Title: Kingdom of Ash
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Release Date: 23 October, 2018
Pages: 992
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

** Spoiler FREE section**

After the ending of Empire of Storms, we knew KOA would be emotional, would be epic, and hoped it wouldn’t be too heartbreaking. Well, I was an emotional mess, not just because heartbreaking things happened, but also because of the hope and strength, of mind and body, that was displayed by the characters I have grown to love so dearly. This is the end for new content about one of my favorite groups of characters (as far as we know). Six years and eight books later, and we’re saying goodbye. 

Sarah J. Maas is a genius at weaving stories together and making you feel so wrapped up in the world she creates. I don’t think I’ve ever cried, shrieked, panicked, and swooned more than while reading an SJM masterpiece (ACOMAF and Queen of Shadows being my faves). If someone only read Throne of Glass and Kingdom of Ash, they would say it was a completely different series. Celaena to Aelin, Prince Dorian to King of Adarlan, a completely new court, and Celaena’s fight for personal freedom from Endovier turned into an epic, world-changing war about Valg demons. What?! This is one of the only series I know that covers so much ground and takes on so much of a story. And yet, Aelin and Sarah J. Maas never forgot the beginning, or the people along the way.

Aside from specific scenes, my favorite part about KOA was that SJM was so meticulous in remembering to tie up even the most minute of storylines, even the storylines that we readers didn’t remember or think of as storylines. Maas never forgot all the tiny threads she had been intricately weaving throughout her series (okay there was just one tiny one that bothered me, but I’ll get to that in the Spoiler-full section). Seeing all of the pieces that Maas pulled together to create this final tapestry, this final Throne of Glass masterpiece, it makes you realize how invested she was in the story, in the characters, and how detailed she was in making sure this series was the best it could be.

***SPOILERS (and fangirling) AHEAD***

*If you haven't finished Kingdom of Ash, do not read beyond this point*

Gosh, there were SO MANY amazing moments in this series. Big moments, tiny moments, parts that made me cry, parts that made me not want to keep reading so I could stop heartbreaking things from happening. 

I think my favorite moment of the series was Manon accepting her Crochan crown. Manon’s character arc is one of my favorites. From a heartless witch to finding hope to accepting her Crochan heritage and fighting for her friend. When she and the Thirteen (omg) landed on Aedion’s battlefield and said we are here for our friend, Aelin, I WEPT. I couldn’t even see the pages. Manon came so far from the character we were introduced to, and her showing up and rallying witches to support the friends she had made was so incredibly moving. I would have loved to see Manon land in the wastes, but I'm satisfied knowing she finally took her people home.

Fenrys and Aelin’s friendship and their secret language was also one of my favorite parts. One of my (few) big issues with these books is that everyone magically finds their perfect pair. Rowan and Aelin, Yrene and Chaol, Manon and Dorian, Elide and Lorcan, Aedion and Lysandra. Seriously, why? Out of everything, Valg demons and all, I find everyone pairing up to be the most unbelievable and annoying (Even though I know I’m really supposed to be mated with Dorian, but whatever). Anyway, because of this, Aelin and Fenrys’ friendship was even more special for me. 

I can’t list everything I loved or was sad about, because my review would be as long as KOA. But here are a few things I can’t stop thinking about: Page 800, Feyre and Rhys omg, I loved it. The Thirteen sacrificing themselves and breaking the curse, I can’t believe it. Evangeline and Darrow. Gavriel. Aelin remembering Sam Cortland moving the canons at Skull’s Bay. Dorian and Kaltain. Yrene and Elide’s friendship. The way Manon and Dorian left their relationship. The role Endovier played in this book. The themes of going/coming home finally. The goodbye scene between the original three (they were the catalysts that started the TOG ball rolling, Rowan knew to give them space, and none of them forgot where it all started). 

The tiny thread I wanted to see wrapped up was Aelin’s dance teacher bringing music to a free Terrasen. The Heir of Fire musicians’ sacrifice scene is one of my favorites in the series, and I would have loved for the hope of music to be brought to Terrasen. But I know there’s time and hope for that in their future. That there's hope for a better world.

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