think the world is going to (metaphorically) explode, things turn for the worst and you think: NOW the world is f*cked. But alas, dear reader, it is not. It get’s even worse than that. When you think the team hits rock bottom, they blast past the bedrock and somehow get into even deeper [insert choice of word here]. And the whole time you think hey, Aelin will definitely get their team out of there… somehow… right guys? Anyone? You have to realize that the main protagonist is NOT EVEN 20 YEARS OF AGE. She’s NINETEEN, you guys. NINE PLUS TEN. That’s not even TWO DECADES.
I kind of want to skip to talk about the ending because that is what killed me. The final battle was E P I C . It was intense, grimy, suffocating, and nail-bitingly scary. All the stuff you want when you read about a good battle. The odds were seriously not in their favor, and a couple times I thought one of the beloved characters was going to die. (Side note: when the Thirteen sacrificed themselves and Manon could do nothing about it… That really got me. Manon has been one of those characters that developed the most throughout the series and seeing her transform into the queen she is today really puts her in a special place in my heart. When her only friends sacrifice themselves willingly just so that their friend and queen could have a chance… A CHANCE… to live to build a better future… my eyes were not dry during those scenes.)
And I digress. The battle was like watching GoT. There’s intense fighting, lying, scheming, allegiances, and war. There’s also wyverns (pretty much a close cousin to the dragon) and it’s anyone’s game. Anyone could die. The conclusion reminded me of Avengers: Endgame (IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE MOVIE AND PLAN TO, SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH TO AVOID SPOILERS). It was like the scene where Pepper tells Tony “you can rest now” after the whole battle against Thanos was over. Aelin is Tony and Rowan is Pepper, and Rowan keeps on reminding Aelin that it’s over and she’s given enough to Terrasen and she can finally rest. It also broke my heart when Aelin confesses that she just wants the whole thing to be over. Her fear for the inevitable has been looming over her since the beginning, and she just wanted to get it over with. You could FEEL the fatigue and despair in her voice through the page.
What I found different about the battle scenes in this book compared to other YA fantasy novels is that it doesn’t take the course over one day. Notice I say battle, and not war. In other books, obviously the war would not be over in a day, but often times their battles are. It’s just one big, epic fight scene and then the battle is over. Although it’s fun to read, it’s not always realistic. Battles sometimes are over in less than a day, but others aren’t. It was interesting to see how Maas incorporated not only the fighting, but also the planning, the running out of supplies, and all the in between that happens during battle. The frantic messengers scurrying around and the healers trying to help those who are wounded. It’s not as glorious as some people make it out to be. Like I said in the beginning, it’s intense, grimy, suffocating, and nail-bitingly scary.
Come to think of it, Jon Snow and Aelin have a lot in common in the sense of their honor. They’ll fight for anything they believe in, even if they’re severely outnumbered.
As for the actual storytelling, Maas does a great job keeping all the different story-lines and perspectives organized, and never once was I confused on what was going on despite the changes in points of views every could pages.
As for the romance, I was only invested in Lorcan and Elide. Since Empire of Storms, they have been my favorite couple. Sure, they had their ups and downs, but I was scared that they wouldn’t end up together after how EoS ended and KoA started. However, much to my delight, they found the time to come to an understanding (although it was a rough road getting there) and they became a happy couple again. I was glad that Lysandra didn’t completely forgive Aedion’s moody butt in the beginning but they also eventually made it up.
Basically, this book is super intense and will keep you up at night, but in a good way. It’s filled with many surprises, and even when you think it’s over, it’s not.
You can rest now, dear. Seriously, please rest.
You guys think Rhysand from ACOTAR is the epitome of book boyfriends but I think Rowan is a strong contender for that title. He’s super supportive, patient, and protective of his mate, and will follow her to hell if that means he’ll be by her side.
I just want to give the poor dude a hug.
I want to give this poor dude a hug too. The moment when Aedion realized that Gavriel was going to die was… oof. My eyes were sweating.
He’s kind of a scary dude and I’d never want to meet him IRL, but I’m glad that he has Elide and Elide has him.
My sassy girl! (Although I’m not sure I can really forget the terrible things you said to Lorcan that one time, but I still love her and her fierceness!)
He’s had his ups and downs… I don’t really feel strongly for Aedion. I don’t love or hate him. I’m indifferent.
Lysandra, on the other hand, I love. She, like Manon, has developed a lot over the series. At first I didn’t like her but the more I got to know her and the more she became friends with Aelin, it made me see her in a different light.
Didn’t like the dude in the middle of the series but he definitely redeemed himself in Tower of Dawn. I’m happy that’s he’s found his happy ending.
YES MA’AM. WE LOVE A QUEEEEEEEEN.
Moments that killed Jessica and her heart #526: When Dorian discovers his dad, who fought the Valg prince inside of him for years, fought just enough to name his son after himself.
If there’s anyone in need of a hug the most (other than Aelin) I think it’s Manon. So much happened to her. Her grandmother betrayed her. She’s actually the queen of the people she’s been slaughtering since she was young. She needs to convince the people she’s killed to join her in the war. She loses her Thirteen. She almost loses Abraxos. Yeah… she’s been through enough.
Honestly, I didn’t think much of Maeve in the beginning of the series. She was sneaky… making the readers think she wasn’t merely just a powerful queen, but alas, she is not what she seems.
I give this book a smashing 5 / 5 unicorn horns! If you’ve made it this far in the series, you might as well read the epic ending.
Until next time….