Author: Sarah J. Maas
“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …”
It’s over. I’ve spent 5 minutes now, struggling with my words and pouring through my thesaurus to find words that fit the feelings that are swarming and erupting inside my mind to try and describe the emotions coursing through me and my thoughts spanning this entire magnificent eight book series. I might do another post talking about the series as a whole. There is just so much to say. I might even do a separate post totally just on spoilers, but for now spoilers will be in white.
So brace yourselves everyone, because coming your way is the ultimate Kingdom of Ash review. I don’t mean ultimate out of all the other reviews out there because there are so many other reviewers that are far better than me, but out of all of my reviews on my own little blog, this one is going to be ultimate in comparison. And basically my longest review ever so far.
- the plot
- the length
- the characters
- the world-building
- plot hole?
- the ending
- final thoughts
“Let’s make this a fight worthy of a song.”
As every Sarah J. Maas book, there are some heart-ripping twists that will just shock you to the core of your soul, and I’m happy to say this book was no exception. I loved how it was super realistic after >Aelin’s torture< because obviously we can’t expect everything to be smooth waters after that despite her being who she is, so I did appreciate that, heart-breaking as it was.
I DID enjoy reading this book!! The first 150 pages were absolutely mesmerising and I was glued. Then after that the repetition kicked in (more on that later) and it began to sag. Then the last 150 pages picked up again and I was once again glued.
As this is the finale it is of course going to be tying up many loose strings as well as quite a few couplings and by the time it got to >Aedion and Lysandra< I was ready for it to be over with, lol. Maybe I’m being too brutal. Or maybe this was too long (more on that later).
But I feel like not enough happens for an almost 1000 page novel!! Which makes for a lot of boring bits. This book is basically about leaving every character in the most ideal situation as possible, making sure as many people as possible have a happy ending and also supplying a good prospect for the future as well as destroying certain somebody’s.
I also really liked how the explicit romance was a lot more toned down so easier to skip and less to skip! Which is awesome because that’s always been something that has hindered my enjoyment of this series.
So this book is broken up into separate stories in the beginning and the ending basically pulls them altogether. I actually really enjoyed reading all the separate narratives for the most part because every part had something that I was eager to find out about and that made for at least most of the narratives to be enjoyable!
It also just blows my mind how much has happened over the coarse of this series. Like SO MUCH has happened. My friend has only read the first book and I was shrieking at her to hurry up and read the rest of the series and she told me she heard this one spoiler about >Nehemia< and I was like oh my gosh I kind of felt like that was insignificant to the rest of the series because so much other stuff happens I can’t even explain it if you haven’t read the books go read them.
“A princess who was to live for a Thousand years. Longer. That had been her gift. It was now her curse.”
Another thing I’m going to be talking about is THE LENGTH (originally I did put this at the beginning but I wanted to start with good things first). Because holy moly macaroni this book is insanely long at 980 pages. I wonder if Sarah J. Maas couldn’t have jammed in an extra long epilogue to reach a breathtaking one thousand pages? I’m just kidding. I think it was too long.
I myself am surprised as to where all the pages go, to be honest. I don’t know why this book got to be so long. I feel like there are so many unnecessary filler scenes and there’s also a lot of repetition such as with the whole mates thing, that although there are so many epic scenes and moments in this book that are HEART KILLING I feel like they’re undermined with all the unnecessary paragraphs after paragraphs that are between them.
What I also mean by repetition is many things. To begin with, Cain’s torture. It was gruesome, and definitely not something I’d recommend for the squeamish. It is extremely unpleasant to read about and there are just so many scenes and descriptions of the torture that it gets boring after a while. It’s like yes, we get it, the torture was awful, horrible, disgusting… can we move on now.
There were also just so many battle scenes. Usually I really enjoy battle scenes and savour all the action and awesome moves, but enough is enough, I think. There’s only so much you can go into, and just stretching the fighting on and on makes it boring and tiresome to read.
Also I don’t get the whole mates thing. Wasn’t it obvious already? And yes, okay, fine if it wasn’t obvious. But there was literally so much emphasis on the whole mating bond throughout the whole massive book that it also got pretty tiresome to read again and again.
