Review: Kingdom of Ash

Kingdom of AshSo I hesitate to call this a review, because it’s mostly just a massive ramble about the final book in the Throne of Glass series. But I have too many thoughts not to put together some sort of post about this book. I’ve been waiting for it for so long!!

I’ll start with a few spoiler-free thoughts. Overall, I really enjoyed Kingdom of Ash and thought it was a decent end to the series. In fact, I generally found it more satisfying than the end of the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy, though I think I prefer that series to Throne of Glass. I’m a big fan of both, though, don’t get me wrong!

I will say, I thought it was a bit long. Like, I really don’t think all 992 pages were necessary. I’m not sure exactly where you start cutting, but it definitely dragged a bit in places for me, and frankly it took some willpower to make myself start this book even though I was really looking forward to it just because it was SO LONG.

Also, does it have to be gold?! I’m going to be bitter for so long that this book looks so out of place with the rest of the series of my shelf because it’s way too bright.

Mostly, though, I can’t believe I finally finished the Throne of Glass series! I first started reading these books a few months after Heir of Fire came out, so it’s definitely been a journey. Shoutout to my sister for making me read them! But if you haven’t finished Kingdom of Ash yet, GO AWAY and come back once you have.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

Ugh, I have so many thoughts about this series, and I’m really not sure how to organize them, so this post might just wind up being a brain dump. Please bear with me!

I’ll cut right to the chase: I’m so glad none of the main cast of characters died. I imagine some people won’t like that, but honestly, I think these books are very much fantasy romances, and romances have to end with happily ever afters, so the ending of this series is very much in line with that.

That said, I’m not sure everyone needed to be paired up. It’s definitely some aggressive pairing, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Like, I want all of my favorite characters to be happy, and as a romance reader, I was definitely rooting for them all to find happy relationships. But also, this series is way bigger than a traditional romance novel, and I’m not sure they all need romantic relationships to be happy.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Manon and Dorian together. Maybe for a fling, but not longterm. And the way their relationship was wrapped up struck me as a bit odd. Like, will they be together? What about ensuring the succession of their crowns? I would be all for adopting their successors, but bloodlines play such an important role in this series that I’m not sure that’s really an option. Idk.

And while I initially liked Aedion and Lysandra together, the way he treated her after she took over and pretended to be Aelin was so wildly inappropriate. He needed to grovel way, way more, and frankly, I’m not sure enough groveling in the world would make up for throwing her out naked in the snow. That struck me as rather out of character for him, but once he did that, I thought Lysandra should have completely moved on.

really like Elide and Lorcan together, though, and I liked seeing their relationship progress throughout the book. Probably my favorite relationship in this series, to be honest! I do like Aelin and Rowan together more now than I have in the past, though, and of course I was 100 percent rooting for him to track her down and help rescue her.

Speaking of Aelin being rescued from Maeve, I have some questions about her torture. I really don’t want her torture to be sexual in nature and am glad it wasn’t, but considering the amount of violence against women in our world (which we know is present in the Throne of Glass world because Yrene teaches self defense classes), why wouldn’t it be sexual at all? Let me reiterate, I absolutely don’t want it to be, and it was awful enough without it, but it just seemed odd that Maeve seemed to restrain Cairne from that without any sort of explanation.

What else? I mentioned the book dragged a bit for me. I expected to absolutely race through the last third to see what happened and who survived and how everything tied up, but honestly, that was the slowest part for me. There was just so much detailed war logistics going on, and it got kind of repetitive and a bit boring. I’m not convinced it was all necessary.

Also, there were just so many points of view in this story. I really hated jumping around to these completely different story lines, which took forever to tie in with each other. Like, I think there were four main story arcs that were each told from various points of view, and it just got to be a lot for me.

I thought Aelin’s display of power at Westfall was so awesome and badass. I thought it was weird that Rowan didn’t pick up on the fact that she was tunneling into her power the entire time, because it seemed so obvious to me. And I know it was meant to be for Maeve, but it was awesome seeing her use her power like that to save a bunch of people instead.

And I liked how she did ultimately defeat Maeve and how Yrene took on Erawen. I thought that was really well done, and I’m glad Fenrys got to play a major role in her death.

I was so devastated by the Thirteen’s deaths, though. Like, I thought it was well done and a really important thing for them to do, but it was just so tragic! Definitely the most devastating death(s) in the book.

Speaking of deaths, what the heck was up with Gavriel? Maybe I was reading too fast and slightly jet lagged, but was it really necessary for him to go outside the gate and take on all of those Valg? He was literally just reunited with Aedion! And they were able to close the gate! It seemed like a bit of a senseless death, plus I was disappointed we didn’t get more of the father/son relationship between him and Aedion, which was a nice contrast from a lot of the romantic relationships in this book. Also, pretty much no one in Maas’ books have good relationships with their parents, so I think that could have been a really good opportunity to explore something different.

Another thing I might have missed is the point of the storyline with the gods. Like, was it really necessary for them to be involved if they ultimately didn’t do much of anything? They didn’t even take Erawen with them, and they destroyed Elena. So did the Lock and the gods even have to be a storyline? Also, I was probably sadder than I should be about the fact that Aelin lost most of her powers. Like, obviously those aren’t her most important trait and she’s still awesome without them, but I always thought her powers were really cool. Though probably too much for any one person. Idk. I loved that she flew past Velaris, though, and we got a quick hello from Rhysand and Feyre! It was a nice little easter egg to have those two worlds overlap.

I probably missed a ton of other things I want to comment on, but also, it’s a 992 page book. I could be here for hours recapping all of my thoughts! So I think I’m going to wrap it up here now that I’ve got the most pressing things off of my chest.

Kingdom of Ash was such a long time in the making, but I thought it was worth the wait. I’m so sad to let these characters go, and now that the whole series is out, I definitely need to go back and reread them all from the beginning, because I know I forgot a lot of characters when I started Kingdom of Ash, and I’m sure there were a fair number of things I missed in my race to finish this book.

I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thinks of the finale of the Throne of Glass series! If you’ve finished Kingdom of Ash, definitely let me know your thoughts in the comments, and feel free to drop a link to your own post if you had to do a brain dump like me.

4 thoughts on “Review: Kingdom of Ash

  1. I am so glad none of the main characters died! And I loved all the after stuff, but I want so much more too. I actually really like Dorian and Manon and loved the way that ended for them. Haha. I think the open ended made me feel better. Aedion was a twerp and I was so mad at him. But at the same time I love him and Lysandra??? She deserves the world though so there definitely should have been more groveling. I chalked it up to the life or death stakes were just too much for them both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Open ended was definitely the way to go for Dorian and Manon! I would have been mad if they’d gotten married or something. And I liked Aedion and Lysandra together too until he ruined it all! Now I just have a hard time rooting for their relationship. I think Lysandra can do better

      Like

  2. Elide and Lorcan are my favourite too! I also loved all the Chaol/Yrene moments, but I definitely agree that Aedion should have groveled more- or just been more sympathetic in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: September/October Wrap Up | Dani's Bookshelf

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