Did It Take Me Nearly Two Years to Finish This? Yep! | Review: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

6:00 AM

It's been a bumpy ride for me and the Throne of Glass series. Kingdom of Ash was one of my most anticipated reads... in 2018. But, it was released at an odd time. And then I was like, "I don't want this to end!" and then I was like, "Actually, please make this stop." AND FINALLY, I finished it.

Kingdom of Ash
by Sarah J. Maas 

The final battle is here.

Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5)

“Death had been her curse and her gift and her friend for these long, long years. She was happy to greet it again under the golden morning sun.”

Something about the Throne of Glass series was, and is, always changing for me. I enjoyed the first in the series, but wasn't thoroughly impressed. I loved the second book. The third and fourth, I was lukewarm towards. The fifth I liked. The sixth was another 'meh' moment. Still, I was optimistic about Kingdom of Ash. After-all, Sarah J. Maas created one of my all-time favourite series within A Court of Thorns and Roses, and that counts for something.

When I first picked up Kingdom of Ash, I was at a really low stage in my life in terms of anxiety control and financial issues. This, if you've been following me through the years, is due to the fact that my dad had lost his job and I wasn't sure I could support both of my parents, myself and my dogs. (Fortunately, things worked out in the end.) Not to mention it's always bittersweet to see a series end.

Those first few nights of having Kingdom of Ash, I kept flipping between clinging to its pages like the lifeline it was, and setting it aside due to my sour mood and poor mental state. As I read, I was like, "I really don't want this series to end." And I was enjoying it. Yet, at some point, it began to feel like a chore to read it. Perhaps it was my recently acquired disconnect from SJM's writing. Perhaps it was my already mixed feelings about Throne of Glass. Perhaps it was my mood. Or the size of Kingdom of Ash.

Whatever it was, brought my interest to a halt. I stalled to pick it back up for months. What I'd liked about Kingdom of Ash slowly became lesser marks compared to what I disliked. By the time I picked it back up, I felt as though I'd burned myself out and grown out of Sarah J. Maas' writing. In a lot of ways, I think I genuinely have. Which leads me to this: I didn't hate this book. But, I also didn't like Kingdom of Ash.

There's this fiery quality that the series is known for that works really, really well. Kingdom of Ash, of course, has this present. I think my issue with the conclusion is primarily in its length--it was nearly a thousand pages, yet it felt as though the story could have been shortened by at least half. There's a fondness that I hold for it, the characters, and Sarah J. Maas in general, but Kingdom of Ash was the novel for me that made me think, "Yeah. Throne of Glass isn't my favourite."

Ultimately, this was my least favourite installment from the series. Which all boils down to my own tastes. Although I'm always going to have fondness for Throne of Glass, and, of course, Sarah J. Maas' luscious fantasy prose, I can't say that the series and I ended on good terms. Everything I wanted Kingdom of Ash to be didn't come to fruition--but that's okay: because this wasn't my story, and the way it ended for many is truly special.

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