“Kingdom of Ash” by Sarah J. Maas

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Here we are at the end of The Throne of Glass saga. This final book surprised me in more ways than one and was a fitting conclusion to a sometimes frustrating series. Some spoilers ahead so proceed with caution.

What struck me reading this, was how much Maas has progressed as a writer. Her writing has matured from the initial books in the series which started out as an entertaining, if somewhat cliché, story of a Mary Sue-esque assassin and an inevitable love triangle. Although admittedly an author I enjoy very much, Maas’ writing can be variable. This is evidenced by the previous book in the series, “Empire of Storms”, which was one of the weakest in the series, and the “A Court of Frost and Starlight” novella which read as a slightly bizarre fanfiction.  I found myself at certain points thinking “is this even the same author?” which reflects how Maas has been able to pull things back together for this final book and provide a satisfying conclusion. 

The individual character stories were wrapped up successfully save one (Nox, where are you? Where did you go?) and Maas was braver than she normally is when deciding who isn’t going to survive the events of the story. 

The romance elements between Rowan and Aelin were still a bit cringey at points, lots of the usual biting and claiming, but not enough to ruin anything. The Wyrdgate resolution was rather underwhelming and confusing. Still not sure what that was all about, but loved the Feyre and Rhys easter egg.

The different character points of view were some of the most enjoying elements of the story, but they were lost a bit when everything pulled together towards the end. I was really enjoying Dorian’s point of view and missed him towards the end.

The battle scenes were written very well, and there was a genuine feeling of tension and hopelessness at various points in the novel. Often Young Adult novels fall down on this aspect, but these scenes were some of the greatest strengths in the story.

I’ll miss this series and the characters (some more than others!) but was happy to see it end this way. Long live the Queen.

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