Review: “Kingdom of Ash” by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t believe I’m writing a review for the final Throne of Glass book. This series has swept me off of my feet, taken me to places I’ve never been, and made me fall in love with fantasy even more. Each book was an amazing journey–some of them shocking!–and such a pleasure to read.

And yet… (You saw that coming, right?) I have some mixed feelings about Kingdom of Ash. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it because I certainly did, I simply felt like this novel fell short of my expectations and suffered from a variety of things, which I hope to explain in decent detail.

So, let’s get to it!

Kingdom of AshTitle: Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Release date: October 23, 2018
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Length: 992 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”

four starsMy Thoughts

Note: I will try my best to keep this spoiler-free. but some things slip through the cracks!

really wanted to give this five stars. After finishing this book, I knew I needed a few days to process everything that happened. I debated giving this book three and a half stars, but there are a lot of things I enjoyed in this book while other things were really just meh…

  • So many points of views! Truthfully, I didn’t think a handful of them were necessary, like there could have been another way to learn the information we do from the characters. These various points of views also made the chapters a bit choppy, like I was just settling into each only to be unpleasantly ripped away.
  • Editing! I can’t help but comparing this (lack of?) editing process to how I felt about Breaking Dawn‘s process as well. I felt like there weren’t any. And there were sections I could easily tell where the author wrote chapters and chapters, took a break, and then picked up again. Okay, Nicole, what do you mean? Well, how many times must I know that Rowan smells like pine and snow? About eyes lined with silver? (Are they crying?) I definitely felt like the writing didn’t flow super well in this large portions of this book. I guess it’s safe to say Sarah’s writing style did not impress me. I longed for swaths of description, which I simply didn’t get here. I was endlessly annoyed by sentences that needed question marks and irked at overused phrases. I’d also really like to get through a Maas book without the phrase “vulgar gesture.” I mean, maybe you can start being more specific?
  • The men! Seriously! Why were all but two or three men in this book complete assholes? I’m not particular fond of Aedion but he was like…top-level asshole. Lorcan improved, but he was still a bit of a douche and deserved how Elide treated him. Some of the women deserved better! And some were just better off alone.

But I can say Sarah really has a way of pulling you into her story. She creates well-developed characters, with stories and experiences that pull at your heartstrings. Of course, KoA was no different. In the beginning, you aren’t sure things will end well. You’re scared, upset, praying things will get better. We see our confident and cocky Aelin struggling to be herself again. And after everything she’s been through, can we blame her thoughts and actions? No. In the past books, I struggled relating to Aelin but in this one, in her darkness and her pain, my heart went out to her, and I understood in the smallest sense, her struggle to overcome.

I’m also such a sucker for romance. I know people complain, saying not every character had to be together. But yes, I was rooting for two couples in particular and boy oh boy, did they not disappoint!

Usagi heart eyes

Me, every time Elide/Lorcan or Chaol/Yrene were on the page

Even as I was 75%, 80%, 85% of the way through the book, I still couldn’t figure out how Sarah was going to end this series. But you know what, I’m happy to say I was surprised. (Granted, I’m not very good at predicting the end of series so…) And cheering! Because damn it, I’m all about woman ruling the world and this finale delivers on that! And that small twist about Dorian’s father… UM. How did I not see that ever?

You might want to prepare yourself for deaths because there are…a lot. One big one in particular that I didn’t think should have happened. This particular character did not deserve to have those people ripped away! They went through so much together! I just imagine Sarah doing this periodically while writing this book:

Fire Elmo

Overall, not the best series finale, but one that I wouldn’t mind reading again. Maas definitely seems to be the “and they all lived happily ever after”-type of writer. Who knows, maybe I’ll find all the above points moot when I read it multiple times, haha. I hope this made sense in the smallest way. It’s really hard to write a review for such a long series like this one. I feel like we don’t often see a 7-book series in YA, and there were a lot of stories to wrap-up, so kudos to Sarah for working so diligently.

2 thoughts on “Review: “Kingdom of Ash” by Sarah J. Maas

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