Kingdom of Ash
Sarah J. Maas
What a worthy ending to an overall entertaining series.
I took some time off of reading new books to re-read the entire Throne of Glass series leading up to reading this ending. Normally, I don't do that just relying on my memory and notes from reading the previous books, but I really wanted to go into this one remembering and feeling everything and I realized it's because Maas has a good way of bringing things all the way through. She'll start a plot in the third book that won't play out until the fifth or takes pieces of history from the previous books of the series so I really wanted to be caught up.
I'm glad I did. Although the beginning felt pretty slow, I felt like it was needed (which is saying a lot for an almost 1000 page book). Aelin's perspective through her torture was hard but necessary and you really feel for her and understand how confused she is. Her escape was amazing and her return was realistic. She was weary of reality while trying to act as normal as possible for those around her.
I liked that this book felt so much darker. We start to feel helpless through Aedion and Lysandra's position in the North barely surviving each day. No one knew where Aelin was or what was happening, and as my notes say 'shit was bleak'.
I don't understand how they didn't figure out a communication system. The dark side and even the South knew exactly what was going on through spies and messengers, but parting ways in this group felt like forever. They never knew what each other was doing or where they were and were always worrying. Why didn't you just come up with a system? I'm pretty sure magic can do that in some way.
Timing was also a bit too convenient. It felt like every single time it looked like things were done and shit was going down, someone would show up to save the day. I mean the timelines made sense given that we knew the decision behind each character's location, but it was just a bit too dramatic (given that it was every time).
The book did really evoke emotion, I was afraid for the characters but still curious to see what would happen. The wyrdgate sealing scene was very forgettable. I felt like after the leading up to this part and Aelin thinking about sacrificing herself day and night to get rid of Erawan only to bargain, fail, and then still survive felt a little underplayed. It was the total opposite of what I thought would happen, though so I guess I wasn't expecting it.
And then there's always what I pick out in Maas' books, which is the deaths. Once again, war is raging and not one of the 10 main characters (Aelin, Rowan, Aedion, Lysandra, Elide, Lorcan, Yrene, Chaol, Dorian, & Manon) is spared. Don't get me wrong, there were heartbreaking deaths. The sacrifice of Manon's twelve & Gavriel hurt, but in the end they were both intentional and respectable. It's WAR.
Either way, I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it. I kept picking it up because I just couldn't take it anymore. It was a very good end to an entertaining series.