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Audiobook Review: Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)

Published October 18th 2018 

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Narrator: Elizabeth Evans

Audiobook Length: 33 hours 11 minutes

Aelin has risked everything 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. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

Kingdom of Ash is the final novel in the Throne of Glass series. Even though it was well over 900 pages long (over 33 hours for the audiobook), it did not feel like a chore to make my way through the story. The series itself started in a fairly simple manner with an assassin, Celeana, participating in a competition where there was an initial love triangle forming along with the introduction of many characters. It read more towards YA and just like the story, the genre progressed into new adult territory. The romances, characters, plots, etc. have all become a lot more complex compared to the first story and I loved to see that development in the writing. This novel begins after the cliffhanger ending of Empire of Storms and brings together the aftermath of the Tower of Dawn.

With Aelin trapped by Maeve, her mate Rowan needs to save her along with her friends/supporters and continue to help restore her rightful place on the throne. While I initially was not a fan of Aelin’s relationship with Rowan based on the progression of their relationship, I loved them in this story. The readers gets insight into Rowan’s inner turmoil as he tries to find Aelin while Aelin’s is being tortured and her feelings for Rowan are still apparent. Throughout the series, I love Aelin’s growth as she has come a long way as a character. She makes mistakes, but she is strong enough to be able to do things on her own while also knowing when she needs help from others.

Dorian has come a long way with many ups and downs since he was first introduced at the beginning. He started as a more cinnamon roll type character and then went through tons of changes throughout the novels. Some of those changes made me like him as a character and others made me question why Maas wrote him this way. I like the strength he gained, but some of his arrogance did not jive with me, so I ended up on the fence about how I feel about him as a character. He went through a lot with Aelin and Sorscha before connecting with Manon. For me, I love each character separately, but I am not quite a fan of them as a couple. I do love them as very close friends as I love their banter and their support of each other.

Yrene was first introduced in the prequel novella where Aelin first comes across her in an inn. She was reintroduced to the story and became closer to Chaol in Tower of Dawn. There are smaller details where some pieces just didn’t seem to add up with her character. An example is Yrene’s healing abilities as the timeline for healing some characters was different than others. Based on the information Maas gives, the timelines should have been the same, but they differed and not explained. This was a smaller detail as it was overshadowed in an amazing way by her relationship with Chaol. I love their connection and how their relationship continued to grow. They supported each other and I love how Chaol continued to get some attention from Maas to showcase his likability after a few novels where he just seemed okay. I still wish they were given a little more time, however, I understand the limitations with the vast amounts of plots and characters to wrap-up.

As for the other many characters, I have few thoughts on them, but there is no way I could create a concise review of every single one. Aedion was not the best in this novel as he made a few questionable choices, especially with Lysandra. There are some hints of redemption, but I wish that it was explored more as it did seem as important in the writing as, I thought, it should have been. As for Elide and Lorcan, it was difficult to fully connect to this couple as they were enjoyable, but I just needed more. Sartaq and Nesryn were another background couple, but their relationship was still highlighted a little as they continued to connect with each other.

This novel was great overall, but it is difficult to fully connect with it. As there are multiple characters to track in this series and each starts in separate place in this story, there is a lot of bouncing around in each chapter. When you begin to get into one part of the story, it would jump to catch up with other characters. There was a lot of information for Maas to write as each character needed their own ending along with the plot. The first half of the story begins slowly as all the characters are working on their own journeys and the second half picks up as the battles begin. There were some places where the phrasing was repetitive or a little too much prose where it took away a little from the reading experience. As this is the final novel in the series, many of the characters all end up in a place that creates a satisfy ending. Overall, this series was well worth the read and I enjoyed it a lot. I will gladly continue to read more novels by Maas without hesitation!

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