So I’ve been contemplating how to actually write this review. The Throne of Glass series is one that heavily got me back into YA fantasy when I first picked it up about five years ago, and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I thought I’d struggle to write this review because I do really feel like I’ve been waiting to see what happens to Aelin in the end for years, but I’m going to try my best!
This review contains no spoilers for Kingdom of Ash – but there are spoilers for the previous books in the series!
First off, the size of Kingdom of Ash is no joke – 984 pages long, yet I was so invested that I managed to read the entire thing on its release day. It’s definitely the most I’ve ever read in one day before!
Despite the fact that it’s been two years since Empire of Storms came out, it wasn’t hard to remember what was happening, both down to the multiple POV’s, including Aelin, Rowan, Chaol, Elide, Manon, Dorian, Lysandra, Aedion, Lorcan, Nesryn (possibly more!) and the little recaps. Anyway, my point is that it was easy to follow exactly where everyone was throughout the entire book, as well as to see the different things that were happening to different characters at the same time. I felt as though I could jump straight back into the action and was immediately immersed back into Erilea.
Unlike with many series’s similar to TOG, it really felt as though the events of Kingdom of Ash had been planned from the start of the series. I could see the way that every single character had grown, and comparing their maturity in this book back to the carefree characters in the first book definitely made me just a bit emotional. I do think that, although Aelin went through so much during her life as Celaena, the horrific events she experienced at the end of Empire of Storms and the start of Kingdom of Ash definitely forced her to make that final transition from the arrogant, trained assassin Princess that the Lords of Terrasen saw as being unfit to rule at the start of Empire of Storms, to the Queen she was destined to become. Obviously, we had the entirety of Tower of Dawn to see Chaol’s growth and it was so lovely to see him and Yrene happy in KOA. I have to say though, the best character development was in Dorian. Even after freeing himself from the Valg prince and losing Sorscha, I felt as though he remained quite a naive and immature character. In KOA, he certainly lived up to the crown he’d recently inherited and proved himself to his friends and his people. He’s also become really cunning, learned how to master his magic and even almost had me fooled at one point!
I’ve never been the biggest Rowaelin fan but I have to say they won me over as a couple in KOA. Besides them, this book is full of so many perfect relationships, but I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil anything! I will say that Chaol and Yrene are just as adorable as they were in Tower of Dawn, though.
Overall, Kingdom of Ash definitely surpassed my expectations. It must have been no easy feat to wrap up a series that’s spanned six years, seven novels, five novellas (and a colouring book), yet SJM managed to do a brilliant job of it with KOA. All loose ends were tied up and questions that have spanned the entire series answered; it managed to focus on perfect character development as well as remaining plot driven, and although most of the subject matter was serious or literally a life or death situation, we still got the attitude and banter that we’ve grown to expect and love in this series. I still can’t quite believe it’s over, but I wouldn’t have wanted it to end any other way.
Keep an eye out for my Kingdom of Ash highlights post, coming once I think more people will have read it!
lots of love,