“Aelin wiped her hands. “Well, that’s over and done with,” she announced, and strode to the desk and map. “Shall we discuss where you all plan to march once we beat the living shit out of this army?”
I’m not going to get too into this because SPOILERS! But basically, my favourite characters:
- Aelin (obviously if I didn’t like her then we wouldn’t be here would we I would have dumped this series from book one)
- Rowan (because no one can say he isn’t a good mate)
- Chaol (this book made me like him more than in Tower of Dawn even though in Tower of Dawn the whole book was basically dedicated to him??)
- Yrene (yo this girl is so STRONG and BADASS I was just like yes yes yes yes and yes she is definitely one of my faves and I would be down for a whole book dedicated to just Irene)
- Manon – but honestly I feel like >she was really done dirty in this book like her thirteen were all killed and now she has to basically put up with Dorian because he’s not worth her and I don’t understand why she doesn’t see that< but she’s awesome and amazing and honestly so epic and I just love how Sarah J. Maas goes to such lengths to make things as dramatic and grand as possible.
- Elide but I think she could have been >nicer<. Just sayin’.
- Lorcan!!!!!!!!! I have no words because otherwise this is going to get super spoilers BUT THAT NAME. I was howling.
- Lysandra also because she’s badass and she >deserved that ending like yes you go girl<
- Gavriel >AND THAT ENDING. LIKE WHAT ON EARTH. That was super super mean of Sarah J. Maas to literally let them unite for one freaking page and then boom. Are you serious?!!<
- Evangeline – oh my lord just so sweet I can’t
Aaaand characters that annoyed me:
- Nesryn – honestly such a boring character like why is she even here I’m sorry – but I mean good for her as well
- Dorian – nothing much to say that isn’t spoilery and I don’t want this whole review to be in white but >he should’ve treated Manon better and I’m annoyed<
- Aedion – LOOK he’s an epic warrior okay, and I give him that, but >abusing Lysandra the way he did is unacceptable and I feel like it kind of doesn’t really match his personality?? maybe that’s just me<
- Maeve – and not just because she’s evil, I found her >a disappointment, in short, because I feel like she was defeated a little too easily<
And yeah, those are my thoughts about the characters in short!
“Who do you wish to be? he asked the barely woven tapestry within himself. Let the threads and knots take form, crafting the picture within his mind. Starting small.”
This is one of the things that I am absolutely in love with when it comes to this series. The world-building is absolutely magnificent and this series would not be much without it because it’s just so rich and vivid – filled with so many gorgeous details.
I love all the creatures and all their own traditions, and abilities, and languages. I love all the different cultures that are divided between these creatures, but most of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE how >everyone came together in the end to fight against Erawen and Maeve – and yes it’s so typical and cliche but it’s just beautiful ok I can’t< Sorry to non-spoilers peeps you’ll have to read the book to find out!
Did anyone else see this? >but what about Ren?? he liked Lysandra but now that Lysandra’s marrying Aedion what will he be doing? I feel like he had a pretty sad ending especially since his grandfather died too!!<
But I felt it was kind of anti-climatic?? I feel like things were >wrapped up a bit too easily even though I did appreciate that because I love so many of the characters< but if it makes for a happy ending then to be honest I am pretty fine with it.
The ending was pretty much perfection though. It really made me feel so many emotions and when I finished it I was so happy for all the characters and… honestly I’d be so down for another book including these characters in some other way, or a sort of novella at the end so we can get a peek into everyone’s futures.
“We come to honor a friend.”
I am sad this is the end because it’s been such a journey and I love so many of these characters so so much.
And to be honest, criticism aside, I think Sarah J. Maas has done an amazing job if you look at the series as a whole. No one’s perfect, and it would be impossible to give an ending that everyone would be completely satisfied with, but I think this was still super well done (I mean I didn’t hate it I still gave it 4 stars) and I do really love this series.
Another review that was super insightful and eye-opening that I would highly recommend checking out!! As always, these are only my own thoughts on my own small blog and there are so many other so much more perceptive and thought-provoking reviews out there!
What were your thoughts about this book?? Speak soon!