Kingdom of Ash – Sarah J Maas

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7)

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Kingdom of Ash is the seventh and final book in the Throne of Glass series. At almost 1,000 pages, it is a behemoth full of characters, plotlines, action, magic, and romance. Overall, on an entertainment level I was quite satisfied with the wrapping up of a story and world that I’ve been embroiled in for years. Critically, there were a lot of issues that could be discussed in regards to this book. (For example, the fact that this book was very, very similar to Lord of the Rings, which I won’t discuss.)

Over the years, Sarah J Maas has introduced a number of characters to this series who have now become the main (or pretty main, but supporting) characters. They each have their own love interests, backstories, and plotlines – which can get pretty unwieldy. As a result, some of the characters felt as though they didn’t get quite the development that they should have gotten and others received a plethora of attention. My biggest issue with the characters is that fundamentally, they all have the exact same personality. Their defining trait is self-loathing – so they all feel that their lives are worth less than anyone else’s, they carry the entire burden of guilt on their shoulders, etc. The moment that I realized that fact in this book, it became impossible to ignore and tarnished my view of her character development.

The biggest thing to me in regards to the characters was the fact that due to the massive quantity of main characters and lack of time that could be dedicated to each one – we ended up glossing over important scenes. I can’t give specifics without them being spoilers, but there were scenes that should have been incredibly emotional and traumatizing. Instead, we either immediately moved on so there was no emotional impact or lingered, vaguely, in a way that also didn’t have emotional resonance. I just wanted more from it and only got vaguely emotional about that one Abraxos scene.

Although there was a lot of action in this book, there was also a lot of superfluous information or scenes in it. We spent a large portion of the story with an angsty Cadre trying to get Aelin back. While I completely understand the need to show what she went through and the lengths to which they searched for it – it definitely dragged down the pacing of the plot. If she had done more editing and refining, I feel as though the book would have been better. The climax was also a little anti-climactic for me. While Yrene’s role and scene were interesting, I felt that Aelin’s part was just a little too easy and it was disappointing.

Overall, I loved this book and my issues didn’t have a huge impact on my rating, although they probably should have. I am rating this based on my enjoyment of the final book, with just half a star off for the issues even though critically it should probably be more than that.

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