Review: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

Reviewed by Elise

This is the final and much anticipated final novel in the Throne of Glass series. This is one of my favorite series and I have been waiting a long time for this book. I listened to the audiobook in order to savor the experience. Savor it I did, all 33 hours of audio. My poor family very much played second fiddle to the book. It’s lucky I have a very loving and supportive husband. He is completely understanding of book hibernation.

There were a lot of loose ends to tie up in this book. At the end of the last book, the main characters were headed their separate ways with their own missions to complete. I liked the time taken to really delve into each of these story lines. The plot wasn’t rushed, but at the same time I didn’t lose interest in what was happening. There was a lot of battle descriptions and the book is very heavy on the conflict. Given that this is the final book and what we have been working up to, it did justice to just how how big the scope of the problem was. I felt like previous works by this author didn’t go too deeply into the conflicts and book suffered for it. Not so in this book.

The emotion of battle was captured well but none so well as from the point of view of Aedion. Aedion and his army bear the brunt of the attacks and the despair and raw pain described from his POV are heartbreaking. I do like that this is not immediately enough to mend the rift between he and Lysandra. They don’t fall into each others arms just because their world is ending.

At the end of the last book, Aelin was off with Maeve to be tortured. The whole ‘Aelin is tortured’ storyline has been played out to death. Aelin has had a miserable life and to hear the details of her suffering again did start to wear thin. She seemed to compartmentalize this trauma more in this book although this appeared to be more of a way to further the plot rather than based on learning from her previous torments.

I was wondering how the author was going to deal with the prophecy that Aelin had to die in order to banish Erawan forever. It was deeply satisfying to read the ending the gods received. I also liked that Aelin did still have to sacrifice for the sake of the world and that the downfall of the bad guys was done without simply blasting them to smithereens with her power. As a matter of fact Aelin did not have much to do with the downfall of Erawan at all. I very much enjoyed reading how he met his downfall.

The happily ever after for all the characters was deserved. It wasn’t done purely to end the series on a high, it was done because the characters worked and suffered and earned their happiness. The endings for the characters stayed true to their relationships and development. Manon’s parting words were just fabulous. I think out of all the characters in this series I like Manon the most. She showed the most ability to change. She worked the hardest and sacrificed the most out of any of the characters and did not let the hold her back.

Don’t let my happy review lull you into a false sense of security. There are deaths. Lots of them and not all background characters. I cried at the nobility of some of the sacrifices made by much loved characters who met their ends. No-one came out of the story unscathed, including me!

My one criticism of the book is that it ended at a beginning. Sure it was the beginning of a new world but I feel like there are more stories to be told. I am forever curious about what happens to these characters after the last battle. It’s not enough for me to see them happy in the moment. I want to know about their lives beyond this one defining moment. It is a mark of the creativity of the author that I still want more despite this being the final book. I can live in hope for a spin off.

Rating: A+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Kingdom of Ash
by Sarah J Maas
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

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